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  1. #1
    Registered User peterm28's Avatar
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    Set out on 30-day drastic cut, hours of cardio a day - this is the result!

    This is the video that inspired my 30 day challenge:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okM3OYaBQGg - "we trained like superheroes for 30 days".

    I set myself out for a 30 day drastic cutting challenge: I wanted to be at a roughly 1100 Calorie deficit a day (so that would be a total loss of 9.4 lbs of fat). I started off around 180 lbs (83 kg) and ended up at... 179 lbs.

    I ended up building muscle!

    Here is the 30 day before and after pics:

    First I want to show you in a way that is kind of unfair, the way everyone else does, showing a bad photo versus a good photo. The unfair comparison: https://imgur.com/a/P0DouSX

    All right but that's kind of cheating, this is what I look like in the same state (not pumped or flexing): https://imgur.com/a/qH9p6IA

    I don't want to make this post very long but my inspiration was seeing the girls who are actually fat, fat, and cut down just throwing themselves into cardio (such as the elliptical) for just hours and hours and hours a day. You can see lots of those transformations if you search transformation on youtube.

    I'm a man so I figured that I have more muscles to throw at cardio and I figured that if those girls can do it, I can too. I also knew that diet is very important, and I didn't want to lose too much muscle in the process. So I got some protein powder (in total I ate 2 kg/4.4 lbs of it in the 30 days), which also contained creatine (I asked about this in the forum). Since creatine is very safe and powerful I further supplemented my creatine usage (to reach 5 mg/day). I ended up actually putting on some water weight (from the creatine) even as I was doing hours of cardio a day and keeping quite a strict diet.
    Last edited by peterm28; 12-01-2019 at 10:54 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User peterm28's Avatar
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    I had some cheat days including days I consumed an extra 1,000 or more Calories (such as from beer, some chips, etc) and several days that were total rest. I told myself that I'm "just replenishing my glycemes bro" (haha), so that the days after such a cheat/rest day I always threw myself into very strong lifting program. (Usually each workout session after the cardio, I would do some half-hearted lifts to just remind my muscles not to shrivel away, they're still needed...)

    Due to the high amount of cardio, despite eating adequate protein (using lots of protein powder), I expected to lose a lot of muscle. I thought I'd end up at a weight of 176 lbs or something.

    Well, that didn't happen. I pretty much ened up at the same after weight as before, just a lot stronger.

    Additionally, during this time I tried to fix my APT (anterior pelvic tilt) by doing this video's program each day after my workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjAK8E19T5A
    That definitely made a difference, as at the beginning I couldn't hold the plank position with my glutes activated.

    I also had a pullup bar at home and did a few pullups every day.
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  3. #3
    Registered User peterm28's Avatar
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    I also want to mention that before each and every workout I took 3-4 caffeine pills of 100 mg (1 cup of espresso has 212 mg of caffeine so this is like 1.5-2 cups of espresso), since I knew that the calorie loss would have to come from my hard work, I couldn't just half ass it.

    Even though my gym is just a ten minute walk from me, this was like a part time job for 30 days. I put so many hours in. I always just kept the goal in mind. If I didn't have a lot of free time I couldn't possibly have done this. Several times I was in the gym so long that I outlasted my fully charged bluetooth headphones, and often I stayed until closing time.

    I was pretty shocked that my scale weight didn't go down much if anything. I really just ended up recomping.

    If girls who are carrying hundreds of thousands of extra calories can do it (as you can see in youtube), you can too. Anyone can recomp like this. Set yourself a goal and just push. It just takes a lot of hours.

    Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions. I look and feel great.
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    You did all that crap to lose a pound?

    There are far smarter ways to do a recomp!

    when I try to click on your link it gives me a warning for NSFW images. No thanks.
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    Rolllllllll breader

    Knew it.
    160 lbs and jacked is about as impressive as D cups on a 300lb woman
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  6. #6
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    All links are SFW. They are shirtless mirror selfie pictures, one is in underwear.
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    Creatine strongly retains water in the body, because of this, body weight has not decreased much.
    bench press 165 kgx1, 125 kgx13, 100 kgх24
    overhead press 100 kgx1, 82,5 kg 4 sets х 5 reps
    deadlift 230 kgx1, 200 kgx4, 190 kg 3 sets x 5 reps
    raw squat 180 kgx1, 150 kg 5x5
    chin-ups +25 kg x10 reps
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    Good job nevertheless, I remember your thread about the elliptical. You look and feel better so that's already a win.

