T Nation

How lean do I need to be?

How lean do I need to get before I see abs, veins in bri’s, and veins in my forearms. I know everone is different, but do you think if someone got under 10% bodyfat this is possible. I am 13% and hardly can see anything. I can start to see my top two abs.

It really depends on the individual man, 2 friends of mine had full six-packs at 8% bodyfat on a 4 spot caliper test. I clamped 6.6% last week and I should be around 6% flat by now and I still am not satisfied…I can see my abs but not very good seperation. I think because of my endomorphic nature that clampers don’t read well on me thought. personally I just check bodyfat to make sure I’m not losing muscle, other than that I let my eyes do the judging.


i have 14% bodyfat and you can see my abs very easily… full 6 pack

i’m 9% and i can only see my abs when i flex them, but i am vainy as hell.

I would say that if you get under 10%, you’ll probably be able to see your abs, maybe even a decent four-pack. You’re right though, it does differ from person to person. Vascularity is also very much a genetic quality.

Spence...where do you tend to hold most of your bodyfat, bro? Scapula? Kidneys?

Keep going with your diet, and looking in the mirror, when you see your abs, eat some carbs, then you will see your veins. Measure yourself at this point-thats your number. As you can see there is no magic # for all!

I remember Dan Duchaine said that one needed to be below 7% body fat to really see his abs. I realize this will vary slightly. But it is probably pretty close. Also calipers can only go so far. Water weighing would tell you the truth. Anyway I’d keep dieting till I saw my abs. In fact that is what I’m doing.

I think that depends upon what protocol you use to primarily develop your abs.

For instance if you did primarily pushups to develop your chest your bodyfat would need to be really low for your definition to show.

On the other hand, you can have higher bodyfat and still display good chest development if you bench press and dip with heavier weights.

I think if you use weighted movements for your abs you’ll see results at higher bodyfat % than if you do standard bodyweight exercises.