Starting September 24, 2023, I am putting myself through yet another 12-week fitness challenge using my spreadsheet. This time around, I actually intend on “challenging” myself and accomplishing some major goals.
After all, that’s the whole point of a challenge, right? It’s all about pushing yourself to accomplish the objective and not settling on what’s easy.
This time around, because I am so close to my ideal weight anyway, I’ll probably focus more on getting under 14% body fat. Can this desk jockey create an athletic physique in 12 weeks? I guess that’s probably the real challenge this time around. Well, that and actually sticking to it this time.
Let’s Check Out the Spreadsheet
There are quite a few things I am keeping track of in this 12-week fitness challenge. Calories in, calories out, food macros, physical activity, and steps make up the majority of what I’m tracking.
The days highlighted in yellow are those with completed data. For example, if I highlight the date, weight, and body fat percentage (BF %), then that is data that has been collected from the scale for that day.
If the day, weight, and BF % are highlighted in green(ish), then that is a day that I actually stuck with my Net 600 Calorie Diet. This particular diet focuses on burning twice as much as I eat while increasing physical activity.
I do plan on highlighting some “cheat” days in a light blue. These are days that I’m not necessarily trying to gorge myself but don’t want to worry about being too restrictive. For instance, I plan on enjoying time with the family on Thanksgiving and don’t want to worry about tracking every morsel of food or every drink I have while decorating Mom’s yard with lights.
I decided to add a bit more to this page than just the spreadsheet. Below is my weekly journal regarding the progress of my most recent weight loss journey. In case you’re curious, this is how I progressed through the fitness challenge.
- Ending the Year with a 12-Week Fitness ChallengePerhaps the end of the year isn’t the most ideal time for a 12-week fitness challenge. After all, you’re faced with three major holidays worth of goodies. However, it can be done as long as you put in maximum effort.
- Week 1 of 12: Lost 4.2 Pounds and Hurt My BackIt seems like every time I start a new fitness challenge, I hurt myself in some way. About halfway through Saturday, I did something to my back to the point of being barely able to move around. Still, I lost 4.2 pounds, so that’s a bonus.
- Week 2 of 12: Gained it All Back, Extreme Lower Back PainLast Updated on October 15, 2023 by Michael Brockbank This past week, I gained everything that I lost in week one. That’s what happens when you hurt your back and can barely move while still eating like you can. Needless to say, things didn’t pan out all that well this week.
- Week 3 of 12: Lost 1 Pound Per Week – It’s Still ProgressLast Updated on October 22, 2023 by Michael Brockbank This morning, I weighed in at 231.2 pounds. So, I’ve lost a total of three pounds over the last three weeks. I can’t be too discouraged about that, however. Keep in mind that I hurt my back something fierce at the end of week one.
- Week 4 of 12: Stepping Backward AgainLast Updated on October 29, 2023 by Michael Brockbank Although I was managing myself quite well at the beginning of week four, I lost forward momentum yet again. However, I have a feeling why I weighed 232 this morning is because I was a bit gluttonous last night.
- Weeks 5 & 6: Feels Like I’m Spinning My TiresWhen it rains, it pours. This is perhaps one of the most difficult challenges I’ve tried to complete. The sheer amount of personal drama is at an all-time high. If it’s not me hurting myself in some way, it’s family in dire need of assistance.
- Week 7: Getting Back On Track – IshThis week wasn’t all that bad, considering the sheer amount of stress and chaos I had to endure. And in some ways, it’s still going. Still, I’ve managed to lose 2.4 pounds this week, so I can’t really complain.
- Week 8: The Damage from Thanksgiving is Short-LivedBetween everyone being here and hanging out most of the week, Thanksgiving did a number on my weight loss and fitness goals. That was to be expected, though. The trick is to not let it get me down and keep trudging along.
- Week 9: Lost and Gained Throughout the WeekThis week, I only lost 0.8 pounds from what I weighed last Sunday. And yes, I am well aware of why I didn’t lose much weight. It seems I keep falling into the same traps as before when it comes to willpower.
