5’9” 185lbs. Body Fat Estimate?

34M 5’9” 185 lbs.

Started cut on Jan 2 at 195lbs. 500-700 kcal deficit per day. Current weight 185. Looking for body fat estimates to see about how much further to go. Goal is to get around 11-13% to start lean bulk. Strength training regimen 4x per week.

Legs have comparable definition/slightly leaner than upper body.

Body fat estimate?
Continue cut or start lean bulk/recomp?

Obligatory shoe reference

Why does it matter what your BF% is? are you happy with the way you look?

Just continue dieting as you have been. Get to a point of lean-ness you feel comfortable at, maintain for as long as you were cutting for, then go on a mild bulk


No I’m not happy with the way I look.
Overall long-term goal is to be around 185-190 10-12% body fat.

Not sure what the most efficient way of going about it is. Been in a deficit for 6 weeks, but losing motivation to continue due to feeling small.

Look for advice/experience on what the general consensus is - Is it better to tough out the cut down to 10-12% and then lean bulk, or switch on and off between mini cuts and lean bulks to keep motivation high?


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That is pretty big at 5’9" IMO if natty. It is possible depending on genetics, but you will need good genetics for this.

This is my weakness.

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Take a short break from your diet. This means you should be going into a “maintenance phase”. It will help you mentally rejuvenate and sustain your weight loss better than going straight from long-hard cut into a bulk.
I’m going to post a Youtube link to help send the point home; feel free to ignore it, but it is really good information… like the kind of information people usually pay a lot of money to learn.

This channel is one of 3 I follow, and this entire series can help you with your cut - if you’re interested.

IMO, take a break for maintenance, then continue with your cut. The longer you hold fat on your body, the harder it is to remove.


You’re doing OK. I think you would like your look more if you targeted your shoulders, traps and back. You’re probably lean enough but you dont have the V shape that developed delts and a wide back will give you.

Also, we have no idea about your legs, there is potential for a lot of mass there.

You can also try to find a DEXA scan place near you. DEXA scan is the most accurate BF measurement after water displacement. I have one here in Texas and the scans are $45 each and you can track your progress.

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20%, you still have chest fat and a thick waist. Don’t flex in picture evals.

Continue cutting. A lean bulk is like a unicorn… you see pictures that speak of such things but do they really exist?


You dropped 10lbs in about 6 weeks.
I’d suggest staying at 185lbs for the next 8 weeks, and maybe more, trying to improve 6 to 8 rep strength in major compound exercises. Eat “clean”, as in minimize all junk food, over this time period.

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First and foremost, like many of the guys are saying, the less you care about hitting a bodyfat percentage number, the better. Go just by your look.

What does that weight at that bodyfat look like? Can you post a target picture?

Yep. Also an emphasis on those numbers being a long-term goal. Mighty Stu was 5’8" and competed in the 170s on stage. He was 185 in these pics for his first contest prep, coming down from 205-210, after training 16 years.

100% agree. Bodybuilders practice for posing for weeks and months to have it not mess up the physique they’re showing. A simple side-facing pic would’ve been much more useful and reliable.

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Yes, always better to tough it out and keep the momentum going IMO. Reason being, as you cut you are actually slowing your BMR as your body adapts to new deficit. Then when you decide to maintain for a bit and take a “break,” you’re still actually miserable and feeling hungry all the time because it’s still a deficit to your original starting point. And if you go back to eating your original maintenance, you’ll actually gain the weight back. So my thinking is, if you’re already suffering and hungry, just stick with the cut and get it done in 12 weeks instead of yo-yoing for 6 months and still not reaching your goal.

I made this about a year ago, and I think it could help as well: When Your Cut Stalls


I see this a lot here. I assume it’s like holding a banana for scale? But with a shoe?

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I second everything @jskrabac said, plus this reality: you want to quit now because you feel small. You’re going to hit that point again next time you try to lose weight. Go ahead and power through. I promise you’ll be disappointed whatever weight you end up at lean; we all are. I think it’s better to just go ahead and accept it may well be 109 lbs and power through and at least look and feel better.

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