What''s your % body fat and can you see your abs? Do you have soft spots? At 8.3% body fat, I have soft spots and my abs are still not prominent.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 27, 2011 9:36 PM GMT
    This morning, I did hydrostatic body fat testing, that's to say getting dunked face down in a tank of water, aand was told my body fat percentage is 8.3%. Electrical impedance testing showed I was 11.7% six months ago.

    At these body fat percentages, should I reasonably expect to see ab definition, upper and lower, most of the time and in most lighting conditions? (By the way, in my profile pic, abs are a little more prominent than usual because of lighting and ab workout that preceded.)

    If not, is there a magical percentage body fat when abs surface for good?

    Also I have soft spots on the sides of my lower back. When will these go away?

    While I want to get more muscle and lose more fat, the body fat tester told me to have a 500 calorie deficit that I don't think is compatible with my goals, as an ectomorph, of gaining mass through the vaunted triad of compound exercises, the squat, deadlift, and bench.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    Jul 28, 2011 12:36 AM GMT
    Electrical impedance showed me at 7% a month ago, which is 1% lower than my original goal (didn't think it was genetically possible for me).

    I can see the top 4 clearly, and see the beginning stages of the bottom two.

    Since you're already lean, all you need to do is kick back, relax, beef up your ab/core workouts, and give it time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 1:26 AM GMT
    I have always been lean with a flat stomach but even being skinny never saw my abs. I trained for the Seattle Marathon and began to see much more definition in my abs when I hit the 30-35 miles per week portion of my training (this was even while I was eating everything in site...greasy burgers, fries, lots and lots of carbs). After I stopped running as much I started a very restricted diet to help my abs pop and have really seen gains, better than any workout I have ever done for abs.

    I eat tons but I avoid these foods:

    1) No alcohol
    2) Little to no processed sugar (I do have a little honey with my morning oatmeal) this includes yogurt unless I buy the plain yogurt that doesn't have sugar added and then add fruit to it myself.
    3) No refined carbs (bread, tortillas, muffins, cereal)
    4) No cheese

    This made all the difference for me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 2:58 AM GMT
    I'm at 15% according to a DEXA scan, but I'm trying to get to 10%. The last bit seems to be the hardest.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 2:59 AM GMT
    I have washboard abs. The problem is they are covered by my love of a double double animalized icon_sad.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 3:47 AM GMT
    6.5-7.5 on / off season percent and yes i can see them. No soft spots that i know of though my top right ab is weaker then the others but i hear thats un preventable. I wouldn't say there is a magic number just depends on your body, but most start to show under the 8-10 range.
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    Jul 28, 2011 4:04 AM GMT
    I cant get a reliable reading. My scale (bio-electrical impedance?) says im >20%. Skin calipers say I am 6-8%. icon_twisted.gif

    idk? I have some "flub" on my back icon_sad.gif
  • Spiritreaver

    Posts: 2086

    Jul 28, 2011 4:11 AM GMT
    horned_frog saidI cant get a reliable reading. My scale (bio-electrical impedance?) says im >20%. Skin calipers say I am 6-8%. icon_twisted.gif

    idk? I have some "flub" on my back icon_sad.gif
    Yeah I question my results as well. I instead focus less on the number and more of the progress I make. Via impedence I go from 9-10.5%, I have a very very hard time believing I am that low. I can see my abs, but they're all very soft, this could be due to loose skin, but I'm pretty sure it's really fat.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 4:12 AM GMT
    10 months ago I was at like 6.5 percent body fat, but moving to a new city and reconnecting with friends put me way off track. I'm at like 8 or 9 percent body fat right now with the soft spots being around my stomach which is where men tend to pack it on and lose it last. A lot has to do with genetics but diet plays a huge part. I'm mostly vegan so when I want to get back in shape I mostly cut out alcohol and eat mainly veggies, brown rice and black beans. I still eat pizza, burritos, and other greasy foods but make sure I either excercise more or work it in. It Sounds boring but really it's not!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 4:15 AM GMT
    i am at 60%. only one of my ab shows but you can see it from all angles.
  • xKorix

    Posts: 607

    Jul 28, 2011 4:16 AM GMT
    It may be other muscles in your core area that are not be fully functional/developed. They all gotta work together to make the six pack. Low BF% may not be enough. There's some good info on this link here(the writer had the same issue as you) the exercises for the other core muscles are really simple.

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/12/4-hour-body-six-minute-abs/
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 4:18 AM GMT
    No abs for me, I'm a fatty =DD
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 4:27 AM GMT
    Do intense sit-ups with very heavy weights in small sets (the multi-weighted machine or holding free weights)- your abs will pop out a lot more soon enough if you're consistent and getting the sufficient amount of protein.
  • metatextual

    Posts: 774

    Jul 28, 2011 7:51 PM GMT
    Last year I was at ~8.8% and this month I'm at ~7%.