    I hope you do know that you weren't actually in a 1k daily deficit, though. Gaining muscle with the calories from your fat mass doesn't add back into your weight.
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    When you go on a gym exercise machine and it gives you a reading that you just expended 200 calories (or whatever), you realise these machines tell completely overstated/inflated numbers, right?

    There's a whole post here on how, what, why - (which I can't be bothered to write, sorry) but they do over read a LOT. So if you add up those machines numbers to make your 1,100 deficit... your calculations will be way wrong.
    Faith in Jesus first and faith in squats second.
    Then other details will start to slot themselves into place.
    Diet restarted Monday Oct 28th@76.8, Dec 7th@73.4, target 69.x Kg.
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    Registered User peterm28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Oleg1975K View Post
    Creatine strongly retains water in the body, because of this, body weight has not decreased much.
    Yes. My weight went up when I started taking creatine. If you Google "how much water weight does creatine add", Google's infographic says: "In the first week of taking oral creatine, some people gain about 2 to 4.5 pounds, mainly due to water retention."

    However, it definitely makes me stronger with more stamina, which I then used to work out.
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    Registered User peterm28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Sherniee View Post
    I hope you do know that you weren't actually in a 1k daily deficit, though. Gaining muscle with the calories from your fat mass doesn't add back into your weight.
    It's possible I wasn't at a 1100 Calorie deficit. However, that was my goal. Well, by now I've been using the stepper machine, the recumbent bicycle (on max resistance) and the elliptical. While the Calorie readouts may have been bogus, it is possible to feel mechanically the amount of work being done, and at a high cadence for a long time, that's going to burn some Calories. (I also mostly had my diet on point.)
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    Registered User peterm28's Avatar
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    In researching this recomp I also heard that bodybuilders will do lower weight very high volume to tone up in the final days before contests: to me, doing a high volume at moderate weight mechanically looks similar to aerobic/cardio exercise with a high resistance. So I think even if they don't realize it, they are burning a lot of Calories in those sessions (low weight but very high volume sessions.)

    I didn't want to cut my diet calories too severely, so I preferred to just do longer cardio.
    Last edited by peterm28; 12-01-2019 at 05:46 AM.
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    Registered User peterm28's Avatar
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    Finally, you seemed to write that you can't gain muscle mass (add to weight) with some of the Calories you burned off from fat.

    This is the essence of whether recomping is possible. While I don't have numbers, I think even if you removed my extra water weight from creatine, I must have built some more muscle during the 30 days. (I feel stronger). Since it was a severe cut, maybe we could guess that I added 3 pounds of water weight, lost 5 lbs of fat in 30 days (this would imply 583 net Calorie deficit per day). I don't think I lost 10 lbs of fat. Finally, I think I could have added 1 lb of solid muscle. (Since I'm stronger.)

    So -5 lbs fat + 3 lbs water weight + 1 lb lean muscle weight = net -1 lb on the scale over the thirty days.

    Does this sound like it could have been what happened? (Based on my pictures.)

    I am still waiting on an answer to "guess my bodyfat percentage" (another thread). Depending on the number I get as feedback, I might just add another 30 day cut. (Doing exactly the same as I have been.)

    My results so far have been fantastic. I didn't lose nearly as much muscle as I was afraid I would. I think I just need another 30 days like this.
    Last edited by peterm28; 12-01-2019 at 05:47 AM.
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    Who cares how much fat you lost or got water if you still look like a man who has never trained? Yes, for beginners, it is possible to simultaneously increase muscle mass while reducing fat. So what? Beginner effects cannot be transferred to experienced athletes.
    P.S. In the photo in the second row, you are also cunning.
    On the left (up), he specifically directed the light so that the photo was blurry. On the right (after) the light is directed so as to emphasize the contours of the muscles. Cheap trick.
    bench press 165 kgx1, 125 kgx13, 100 kgх24
    overhead press 100 kgx1, 82,5 kg 4 sets х 5 reps
    deadlift 230 kgx1, 200 kgx4, 190 kg 3 sets x 5 reps
    raw squat 180 kgx1, 150 kg 5x5
    chin-ups +25 kg x10 reps
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  15. #15
    Registered User peterm28's Avatar
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    Hi Oleg,

    First of all I appreciate your expertise which you've written in other posts as well.

    Originally Posted by Oleg1975K View Post
    Who cares how much fat you lost or got water if you still look like a man who has never trained?
    Ouch. Well, thanks for the feedback. That said, it is not a possible goal in 30 days to look like a bodybuilder. My only goal was a drastic cut.

