Have you ever wondered what the ideal body fat percentage for men is? If so, then you are definitely going to want to watch this video. In this one, I am going to discuss what I think is the ideal body fat percentage for men and whether or not that is achievable for you to get to as well as maintain that as well.
In today’s AX Jeff, Jesse and I are going to discuss a comment that was left on one of my videos regarding body fat. While the commenter seems to think that I’ve said that 6% body fat is the ideal spot to be in for men, especially in comparison to the 15% that was attributed to others, I’ve never actually stated that. I myself am extremely lean with a body fat percentage around 6 or 7%, but do I think that everyone can and should be at the same level of leanness as me? Well, no.
I understand that being as lean as Jeff Cavaliere is a goal for some, but not the goal for everyone and that’s okay. Let’s start with figuring out what your goal is and that comes with identifying whether you are looking at aesthetics, athletics / performance, strength, or in the case of Jesse; all the above.
For athletics / performance, your body fat levels should be determined by the demands of your sport. But even within the same sport, different positions will have different requirements. In the case of football, a wide receiver is going to need to be at a lower body fat percentage in order to perform at the highest level compared to an offensive lineman who is try to carry as much size as possible to prevent being run over by the defense. Depending on the sport and the position, the idea that lower body fat leads to compromised athletic performance is nonsense.
When it comes to strength, we’ve all heard the notion that you need to carry as much weight on their body as possible to move heavy weight on the bar. This often comes with a bulk and cut – adding as much size to your frame as possible to move as much weight as you can in order to grow via overload. After that, cut back down to a level of leanness that is desirable. I will tell you right now, you can still be strong without bulking. You can be lean and strong. Jesse is living proof of this with his deadlift at 550 lbs and his squat over 400 lbs while remaining fairly lean.
When it comes to aesthetics, there are 3 important things to take note of. First, is that we should be describing leanness in percentages instead of using terminology. Ripped, shredded, lean, and diced all could mean different things to different people – at least with percentages there is an objective view that all can agree on.
Second, the leaner you are, the more muscular you will appear. Lower levels of body fat will show more definition, giving the appearance of greater muscularity. Take a look at Bruce Lee, someone considered a fitness icon, and his muscularity. He was not a large individual, but he was very lean which made his muscles appear larger. If he added body fat, inversely he would be considered to be skinny.
Thirdly, while subjectivity rules here, I can safely say that 9-10% body fat percentage looks better than 15-17%. The definition and muscularity are going to be enhanced at the lower levels of body fat, creating the appearance of more muscle. If aesthetics is part of the goal, then having a lower body fat level, such as 10% is likely where you are going to want to be.
As I have said previously, body fat levels as low as mine which is in the 6-7% range, is not for everyone. In fact, I would argue that while most people can get to this level of leanness, a large percentage of people won’t be able to maintain it. Why? Our bodies have a set point at which we are able to comfortable remain at a lower body fat level. Some people simply cannot get past a certain body fat percentage and others can, but feel the side effects of it.
The idea is to find your set point; the lowest you can get to and maintain it in a healthy manner without any negative side effects. Once you find your set point, you know exactly how lean you can get and maintain year round with the proper discipline.
If you are looking for a day-by-day meal plan to go along with your workouts to help you get lean and athletic, they are included with every workout program I designed that can be found at the ATHLEAN-X website via the link below.
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