    Don't really avoid any foods, but I cycle daily.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 8:17 PM GMT
    I still want smaller abs...and bigger chest. icon_lol.gif
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1290572
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    Jul 28, 2011 8:24 PM GMT
    horned_frog saidI cant get a reliable reading. My scale (bio-electrical impedance?) says im >20%. Skin calipers say I am 6-8%. icon_twisted.gif

    idk? I have some "flub" on my back icon_sad.gif


    Be wary of any measurement besides those based upon immersion. If you have to put in your age, the final number will be based upon tables that include organ fat....and those are based upon actuarial estimates on age.

    The problem with that is that if you have been very active all your life, you won't have accumulated the "organ fat" that other 40, 50 and 60 year old guys who are not active and who form part of the cohort upon which those statistics are based.

    It's very frustrating. For example, I participated in a couple of competitions at a local gym (running, specified upper body and lower body weight events), in which body fat was estimated. When I had the gym owner put in my age, he got 18% to begin and 13% at the end of the competition. When I had him use the exact same measurements but put in 30 years old as the age, we got 13% at the start and 8% at the end.

    In other words, no matter what your fitness level, the usual ways will bias your body fat way up. On the other hand, immersion testing truly measures your body fat percentage, regardless of age...there are no tables used for that method.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 28, 2011 8:24 PM GMT
    No idea what % body fat I have.
    I wouldn't worry about any "magic number".
    Everyone's abs look different too.
    The soft spots mean that the fat is being used/burnt up so just stick to it and it will eventually go.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 29, 2011 1:04 AM GMT
    horned_frog saidI cant get a reliable reading. My scale (bio-electrical impedance?) says im >20%. Skin calipers say I am 6-8%. icon_twisted.gif

    idk? I have some "flub" on my back icon_sad.gif
    Have you got your stats programmed into the scale properly? If not, the reading will be WAY off.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 29, 2011 1:09 AM GMT
    If you want an accurate body fat test then try the hydrotank dunk test. That's the golden standard and the most reliable readings. I am just happy if I gained new results in all my workout goals weekly. The abs/physical appearance will come with proper diet and workout. All is well....
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    Jul 29, 2011 6:04 PM GMT
    Thanks for your tips. I'll keep the faith and continue to eat clean and work out. I'm considering incorporating HIIT of some kind, probably on the elliptical or the erg. After years a long time ago doing X-country, I don't run any longer.

    I guess the biggest worry nagging me is that the strategies to achieve my goals of bigger and stronger muscles and better defined abs might, at least in the short term, be at cross-purposes. As an ectomorph (with slight endomorphic traits), I need to eat more to gain muscle, yet need to reduce body fat to get my abs to pop.

    Hmmmm.... it's a little confusing. Have been following precepts from Scrawny to Brawny the past month and already perceive shoulder, chest, and legs gains while still fitting into 29" and 30" waist jeans, so I guess so far so good.

  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Jul 29, 2011 6:15 PM GMT
    Don't forget to enjoy life while you're at it. It is possible to be very fit and still enjoy a cold beer or some nice wine with a good meal (yes, even one with carbs, believe it or not). If your goal is washboard abs or the lowest possible percentage of body fat and the pursuit of those things makes you miserable or not able to socialize with your friends, then I think the goals are misplaced.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 29, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    Thanks, NC3Athlete, for the advice on pursuing life with balance. You sound a little like my boyfriend.... He encourages me to "lever le pied de temps en temps," which kind of translates to "take my foot off the gas occasionally."
    In any case, I do think I enjoy life and, truth be told, beer, wine, and vodka are probably some of the reason I'm not achieving my goals. I do enjoy them in moderation 2-3 nights a week, and am looking forward to happy hour tonight at a fun bar in Sacramento.
  • NerdLifter

    Posts: 1509

    Jul 30, 2011 11:15 PM GMT
    I've never seen my abs, at least not with the definition some guys seem to have. This is what they are right now:

    IMG_0974-1.jpg391420-CF.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2011 11:41 PM GMT
    I would love to have a 6 pack, but I like my food and drinks with a reasonable diet. Long as my stomach is flat,I'm cool with that.

    But you all are awesome for being strict. icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2011 11:47 PM GMT
    I love food too much so my body fat level is right around 14%. I have a little definition but not a six pack. This seems to be the level where my body wants to stay even with pretty intense workouts. Maybe one of these days I'll get motivated to really clean up the diet.