    Originally Posted by Oleg1975K View Post
    P.S. In the photo in the second row, you are also cunning.
    On the left (up), he specifically directed the light so that the photo was blurry. On the right (after) the light is directed so as to emphasize the contours of the muscles. Cheap trick.
    No, this isn't true at all actually. The light is the same one in the same position. I wasn't directing it. It's the exact same light source (the same bulb, inside) and even the exact same angle, I didn't do anything special to take it. I really do look much more cut, it's a real effect. It's hard to see but my jaw is also much more chiselled. There is a very obvious difference.

    I have another way of showing you the effect. Around day 18 I took a picture of some pants I'd had that have always been much too tight on me (I've literally never worn them, since I wasn't even close to being able to button them.) By the last day (so, 12 days later) I was able to close them, but still uncomfortably. It still shows the bodyfat.

    Here is that comparison picture:

    https://imgur.com/a/18NBBZi

    Please focus on where the jeans are cutting into my body (the "muffin top" effect.). I shouldn't have to do this but here is the detail: https://imgur.com/a/cACKqHs so you can really see what I'm talking about.

    Literally the only reason I took that picture was to show the "muffin top" effect of wearing the same too-tight jeans. I think that those jeans which are so tight adequately show how much fat is still left to be lost. I think that if I cut to my goal BF% I could wear them easily.

    There is no other reason I took these pictures than to show the jeans, there are no tricks, and if you look at them you can see how much fat I lost in the final 12 days of the cut. Additionally, shirts that started off extremely tight on me (a size too small) became comfortable and some old shirts and underwear became too loose.

    I don't mind, this was the whole goal, to end up more chiseled. I was really quite shocked that I didn't lose a lot more scale weight, since I was eating so little and using so many calories on cardio.

    I think I will begin a new 30 day challenge starting today in the same way - just to further cut by doing lots of cardio every day except some rest days.

    Do you have any requests for before/after photos? I think the ones I've been taking are fine as far as showing the progress...

    Thank you for taking the time to read and contribute your thoughts.
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    Peterm, okay, don’t be offended. I sometimes ... grumble like an old man)))
    bench press 165 kgx1, 125 kgx13, 100 kgх24
    overhead press 100 kgx1, 82,5 kg 4 sets х 5 reps
    deadlift 230 kgx1, 200 kgx4, 190 kg 3 sets x 5 reps
    raw squat 180 kgx1, 150 kg 5x5
    chin-ups +25 kg x10 reps
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    Originally Posted by Oleg1975K View Post
    Peterm, okay, don’t be offended. I sometimes ... grumble like an old man)))
    No problem. Meanwhile I got the estimate back in the other thread: they put me at 14%/15% BF now.

    That is much nicer than 30 days ago, and if it weren't the holiday sesson I would try to reach 10% in the next 30-45 days, on the same program. Christmas eating will make this hard!

    I always just think about how much harder it is for really fat girls who are less strong than me to work it off. You should check out their youtube transformation videos. Some of them are doing 2 hours of cardio each morning + strength training, to get rid of all the fat.

    I just picture the fact that I have much less fat to work off than they do, and I can do it more quickly on resistance machines, due to my muscles. (They probably couldn't do it on as high of a setting, or reach as many watts.)

    It's not going to take me 200 hours on cardio machines, like they do. With a lot of focus it looks like I might get to <10% bf within 40-80 hours at the gym, and might be able to accomplish it in 30-45 days if I spend a long time almost every day.

    But maybe I will experience some hurdle I wasn't expecting. (Such as becoming really tired and lethargic? IDK.)
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    12 pack > 6 pack PurmaBulker1984's Avatar
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    Closer to 20%
    160 lbs and jacked is about as impressive as D cups on a 300lb woman
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    Originally Posted by PurmaBulker1984 View Post
    Closer to 20%
    Definitely possible. There's tons of fat on my body still, it's easy for me to pinch it everywhere. I do look close to some 20% illustrations or examples online.
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    Originally Posted by peterm28 View Post
    Finally, you seemed to write that you can't gain muscle mass (add to weight) with some of the Calories you burned off from fat.

    This is the essence of whether recomping is possible. While I don't have numbers, I think even if you removed my extra water weight from creatine, I must have built some more muscle during the 30 days. (I feel stronger). Since it was a severe cut, maybe we could guess that I added 3 pounds of water weight, lost 5 lbs of fat in 30 days (this would imply 583 net Calorie deficit per day). I don't think I lost 10 lbs of fat. Finally, I think I could have added 1 lb of solid muscle. (Since I'm stronger.)

    So -5 lbs fat + 3 lbs water weight + 1 lb lean muscle weight = net -1 lb on the scale over the thirty days.

