bodyfat illusion

Discussion in 'Diet & Nutrition' started by scientific muscle, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    I must be one of those guys who carries bodyfat very well.  People generally think I am lower bodyfat than I am.  Alot of me looks 'defined' but I know I just have fat well-distributed everywhere.  And a bunch on hips/belly/thighs/back.  I cut down to 186 last time and stopped due to fear of shrinking too much, although I did not have the 6-pack look.  I have gained mass since then and am cutting down this time until my waist is 33" and/or I get the 6-pack look.  Now I know I will have to go lower than that (186) to reach my goal, and then I can maintain/slowly put on lean mass, without getting flabby. (based on the partitioning ratio idea= leaner people gain more lean mass/ fatter people gain more fat mass generally)

    This seems to be very common among amateur bodybuilders...OVERestimating leaness.  Alot of guys seem to think they are under 15% based on appearance, but in reality they have a significant bodyfat level.  I have never been lean enough to actually have really defined abs and I am really curious to see how much fat loss it will take in reality.

    Any comments welcome.
     
  2. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    (based on the partitioning ratio idea= leaner people gain more lean mass/ fatter people gain more fat mass generally)

    Partitioning ratio? It is too general to say someone who is lean gains more lean mass than fat. Typically, you could classify people as ecto/edno/mesomorph or a mix of two of the three.

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">This seems to be very common among amateur bodybuilders...underestimating leaness. Alot of guys seem to think they are under 15% based on appearance, but in reality they have a significant bodyfat level. I have never been lean enough to actually have really defined abs and I am really curious to see how much fat loss it will take in reality.</div>

    Actual bodyfat% numbers go by two different standards for some reason. Which one is right, I am still not sure.
     
  3. bluejacket

    bluejacket New Member

    ive heard a bit about &quot;core&quot; reading when taking bf % measurements. basically its the fat reading one gets from the mid-section (core) as opposed to the other sites, chest and legs. obviously many (most?) men store bf more readily in this area so you run into a situation like you describe. relatively lean upper/lower body which might give readings that would put you at @10% bf but plenty of stored fat in the mid-section that when factored in puts you back up to the 13-15% range. not very scientific sounding and obviously it doesnt apply to all but to those it does apply to you know exactly what im talking about.

    about the wgt loss needed for abs, be prepared. cutting down (especially if going for a visual goal) is the hardest thing psycologically one can do in this sport/hobby. guys ive trained with who were preparing for bb shows DID NOT ever step on the scale until they had to. checking progress by a mirror was at least encouraging but stepping on a scale and seeing they were 20-30lbs lighter then when they started was crushing. of course your not going to this extreme but you still want to see abs you havent seen in recent memory so you will have to drop a fair amount of wgt.

    ive read many of your posts over the past few months and you seem to be caught &quot;in between&quot;. you want to be bigger and stronger (who doesnt) but your not ready to deal with the fat levels that seem to come relatively easily with gaining. its an unenviable position most of us are in made worse by the fact that we seem to fixate on the small portion of folks who can gain serious muscle without all the fat.

    your goals are your goals and no one should tell you otherwise. just be prepared for a few things.
    when you get those abs you will feel very small in your clothes.
    you can gain muscle slowly and limit fat but you must pay very close attention to your diet.
    gaining muscle slowly means just that, slowly. if limiting fat gain is a priority then getting much bigger and stronger can take quite a while.

    ok, thats enough rambling on for now.

    good luck
     
  4. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">ive heard a bit about &quot;core&quot; reading when taking bf % measurements. basically its the fat reading one gets from the mid-section (core) as opposed to the other sites, chest and legs. obviously many (most?) men store bf more readily in this area so you run into a situation like you describe. relatively lean upper/lower body which might give readings that would put you at @10% bf but plenty of stored fat in the mid-section that when factored in puts you back up to the 13-15% range. not very scientific sounding and obviously it doesnt apply to all but to those it does apply to you know exactly what im talking about.</div>

    Yeah that goes with the standards of:

    6 pack = 8%
    4 pack = 10%
    upper abs showing = 12%
     
  5. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    <div>
    (colby2152 @ Feb. 16 2007,15:53)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">(based on the partitioning ratio idea= leaner people gain more lean mass/ fatter people gain more fat mass generally)

    Partitioning ratio?  It is too general to say someone who is lean gains more lean mass than fat.  Typically, you could classify people as ecto/edno/mesomorph or a mix of two of the three.

