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How Much Fat/Muscle Change Can Occur in 42 Days of Intensive Training?

I am training for the Everest Challenge 2-day stage race. See my 9-page article. Body weight is a critical challenge when climbing, hence my focus is on gaining muscle, and losing as much fat as possible.

Please see my 6-page series on DEXA scans.

I had a DEXA scan on March 31, and again on May 12, 2011. During that time trained intensively and also closely monitored my diet.

Gaining muscle while losing fat is the holy grail of weight loss.

The DEXA scan shows that in the 42 days between March 31 to May 12 2001:

  • My legs gained 2190 grams of muscle— over a kilogram of new muscle per leg. That’s 2.4 pounds of muscle per leg.
  • Body fat declined by 4926 grams, or 10.8 pounds of fat.

I give the DEXA scan high marks for helping me set realistic expectations, so I could work towards reasonable goals. I have met my 180 pound body weight goal, and I now set my sights on 168 pounds, which I expect will be more of a challenge due to body weight set point.

Perhaps of general interest, I am in my mid-40s, and this shows that it is eminently feasible to lose a lot of body fat and gain a lot of muscle in very short order. Don’t let anyone discourage you on this account, at any age. Most younger cyclists are road hazards to me as I whip by them— training is what counts at any age.

Body weight through May 11— note horizontal trend for 5 days
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