James McQuarrie

A collection of random links and thoughts curated by James McQuarrie

Hitting 10% body fat – the next six weeks

Today is day one of the next six weeks of my experimenting with diet and exercise all with the aim of getting my body fat percentage to under 10% by the time I’m 30 next May.

In terms of diet, I’m sticking more or less to the slow carb diet that I was following over the first six week period of my experiment. I say more or less but this time I’m allowing myself to have 1 glass of orange juice with breakfast every morning (on a strict slow carb diet there’s no fruit or juice allowed). I’m also allowing myself low fat yoghurt and a splash of skimmed milk in my tea (again, the slow card diet bans milk and diary). I’m adding both of these back in for good reason; orange juice for the vitamin C hit it provides (and because I really missed a cold glass with breakfast every morning) and yoghurt / milk to make sure my calcium levels are maintained, as I’m really conscious that at 6 foot 5 inches tall I need strong bones to carry my weight.

My new – killer kettle-bell – workout

Today is also the first day of my new workout routine. In fact, I’m sitting typing this having just finished my first workout. I say sitting, I’m being propped up by my chair… barely.

Having spent the past six weeks working on isolated movements, and getting to grips with my new kettle-bells, I figured this next six weeks I’d focus on more core movement, and build a high intensity workout that should help strip body fat and build muscle at the same time. And this is one heck of a high intensity workout.

Today I did three sets of the following:

  • 200 x clams
  • 25 x Kettle-bell swings
  • 15 x press ups
  • 20 x Kettle-bell bent over rows (10 x each arm, one at a time)
  • 20 x Kettle-bell curl and press (10 x each arm, one at a time)
  • 10 x Kettle-bell goblet squats

All the Kettle-bell reps were done with a 12kg Kettle-bell and I aimed to take no breaks between each exercise and have a 1 minute rest between each complete set.

On paper, that sounded like a good all round workout to me. In practice, I had to take a 2 minute break between the second and third set, and at least a minute break between each exercise in the final set. Then I needed to lay down.

This is not fore the fainthearted, or anyone who’s looking to start working out for the first time.

I had planned on attempting this workout 4 nights a week for the next six weeks, but after tonight’s effort, I think I may scale back to doing this twice a week, with two nights a week of a lighter routine and a run instead.

I hope to be able to complete this workout with just the one minute breaks between sets by the end of the six weeks. I’ll keep you posted as I go.

Kettle-bell image from Kettle-bell safety