Single Digit Bodyfat without Cardio

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stuward
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Post by stuward » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:46 am

It's easier to hang on to them than it is to get them back. Build the body you want now and then maintain it. If you start gaining weight in your 30s, assume it's fat.

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Post by wilburburns » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:50 am

robertscott wrote:
that's a good point, I'm in my 20s and I walk a half hour journey to work every day. I'll be damned if I ever lose my precious abs though!
That sounds like forced cardio to me.

Half hour walk could be 1.5 - 2.5 miles each direction.

Cliff

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Post by robertscott » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:55 am

wilburburns wrote:
robertscott wrote:
that's a good point, I'm in my 20s and I walk a half hour journey to work every day. I'll be damned if I ever lose my precious abs though!
That sounds like forced cardio to me.

Half hour walk could be 1.5 - 2.5 miles each direction.

Cliff
I tend to think of it more as just "lifestyle", but i see your point.

In fact now I think about it, 5 days a week I walk 2 miles to work, 2 miles back, then 4 times a week I walk 2 miles to the gym, then 2 miles back.

I completely withdraw my statement about never doing cardio. I spend more time doing cardio than I do lifting weights!

Suddenly it feels like my whole life is a lie

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Post by NightFaLL » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:07 pm

Lift heavy, eat enough protein - and you will have almost no muscle loss.

Of course, enough protein is up for debate - I tend to look at protein/carbs inversely. The lower my carb intake, the higher my protein intake and vice versa.

Also, to get to that low of bodyfat, people typically will need to do carb refeeds to raise leptin levels.

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Post by Ironman » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:40 pm

Off season used to be more around 20%. But it's usually around 15% now. But obviously if it is someone who is not going to be gaining much size, it will be lower.

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Post by ApolytonGP » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:50 pm

Rik-Blades wrote:Hmm...interesting mix of opinions already.

I'd agree that the fear of losing muscle is probably the biggest factor stopping me (and probably most lifters) from cutting that low. After all, who wants to see all their hard work being used as fuel. I wonder though at what level the body starts to break down muscle? 10%? 8%? 4%? Why break down muscle, if theres fat available to burn.

I'm following a low carb approch to my diet anyway, i'm losing about 2 pounds a week at the moment, not had icecream or beer for months. I actually don't like beer anymore.

I've never seen the point in eating extra and then just running it off. Surely thats like filling my car full of fuel, then making a hole in the tank because i'm concerned I put too much in for the journey ahead!
apolytonGP wrote:But why wouldn't you be able to get to 9% without cardio? I would think there are a huge amount of people that have achieved this and that 95%+ of people can do so.
So far, no-one here has said they have done it.

The only benifit of cardio, must be time related. i.e. 12 weeks prep for a competition. It would be interseting to see what % pro bodybuilders average out at off-season.
I was single digits all through high school and college as a wrestler and gymnast. and got regular calipering from the trainers. In terms of cutting muscle from getting lean, I did not see that happen to myself or most of my teammates, even very lean. There was one guy who cut muscle (tall guy wrestling 105, we called him skeletor). But most of the team did not cut muscle. I don't know if you consider practice to be "cardio", so hard for me to say if I "used cardio" or not.

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Post by Ricky » Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:44 pm

nygmen wrote:
Ricky wrote:Muscle is pretty hard to lose.
?

:eek:

There is a reason people risk their life and health loading up on drugs while cutting, and it isn't for fun.

Your body doesn't want to hold onto muscle in a calorie deficit. It is more expensive in a caloric sense. Without a stimulus to hold it, your body will dump muscle.
Not really. It's something like 2-3 (k)calories/lb/day -- that's really not a lot at all. Organs like kidneys and your liver use a LOT more calories per day (it's in the hundreds).

The reason they probably load up on drugs while cutting is they are trying to do too much too quickly. Also, *pro* bodybuilders have an extremely low bodyfat level which is not really that healthy either, IMO. They don't really have a huge reserve so they would have to worry about losing muscle in a calorie deficit, even with sufficient protein.

That's not talking about just trying to get to the single digits though, that's talking < 5%.

Unless you're in that demographic I don't think you need to worry that much.

Also, there's a pretty huge marketing ploy around this and they use demagogy to try and sell their products. As long as you're not going extreme your body isn't going to just start burning muscle for no reason. It is designed not to (from an evolutionary perspective).

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Post by nygmen » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:01 pm

I bet Sumo wrestlers are carrying a hell of a lot more lean muscle mass than most BB'ers... (Speculating here.)

I think our perception of level of muscularity at <10% in this thread are pretty different. Or your idea of what is actually <10% is off.

No one is getting that lean, as a natty, without losing some muscle. It is not happening. (But the more muscle you have, the easier it will be to get that lean.)

No way you are forcing your body to gain more muscle than it wants to hold (from an evolutionary perspective) and then keeping ALL the muscle on a calorie deficit. It isn't happening as a natty.

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Post by Rik-Blades » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:25 am

Well, lets not get too ahead of ourselves here, we're talking attaining a single digit or thereabouts. 9% would be fine (even 10%), 4% would be extreme and I dont have any desire to achieve that. That low would not be sustainable.

Of course, i'm guessing. I'd like to get to a level where that little bit of fat under my chin would be gone for example and can make out my lower abs. Maybe 15% would do it.

It's difficult to find an honest example. A quick google comes up with one or two pro's who claim to hold around 9-10% off season, but you have to take this with a pinch of salt obviously. For sure these guy's are on the gear and running most of it off.

It seems the feeling here is that maybe its not possible, but maybe the idea of single digit bodyfat is too low regardless.

