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Getting Ripped Part 3: 10 Percent Body Fat Achieved

  Aug 19th, 2012

10 Percent Body Fat Goal AchievedSeveral weeks ago I posted about my latest goal of getting down to having less than ten percent body fat (click here to read the post).


At that time I was carrying 14% body fat and expected it to take 6-10 weeks to lose 9 pounds of fat and reach my goal.

With a little extra hard work and determination I achieved my goal earlier than expected by getting below 10% body fat in exactly one month.


I’m going to share my transformation photos below, which I think you’ll find impressive. But first, a little background…


I have been extremely dedicated these last few weeks, strictly following my nutrition plan, and rarely having a cheat meal.


I think I cheated on my diet a total of 3 or 4 times since committing myself to reducing my body fat to be less than 10% on July 10th.


Any other time I’ve been working on transforming my physique I’ve allowed myself to eat a couple of cheat meals each week and usually took full advantage of that allowance.


Apparently, reducing my cheat meals to one per week made a huge difference! However, it wasn’t easy and there were plenty of times I was tempted to cheat.


But, in the end, my desire to achieve my goal won out.


Even after many years of passionately researching and applying various nutritional concepts and training techniques, I still learned (or was acutely reminded of) a few valuable lessons while pursuing my latest goal during the past several weeks.


You Have to Want It


I’ve wasted countless hours putting together nutrition plans and training regimens for men and women to help them transform their physiques only to have them give up on them a week or two later.


It wasn’t that the instructions I gave them were that difficult to follow. The problem was solely that they didn’t want to change badly enough.


You show me someone that’s made dramatic improvements to their body and I’ll show you a person that wanted to change so badly they could taste it.


Having a lean, fit and impressive physique just isn’t that important to some people. Take a look around the next time you’re in a crowded area and you’ll in fact see that it is important to very few people indeed.


A person is free to choose whether to make their fitness a priority or not. If it isn’t a priority to you, I don’t intend to change your mind here.


The point I want to make is that if improving your appearance isn’t important to you, you aren’t going to be able to do it, because you won’t have the commitment required to do what it takes to make it happen.


During these past few weeks I have constantly reminded myself of what my goal was and what it was going to take to get there. I made my training and diet plans a priority and took the steps necessary to ensure my success.


Success at transforming the body doesn’t come from half-hearted commitments.


Continually Improve Your Body CompositionYou Can Always Improve Further


Most people would have looked at my physique at 14% body fat and thought that it looked fairly impressive.


In fact, I received several compliments on how lean and defined I looked at that time.


But as you’ll see in my pictures below, I was able to significantly further improve my physical appearance after that point. Every individual’s goal will be different, but never sell your self short!


Reaching a goal weight, getting six pack abs, building better developed muscles, or even winning a bodybuilding or physique competition is within your grasp if you want it badly enough and work hard at achieving it – and never give up!


In case you’re wondering, I’m not going to rest on my laurels now that I’ve reached my goal of getting below 10% body fat. But you probably already knew that. 😉


I’m working on something new that I’ll share with you at the end of this article.


But first, I’d like to share with you the always-popular transformation photos.


My Transformation Photos


In my posting which introduced my desire to get below 10% body fat I briefly provided a background of what I ‘d been up to.


In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap…


From December of 2011 to May 2012 I had essentially transformed my body from having more than 20% fat and being unimpressive to having a level of 14% body fat, with solid, but not fantastic, muscle definition and six pack abs.


After that I took a little break from being so strict on my diet. I still ate healthy, followed my ever-present nutrition rules, and trained hard, but I allowed myself a few extra cheat meals during the week.


I was simply trying to eat in a manner that would do nothing more than allow me to maintain my results, which is pretty much what it did.


Looking back, I see that taking 6 weeks or so off from being so strict regarding what I was eating was a great way for me to mentally reset before hitting it hard once again.