- Week 10: Lost Some Weight, But Is it Enough?So, I managed to lose a bit of weight this week but didn’t put in nearly as much effort as I wanted to. Wow, doesn’t that sound familiar? Still, I can’t be upset at the results, which were better than I thought they would be.
How Does This Spreadsheet Work?
Every day, I am going to weigh myself using the Renpho scale I mention below. I also record calories in from MyFitnessPal and calories out from Fitbit data. The spreadsheet then calculates the data to deliver an estimated weight loss routine.
This is also basing the data on a pound of fat equating to 3,500 calories. Of course, this is a very rough estimate because everyone will have a different level of burn. But for me, it’s relatively close, so this is a good representation of how well I lose fat.
This time, I’m also tracking average protein, carbs, and fats. I am curious to see just how much of a difference there is in day-to-day weight loss depending on the types of food I eat.
Not to mention how this will give me an idea about when to add carbs to workout days, or even if I actually need to.
I also added the total weight lifted in pounds as well as several methods of cardio that I’ll use. For instance, gaming with the Xbox, time using the Oculus, cycling, and even using the Zaaz.
The numbers that are already added are averages based on the previous days and weeks. This also helps get a more accurate estimation of how much I’ll weigh by the end of the challenge including body fat percentage.
What Am I Using to Collect the Data?
For this challenge, I am using:
- MyFitnessPal – This free app lets you track every morsel of food you eat. It’s great for showing you just how many carbs, calories, proteins, and fats you consume on any given day.
- Fitbit Charge 5 – I’ve been a huge fan of Fitbit since the days of getting my Charge 2. The data from Fitbit will show my calorie burn for any given day.
- Google Docs – Obviously, I’m using Google to show the spreadsheet. Normally, I use LibreOffice for this kind of stuff. But, I can embed the sheet from Google directly into the blog.
- Renpho Fitness Scale – The Renpho Fitness Scale I use also measures body fat percentage and a variety of other biometric data.
- Xbox Kinect – I’ll be playing a lot of Xbox over the next few months. I want to get back into testing the effectiveness of certain games in terms of calorie burn.
- Oculus Quest 2 – I’m curious about calorie burn in VR as opposed to the Kinect.
- Planet Fitness – I am a big fan of using weight machines. In fact, I’ve made significant progress in muscle development and definition.
If you want to follow along, the only two absolute tools I would suggest are MyFitnessPal and a fitness tracker that monitors calorie burn. There are a few you can pick up from places like Walmart, Walgreens, or even Amazon.
The idea is to make sure you’re burning more than you’re consuming.
Progressing Through the Holidays
This 12-week fitness challenge will run through the most fattening months of the year: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. And I am a sucker for holiday goodies.
The point is to also demonstrate that you can still enjoy the holiday snacks without packing on the pounds as long as you balance it out by being active. This is where the spreadsheet comes into play.
Now, you don’t need to track everything to the extent that I do. However, monitoring your intake and making sure you’re remaining somewhat physical can help you weather all of those sugary goodies. In fact, it’s this mentality that has helped me lose and keep off the first 80 pounds.
In other words, I don’t believe in restricting yourself to the point of being miserable. Yes, losing weight and keeping it off means a lifestyle change. But it doesn’t have to be something you truly despise.
Results from My 12-Week Fitness Challenge Spreadsheet
As this specific challenge is currently in progress, I don’t have a lot of insights into the results just yet. Though, the plan is to use the data to write a few blog posts and perhaps a few videos.
Once the challenge is completed on December 17th, though, I will update this page with my experiences.
Can I Finish This 12-week Fitness Challenge?
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve tried this challenge. But this time, I’m feeling pretty good and can’t wait to see what I can turn myself into over the next few months.
Using the spreadsheet above, let’s see if I can collect some viable data to prove a few points. Especially when it comes to demonstrating how steady-state cardio is still a good way to lose fat and how some “influencers” are full of shit.