Can You Achieve 5% Body Fat Without Steroids or is getting shredded also dependent on PED?

Natural bodybuilders can get to 5% BF without the use of supplements, anabolic steroids, GH, clenbuterol and the rest of the illegal fat burning agents. All you need is hardcore dieting.

Getting to 5% BF is extremely difficult for most, albeit some are naturally lean. According to the official science info the male body requires 3% BF to survive. This means that technically anything above 3% is fat storage. However, getting to 3% is not healthy nor possible unless you are into anorexia or willing to die for bodybuilding. That’s why 4.5-5% is the lowest one can get and still remain on this planet.

Six packs abs myths

While being super lean is cool, it often doesn’t work for true natural bodybuilders. To be truly 5% BF you need to sacrifice a lot of size since we’re all fatter than we think. It’s not uncommon for the big guys who are 220 lbs and 25% BF to go down to 170-180 lbs in order to reach this number. Since this is a huge hit to the ego, nobody ever cares to get that lean and to tell you the truth there is no need to so.


Unless, you are preparing for a contest you will experience zero benefits from being 5% BF. Zero….unless you consider bragging about your body fat numbers a profit. You can very well be 8-10% BF and still look way leaner that the average dude. At 10% you have a solid six pack and at 8% most people have veins on their lower abs. What else do you need?

For most lifters 5% BF is not maintainable unless they are naturally super lean. A former fat dude who was 30% +BF will find it really hard to stay at 5% BF while a naturally skinny ectomorph will enjoy the process a lot more. It’s just more natural for that person to be light and lean.

As I’ve said many times the biggest problem naturals face when getting lean is maintaining their muscles mass. Part of the problem is that there is not much to begin with since we all know true naturals look malnourished compared to the muscle monsters in the fitness magazines. That’s why it’s incredibly hard to keep on cutting body fat. Friends and family will start worrying about you and don’t be surprised if they arrange an intervention to discuss your anorexia.

To some point, being obsessed with being 5% BF is a disorder that has many common points with anorexia. Both are caused by a desire to improve your appearance. Both require severe dieting/not eating and both appear to have negative impact on your looks in the eyes of others. Truth be told, very few people can pull off the 5% body fat look without reminding people of the movie ‘The Machinist’ with Christian Bale.

Another obstacle on the way to the mythical 5% body fat would be the mental barrier. Dieting is really hard for naturals since your personality can acquire a different nuance. When you are losing fat there are many processes going on in the body and your hormone levels are also affected. This can cause mood swings, aggression and even depression. The problem will be severe for those who ‘gain weight just by looking at food’ but even the skinny guys will find it brutal.

Related article: How Do Bodybuilders Achieve Their Paper Thin Skin?

Points to remember

– naturals can get to 5% BF without drugs;

– at 5% BF naturals look malnourished;

– all you need is dieting;

– cardio can help but is not needed;

– maintaining 5% BF unless you are naturally lean is brutal;

– there is no need to ever be 5% BF unless you’re competing in shows;

– people will be much happier at 8-12% BF;

– most fake naturals are able to eat junk food while remaining shredded but this requires the intake of illegal drugs that are dangerous to the heart and the thyroid;

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