On July 10th I weighed in at 185lbs with 14% body fat. On August 10th, 2012, I weighed in at 177lbs, and using my body fat calipers, measured my body fat at 9.4%.


My original calculation determined that I would still have 10.11% body fat at a weight of 177lbs. However, this calculation accounted for fat loss alone and ignored any changes to my muscle mass or water weight that would occur while dropping the fat.


The fact that I reached my goal body fat level at one pound heavier than expected indicates either a slight error in my measurements (if you’ve ever used calipers, you know how they can be a little finicky) or that I put on a small amount of muscle while cutting 8 pounds of fat during the past month.


Based on the speed with which I dropped the fat, it’s most reasonable to assume my caliper measurements to be slightly inaccurate. I always take 3 measurements and use the average, which is a good method, but not perfect.


Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo on July 10th. Although, my physique didn’t change much from my May 13th photo.


Nevertheless, here are my transformation photos showing my progress from December 2011 to August 2012:


Craig Leonard 8 Month Transformation: Dec 10 2011 to Aug 10 2012


I hope that my transformation journey (and above photo) inspires you, but that it also gives you a realistic glimpse into how long it takes for significant progress to be made.


People get way too caught up in thinking that they can go from fat to ripped in 90 days. You can’t.


If you’re only mildly overweight you can go from not having six pack abs to being ripped with great muscle definition and six pack abs in 90 days.


But, if you have more than 20% body fat (like I did), it is going to take you 4 or 5 months to get ripped. And this is a best case scenario that assumes your being fairly disciplined week after week.


Dramatic results are within your grasp, but it’s important that your expectations are realistic. Otherwise you’ll just wind up disappointed.


A friend of mine noted that my muscles look quite a bit larger in my latest photo, even after losing 8lbs of fat. I’m thinking the 2lbs of mass I added while “maintaining” were mostly muscle, which is why my muscles look fuller in my latest photo.


My Renegade Diet Experiment


Get Below 10 Percent Body Fat - The Renegade DietDuring the past month I’ve also been experimenting with using a new diet plan for cutting fat.


Jason Ferruggia is someone whom I consider to be a mentor to me, even though he probably doesn’t realize it. I attended his Renegade Strength and Conditioning Workshop in April and am an avid reader of pretty much everything he writes.


After the workshop Jason also was kind enough to recommend a dozen or so books for me to read to help further my knowledge and I’m in the process of reading through his recommended materials now. I’m really enjoying his recommendations so far.


Anyway, while I was at his workshop, Jason provided all of the attendees with a copy of his latest book, The Renegade Diet.


I read it from cover to cover during the next two days and was eager to give the methods Jason prescribes a trial run. But I was working on transforming my body using the diet I had developed for getting ripped and didn’t want to interfere with that at that time.


After my 6 week break from following my diet plan, and dedicating myself to a new goal of getting below 10% body fat, I figured this was the perfect time to grease the skids with Jason’s book.


I plan to continue using The Renegade Diet for a few more weeks before switching over to my next goal (more on this in a minute). Once I make the switch to pursuing my next goal, I will provide a full Renegade Diet review that will tell you all about my experiences while using it.


Update: My Renegade Diet Review is now live – Read It Here


My Next Goal…


As I alluded to above, I’m going to continue working on cutting fat for another few weeks before getting started on my next goal.


I have yet to specifically quantify my goal, but it will essentially amount to building significant additional amounts of strength and muscle mass.


I’ve been working on researching and developing my own system for achieving this goal and will have everything ready to go by the end of August.


One benefit of waiting until the end of August to start testing my “bulking” system is that this will put us out of the summer months here in the U.S. in the event that my system goes awry and I end up putting on more fat than I expect.


So this will give me ample time to trim off any fat I might put on during the winter months and still be lean and ripped in time for the warmer weather next year.


Stay tuned for more on my goal of getting jacked and the results of using my new system for achieving that goal. I expect my results to be just as impressive as those I’ve attained over the past 7 months, so you won’t want to miss out.



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