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Thread: Body Fat: What Level is Safe?

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Body Fat: What Level is Safe?

    Hello Folks,

    Just a little background about me, I've been lifting for about 9 months, was a pretty skinny dude to start (5'10.5", 130 lb.). Now I'm slightly less skinny (140 lb.). My question is about body fat levels, as I've always had a naturally low body fat percentage. According to my electronic scale, I'm either 9% or 10% depending on the particular day. This also seems to be about right in looking at member pics on the forum here (unfortuantely no digicam here, so I can't post pics of my own). I've been a very lean guy since childhood, and I've probably always had a body fat percentage around this level.

    I'm just curious how low one's body fat percentage can be while still being safe? Are there any negative health effects associated with a lifelong body fat percentage of 10%? Thanks for any opinions you might have on this.

  2. #2
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    Nope. Men are safe until maintaining something like 5%. Enjoy it. You lucky bastard.
    The Reconstruction Project (Journal)

    Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%

    Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
    Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3


    Stop thinking and go lift - Paul Stagg

  3. #3
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    There arnt any health effects and i would love to be the bf you are(am working on it long way to go) but i once spoke to a doctor/health visitor who came to work and he said you dnt really want to be below 15%. I think this is total bull but anyway just thought id throw that out their
    my journal
    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=68545

    weight 202 - (bf around 14%)
    PR's
    Bench - 286
    deadlift - new pr on the 23/12/06 190 kilo (430 pound)
    squat - 264 ATF

    Goals

    200 pound at 10% bf by next summer

  4. #4
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    4 months ago I was at 13-14%.
    Now I'm at 8-9% and never feel better in my life, and I dont plan on going to 2-digit ever again =D
    Currently cutting

  5. #5
    Just watch me ... Built's Avatar
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    The below 15% thing is for chicks.

    Our cycles stop somewhere below this number, estrogen drops way down, we lose bone mass...

    The good news is that it's brutally hard to maintain.

    Rrolack, don't worry about 9%-10%. You're fine.

    And ripped. And it's time for you to bulk! http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/berardi40.htm

  6. #6
    Banned minn0_lee's Avatar
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    For men 7-8% or lower is when you start losing athletic performance.
    Last edited by minn0_lee; 10-08-2005 at 01:28 PM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies guys, glad to hear 10% is totally safe.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member rk77's Avatar
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    Look at a guy like Terrell Owens. That guy is prob 4 percent bodyfat and is real healthy. I also think his athletic performance is fine at the level body fat as well.

  10. #10
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    Amazingly enough, I actually weighted 120 lb. in high school at the same height I am now. No muscle, no fat, pretty small bones. Now that I'm at 140, I can't imagine being 20 lb. lighter.

  11. #11
    Grasshoppa
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    Depends on you. Some people are genetically gifted and naturally hold lower bodyfat levels, others can't. The general cut off for those that aren't as gifted, is like 6% or lower.
    Shao-LiN
    "I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn't even matter." - Linkin Park

  12. #12
    Banned spencerjrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rk77
    Look at a guy like Terrell Owens. That guy is prob 4 percent bodyfat and is real healthy. I also think his athletic performance is fine at the level body fat as well.


    Not even close dude, TO is def above 5%, I would estimate 6-7% at least.

  13. #13
    Panic Prone waynis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spencerjrus
    Not even close dude, TO is def above 5%, I would estimate 6-7% at least.
    last i read he was 6.5% There's no way he would be under 5 at his performance. There's no need to be either.
    Last edited by waynis; 10-10-2005 at 10:53 AM.
    Never Giving In.

  14. #14
    Banned spencerjrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynis
    last i read he was 6.5% There's no way he would be under 5 at his performance. There's no need to be either.

    Ya exactly plus the way those guys eat could never get you below 5%.

  15. #15
    I wannabebig!
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    well lets see, me personally my body goes ape sh*t with anything below 15%, but my mind keeps telling me to get below 10. Its a trade off between looking good or feeling like crap, but then again looking good makes me feel good, so it contradicts everything else.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rk77's Avatar
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    7 percent? No way man. Ben wallace of the pistons (huge guy w the fro). is 4.5 percent bodyfat (according to sports illustarated). T.O dosnt have more fat then that. T.O. is no more then 5.5 percent. Theres noone more anal about diet then T.O.. The dudes eaten 3 cheesebergers his whole life and wont even taste a philly cheesesteak. He was crackin jokes during his whole escapde this summer in his driveway. He said he gonna buy pizza for everyone, and when the reporter asked him if he was gonna have a slice, he laughed put his hand on his 8 pack and said i cant eat that ****. I bet he lives off tons of chicken, tuna, veggies, etc.
    Last edited by rk77; 10-10-2005 at 02:15 PM.

  17. #17
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    i have been as low as 4% body fat and as high as 8%. so being at 10% is good

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