    Does this sound like it could have been what happened? (Based on my pictures.)

    I am still waiting on an answer to "guess my bodyfat percentage" (another thread). Depending on the number I get as feedback, I might just add another 30 day cut. (Doing exactly the same as I have been.)

    My results so far have been fantastic. I didn't lose nearly as much muscle as I was afraid I would. I think I just need another 30 days like this.
    You may be mistaken on the math. There's too much noise to signal ratio anyway, since you didn't take caliper, body measurements or track your lifts.

    Safest to assume you were just in a 116 cal deficit over the past 1 month, so you lost a pound. You mentioned you didn't track cals, and had cheat meals unaccounted for.

    Hard reality to face, but I mean it's only 30 days, and this is a learning experience. I probably wasted like a year and a half looking the same bc I refused to bulk.

    Like Oldfarttom said, the machine cal count is a rollercoaster. As of now the only solid data you have is scale weight. If you gained 4.5lbs with creatine supps, that's just straight up Edema lmao.
    Last edited by Sherniee; 12-01-2019 at 06:37 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Sherniee View Post
    You may be mistaken on the math. There's too much noise to signal ratio anyway, since you didn't take caliper, body measurements or track your lifts.

    Safest to assume you were just in a 116 cal deficit over the past 1 month, so you lost a pound. You mentioned you didn't track cals, and had cheat meals unaccounted for.

    Hard reality to face, but I mean it's only 30 days, and this is a learning experience. I probably wasted like a year and a half looking the same bc I refused to bulk.

    Like Oldfarttom said, the machine cal count is a rollercoaster. As of now the only solid data you have is scale weight. If you gained 4.5lbs with creatine supps, that's just straight up Edema lmao.
    I averaged more than an hour of very high intensity (sweating etc, often pushing with all my strength) high resistance aerobic per day. My butt and legs and arms were very sore many days. While it is certainly possible that I gained or lost no muscle, -116 cal seems like quite a low estimate.

    It also wouldn't account for my slimming down a lot (in my face, waist, etc.)

    At the moment I'm about to go to the gym again, where I'll spend a couple of hours. Sure, it's possible I'll lose just 100 Calories but I find it unlikely.

    I know what you're saying about bulking, but for the moment I set myself another 30-45 day challenge cutting.

    If we take someone's high estimate that I am currently at 20% bodyfat, I will have to lose about 800-1000 Calories a day(through a combination of diet and the cardio) to get to 10%-12% within my goal timeframe.

    I agree that taking into account my cheat and rest days, I probably did not average -1000 Cal per day over the previous 30 days. It is just a psychological goal. Well, I'm off to the gym
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    Originally Posted by peterm28 View Post
    I averaged more than an hour of very high intensity (sweating etc, often pushing with all my strength) high resistance aerobic per day.
    If you did it for an hour straight it wasnt very high intensity. Go all out an assault bike for 20 seconds and you'll see what I mean.

    Doesnt mean it wasnt difficult.
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    Originally Posted by DCSpartan View Post
    If you did it for an hour straight it wasnt very high intensity. Go all out an assault bike for 20 seconds and you'll see what I mean.

    Doesnt mean it wasnt difficult.

    Definitely, you're absolutely right. I do intervals, with only brief all-out periods on high resistance. My point was more that I'm not just sitting there slowly pedalling for an hour with no resistance, like dangling my legs. However, I can go longer than the 20 seconds you mention, even at a high RPM. (Can definitely go 1 minute+, while breaking out a sweat.) Maybe these machines don't give enough resistance.
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    Originally Posted by peterm28 View Post
    Definitely, you're absolutely right. I do intervals, with only brief all-out periods on high resistance. My point was more that I'm not just sitting there slowly pedalling for an hour with no resistance, like dangling my legs. However, I can go longer than the 20 seconds you mention, even at a high RPM. (Can definitely go 1 minute+, while breaking out a sweat.) Maybe these machines don't give enough resistance.
    That’s not a bad thing, my legs are ****ed after stairmasters or most other high intensity cardio.

    It’s not very bodybuilding specific IMO, I do about 15k-20k steps a day while I’m cutting currently. It’s a very sustainable thing that doesn’t mess with my lower body lifts, and I get some sun and fresh air.

    Look, in all honesty you probably just overcompensated back in eating. I really think this is a worthwhile lesson, roll with it and fix your eating habits. Track your calories till you’re comfortable eyeballing and understand hunger cues better.
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    Originally Posted by Sherniee View Post
    I do about 15k-20k steps a day while I’m cutting currently. It’s a very sustainable thing that doesn’t mess with my lower body lifts, and I get some sun and fresh air.
    Do you mean walking? Or climbing some stairs outside? How much is that in terms of time? How many calories do you think 15k-20k steps burns for you?