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">This seems to be very common among amateur bodybuilders...underestimating leaness.  Alot of guys seem to think they are under 15% based on appearance, but in reality they have a significant bodyfat level.  I have never been lean enough to actually have really defined abs and I am really curious to see how much fat loss it will take in reality.</div>

    Actual bodyfat% numbers go by two different standards for some reason.  Which one is right, I am still not sure.</div>
    bodyfat and partitioning article

    This article by Lyle Mcdonald explains the whole thing really well.

    And in my opinion the partitioning theory is far more sound than the bodytype theory, which I think is bunk pseudoscience.
     
  6. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    <div>
    (bluejacket @ Feb. 16 2007,16:29)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">ive heard a bit about &quot;core&quot; reading when taking bf % measurements. basically its the fat reading one gets from the mid-section (core) as opposed to the other sites, chest and legs. obviously many (most?) men store bf more readily in this area so you run into a situation like you describe. relatively lean upper/lower body which might give readings that would put you at @10% bf but plenty of stored fat in the mid-section that when factored in puts you back up to the 13-15% range. not very scientific sounding and obviously it doesnt apply to all but to those it does apply to you know exactly what im talking about.

    about the wgt loss needed for abs, be prepared. cutting down (especially if going for a visual goal) is the hardest thing psycologically one can do in this sport/hobby. guys ive trained with who were preparing for bb shows DID NOT ever step on the scale until they had to. checking progress by a mirror was at least encouraging but stepping on a scale and seeing they were 20-30lbs lighter then when they started was crushing. of course your not going to this extreme but you still want to see abs you havent seen in recent memory so you will have to drop a fair amount of wgt.

    ive read many of your posts over the past few months and you seem to be caught &quot;in between&quot;. you want to be bigger and stronger (who doesnt) but your not ready to deal with the fat levels that seem to come relatively easily with gaining. its an unenviable position most of us are in made worse by the fact that we seem to fixate on the small portion of folks who can gain serious muscle without all the fat.

    your goals are your goals and no one should tell you otherwise. just be prepared for a few things.
    when you get those abs you will feel very small in your clothes.
    you can gain muscle slowly and limit fat but you must pay very close attention to your diet.
    gaining muscle slowly means just that, slowly. if limiting fat gain is a priority then getting much bigger and stronger can take quite a while.

    ok, thats enough rambling on for now.

    good luck</div>
    Excellent reply bluejacket...exactly my point.

    I am not large by any means, but I am heavy and strong enough now that I want to experience the whole lean, mean bruce lee/brad pitt thing (at least once!) before I worry anymore about getting bigger. In other words, I want to cut down to 8% or so and see for myself how much muscle I am actually carrying. It is easy to eat like crazy, get big and fat while training and say, &quot;I have 18&quot; arms!&quot; But that same guy goes on a diet to get lean, loses a ton of weight doing it and then realizes his arms were only 16&quot; the whole time, with alot of fat on them.

    And you are right bluejacket....we all have very individual goals, and nobody else can ultimately dictate what is right for another. I want to get into powerlifting and I have been talking to Steve Jones and others and unfortunately for a guy my height and weight to be a succesful powerlifter, it will involve ALOT of weight gain! [​IMG] Before I become a huge, hulking (fat?) powerlifter I want to experience being a ripped, lean dude at least once in my life! [​IMG]
     
  7. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    Long read, save it for later.
     
  8. vagrant

    vagrant New Member

    Guys, keep it simple. If it jiggles it's fat. If it flexes it's not fat. When more jiggle shows than flex...time to cut. When nothing jiggles again start bulking once more.
     
  9. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Another factor is one I suffer: pelvic tilt. You'd think my gut is pretty fat until you touch it - and looking at my spine, you'd see a lot of forward curve there. Still, I can't flex the &quot;love handles&quot; and the last inch of the gut, but there's a lot of beef in there.
    There are also the four body shapes, which bodybuilding is supposed to counteract for, but even so, you'll see straight trunked guys (me) and the Frank Zayne wasp-waisted types. And some guys carry fat all over their body and get all smoothed out; fortunately I'm one who carries most all of it in the trunk.
    Junk in the trunk. [​IMG]
     
  10. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    BF measurements are pretty much worthless.

    BEcase it doesnt matter if your BF comes out at 5% if you still look fat
     
  11. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    GREAT STATEMENT AND OH SO TRUE!!!

    I guess that is what I am getting at.  I don't care what the calipers or the scale says, I want to LOOK lean period. [​IMG]

    What I meant by overestimating leaness is this:
    Some flabby, fat dude saying: &quot;Yeah I am only about 12% bodyfat, I could lose a couple pounds and enter a BB contest.&quot; When in reality he is much fatter than he thinks but won't know it until he actualy does lose enough weight to look 'ripped' and realizes he had to lose 40 lb.s! [​IMG]
     
  12. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    Its because BF analysis is based upon an absolute truckload of assumptions.

