Getting to that 5-7% body fat

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 05, 2015 7:30 PM GMT
    Hey guys, so I've been having a hard time getting rid of the last few percents of body fat to finally have the ripped look I've been wanting for so long. All of it has accumulated into my lower belly and back but I'm having the hardest time getting rid of it.

    Basically, I workout once a day around 4-5 for an hour of extreme cardio and weight lifting at the same time; aka. CrossFit. The hour varies to maybe 1.5-2 hours some days as well. I've seen a lot of results from that in itself.

    Nutrionally, I don't eat carbs or fruits until after I workout. I try to eat my body weight in protein but I think I fail in that regard because 200g of protein is a crap ton. Progenex after my workouts and I eat a bunch of healthy fats such as whole milk, olive oil and nuts. I eat a lot of vegetables too. The only problem I think is that I tend to go on really bad cheat meals. For example, the other day I ate two bags of cherry twizzlers in a night. Another time was a half of an ice cream cake with Pizza Hut. However, those cheats only happen like once in 1-2 weeks.

    So, what am I doing wrong that is preventing me from getting down to that low body fat percentage?! I've been making some serious progress and I want to see even more results!
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    Apr 06, 2015 12:29 AM GMT
    iadEndresen saidHey guys, so I've been having a hard time getting rid of the last few percents of body fat to finally have the ripped look I've been wanting for so long. All of it has accumulated into my lower belly and back but I'm having the hardest time getting rid of it.

    Basically, I workout once a day around 4-5 for an hour of extreme cardio and weight lifting at the same time; aka. CrossFit. The hour varies to maybe 1.5-2 hours some days as well. I've seen a lot of results from that in itself.

    Nutrionally, I don't eat carbs or fruits until after I workout. I try to eat my body weight in protein but I think I fail in that regard because 200g of protein is a crap ton. Progenex after my workouts and I eat a bunch of healthy fats such as whole milk, olive oil and nuts. I eat a lot of vegetables too. The only problem I think is that I tend to go on really bad cheat meals. For example, the other day I ate two bags of cherry twizzlers in a night. Another time was a half of an ice cream cake with Pizza Hut. However, those cheats only happen like once in 1-2 weeks.

    So, what am I doing wrong that is preventing me from getting down to that low body fat percentage?! I've been making some serious progress and I want to see even more results!

    First of all, that rule of thumb where you're supposed to consume 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of bodyweight is supposed to be LEAN bodyweight. Not actual bodyweight on a scale. So if you're consuming at least 150 grams of protein, I think you're doing ok.

    Second, 5 - 7% body fat is unhealthy. It's fine if you're prepping for a contest. But it's not something you should sustain in the long run.

    Sounds like your main problem is proper eating. Cut back on the nuts and the whole milk. Even though they're "healthy" fats, it's still contributing to your total calorie intake.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2015 12:37 AM GMT
    Assuming that you are doing abs routine, be sure to use repetitions to achieve sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, probably at least 15 reps.
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    Apr 06, 2015 12:49 AM GMT
    xrichx said
    First of all, that rule of thumb where you're supposed to consume 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of bodyweight is supposed to be LEAN bodyweight. Not actual bodyweight on a scale. So if you're consuming at least 150 grams of protein, I think you're doing ok.

    Second, 5 - 7% body fat is unhealthy. It's fine if you're prepping for a contest. But it's not something you should sustain in the long run.

    Sounds like your main problem is proper eating. Cut back on the nuts and the whole milk. Even though they're "healthy" fats, it's still contributing to your total calorie intake.


    Okay, I wasn't sure how much fat I should be eating. Yeah I agree it is definitely an eating issue.
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    Apr 06, 2015 12:54 AM GMT
    5-7 unsustainable. Dangerous without a coach.

    Drop the cheating. Increase your daily work output (no sitting, even when you're on the computer). Watch less TV, go to bed earlier, get up earlier.

