Everybody wants a lean and ripped muscular body. Body composition not only affects how we look but also how well we perform. So how do you achieve a high degree of muscle mass combined with a low percentage body fat? The two main factors are diet and exercise. However, of these two factors diet is by far the biggest determinant of your body composition.
We all know people who exercise furiously but still carry a lot of body fat or people who do very little activity and yet are still incredibly lean. If you follow the dietary habits of these people closely the answer quickly becomes clear; it comes down to how much they are eating.
The single most important aspect of your nutrition is the total amount of food that you eat. This is even more important than the type of foods that you are eating. If you consume more than you need, even of healthy food choices then you are still going to gain weight.
How does MMA two weight class World Champion Conor McGregor monitor his body composition?
As two weight UFC World Champion, Conor needs to move up and down his total body mass in order to make the different weight divisions. Knowing if these changes in total body mass are due to differences in the amount of muscle or fat that he is carrying is crucial to his performance.
Conor’s goal is get as lean as possible by losing body fat while at the same time trying to maintain as much of his muscle mass as possible. To do this requires careful nutritional planning and monitoring of body composition.
Conor weighs himself daily using a bathroom scales to keep a regular check on his body total body mass. This allows him to gauge approximately at what point he is at relative to the weight division of his next fight.
This is done at about the same time each morning to avoid changes in gut loading and hydration status causing weight fluctuations.
Each month a check is done using a skin fold calipers to measure the thickness of the fat layer underneath the skin. The percentage of body fat can be calculated from how many millimetres of subcutaneous fat are present in the skin fold.
Before fights a more accurate assessment of Conor’s body composition is done inside a DEXA scanner. This machine uses x-ray beams to determine exact ratios of the muscle, fat and bone. Although the amount of radiation is very low, the DEXA scanner still uses X-rays so it is reserved for pre fight only when very precise measurements are required.
Change your life forever!