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Old 03-01-2004, 10:15 PM   #1
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I recently checked the scales and noticed that I gained weight. Before I was consistently between 150 and 155# (depending on whether I had a full meal or if I had fasted, for instance). Now I'm at between 160 and 165# (161# today). I'm 5'8".

Just wondering how can you tell if the weight you gained is fat or muscle. Any way to tell without taking a bodyfat test at the doctor's? My pants fit fine (size 32), though some people have said that my shirts have looked "tighter."
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:49 PM   #2
Roy
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Look at your veins. Are you more or less vascular? Abs showing? The mirror is good for this one. But it could just be water. Do you use creatine? What about your salt intake?

Theres to many variables for this one.

Cheers

Roy
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:17 PM   #3
Ryan Atkins
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Another, admittedly subjective, way for you to gauge if it's fat or not is to analyze your performance. You've gained roughly 10 pounds. If you can still perform pull-ups, dips, HSPUs, etc. at the same levels you did before the weight gain, I would surmise that your body fat percentage has remained unchanged, or maybe even dropped slightly.

If you want to measure your body fat percentage without going to the doctor there are a couple of options. The Zone books have methods that require nothing other than a tape measure. Similar methods can be found on the web. Some scales measure body fat via galvanic skin response . I'm pretty sure all of these methods have a margin of error (usually a couple of percentage points) and some of the scales (the ones less than $100) openly state they're not accurate when used by athletes. To my knowledge, the only completely accurate way of measuring body fat levels is the dunk tank.

Hope this helps,

Ryan

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Old 03-05-2004, 04:13 AM   #4
bill fox
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Pullups and the mirror. If you gained 10lbs at your hieght and don't look visually smoother and you can still perform the same or better on a BW test - your fine.

5lbs of fat at 150 would be impossible to accurately measure without dipping anyway, so this way is actually better.
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Old 03-11-2004, 09:24 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I do think my chest, back, and arms developed more because of the training I'm doing for the pull-up challenge. Some muscles are starting to show that I didn't know I had.

But at the same time, my abs aren't more defined, they're about the same, I can't tell. I was never a guy to get "cut abs," though I can outperform "cut-abs" guys on abdominal exercises (sit-ups, L-holds, etc.) So maybe it's a genetic thing as regards the abs definition. Don't care, as long as functionally I'm fine.

Mr. Fox, can you re-explain what you meant by "If you gained 10lbs at your hieght and don't look visually smoother and you can still perform the same or better on a BW test - your fine." Are you saying that after I gained 10 lbs I *should* look visually smoother (i.e. either more definition or more solid massive look), and that I should still perform the same or better on a bodyweight test such as a pull-up test? Wasn't sure I caught what you said there.

I think I'm going to be less conscious of the weight gain, and just focus on improving my athletic performance (on the WODS for instance). So far I've been steadily improving. Looking toward the day when I can do 100% WODs (full intensity, full prescribed load). I'm at about 80-90% right now, with occasional 100%s. (Started at 50% modifications).
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Old 03-12-2004, 03:12 AM   #6
Jay Edvardz
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I believe Bill meant if you put on 10 lbs and DO NOT look smoother and still perform the SAME OR BETTER on a BW test then you are fine. If, however, you look smoother and your BW performance has dropped, good chance you gaine fat.
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Old 03-12-2004, 03:48 AM   #7
bill fox
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Q

At 150, 10 lbs, even 5 lbs, of fat is significant, and I think you would notice a loss of definition. That's what I mean by "look smoother".

Again, a 10 lb weight gain at 150 is signifcant. If it doesn't hurt your performance in BW tests, and you don't think you look worse - it's got to be almost all muscle.

Bill
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Old 03-12-2004, 12:58 PM   #8
Alexander Karatis
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Roy, what did you have in mind with regard to salt consumption?
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Old 03-12-2004, 06:35 PM   #9
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Alex---

If one is already at a low bodyfat level, but still seems to have a "Layer" over their abs, the layer may not be fat, but a bunch of sodium ions from excessive salt intake.


Cheers

Roy
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Old 03-12-2004, 06:45 PM   #10
Ben Gimball
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Q,

Ryan has given you some good adivice. If your Pull-up numbers have not gone down, you probably gained mostly muscle. It is rare that a trainee gain fat and have his Pull-ups either stay the same or improve. However, I have seen trainees gain muslce in the hip/leg region and see Pull-up numbers go down!

It might be time to purchase a body fat electronic analyzer! While they are not the most reliable forms to measure body fat, they are not bad either, and convenient to use. This will give you a rough idea of exactly how much body fat that you do have.

As I stated they are not completly accurate, but I have found them to be very close, if you purchase a good one. "Omron" has a very good one for under $45.00. I use their latest model and have checked against other more traditional methods and found it to be very close on younger trainees, as it will penalize you for being older. (just what we over 40 guys need).

If you want to step up to a hand held caliper, I suggest "Accufitness." These may give a more accurate reading, however it will take longer for each measurement.

One piece of friendly advice, (not trying to be arrogant or pushy), do not get to focused on body fat. If you are training hard and eating properly only an occasional check is all you really need.

Good Luck!
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