New Year’s Resolution

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As a culture we’ve come to expect that new year’s resolutions typically include weight loss, or more specifically fat loss. But we don’t often hear someone making a new year’s resolution of muscle loss.

Not Weight Loss, But Muscle Loss!

Well, this is my new year’s resolution — to lose some muscle bulk.

Since I’m already between 5% to 8% body fat, I really don’t want to lose any more fat. But I want to weigh less, feel lighter, and be not only lean but also slimmer. So the only way this will happen is if I lose some muscle.

Currently my physique is more like that of an amateur bodybuilder. This was a result of heavy and intense resistant training in the past, and as I lost the fat (via the Paleo diet and intermittent fasting), my muscles finally became visible and my body took on the look of more muscularity than I personally care for. Plus, I believe that I’ll feel even better at a lighter body weight.

So my new year resolution is to lose some muscle mass and look slimmer, to take on the physique like that of, say, Daniel Craig. (Maybe it’s my subconscious wish to be James Bond!)


Anyway, another reason I’m doing this is to show that muscle gain (or loss) is a result of training stimulus, and not so much of diet — or even of protein intake. This will demonstrate to people that they should focus on strength training for muscle mass, while relying on diet for fat loss.

So the only thing that I’ll do differently is eliminate resistant training at the gym, and stick to infrequent body-weight exercise, which will be mostly natural movements: random squatting, getting down to and up from the floor (like burpees), some random pushups, sprinting, and once in a while some jumping.

Remember, I’ll be doing some the above very infrequently — maybe once a week. That’s it. The rest of my activities will be normal living, and casual walking. This will allow me to focus on and enjoy life even more, put my mind to things that are important (friends and family), which is actually my other new year’s resolution.


I’ll keep my diet the same, and that is a combination of Paleo nutrition and intermittent fasting (IF). I will not consciously eat less or eat more, because I have always believed that the Law of Thermogenesis (energy conservation) will dictate how many calories my body needs. I’ll continue to eat mindful of physical hunger.


I’ll update my progress with pictures. But here’s a very recent picture from a recent post.

Do you have a new year’s resolution? Is it weight loss? A better diet? Exercise? Enjoy life more? Share it in the comment section?

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11 Responses to New Year’s Resolution

  1. Jake says:

    I am at 15.7% body fat and my resolution is to get down to 10%.

    I plan to do that by:

    1. Paleo diet
    2. Intermittent fasting
    3. High intensity weight lifting to build fast twitch muscle bulk.

    I having been doing the above for a year now and I have got down to 15.7% from 23%. I plan I doing the same thing for another year. I do not think I have an unreasonable goal.

    I don’t agree with your quest to loss muscle bulk. You look just right to me. Besides the more muscle bulk you have the lower your insulin level is. And insulin is a hormone that ages you.

    • Johnny from The Lean Saloon says:


      If you’re committed, I’m certain your plan will get you to 10% body fat. Make sure you track with some pictures… something I wish I did when I first started the whole thing. Like you, I started around the same body fat amount, even though I had a lot of muscle hidden underneath from strength training for college sport. But my diet was never healthful — mostly the standard western diet.

      I’m certain that you won’t be the only one to disagree with my quest to lose muscle bulk. I do appreciate the compliment, also; it has taken some work to get here. But I have made up my mind that I’ll feel overall healthier and better at a lighter body weight — which means that, in order to get there, I’ll have to lose some of that weight in muscle.

      Insulin level is actually determined by diet. Muscle mass only *helps* to increase insulin sensitivity, and thus lowers insulin resistance. It’s only logical to prevent insulin resistance in the first place via a good diet, like Paleo and IF.

      Also, within normal levels, insulin has important actions. It’s when insulin levels are chronically high (with the standard western diet of higher carbs) that we see health problems, including accelerated aging.

      Thanks for your comment, and good luck with your new year’s resolution. Please keep us updated with your progress through the year!

  2. Jordan says:

    My goal is to lose ~70 pounds. I’m 250 right now and would like to get down to about 175-185. Also, I measured my waist today… 46 inches! Yikes! I read that one’s waist should be half your height. At 5’11”, mine should be ~35.5″. So I need to lose about 10″ from my waist.