    Skinfolds are a method to estimate body density.

    Body density such as the Siri equation, is based upon &lt;10 corpses, european, who had died of various diseases states. Ulimately not very representative of any living population.

    Hydrostatic weighing is all very good, but it measures body density and then the final BF estimation is based upon the Siri equation or similar.

    DEXA is the current 'gold stanard' for BF analysis, but it was validated against hydrostatic weighing.

    Thats without taking the variability of the individual measuremetns out of question. Then there is the user operator using calipers, which is a relatively complex setup.

    For research, it is pretty fine becuase the variation works out fine on a population (larger samples will bring the mean towards the true mean) but to try and get a decent measure on an individual is nearly impossible

    Here goes a e-friend, who is reasonable muscular for a female, not competition level, but lean.

    [​IMG]

    DEXA analysed at 27% - which in females would be ~overweight, just near obese.

    Worthless measurment.
     
  13. the_dark_master

    the_dark_master New Member

    To be honest - that body would get plenty of attention on Scarborough beach (Englands' &quot;first&quot; holiday resort (up int' grim north)) [​IMG]

    Personally, I'd probably wait til summer though [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    According to my pamphlet, 27% for females is considered normal, not overweight or obese. But I get your point, there is no way she is 27%. And even if she is, who cares, she looks lean almost to the point of masculine with all that muscle!

    *sidenote....my wife has calves like that. Even when she doesn't exercise she has large, muscular calves that would dwarf many female bodybuilders.....just goes to show how much genetics play a role! When she was a teen, her mom used to make fun of her that she had legs like a soccer player. It embarrased her until she became a young woman and guys started paying atttention to those legs! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. jwbond

    jwbond New Member

    <div>
    (colby2152 @ Feb. 16 2007,16:43)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE"> <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">ive heard a bit about &quot;core&quot; reading when taking bf % measurements. basically its the fat reading one gets from the mid-section (core) as opposed to the other sites, chest and legs. obviously many (most?) men store bf more readily in this area so you run into a situation like you describe. relatively lean upper/lower body which might give readings that would put you at @10% bf but plenty of stored fat in the mid-section that when factored in puts you back up to the 13-15% range. not very scientific sounding and obviously it doesnt apply to all but to those it does apply to you know exactly what im talking about.</div>

    Yeah that goes with the standards of:

    6 pack = 8%
    4 pack = 10%
    upper abs showing = 12%</div>
    My current goal is to get down to 10% before I start one last winter bulk. I THINK I am at 12%, but am not sure after your post...

    I can see my top abs when flexed hard and the outlines of a 4pack. However, I feel that there is a good amount of fat on top, I can still pinch a healthy amount. Perhaps my abs are thick and I am fatter than I think? For the 2 or 4pack, I still need good lighting conditions (ie bathroom mirror).


    Any thoughts on what I might be? (i know it is pretty much impossible to guess from the info above, but perhaps I can gain more insight)
     
  16. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    I wish ALL 'fat' girls looked like that! Nice little E-friend to have!
    I thought the healthy fat level for young ladies was about 19%. I read that somewhere.
     
  17. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    JWbond cannot guess. It doesn't matter. Forget the % thing and just lose some fat until you get to the visible level you desire. That is my point is that it may or may not take a significant amount of weight loss for guys like us to get the '6-pack' look.
     
  18. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    American Council on Exercise Bodyfat Chart.

    Essential Fat: female 10-12% male 2-4%
    Athletes: female 14-20% male 6-13%
    Fitness: female 21-24% male 14-17%
    Acceptable: female 25-31% male 18-25%
    Obese: female 32%+ male 25%+

    But in keep in mind, short of going to a laboratory, you cannot accurately measure your bodyfat as Aaron_F pointed out, most measurements are pretty much worthless.
     
  19. Joe.Muscle

    Joe.Muscle Active Member

    Sci,

    From looking at your picture I would put you around 15%.

    You body looks like the type to carry MASS very well at higher bodyfat however your body/ genetics also looks like the type that you would have to lose a ton of weight to get abs.

    IMO.

    This is how my body frame is I get big easily and I look really thick at around 200...people say Im on steroids...but sh--it I have to cut to 177 to see abs.

    Right now I am 194 at 12.5 to 13.5 % bodyfat...I look way better but I have at best a 4 pack....again if I cut down to 174 or so I have a great 4 pack but never a good 6 pack.

    F-u-ck-ing genetics...but what can I do???
     
  20. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Sci: in this house, acceptable is 14-19%!!! I'm funny that way.

    Joe: PICS MAN, PICS!!!
     

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