How Do True Natural Bodybuilders Look At 5% Bodyfat

How do natural bodybuilders look when they are 5% bodyfat, ready for a bodybuilding or fitness contest?

It’s going to hurt! Get ready!

They look like insects who can be taken by the wind. That’s a fact that many are not willing to accept because of media brainwash and the false hope floating in the politically correct world around. We are convinced that the movies are real, but they are not.


source: https://pixabay.com/en/climbing-rope-rappelling-wall-rock-756671/; Most natural bodybuilders look like climbers when they get lean.

source: https://pixabay.com/en/climbing-rope-rappelling-wall-rock-756671/;
Most, but not all, natural bodybuilders look like skinny climbers when lean.

There are many natural bodybuilders, which deserve the tag “permabulkers” because they are constantly eating and falsely assuming that the weight they add to their frame is muscle tissue. Many fatsos believe they are “just a few pounds” away from reaching the single digit body fat levels and stepping on a bodybuilding stage. They see a hairy and blurred 2 pack of abs under the right lightning and began daydreaming that after losing 10 lbs / 5 kg they will be “ripped to shreds” with visible veins all over their bodies. What actually happens is pretty ironic. They lose those “easy” 10 lbs only to realize they look the same as before – like fatsos. Many naturals who share the permabulking philosophy end up exactly like that and spin their wheels for years.

The truth is that being super lean is not a fun process unless you are naturally a low body fat ectomorph, but even then it is unlikely that you will be 5% body fat unless you have ultra-lean man genetics. Most ecotomorphs have easy time being 10-12% body fat but below is still hell to maintain. I’ve seen people who are about 5-8% body fat the whole year but they are usually really lean to begin with. For the majority of the population it’s a little unrealistic.

When you see a guy that’s 5% bodyfat and yet he looks enormous, you can know for sure that he is taking something. Of course, you have to keep in mind that sometimes the photos are manipulated. There many fragile boys who make themselves look bigger by manipulating the angles. When you see those guys in real life, you may be surprised by the fact that they have less muscle mass than your granddad. In addition, I would say that most naturals who get lean enough to be in a contest look extremely unimpressive in clothes. They disappear. Gone. Ghosts. You have to be really big or fat to look intimidating in clothes.

In many cases, when true naturals try to get down to contest lean condition, their families start hyperventilating. “Is he preparing for a movie role as a prisoner of war” say the worried moms.

I am sorry but this is how things are, especially for people who haven’t reach their muscular potential and have thin bone structure to begin with. There are two main reasons for that – we always underestimate our body fat levels and for good or bad naturals can’t build that much muscle mass to begin with.

Back in the day, I used to go to the forums of StartingStrenght.com where people were constantly making fun of soccer players. They were accusing them of being too fragile and skinny. People there are pushing American football players as a better example of how “real” men look like. Ironically, most of the guys there are simply obese at over 25% bodyfat and will actually look skinnier than some soccer players if they were to lose the extra fat cells. Most permabulkers go into heavy depression when that happens. The melancholy is amplified by the fact that their squat numbers drop too when the gut goes down a weight class.

At the end of the day it is what is. I think for most people it’s still better to be on the lean side than the fat side, although 5% body fat is not really needed. I would even go as far as saying that body fat levels this low are not healthy for most people and will simply drive you insane. The fitness models you see in magazines are able to maintain the 5% body fat looks thanks to drugs and money motivation – they get paid to do it. What do you get? The “Are you an insect?” look.

6 comments

  1. joesantus

    An issue related to 5% PED-free bodyfat levels is the amount of lean tissue which the human body normally loses as it loses bodyfat.

    Bodyweight includes three components: the weight of lean mass (including muscle and bone), the weight of bodyfat (which is deposited not only around a person’s waist for everywhere else too, varying according to each person’s genetics), and the weight of water (throughout the body’s tissues).

    Water weight is easily lost or gained via dehydrating or rehydrating.
    Bodyfat, however, is lost (naturally, without drugs) through calorie deficit. When the body burns 3,500 calories more than it has intaken, the body loses one pound of bodyfat.

