This is what your body fat percentage really looks like – Generation Iron Fitness & Strength Sports Network

This is what your body fat percentage really looks like - Generation Iron Fitness & Strength Sports Network

Cut the fat

As fitness enthusiasts, working out and being healthy tops our list. The human body can be a great machine if you use it right. But as bodybuilders we know that all the fitness in the world won’t give you the same satisfaction if you have nothing to “show” for it. If your body fat percentage is too high, your gains aren’t as satisfying. There are science-backed methods behind fat loss, and we’re going to give you all the tools you need customize your fat burning routine. There is no way to burn fat and build muscleespecially for bodybuilders.

Big show is a big part of bodybuilding and if you can’t strike the balance between looks and size you will always feel incomplete. The main obstacle between most builders and the perfect ratio is body fat. Fat can be the stubborn veil that keeps all your hard-earned cash from seeing the light of day.

Causes of an increase in body fat percentage

When it comes to what’s making you pack on the pounds, there are a few things that can actually be the root cause of it. Are the following:

While the first two on the list are a no-brainer, the second two aren’t as talked about as they should be. Stress causes a rise in the hormone called cortisol, which has been found to be directly related to more flub around the waist. A supplement like ashwagandha is believed to reduce cortisol levels.

Testosterone also plays an important role in your body fat percentage, as when you have lower levels of testosterone you find that you have higher levels of body fat, especially in the abdomen area. High levels of body fat can also reduce testosterone levels, as fat cells metabolize the hormone more quickly.

What does your body fat percentage look like?

But how far away are you and what do you have to do to look like the dismembered monsters you see on the internet? LOSE stubborn belly fat and weight, while maintaining the muscles it’s a 24/7 job. It requires you to eat healthier foods in calculated amounts, train hard at the gym, and sleep more than you’re sleeping now. Here’s what you need to know about how to burn fat. We have your complete guide below.

The problem is that there is a lot of talk about body fat, but very few actually show what it looks like on a real person. Surely you know what 5% – 10% looks like, this is the range for most fitness models. But what about the not so flattering part? The beginning, before the contract offers start rolling in?

Shredded navel

5-9% body fat

At 5-9% body fat, you’re a Greek god. No really, this is the stage where you would probably be sculpted in ancient Roman times (Michelangelo anyone?). You are definition and vascularization they are awe inspiring as the nooks and crannies of the human muscular system are all on full display.

How to get there

“Genetics.” Yes, we know that’s what you want to hear so you can start making excuses, but the truth is, this takes HARD WORK…sorry guys. If you are in this stage you either get paid to do it or you should. You’ve sacrificed cheat meals, you’re on a strict diet that involves cutting out some macronutrients, probably low in carbohydrates, and every meal is planned out. Ice-cream? What is that? The fact is that losing fat is a very nuanced science and therefore we have many different diets.

Sacrifices you have to make to be torn apart

10-15% body fat

When you’re around 10-15 body fat percentage, you definitely have a six-pack and vascularity to boot. You have vascular arms and are pretty sculpted, but not as sculpted as the crème de ‘le crème class above.

How to get there

Stick to a strict diet, count the calories going in and out of your body, eat clean for most of the week, and then once in a while, splurge on a few wings. Cheat meal? YES. Betrayal day? No. This range tends to fluctuate from the 9 to 12% as they are not as regimented as the 5% group.

16-20% body fat

At the lower end of this body fat percentage range, you have some vascularity and definition in places, but your lower abs probably don’t pop as much as you’d like. At the higher end of this body fat percentage range, maybe you see your upper abs, but you can’t see the smaller cuts in your biceps and triceps. You don’t have a “daddy body” but there is definitely fat hiding your shape.

How to get there

Be health conscious by cutting out major no-nos like fried foods, burgers, simple sugars, but at the same time you can still have a beer with the guys on the weekends. The 80-20 rule is probably best depending on your metabolism.

While many builders strive to keep as little body fat as possible, you have to remember that up to a point fat is good for you. Your body needs at least 3% body fat for your organs to function. A good body fat percentage guide is the key to long-term goals. This means that most casual builders will likely fall into the 10-20% range of looking cut and still feeling strong. Ultimately it’s up to you, all 3 ranges can maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Try intermittent fasting

One of the diets and eating patterns that has become more popular in the health and fitness space is intermittent fasting, often abbreviated to IF. We all know that fasting refers to abstinence from food, but what else does it involve?

There are various protocols for IF. Some of them include alternate day fasting, which is when you simply fast every other day and eat normally during the days you don’t fast. Another type of IF that exists is the warrior diet, which is when you fast all day and eat all your allotted calories in one sitting.

Despite all the different protocols out there, the most commonly used type in bodybuilding and fitness circles is the 16:8 protocol, also known as limited time feeding. This is when you fast for 16 hours and then have an 8 hour eating window, where you consume your daily caloric allowance. Since this is the most popular type of fast in the bodybuilding and fitness industry, this is what will be referred to when using the abbreviation IF.

But one thing to remember here is that IF isn’t a type of diet, technically. It’s actually a type of eating pattern. The goal is to consume the same number of calories and macronutrients as you would if you followed a standard meal plan. The only aspect of your diet that you’re changing here is the frequency of your meals, not the types or quantities of food.

The times one would have fasting and eating windows are completely up to the individual, that’s why this diet has become so popular. It allows people to be able to make meals fit into their schedule, rather than trying to force smaller, more frequent meals, which has often been promoted in fitness more recently.

This higher meal frequency theory stems from the common misconception that eating more frequent, smaller meals will speed up your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories at rest. This is simply not true. What matters most about nutrition when it comes to body composition goals is the total amount of calories you consume, not how often you eat.

Fat burners to reduce body fat percentage

In addition to a well-regulated diet and a period of fasting, fat burners have been shown to accelerate the decrease in body fat percentage by improving metabolism, reducing appetite and increasing energy during training.
The best ones also go the extra mile to protect against muscle breakdown and maintain muscle.

National Bodybuilding Co. Strongest Fat Burner

National Bodybuilding Co. Strongest Fat Burner is a great supplement for weight loss and muscle building optimization. A clean, high-quality, science-driven fat burner allows for optimal benefits.


The right fat burner can speed up your metabolism, increase the mobilization of stored body fat (for use as energy), fight hunger and cravings, reduce muscle breakdown, improve lean body mass, and keep you in overall good health.

While there is no magic pill, most value products that combine high quality ingredients, natural ingredients and a proven track record. Our list of highly recommended fat burners evaluate, research and test brands to make sure you’re getting only what’s on the label and nothing more. Testing for purity, quality and safety go hand in hand with ensuring that you have at your fingertips the best fat burner possible for reducing fat or improving your overall physique. Most importantly, have third-party testing supplements within a lab for individual ingredients that are all-natural, free from synthetics and/or additives.

Summary of body fat percentage

Overall, you will look and feel different for every body fat percentage. There are many ways to fight excess body fat and many of them involve adjusting your diet.

What’s more important? Nachos on game night or a deeper V for your waistline? Be the judge.

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