    Schedule a once-in-a-lifetime visit to a lunch buffet. Scoop food onto your plate with your hands right after some five-year-olds do it. Enjoy the benefits of gastroenteritis.

    You probably shouldn't heed the advice in that last paragraph.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 06, 2015 1:44 AM GMT
    What is the point of 5-7% bodyfat? It isn't healthy and unless you are after a very specific goal (like a bodybuilding event), my suggestion is that you focus on the "goal" of looking and feeling awesome through a great diet and enjoying life.

    If you are at 9% bodyfat, consider yourself way ahead of most, if you already have a six pack and look great, enjoy it, but don't do something that could end up causing you health issues. Some people get into this who mentality to the point that anorexia sets in. I would assume if Karen Carpenter were alive today, she'd agree....

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2015 2:15 AM GMT
    what about cardio? doesn't that burn off the excess fat?
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    Apr 06, 2015 2:24 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidWhat is the point of 5-7% bodyfat? It isn't healthy and unless you are after a very specific goal (like a bodybuilding event), my suggestion is that you focus on the "goal" of looking and feeling awesome through a great diet and enjoying life.

    If you are at 9% bodyfat, consider yourself way ahead of most, if you already have a six pack and look great, enjoy it, but don't do something that could end up causing you health issues. Some people get into this who mentality to the point that anorexia sets in. I would assume if Karen Carpenter were alive today, she'd agree....



    Maybe my idea of 5% body fat is skewed...I wasn't expecting body building cuts but a decent cut to have a defined look to my stomach and to lose some fat off my sides. I thought that was around 5-7% but maybe I'm thinking 8 or 9. icon_confused.gif
  • jjguy05

    Posts: 459

    Apr 06, 2015 4:27 AM GMT
    iadEndresen saidThe only problem I think is that I tend to go on really bad cheat meals. For example, the other day I ate two bags of cherry twizzlers in a night. Another time was a half of an ice cream cake with Pizza Hut. However, those cheats only happen like once in 1-2 weeks.


    I think we found your problem.

    Even though these cheat meals are once in 1-2 weeks, they're in very large quantities. It's like you binge on ten cheat meals every 7 days. You don't cheat; you binge.

    There may also be things you're not telling us, because you don't realize they're significant. Maybe you don't lift? Maybe you're overdoing the cardio? ...which -especially in combination with not lifting- will burn muscle and preserve fat. Especially steady-state cardio, like jogging.

    Also, yes, it seems you picked an arbitrary bf percentage. You're not that far off. Just adjust your exercise and diet, and what's left will gradually go away if yo do things right. Eyeball it, instead of worrying about numbers. The ideal you wanna go for is probably more in the neighborhood of 8-10%. But I'm curious what measurement tools you use. Just eyeball it.

    And I swear by the advice here:

    https://www.t-nation.com/training/get-ripped-get-walking

    Yeah, I know I'm not very lean in my own pics. Walking really does do wonders. My pics are from wintertime when I don't walk much.
  • WorkItOut

    Posts: 21

    Apr 06, 2015 5:06 PM GMT
    Cut your sodium back, it can cause water retention and make sure you're drinking plenty of water.

    Here's a good site with some articles on eating and getting shredded etc. I'd read up on several of his pages they're good info.

    http://www.muscleforlife.com/the-truth-about-stubborn-fat-and-how-to-get-rid-of-it/

    --J
  • flahotstuff

    Posts: 154

    Apr 06, 2015 8:04 PM GMT
    Body fat below 10% can be dangerous! What if you get sick or have an accident- you have nothing left! 5% is plain stupid!
  • BAHBAA

    Posts: 122

    Apr 07, 2015 5:47 AM GMT
    I agree with the 5-7% being too extreme. This happened to a friend of mine; he was literally at 5% body fat. Got an infection in his leg and ended up getting very sick a spent over a week in the hospital. when it was all over he had lost about 20lbs.

