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View Full Version : how difficult is it to cut down to extremely low bf percentages?



Dgro
03-23-2010, 09:28 PM
basically i'm at 8 or 9 right now (by skin caliper tests so it's not exact), and i want to pretty much get it as low as is healthy and possible within the next 9ish months. so i don't know, probably the 3-5% range

now, i'm in a strength building phase right now, and i don't want to cut it short. ideally i don't want to start this cut until september, and would like to be finished by the beginning of december.

basically i want to know how much time i need to set aside for this and if my goal is realistic. is it something i could accomplish in 2 months? more, less? any miscellaneous tips from anyone who has done something like this (boxers/other fighters, i'm looking at you)?

Holto
03-24-2010, 01:11 PM
I don't think anything lower than 8 is healthy. Just my opinion.

Dgro
03-24-2010, 03:53 PM
cool. have you ever been at 8%? it's really not that low. plenty of professional athletes (and i'm not just talking fighters, but basketball players, football players, etc) compete at 3-5%

Dgro
03-24-2010, 04:06 PM
actually, here's something cool i found. i don't know if you (or anyone) is interested at all, but i'm sharing just in case

http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?year=All&sort2=DESC&draft=0&pos=0&sort=7

click on bf%. i didn't realize so many guys were below 5% :drooling:

tcooper
03-24-2010, 04:08 PM
im pulling out the BS card on that one. name nba player that is huge and 3% body fat.... name a nfl player that is huge and 3% body fat. id say the most leanest nfl player is thomas jones and he hovers around 8% body fat man.... ive watched a small documentary on him cause hes praised for his "body"


notice i said huge, not some scrawny skinny nba player. cause alot of them are cause theyre so tall

from that list those guys that are low bf are like 7' 215lbs? i mean thats not big lol. thats just super skinny

Dgro
03-24-2010, 09:11 PM
im pulling out the BS card on that one.

review my post, then review the list i posted, then explain to me how i didn't back up my claim.


notice i said huge, not some scrawny skinny nba player. cause alot of them are cause theyre so tall

notice that i didn't.


from that list those guys that are low bf are like 7' 215lbs? i mean thats not big lol. thats just super skinny

who said anything about "big"?

i think you might have misinterpreted something i said. regardless, i don't want to argue with anyone about anything in this thread. if someone has something helpful to say, great, otherwise let's stay on topic please.

nfraher
03-24-2010, 09:54 PM
3-5% body fat is not safe to maintain for any reasonable amount of time. Since you said you wanted a healthy level, i would not go below 6-7.

Alyion
03-25-2010, 02:48 AM
I doubt many pro athletes (barring figure competitors/bb'ers) compete at 3-5%. Most people feel like ***** at such a low level and to expect them to compete to their max would be crazy.

Unreal
03-25-2010, 08:26 AM
Those stats are probably just from skinfold test and not accurate. Pro body builders for competitions are 3-5% and only hold that level for a few days before they have to go up.

Holto
03-25-2010, 08:45 AM
I don't think people realize how nearly inhuman 3% is. I've only ever been to one pro show but I could see forearm muscles crawl beneath peoples skin just when they were talking with their hands.

Sean S
03-25-2010, 09:26 AM
I don't think people realize how nearly inhuman 3% is. I've only ever been to one pro show but I could see forearm muscles crawl beneath peoples skin just when they were talking with their hands.

This is exactly right. Most of those numbers thrown around by pro athletes aren't accurate at all. Just like they aren't all benching 500 or 600 pounds like some claim. The most lean professional athletes are in the 6-8% range. We did a ton of body composition testing via underwater weighing and DEXA in my Master's program and the even the very lean triathletes we tested were in the 6-8% range. There's no reason to drop any lower than this unless you plan on competing in bodybuilding. Plus you will have a terrible time trying to maintain 3-5% without starving yourself to death. There's a reason bodybuilders can only hold competition shape for a limited time.

Dgro
03-25-2010, 10:24 AM
^^yes, I think you all have a point. I'm thinking no less than 5% now, probably 5-7%.

anyways, could anyone answer my question? that is, how long it would take to cut from approx. 10% to approx. 6%. if it's not something i can do in 3 months at the very most, i probably won't even try. i don't want to get into the details, but i am on a tight training schedule and can't afford to devote more time than that.

Holto
03-25-2010, 11:28 AM
My math could be wrong but here goes...

178 @ 10% = 160lbs of lean mass.

If you cut 1lb/week for 3 months (@ 4.3 weeks per month) you'd drop 13lbs.

That would give you a total weight of 165lbs @ a bodyfat of 3%. That's if you didn't lose any muscle. So yes, it's do-able.

Nosaj
03-25-2010, 06:51 PM
You can absolutely cut 4%bf in 3 months, you can probably cut 1%bf a week if you know what you're doing, definitely 1%bf in two weeks.

Skalami
03-26-2010, 04:30 PM
i gotta ask; why? why cut your levels that low is it for a competition or something? It will most likely halt and possibly reverse some strength gains and most people look better at 8% bodyfat then 3 or 5%

Dgro
03-27-2010, 01:10 AM
i gotta ask; why? why cut your levels that low is it for a competition or something? It will most likely halt and possibly reverse some strength gains and most people look better at 8% bodyfat then 3 or 5%

i don't want to get into all the details, but it's a sprinting thing. these days i really only lift to improve myself athletically. i think there's a really delicate balance here, of how much time i can afford to cut (and therego sacrifice some strength gains) before this endeavor becomes counter-productive since a sprinter can always benefit from stronger legs. at this point i'm thinking i'll probably only devote a solid 4 weeks to my mini-cut, and as far as i can get in those 4 weeks is good enough. i'm also not aiming for 3-5% anymore since that's apparently not as healthy as i originally thought, more like 5-7%.

but yeah if i was a pure weight lifter, no way in hell i'd be doing this. i know i'm a skinny **** as it is lmao

Skalami
03-27-2010, 01:12 PM
cool, makes sense. heres another quick question would it be better to get down to the weight now and maintain it for awhile then to do it later on?

Dgro
03-27-2010, 01:35 PM
well once fall practices start i'm going to be forced to do extra cardio anyways, so i thought it would make sense to sync it up with that. and since i'm at a stage right now where my squat/deadlift are going up on a weekly basis, i don't wanna mess with that mojo.