Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by foot stomps, Aug 20, 2010.
Wondering if there are any dangers associated with having a low body fat? (ie: 5% or less)
Googled it for you
Low levels of body fat are maintainable only for relatively short periods before you put your life at risk.
Fat is not all bad.
You need fat, for example, to cushion your vital organs, store vitamins etc.
It's a favourite bug bear with me on another (Cycling) forum where there is an obsession with having sub 5% bodyfat....and these guys are amateurs who will never be world class....
Try and stay healthy.
Just my 2 cents
I don't think there's that much dangers for men, but for women there is, and that's why anorexia can be fatal for them. For men, essential body fat is about 3 %. For women, it's about 12%. Bodybuilders on days of competition will often have a body fat percentage under 3%, however when they're not competing, they're probably closer to 5%, which is fine. Even most ripped guys are probably 5% body fat at the least, and more like 10% on average, and fit chicks are like 15-20% or so. So this isn't a real concern for most people, even very fit ones.
I'm not sure that you can get below 3% without significant muscle loss. And most bodybuilders spend their off season at substantially higher body fats than 5%. Even 5% itself is ridiculously hard to maintain.
It will fuck with your period.
The getting sick thing is what messes me up. I don't know what percentage my body fat was but I was trying to make it to 152lbs for a couple boxing tournaments (I'm really lean at 160) and always ended up getting sick so I had to fight in the 165lb division.
I wasn't taking any vitamins though so I think I'm gonna try one last time while taking multi-vitamins, vitamin C and anything else I can find to help boost immune system.
5% is an end goal for many - no fucking way you maintain your level at 5%, much less it being fine. I'm no groundhog expert, but barring genetic prequisites I see bodybuilders easy going up to double digits in the offseason.
Yes. Your body cannot distinguish having really, really low body fat because you think it looks cool, and dying of starvation. Your body will start to shut or reduce down all non-essential functions, such as testosterone and other hormones production.
People who look like bodybuilders most of the year are probably on a shit ton of drugs, which replace the hormone production that naturally gets shut down with super low body fat.
Listen to this guy. He knows from experience.
Hormonal imbalances, muscle loss, loss of performance and even death.
We have essential body fat that is in our brains, liver, organs etc to function properly. That is why anybody that tells you they are under 4-5% bf is bsing.
You have to realize that essential body fat for men is only 3% though. We simply don't need nearly as much body fat as women. There are African-American athletes like Michael Jordan who have naturally low body fat, I believe he was tested as being 4% body fat, and he wasn't doing bodybuilding training/dieting or anything like that at the time, he was just naturally lean. I'm part AA myself, and I have naturally lower body fat, lower than you would expect for someone of my size and body type. Statistically, I believe that blacks have the lowest body fat, followed by whites, who are followed by Asians.
Re: shredded blacks. Why is that? I've always thought that as well.
Maintaining too low a BF% for too long a time seriously fucked me up in more than one ways. I was really being a fool who thought he knew what he was doing. Had to find out the hard way. Oh, well!
Optical illusion. Darker skin shows muscle definition better, hence why bodybuilders slather on the fake tan. Statistically, black people are more likely to be heavy or overweight, although this has little to nothing to do we biology, and everything to do with history and demographics (I.e. in north America, on average, black people don't earn as much, and don't have as much education as white people, so they're on average fatter).
Relation between body fat and age in 4 ethnic groups -- Mott et al. 69 (5): 1007 -- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
(This is me expressing my contempt for people who think any statement about differences between races/ethnicities is "racist".)
Do elaborate, please.
There isn't much to talk about really. I didn't have a BF% measurement when I was at my leanest, but, judging by the difference between then and the times I had measured around 5%, I must have been around 3%. The problem is not with getting there, it's with staying at <5% for a long time. I started having self image issues, which lead to eating disorders, which lead to something like a "sugar addiction" (if there even is such a thing!), which lead to depression. Energy levels and sex drive were very low and, in order to maintain the low BF%, I kept losing muscle weight.
When staying at 5-7% year-round I had none of the above issues.
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