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Body Fat Percentage Guide for Men
Likness of naturalphysiques.com
ten percent (10%) body fat look like? Have you ever wondered how you would
appear at a certain body fat percentage? I have documented my fitness progress
for several years. This is a guide to various levels of body fat to help you
get an idea of what to expect. I will be introducing a similar guide for women
For a reference
point, I am 5'10".
This list is
organized in descending order of body fat percentage and not chronologically.
Yes, like many other people, I do have times when I backslide and get out of
shape. Sometimes I purposefully bulk, but a few examples were nothing but sheer
laziness that I had to shake myself out of!
To learn more
about my story, how to measure body fat and other ways to create and measure
your success, download my eBook, "Become the Journey: A Transformation Guide."
lbs , Bodyfat: 30% or higher, Waist: 42"
This is where I
started. The picture was taken AFTER losing several pounds - this is the first
"before-style" picture that I took. I have other pictures at even heavier
weights. I have not included those in this guide because I do not know what my
exact weight nor body fat percent measurement was when those pictures were
Weight: 220 lbs
Bodyfat: 20% Waist: 38"
This was one of
my first bulking phases. Notice that while I have more muscle definition, my
love handles aren't as noticeable because my ENTIRE GUT is larger - you'll see
later on that I selectively begin to store fat just in the love handle region,
and actually look larger at lower body fat and weight!
Weight: 210 lbs
Bodyfat: 16 - 18% Waist: 38"
Here is an example
of how your body may change how you store fat. I actually look quite large, due
to the prominent love handles. I began measuring LEANER in places such as my
arms, chest, and legs, and the fat gained was all around my midsection. When I
gain fat during stressful periods, this is how it accumulates.
lbs Bodyfat: 14 - 16% Waist: 36"
I am the same
weight as the previous picture, but a lower body fat percentage. The love
handles aren't as prominent, and you can clearly see a little more muscle tone.
Your ultimate goal should be to increase weight while reducing body fat, but as
you can see, it may take some phases of gaining and losing first.
Weight: 188 lbs
Bodyfat: 10% Waist: 32"
Notice the massive
drop in waist size, despite a smaller drop in body fat, demonstrating how I
store my fat. This was the first time that I reached a lower level of body fat,
almost at single digits. Note that the abdominal definition is there, but very
faint. Interestingly, while I look much more muscular in this picture (mainly
due to the fat no longer hiding the muscle) I was at my weakest, unable to
bench press more than 190 pounds or dead-lift more than around 200.
lbs Bodyfat: 10% Waist: 32"
An example of the
same body fat, but with much more muscle mass. This was after I leaned down to
6% and then did a bulking phase that lasted several months. In my experience,
bulking after becoming lean is the way to add the most quality muscle. Any time
that I have bulked when already at a higher (over 10%) body fat, I have gained
more fat than muscle.
Weight: 188 lbs
Bodyfat: 8% Waist: 32"
When you compare
this to the first picture at 188 pounds, you can see how a few body fat
percentage points can make a major difference. In this picture, my abs are
clearly defined and there is much more vascularity than in the previous picture
when I weighed 188 pounds at 10% body fat.
Weight: 178 lbs
Bodyfat: 7% Waist: 31"
This was a leaning
cycle that I did using a vegan-style diet. I actually averaged only around
about half of my body weight (around 95 grams) of protein, with 300 grams of
carbohydrate while dropping over 30 pounds in a 12-week timeframe. At 7%, my
abs are clearly defined, but they still lack the hard separation that a
bodybuilder on stage with 6% or more would have. You can see that my love
handles are now simply well-developed obliques, rather than fat deposits, and
you can see the contour of my hip. The lower abs are still partially obscurred
by a layer of fat below the navel. I believe that the inclusion of carbs helped
me reach this level at my strongest - my bench press was 280 pounds and
dead-lift was 415 pounds when this picture was taken.
lbs Bodyfat: 6.5% Waist: 30"
This is the lowest
body fat I have acquired. Believe it or not, I would still need to lose another
5 - 10 pounds to be in condition to step on stage for a bodybuilding
competition! The abdominal separation is clearly visible (although I did put
too much "shine" on my body, so the highlights overpower some of the detail).
You can see some striations in the muscle and vascularity as well. Note the
visible difference in just 1/2 percent of body fat (give or take, these are
never entirely accurate) as compared with the previous picture at 178