    • Johnny from The Lean Saloon says:

      Hi Jordan,

      The guys over at the Adonis Lifestyle blog have what they call the Adonis Index, a specific measurement of body parts (in relationship to each other) which determines the overall aesthetics in terms of attraction. Check them out and see what they say your waist, shoulder width, etc., should be.

      I believe strongly if you commit to the paleo diet and intermittent fasting, you’ll get there. Three things you’ll need:

      1. Motivation
      2. Effort
      3. Time

      Good luck and I hope you keep us all updated!

      • Jordan says:

        Hey, Johnny. I really enjoy Brad and John’s blogs. Very smart, common sense stuff. I don’t think I need to worry about the AI for now because I know I’m waaaay off! lol. Maybe once I get down to 190-200, somewhere around there, I can start to consider specific attributes like shoulders, abs, etc. Right now, I just to need cut off the fat. (I am doing some bodyweight and bands exercises, so that should build a little muscle under the flab.)

        Motivation, effort, time. Very succinct! I finally got motivated in November. I was stagnant for a few years, mostly just thinking about losing weight, reading about it, and trying some very half-hearted measures here and there. I’m ready! So I have the motivation. Now I just need the effort and time. Especially now that the holidays are over, I’m looking forward to some hard work.

        I just opened a Twitter account and I’ll be updating my progress on there. I’ll post my weight every week. It’s great to have some public accountability. If I get lazy, there will be at least a few people who will notice it. Only four followers so far, lol! Hopefully a few more people will check it out.

  3. Dan says:

    I applaud you Johnny for following a path not often talked about in the fitness community! Although I think your current physique is outstanding, you’ve gotta do what makes you feel best. Do you have any idea how much mass you want to lose, and from any particular areas of your body, or will you go by looks/feel?

    Regarding the Daniel Craig look, I think you are really close right now, without the additional few percentages of body fat Craig carried in the movie.

    As for my own goals this year, I have set a few major ones:

    1. Fitness – Drop body fat (while maintaining strength) low enough to see abs, which I’m guessing is around 8-9% for me. Currently at about 16-17% so I have a ways to go!
    2. Spend more time with family/friends and less on things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
    3. Cut my debt in half.
    4. Start my early retirement fund 🙂

    Thanks again for this great blog and I look forward to seeing your progress in the new year!

    • Johnny from The Lean Saloon says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Dan.

      Right now I weigh about 155 – 160. I would like to get down to below 150. So I’m betting I’ll need to lose anywhere between 5 to 10 pounds.

      Although most of the weight loss will be in lean tissues, some of it will be in fat, too. This is so that fat percentage stays the same as current (if I lose the weight but the absolute fat mass stays the same, the *percentage* would be higher).

      Although I aim to get below 150 lbs., I’ll have to judge it along the way by how I feel and how I look. I would like to take that weight off all over — no particular place. I just want to feel lighter.

      Dan, make the paleo diet and intermittent fasting a lifestyle, and I promise you’ll get below 10% body fat and feel great! It’s a challenge to do this, but it will get easier and you’ll have permanence.

      Remember, 3 things are needed:

      1. Motivation
      2. Effort
      3. Time

      Your other resolutions are fantastic! Never too early to start a retirement fund!

  4. Josh says:

    1. Get more sleep (8 at least)
    2. Get down to 8% body fat by next year through IF and WAPF eating with minimal grains (not necessarily the fast/crash diet way; slow and steady) 12% right now at 170. I will probably have to get down to 162.
    3. Bench press 300 1RM and do a one-arm chin by next year
    4. Be in nursing school.
    5. Read my bible every night

  5. Michael says:

    Having a positive mental attitude. Even if I have to force myself to. I find (and my wife points out), that I always find the negative in something. I believe making this change will effect other areas of my life including training, diet and physical well being.

  6. Pingback: Photo Update: Body Composition 3/10 « The Lean Saloon

  7. Pingback: Picture Update: Body Composition July 4, 2010 | The Lean Saloon

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