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Post by stuward » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:29 am

Getting to lack of a pot belly is easiest and would require no muscle loss. You could probably gain muscle while getting there. Subcutaneous fat (like a double chin) is harder but managable without losing muscle but you wouldn't gain while doing it. Getting down to seeing your abs would likely involve some muscle loss but probably not a lot. For example if you think you need to lose 10 pounds, be prepared for 15-20. Getting down to ripped will be where most of the muscle is lost. Only fitness models and body builders need to get there.

As long as you maintain your strength training, you can manage this. The ones that lose a lot of muscle while dieting are the ones that just do cardio and don't strength train.

It's been my experience that when you cut out grains and start eating whole foods, the fat loss becomes an accidental side effect. I've lost 30# this way, but it came in spurts and once it was gone it stayed gone. The focus was one "what" I ate, not "how much" I ate. I have a military medical every 2 years and every time since I started there has been an improvement in my blood lipids and other health measures.

I'm not going to say I'm at 10% but I'm down from 30% and I'm probably 12-15% right now. My waist has gone from 39 to 34.

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Post by Rik-Blades » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:29 am

stuward wrote:It's been my experience that when you cut out grains and start eating whole foods, the fat loss becomes an accidental side effect. I've lost 30# this way, but it came in spurts and once it was gone it stayed gone.
This is my experience at the moment. I've cut out all grains and simple/starchy carbs and i'm losing weight, but not strength yet. My calories are actually up too. I'm carbing up at the weekends, but not much.

Maybe my perception is way off. I found this link as a guide. Maybe you guys can find a better one, but if you scroll right down there are more pics. Using this as a guide i'd say i'm around 15%, I thought I was more 18-20%. If I continue to loose at the rate I am, I need to lose 10 pounds, 6 weeks! (watch me plateau in 2 weeks!!!)
Ripped - 7-9%

Abs are clearly visible all the time, vascularity in arms is prominent, chest and back separation is obvious, and face is starting to appear more angular. Condition can be held indefinitely. Approximate bodyfat level = 7-9%
http://anabolicminds.com/forum/weight-l ... -pics.html

I think 10% is probably about perfect.

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Post by pdellorto » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:55 am

nygmen wrote:I bet Sumo wrestlers are carrying a hell of a lot more lean muscle mass than most BB'ers... (Speculating here.)
Off topic, but I'd agree. A small rikishi (sumo wrestler) in the top division is 130-140kg. The average is more like 150-160kg. If it was all fat, you wouldn't see stuff like this:

(small, then-mid-ranked rikishi Ama tossing around a larger newcomer):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPO39qtj1Vk

There is a lot of muscle there, it's just like powerlifters and that "power belly," there is a benefit to carrying extra weight over and above your muscle mass. Leanness isn't a virtue in sumo because so many techniques are weight x speed based, and a larger wrestler can often bounce a smaller one.

Contrast that with bodybuilding, where sheer mass isn't important unless it's symmetrically and proportionally built LBM.

Ironically, rikishi do get a fair amount of low-intensity cardio. They aren't allowed to drive (rules of the sport...), so they get around mostly by bicycle and walking. A former friend of mine used to live in a neighborhood filled with sumo stables, so we'd see this gigantic guys pedaling or walking around everywhere. But my assumption is they overcome all this NEPA with extra food.

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Post by NightFaLL » Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:16 pm

Rik-Blades wrote:Hmm...interesting mix of opinions already.

I'd agree that the fear of losing muscle is probably the biggest factor stopping me (and probably most lifters) from cutting that low. After all, who wants to see all their hard work being used as fuel. I wonder though at what level the body starts to break down muscle? 10%? 8%? 4%? Why break down muscle, if theres fat available to burn.

I'm following a low carb approch to my diet anyway, i'm losing about 2 pounds a week at the moment, not had icecream or beer for months. I actually don't like beer anymore.

I've never seen the point in eating extra and then just running it off. Surely thats like filling my car full of fuel, then making a hole in the tank because i'm concerned I put too much in for the journey ahead!
apolytonGP wrote:But why wouldn't you be able to get to 9% without cardio? I would think there are a huge amount of people that have achieved this and that 95%+ of people can do so.
So far, no-one here has said they have done it.

The only benifit of cardio, must be time related. i.e. 12 weeks prep for a competition. It would be interseting to see what % pro bodybuilders average out at off-season.
I have been as low as 8% without doing any cardio, cardio really has little effect on getting to low body fat, it's mostly calories/hormonal manipulation and/or drugs for some people.

You should read up on leptin, it's the hormone that is the biggest determinant, from what I understand, of being able to get down to single digit body fat.

That's why most experts these days recommend a high carbohydrate refeed (Over maintenance) fairy often as you get leaner, to reset leptin levels and make the body feel like it's fed.

Also, it's really hard to lose muscle if you're continually lifting correctly and protein is high - look up the minnesota semi-starvation study, even while essentially being starved, not having adequate protein and not weight training ( I think that's how it was, anyways) they only lost about a 50/50 fat/LBM ratio - and that's assuming EVERYTHING is wrong with your diet/training.

Meaning, if you have diet/training in check, muscle loss is not a big issue.

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Post by stuward » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:06 am

Spamed twice in 2 minutes.

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Post by Ricky » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:06 pm

nygmen wrote:No way you are forcing your body to gain more muscle than it wants to hold (from an evolutionary perspective) and then keeping ALL the muscle on a calorie deficit. It isn't happening as a natty.
If you're already where you want to be in terms of bf, why would you need to be in a calorie deficit? You don't need to lose weight

Also, I don't see why you're assuming the body "doesn't want to" hold onto muscle.

Again, if people are at extremes ( < 5% bf) then you're probably right about being able to lose it easily but I'm not talking extremes).

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