T Nation

Consistently lean?

I’m interested to hear how well people here do in staying consistently lean. I’m purposely not defining lean by BF% or anything like that, just whatever bodyfat level is satisfactory for you.

I’m doing pretty good at maintaining ~8% bf without any real dieting. Actually I’ve been ~8% since I can remember. I play ball on the weekends for a little heart and cardio exercise, and I just make sure I don’t eat a lot of junk food. Don’t get me wrong though I eat alot; 4300-4500 calories a day, I just make sure it isn’t crap.

I go through “wierd” cycles.

I typically stay the same weight from fall until the end of spring, and then summer comes along, I drop quite a bit of fat. Yet when fall starts again, the body fat stays off for the most part.

Although it’s not exactly the fast approach and I do need to drop my body fat (I’m working down from a huge state of tub-o high school nerd), it’s permanent despite some of the shitty aspects of my diet. Still, if I keep that up, in a couple years, I’ll hopefully be able to manage leanness all year around while still gaining athleticism/strength.

I stay under 10% year round always with a visable 6 pack,I have a clean diet(but i still eat tons of food!) and i jog for 15-20 mins after weight training,i find this helps…

I ha trouble staying lean year 'round. It’s diifficult to maintain teh nutritional discipline neccesary to do that.

I am completely jealous of you people that can stay at 10% or less all year!

Plan trips to places where chicks will be scoping you shirtless, eat/train accordingly.

To those of you who stay lean, how skinny are you. I see one of you is 5’9" 155lbs. Are there any of you who have muscle mass AND stay lean? If so, how?

Ok Doogie is that a shot at me?Yeah i am 5’9 155,im sorry im not some mass monster,but i AM muscular,not just some skinny fuck…i have the mens health look and that is the way i want to be,i really never want to weight over 165…BTW Females do not seem to have a problem with a body that looks this way…

That wasn’t a shot, that was a question. I graduated high school 12 years ago at 5’10" 165lbs, and I was damn skinny and had no problems staying skinny. Once I decided to add some muscle, it became much harder for me to stay lean. I’m just curious if any of the easy-lean guys have much muscle.

Jeff Rage, how does your leanness fluctuate throughout the year?

My problem is this. I have the following priorities:

  1. To be healthy and fit.
  2. To enjoy the pleasure of eating delicious food.
  3. To look good.

#1 is definitely top priority. #2 and #3 now have to jockey for position, though.

All my life until 4 years ago, I had no problem with getting fat. I could eat all the delicious food I wanted, and still stay lean. I could pig out from Thanksgiving till New Years, gain 5 pounds, then taper off to “normal” eating and lose the 5 pounds in a couple weeks. “Normal” eating meant using up a pound of delicious butter or so every week. No longer! Now I’m either enjoying food or getting/staying lean – but not both. :frowning:

I also have muscle with my leaness, before I came to school this semester I weighed in at 190, I imagine I am probably 195 now maybe and I like the way a I lookin the mirror right now. I haven’t weighed myself since then, but I will at Christmas break. Besides I don’t want to get over 210 in my lifetime, and I have plenty of time to get there, I am also more concerned with strength levels than gaining mass. As far as strength goes it’s pretty good, my 3 lift total is 1285.

I attribute the leaness to genetics and my clean diet.

andersons, well I usually try to get really lean in the Spring. I try to maintain it through the summer, but usually fail. In the fall, I usually put on fat. I then start the cycle all over again.

Your #2 conflicts with your #1 and #3. For me to be in shape, healthy, and fit, I pretty much have to cut out everything i like to eat. I end up eating the same thing day after day after day. That is what is hardest to live with.

I’m 5’10" and between 170 and 175 lbs. With recreational weight lifting, and no attention to diet, I am about 10 %BF. If I a bit of cardio. (1.5 hours per week), and change my snack foods from potato chips and chocolate to almonds and fruit, I drop to about 8 %BF. Beyond that, the only way my BF fluctuates is if I am consistently trying to stuff myself (I was taking in 6000 kcal/d for 8 weeks on my last bulker)…then it will jack up to 12 - 13 %. It tends to “automatically” decrease back to 10 % with “normal” eating.

I think for hardgainers…%BF stays more constant while diet and exercise change muscle mass. The reverse seems to be true (to some degree) for easygainers.

I like to take the scientific approach to body comp by only changing one small variable at a time. Wait 3-4 weeks to see if there is any effect and then either change back, or try something else.

I’m 6’2 and 225-230 right now with visible top four abs and serratus. To be honest though I eat whatever I want in large amounts and don’t do any regular cardio. When I want to look really lean it only takes me about 2-3 weeks to get pretty cut up.

When I trained more as a bodybuilder, I was rarely very lean simply because getting bigger was always my main motivation. Since I began training as a powerlifter, staying lean consistently became much easier for me. As long as I’m not trying to cut weight, I usually stay in the 205-210 range at 5’10. I follow Berardi’s guidelines pretty strictly most of the time(not mixing fat and carbs). I’ve also found that when I keep my drinking to once a week or less, it’s much easier to stay lean than if you drink regularly.

Im doing good at maintaining a 17% bodyfat. Its hard but im trying really hard.

LOL Goldie…

yes I agree with doogie, leaness is only impressive when one has a good degree of muscularity to go with it.

180-190 at under 10% is far more impressive (to me) then 150-160 at under 10%.

I noticed the biggest factor for me was when I finally got by body fat down to around 5-6% a few years back. When I went back to eating normal and even bulking I would still stay in single digits or 10% tops. I wouldn’t gain that much fat back as long as I ate fairly clean even if it was high calorie. The bitch of it is killing yourself to get to 5-6%. After that you can kind of coast.

I eat like a fucking horse and have a 6 pack all year round but like to get around 6-8% in the summer for the ladies, right now im around 10-12% and climbing

ive always been between 7-10% . i was also little as hell befor i started lifing. 6’1" 165. 4 years later with probably 10 months off(here and there) im at 195-200. same bodyfat (closer to 10now then 7%). the heaviest ive been (and actually the leanest) was last year when i weighed 208. ive never had a problem maintaining the “lean look”. if i start eating anything over 4500kcal/day, ill gain weight but its little or no fat. yeah, yeah, i know some of you are flipping me off BUT if i dont eat at least 2500-3000/day i will start dropping weight pretty quick (which sucks cause its usually all lean mass). i dont know what advice to offer. i know id rather be genetically predisposed to be weighing 275 w/15% bodyfat and just spend a couple months sprinting my ass off. i think you fat guys got it easy.
well im sure none of that helpled.
have a good day guys.
ryan b.