    However…as the body sheds bodyfat, it will also begin to shed lean mass. For every three pounds of bodyfat a human loses, one pound of lean mass — muscle — will also be lost. Depending upon genetics, this 3:1 ratio might vary slightly — some might lose slightly less than one pound of muscle, others slightly more than one pound of muscle, per three pounds of bodyfat — but it is a physiological fact that naturally occurs.

    The rule-of-thumb for gaining, say, arm size is “it typically requires adding 8 to 10 pounds of bodyweight to add one inch of arm size”. Meaning, a loss of 8-10 lbs also reduces arm size by an inch; and, that inch of mass off the arms is because, at that 3:1 loss ratio, to have lost 10 pounds of bodyweight means to have lost probably 3 pounds of muscle, some of it arm muscle.

    Soooo…our permabulker with 18.5 inch arms, who’s 200 lbs at 20% bodyfat? To compete naturally at 5%, he needs to lose 15% of that 200 lbs. Fifteen percent of 200 lbs is 30 pounds, meaning our permabulker drops to 170 lbs. BUT…to lose those 30 pounds of fat means ALSO losing 10 pounds of muscle mass along with it. That puts our permabulker down to 160 pounds. It also means that he’s had to lose a total of 40 lbs to get to 5% bodyfat — and losing 40 pounds can mean a drop in arm size of FOUR INCHES. When he gets onstage, his 18.5 inch arms at 20% BF might be down to about 14.5 inchers at 5% BF.

    Even dropping to only 12% bodyfat would mean mean losing 16 pounds of fat, so also another 4 pounds of lean mass, for a total loss of 20 pounds — those 18.5 inch arms will reduce to 16.5.

    This is why lifelong-PED-frees who compete typically look so emaciated — because, to reduce to that unnatural 5-6% competition bodyfat, it’s impossible not to have lost substantial muscle mass.

    This is also why permabulkers with 18.5 inch arms are erroneous to think they’ll retain anything close to that measurement if they lose enough bodyfat to have anything resembling a lean waist.

    But, with enough steroids, growth hormones, anti-estrogenics, thyroid-stimulating drugs, etcetera, a few guys with genetics unique enough to tolerate all those drugs can be 5% bodyfat with 18.5 inch arms. Only with the drugs and the right drug genetics is that possible.

    1. Davikia

      I agree for the most part, except that you don’t really lose muscle. Water, glycogen and all that, yes (that’s considered lean mass), but not real muscle if you have a decent brain.
      The thing is, naturals have a much higher bodyfat setpoint than fitness models and bodybuilders on high doses of steroids, growth hormone and insulin.
      Knowing your exact bodyfat % is really hard, unless you are a legit 10% BF or less.
      Take some huge powerlifter for example (on all kinds of hormones). Lets take Hafthor Bjornson who is around 6’8″ tall and weighs around 400 lbs. He doesn’t look that fat, but if he wanted to compete in bodybuilding and get shredded all over, he’d have to lose a ton of weight. More than 50 lbs for sure, probably closer to 75 lbs andthat’s using a ton of hormones.
      I know a guy from a bodybuilding forum who is 6’3″ and hadbulked up to 260 lbs naturally. He had to get to 165-170 lbs to get shredded glutes. He even had visible abs at 260 (truly natural), but he had a pretty even body fat distribution.
      From my experience, I’ve bulked up to 213 lbs or so and I’m 5’10.5″ and the lowest I cut to was like 158 lbs and I was around a legit 10-11% body fat. I had abdominal veins and a sharp christmas tree, but arms, legs and sides of the lower back still were kind of soft.
      For the record, I had visible abs at 213 lbs (even body fat distribution and my back, legs and arms were fat as hell) and I believe I would have to cut to 150 lbs to be a legit 8% body fat and assuming it’s possible for me to achieve shredded glutes and 5% body fat, I’d weigh around 140 lbs.
      My arms were up to 18 inches or so at my fattest, they are about 16 inches around 170 lbs (what I currently weigh) and I would have no more than 14″ arms if I were to have striated triceps.
      Hope this helps.

  2. Davikia

    I do think muscle loss can happen below a legit 8% body fat though for true naturals. I’ve rarely seen natties leaner than that and the ones who have achieved it do seem to have lost real muscle size from 8% to 4-5% BF.

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