Thoughtful Thursday… The big reveal…a yearly comparison of my body composition results...
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday. This GreenNote Fitness newsletter mindfully gathers and distills useful information that is supportive to our journey. It is my mission to educate, inspire, and propel you into action that moves you towards your goals and life of purpose. Take control of your journey today.
In my newsletter, “My metabolic rate and body composition results...”, I wrote about my first experience with a robust tool used for measuring not just body fat, but muscle distribution and body water balance. The machine used is able to distinguish analysis between left and right arms and legs, as well as the trunk.
I returned for another test a full one-year later.
Did I loose weight? Muscle mass? Are there big differences between lean muscle in one side or the other?
You are about to find out.
Last year after completing body composition testing via the InBody Test I shared with you that I was a little surprised as to the discrepancy between left and right arm lean muscle mass. Being right-handed, it’s quite common to have the dominant side possess more muscle. However, what surprised me was how big of a difference there was. Let’s take a look back - 2018 test showed right arm lean mass at close to a half a pound more than the left. Not surprisingly, it also showed right arm fat analysis to be close to a half pound less.
I had then made it my goal to reduce the discrepancies, getting more muscle and less fat in the left arm. Not long after doing the body composition test in 2018, I was experiencing a small amount of pain and lack of mobility in my left shoulder. This was impacting my ability to strength train that arm. After some physical therapy, it improved but am still mindful to foam roll, stretch, and utilize resistance bands to help with strength and mobility.
Although my main goal after my InBody Test in 2018 was to lessen the gap between right and left arm lean muscle mass; my priority became reducing inflammation in my left SI joint and increase strength and flexibility in left leg. To find more about how I improved it, you can read about it here.
Back to the body composition - were there improvements or disappoints in a year?
In a word, improvements. No drastic changes between last year and this year but everything moved in a good direction.
Here’s what I mean:
Weight: down one pound
Skeletal muscle mass: up a half pound
Body fat mass: down about a pound and a half
Percentage body fat: down point eighth of a percent
Visceral fat level (amount of fat surrounding internal organs in the abdomen): down one level
Right arm lean analysis: up about two percent
Left arm lean analysis: up about two percent
Discrepancy between right arm and left arm lean analysis is slightly improved; left arm less fat compared to previous year
Right leg lean analysis: up slightly
Left leg lean analysis: up two percent
Left leg slightly more lean than right leg
Trunk lean analysis: up two percent
Ratio of extracellular water to total body water (an important indicator of body water balance): about the same, slightly up
The comparison from last year to this year showed good improvements. In addition to the work I did to improve left leg strength and flexibility, what other things contributed to these positive scores?
During the year, I continued with strength training and added more muscle endurance protocols through Tabata sets and sprints. Maintained good nutrition throughout the year. Biggest change I made in the last year was implementing intermittent fasting consistently which I’ve written about here and here.
The benefits of intermittent fasting are profound. I continue to utilize this free strategy and see it as part of my lifestyle for healthy living and longevity. If you haven’t yet implemented this strategy, I strongly encourage you to begin looking into it. Here is a great book on the subject.
I’m going to continue to strengthen my left arm and work on flexibility and mobility to narrow the gap between left and right arm lean muscle mass. As my left leg lean analysis increased slightly over the right leg, I will be mindful to work both sides equally for strength and mobility.
Through Tabata sets I will work on muscle endurance and aerobic capacity. For mitochondrial density I will incorporate more maximum intensity sprints on rowing machine and bike. And for body composition will continue with a morning fasted workout of light cardio.
Without question, I will continue with intermittent fasting for body composition and cellular health. Our bodies just do not need to be constantly fed but when we do feast, you can be sure that I will be reaching for something that will nourish and support my body and mind.
A body composition test is but a snapshot in time. It is interesting and helpful to track these measures to help us target what we want to or need to improve. The InBody Test that I and many of my clients took was $35. If you don’t have access to that type of equipment, a decent alternative is a hand-held device, like this one which you can purchase for around $50.
Get to know your numbers. It will help you stay on track with your fitness goals.
Enjoy your journey,
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Did you miss last week’s newsletter on I did intermittent fasting for five days…here’s what happened...