One class that I’m taking this semester is Health Program Planning, and so far it isn’t what I expected it to be. It’s funny that my last two posts were about making small changes, and last Friday in class we got to do body composition testing!
Yeah that’s like the last thing anyone ever wants to do, right?
I hadn’t had my body composition or body fat tested since before I got mono, well over six months ago. I purposely avoided making an appointment to get my body comp tested at the gym for one simple fact–I didn’t want to know what it was. That would be called denial, my friends. The denial caught up with me two weeks ago when our professor announced that we would be completing our body composition analysis.
I go to the University of Kansas so you know this machine is one of the good ones…
Except no one looks that happy when they find out how much fat they have.
You stand on this fancy machine after having cleaned your feet, and you hold onto the arms while it weighs you and displays your weight, fat, lean muscle, and BMI on the little screen. It keeps moving and measuring and displays if you are in the ‘under,’ ‘normal,’ or ‘over’ range. I secretly wanted to yell at it to stop but that would have been embarrassing. Then it printed out our results and it is our responsibility to find two things that we can improve on and develop plans to giterdun.
Weight–This was no surprise to me. I weigh myself on a weekly basis and know exactly how much I weigh and I am content with it. Not superomghappy but it’s a ‘happy weight’ that I am able to comfortably maintain.
Body Fat Percentage–higher than what I want and what it was the last time I had it tested. and is something that I need to work on. I was talking with a friend about the possibility that while I lost weight having mono, I may have also lost some muscle mass since I wasn’t able to workout or train like I had been.
Lean Body Mass– One of the things I’m happy about. My lean mass is actually a little over what a ‘normal’ person my age and height should have, but it also went to prove to me that I am as muscular as I think I am and that I do in fact, have a larger body frame.
BMI– Higher than average, but BMI doesn’t take into account muscle mass. Body fat percentage is the number that I am most focused on out of all of these.
This test was able to display where my lean body mass is, how much water weight I have, my dry mass (minerals, etc.), my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR is how many calories one burns per day with basic bodily functions). BMR serves also as a calorie base, so if you want to lose weight you would eat less than your BMR, if you are maintaining you would stay right around that calorie number, and so forth.
Since this is a program planning class, we had to target two goals and design our own program to achieve these. My goals over the next 5 weeks are to decrease body fat by 5lbs and decrease overall body fat percentage. I understand how these could be seen as the same goal, and in a sense they are, but they are what I want and need to improve.
In order to achieve these two goals, I have changed my approach to my workouts, running and exercising. My goals for 2013 were kind of already setting me up to achieve these two goals for class, but now knowing my numbers serves as a little extra motivation to be consistent and diligent with my working out. Instead of several, 45-60 minute runs per week, my workouts have been looking more like this:
Monday- 30 minutes of cardio (running or stairs) plus 45-60 minutes of lifting
Tuesday- either 3-4 mile run at around a 9:15-9:30 average pace (fast-ish for me), or like this Tuesday, I did 30 hard minutes on the stairs, 30 minutes of hard cycling, followed by a 2 mile run
Thursday- 5:45am Zumba (if I make it) or 3-4 mile run, plus 30 minutes of lifting
Friday- 15-20 minutes of hard cardio, plus 30 minutes of lifting
Saturday- Long run
This has been a schedule that works for me and is something I am able to maintain with my lifestyle. I have really been able to see a difference in my body composition since I started lifting regularly in January and am happy with the results so far! Weight lifting has become a new passion of mine–there is just something about being able to pump iron and use my muscles that makes me feel really strong and empowered! Last year I got in a fitness run and I am happy to have made these changes to shake things up and make new progress!
I’m also trying to ‘train’ for a half marathon in April. More on that later…