  • biathlete01

    Posts: 81

    Apr 07, 2015 3:36 PM GMT
    I started lifting at 19 and was over 30 years old before I could make decent gains. But keep it up and develop perfect form with your lifting routines. My body just did not mature enough until 30.

    I'm around 7% bf now. Too much cardio destroyed muscle size on me. I do very little cardio, but my lifting is pretty intense, sweat like I'm running sometimes.

    It's all about calorie intake and for me, keeping carbs low. You have to eat extremely healthy food, make every calorie count. I eat 5 to 6 meals/day, 50 g of protein each meal. (a smoothie is a meal) This is something you have to play around with and see what works for your body. We are all different.

    Measure everything you eat and enter it on livestrongs site. Great calculator there for your micro nutrients. Once you figure out how food is working for you, you can stop logging it on the site. But I still measure everything before eating it.

    Do not drink alcohol, dine out, eat processed foods from a box, bottle, can, or jar. Cook everything you eat. This is the only way you will know what is in your food. You can almost eat as much broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, strawberries, papaya, etc., as you want and will not get fat. These things are pretty low carbs and calories when they are not processed.

    Easy on the nuts. They have a lot of calories. I rarely keep them at home because I will eat too many.

    If you eat a cookie (processed food), it is just junk calories that will spike your blood insulin, causing your body to store fat. Calories from say broccoli will not spike insulin.

    Do not skip meals! Multiple meals per day are supposed to speed up metabolism. Skipping meals, your body will go into starvation mode, slow the metabolism, and store fat.

    It is a lot of work to keep your %bf low and it's not worth the trouble to most. I do eat out on rare occasion, but last time I did, my %bf jumped 1.3%.

    Good luck,


    Joe
  • jaxsurfer

    Posts: 83

    Apr 07, 2015 5:34 PM GMT
    Increase your metabolism, period.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2932

    Apr 07, 2015 5:44 PM GMT
    When I was with the US Ski Team we had one athlete go down to 5 or 6%. He simply had no energy or endurance, so we took him off training for a few days and made him eat more. He wound up as 3rd fastest at World Championships, but he did it with a bit more body fat. Too lean is not good, always a danger when training for the popular/fashionable look.
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    Apr 07, 2015 10:46 PM GMT
    xrichx saidSecond, 5 - 7% body fat is unhealthy. It's fine if you're prepping for a contest. But it's not something you should sustain in the long run.


    7% is my natural body fat and it's a common body fat for ectomorphs who don't eat crap. Guys who are competing usually aren't ectomorphs and in several occasions they bring it down to 3 or 4%. 7% demands a lot more sacrifice from non-ectos so this is where you're probably coming from.
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    Apr 08, 2015 5:25 AM GMT
    bachian said
    xrichx saidSecond, 5 - 7% body fat is unhealthy. It's fine if you're prepping for a contest. But it's not something you should sustain in the long run.


    7% is my natural body fat and it's a common body fat for ectomorphs who don't eat crap. Guys who are competing usually aren't ectomorphs and in several occasions they bring it down to 3 or 4%. 7% demands a lot more sacrifice from non-ectos so this is where you're probably coming from.


    This dude is right. And just like him I walk around at 7% with ease, I can shed 1% in a week. It will be harder for you but you are making progress so continue on your quest and have patience.

    Tips:
    Keep an eye on your sugar intake, people look at calories and fat but often forget to watch sugar. When you get sugar try to get it from fruits so you get fiber as well.

    You do crossfit right?
    So if time allows, break your workout into two. Weightlifting/strength in the AM and cardio/lactic acid/aerobic training in the PM. That way you get two spikes in a day. (read up on EPOC, exercise-post oxygen consumption, it can help you learn how to burn fat efficiently)
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    Apr 08, 2015 8:07 PM GMT
    iadEndresen saidHey guys, so I've been having a hard time getting rid of the last few percents of body fat to finally have the ripped look I've been wanting for so long. All of it has accumulated into my lower belly and back but I'm having the hardest time getting rid of it.

