How do natural bodybuilders look in contest condition (5% body fat)?
It’s going to hurt! Get ready!
They look like insects that can be taken by the wind. That’s a fact that many are not willing to accept due to the brainwashing and false hope floating in the politically correct world around us. We are convinced that the movies are real, but they are not.
There are many natural bodybuilders who deserve the tag “permabulkers” because they are constantly eating and falsely assuming that the weight they’re adding to their frames is muscle tissue.
Many fatsos believe that they are “just a few pounds” away from stepping on a bodybuilding stage. They see a hairy and blurred 2 pack of abs under the right lighting and began daydreaming that in a few short weeks ultimate leanness will be a fact. The scenario that actually takes place is pretty ironic. After losing those “easy pounds”, the permabulkers still look like fatsos. Most people simply underestimate how fat they are.
Getting super shredded is not a fun process for anyone. Unless you have mutant genetics, it’s going to hurt. Even ectos don’t get a free ride.
Most ecotomorphs have an easy time walking around at 10-14% body fat, but lower numbers are very difficult to reach and maintain. I’ve seen people who are about 5-8% body fat throughout the whole year, but they are usually genetically lean, to begin with. For the majority of the population, maintaining a similar condition seems unrealistic.
When you identify a guy who’s 5% body fat, and yet he looks enormous, you can be certain 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 playing with the angles.
Truth be told, most naturals who get lean enough to be in a contest look extremely unimpressive in clothes. They simply disappear. You have to be exceptionally big to look intimidating in clothes.
When true naturals try to get down to a contest lean condition, their families start hyperventilating. “Is he preparing for a movie role as a prisoner of war,” asks mom.
I am sorry, but this is how the mechanism works, especially for people who haven’t reach their muscular potential and have a thin bone structure, to begin with.
At the end of the day, it is what is. For most people, it’s still better to be on the lean side than the fat one, although 5-8% body fat is a little too low. Maintaining a similar condition is difficult and far from healthy. The fitness models that you see in magazines maintain the 5-8% body fat look thanks to drugs and money (they get paid to do it).
And what about you?
What do you get?
Hunger and the “Are you an insect?” look
I agree, it’s very easy to lose muscle mass when cutting.
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.
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.
Dieting while strenght training “forces” the body to keep the muscle mass while burning fat.
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.
10-12% B.F. with good muscle looks great…no need to be so extreme.
Does this article describes male bodybuilders?
How lean can a female bodybuilder get naturally?
Yes, it’s about male bodybuilders.
And about how lean can a female bodybuilder get naturally then?
I have no idea. I have never worked with females, but anything under 15% seems highly unnatural.
Oh.. ok. but I know a female bodybuilder who was lowering her body fat. Now she’s about 8% for 190 pounds, but she’s also tall. I was a little bit worry about this numbers. Maybe it’s possible when you are very tall? I’m not sure.
Height has not much to do with it.
But what if you have two persons with similar physique and same fat percentage, but the one is taller than the other. Isn’t it logical then that the total bodyweight is heavier for the taller one?
Yes. But being tall does not change how lean one can get.
I was actually talking about the weight not the fat percentage.
Yes, the taller person will weigh more, but I doubt there are natural women with those stats.
Yes, probably. It’s a little bit disapointing to discover. Luckily she’s a nice person.
Another question: is there a side effect of AAS that gives the skin a yellow tint?