    As for food, I think I did all right. I don't plan to cut into the diet more drastically in the second thirty day challenge (which I just started) than in the first one. I want to be stronger and stronger, even as I cut. (Basically continue the body recomp). I don't expect to gain much muscle but a little bit might be possible. We'll be able to tell from the before/after pics, assuming I am successful in the second thirty-day period (don't give up due to being tired, injured, lethargic, etc). From what I heard, cutting becomes harder and harder as the BF% goes down. So far I'm feeling fine!
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    Originally Posted by peterm28 View Post
    Do you mean walking? Or climbing some stairs outside? How much is that in terms of time? How many calories do you think 15k-20k steps burns for you?
    In terms of time it's hard to say. I don't use a dedicated watch, just the built in ****meter on my phone. I accumulate whatever steps running errands or walking to the gym, and then I may go for actual walks where I try to walk a lot faster.

    I'd say my maintenance now is roughly 3k, it was ~2.4k when I was doing about 6k steps a day. I get those numbers comparing body weight to daily intake, and of course there's noise from losing water when you cut, higher stress, etc.

    I feel like it's the most accurate way and even then it's still only good because adjustments over time account for your tracking mistakes. That's the point I was trying to make earlier.

    As for food, I think I did all right. I don't plan to cut into the diet more drastically in the second thirty day challenge (which I just started) than in the first one. I want to be stronger and stronger, even as I cut. (Basically continue the body recomp). I don't expect to gain much muscle but a little bit might be possible. We'll be able to tell from the before/after pics, assuming I am successful in the second thirty-day period (don't give up due to being tired, injured, lethargic, etc). From what I heard, cutting becomes harder and harder as the BF% goes down. So far I'm feeling fine!
    It's problematic off the top of my head. This doesn't concern if you should or shouldn't cut to 10%, which is another can of worms.

    Assuming you're 20% and 180lbs now, to be 10% you'd be in the low 160s. So if it's 18lbs to lose, it'll be 18 months, assuming rates of loss is linear.

    I would reconsider my game plan if I were you, not necessarily stopping cardio bc it's still good for general health if you don't care about lifting.
    Last edited by Sherniee; 12-03-2019 at 08:03 AM.
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    Sherniee, thanks for the answers on your Cals from walking.



    Originally Posted by Sherniee View Post

    It's problematic off the top of my head. This doesn't concern if you should or shouldn't cut to 10%, which is another can of worms.

    Assuming you're 20% and 180lbs now, to be 10% you'd be in the low 160s. So if it's 18lbs to lose, it'll be 18 months, assuming rates of loss is linear.

    I would reconsider my game plan if I were you, not necessarily stopping cardio bc it's still good for general health if you don't care about lifting.
    I think if I got to 10% (or near it) I'd get the kind of body that I'd like to experience having, to see what it's like. That is the main extrinsic source of motivation for me. (I know, to stick with a program I have to do it for me, not for anyone else or other people's reactions.)

    I think bodyfat% estimates are quite hard to get right. If my waist keeps shrinking and I am pinching less fat (like with my muffin top pics in this thread) then I am on the right path.

    I think I made a really large difference in the first 30-day challenge, so I am just going to continue basically the same program in this second 30-day (to 45-day) challenge, with a lot of aerobic cardio. Today for example I was on a recumbent bike under the max setting and pedaling hard for a long time. I also did the stepper machine. In total I was in the gym over an hour and fifteen minutes working hard. (The last fifteen minutes were some basic lifts for a few minutes.)

    The numbers may be totally off so I hesitate to report what the machine said. But I think with very high resistance it makes sense to consider that the watts the machine reports (and which it converts to Calories) may be close to accurate. I mean, it is possible to feel how much you're pushing, it is possible to compare it to watts (such as a light bulb) if you've ever seen one hooked up directly to a hand crank, and also you can kind of feel the resistance among the different machines.

    I know people say that the Calories the machines report are just vastly overstated and unreliable, so the main thing I have to go on is the progress from day to day and week to week. I am going to keep up with this program if I can. I am seeing good results and it's basic CICO that if I do a lot of very high resistance cardio it will burn something (whether muscle or fat will remain to be seen - hopefully getting enough protein and doing enough lifts will convince the body to shed the fat rather than get Calories from my muscles. As long as I keep getting stronger I assume that is what is happening.)

    It will be interesting to see where this goes.
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