    Basically, I workout once a day around 4-5 for an hour of extreme cardio and weight lifting at the same time; aka. CrossFit. The hour varies to maybe 1.5-2 hours some days as well. I've seen a lot of results from that in itself.

    Nutrionally, I don't eat carbs or fruits until after I workout. I try to eat my body weight in protein but I think I fail in that regard because 200g of protein is a crap ton. Progenex after my workouts and I eat a bunch of healthy fats such as whole milk, olive oil and nuts. I eat a lot of vegetables too. The only problem I think is that I tend to go on really bad cheat meals. For example, the other day I ate two bags of cherry twizzlers in a night. Another time was a half of an ice cream cake with Pizza Hut. However, those cheats only happen like once in 1-2 weeks.

    So, what am I doing wrong that is preventing me from getting down to that low body fat percentage?! I've been making some serious progress and I want to see even more results!


    Why do you want to get to such a low body fat%? It's not easy, healthy or sustainable. It can be done. Cut out milk, Twizzlers, ice cream, cake and pizza no matter what body fat% you want. Pick a date at least 15 weeks in the future.
    For the 12 weeks before that date, eat only tilapia and broccoli for all 6 meals. Do HIIT cardio twice a day and lift as heavy as you can. 3 days before your goal date, add 400grams of carbs per day. Voila. Have someone take a picture and do not operate any cars or other heavy equipment.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Apr 08, 2015 10:29 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidWhat is the point of 5-7% bodyfat? It isn't healthy and unless you are after a very specific goal (like a bodybuilding event), my suggestion is that you focus on the "goal" of looking and feeling awesome through a great diet and enjoying life.

    If you are at 9% bodyfat, consider yourself way ahead of most, if you already have a six pack and look great, enjoy it, but don't do something that could end up causing you health issues. Some people get into this who mentality to the point that anorexia sets in. I would assume if Karen Carpenter were alive today, she'd agree....




    Agree. Single digit body fat and six pak abs do NOTHING for me.
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    Apr 08, 2015 10:50 PM GMT
    flahotstuff saidBody fat below 10% can be dangerous! What if you get sick or have an accident- you have nothing left! 5% is plain studid!

    +1
  • Zinc

    Posts: 197

    Apr 08, 2015 11:19 PM GMT
    5-7% isn't too healthy.
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    Apr 09, 2015 12:35 AM GMT
    Dear mesos and endos: stop projecting yourselves onto everybody. Ectomorphs don't need to starve like you to be lean and have single digit body fat. This is what's most healthy and natural to them. Ectomorphs have a lot more trouble than you making gains yet you bitch about the single advantage that they have which is being naturally lean. A classic example of sour grapes.
  • InsatiableBlo...

    Posts: 442

    Apr 09, 2015 2:03 AM GMT
    How often are you pooping?

    Maybe try increasing your fiber intake to sweep your colon clean. You may consider boosting your probiotic intake (fermented foods, kefir, supplements) to further boost digestive health. I've also read some people have a difficult time breaking down certain macronutrients like carbs, fats, and proteins. A digestive enzyme may help boost your metabolism.

    Bottom line:
    Everyone is different. I think that last little bit of body fat so many guys have trouble burning off is dependent on your own body's chemistry, and may take some experimenting with sleep, diet, exercise, and stress (all of which have shown to influence body fat) to get rid of that last bit of fat.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 09, 2015 2:27 AM GMT
    bachian saidDear mesos and endos: stop projecting yourselves onto everybody. Ectomorphs don't need to starve like you to be lean and have single digit body fat. This is what's most healthy and natural to them. Ectomorphs have a lot more trouble than you making gains yet you bitch about the single advantage that they have which is being naturally lean. A classic example of sour grapes.

    OP isn't an ectomorph. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • musclpa

    Posts: 97

    Apr 09, 2015 6:34 AM GMT
    stupid thread