I Am Trying To Figure Out My BF %

500 is an arbitrary number. But it’s easy for math.

For the sake of argument, you were to consume 2500 GOOD clean calories each day. Then you burned 500 doing cardio, or something. That would be good. I’m 6’5" 240ish right now. I got down to 217 doing that. But I aimed for 2200 calories. It took me 6 months of dedication. I burned more than 500, but aimed for 500+ specifically from cardio. Cardio will keep your metabolism going. You don’t want your metabolism to slow. On the weekends I went for 2 hour bike rides, where I pushed the pace. During the week 45 min cardio during one session, weights the other session. I did two a days basically each weekday, missing some as stuff came up.

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Ok this will help. You just started three weeks ago so you are going to start seeing benefits very soon, but composition won’t have noticed yet. Don’t plan a blast yet or at all as TRT is likely enough plus bonus it’s legal. Get down to desired BF first even if it costs you a little muscle. You will get that back in short order.

Decent starting point, but @theinneroh stated you will need to reduce further at some point. Also you should set your Macros and there shouldn’t be a range to them iMO. I would,keep the carbs a little lower. For example I eat the same thing every day with no deviation. I know my exact Macros and calories. No cheat meals but I do have an occasional salad with grilled chicken when my wife wants to go out to dinner. This is the only deviation.

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I agree here. I like using a small deficit and then using cardio (more like LISS, which is hardly cardio, more like burning kcals) to create a moderate one.

I have been just doing 25 minutes, walking on an incline (burns about 250-280 kcal). The nice thing is that adherence is easy. I eat a tiny bit less, and walk 25 minutes, while listening to a couple of songs. It doesn’t require any sort of extreme will power, but it works.

You party animal you! This makes me feel better about today’s Taco Bell breakfast.


Ok, I’ll make the changes.


Best wishes. IMO, all the last few posts are productive suggestions.

I would add a strength metric. I always wanted to know when I was losing muscle, and to adjust accordingly. As heavy as you are the squat would not be the best strength metric, because as you lose fat in your hips and midsection, you will be losing support which had aided in squatting greater weight. A better choice would be the bench press or overhead press. Pick a weight and rep range (not singles, but between 5 and 10 reps) that you want to use as a gauge for loss of strength (muscle). Make that exercise part of your weekly routine. If your strength drops, either weight or reps, consider adding some more carbohydrates (I am assuming that you are eating sufficient fats).

Absolutely, I feel like I’m adding too many variables as i just started TRT and the dieting again will make it difficult to gauge, but if you check out my journal, I am doing as you have said. Im glad you mentioned the squat as I was going to use most of my strength gauge off of that movement.

Edit: i also reduced my carbs to 175 at @blshaw 's advice and reduced my overall calories to 2800

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Off-topic, but I’ve recently been appreciating BMI as a valid marker more and more.

If an individual is going to have a high BMI, then they better be making sure their waist:hip ratio is under 0.95 (men) or 0.8 (women), and their VO2 max is at least above average. If not, they’re probably too fluffy/fat.

With context, I think BMI is a great marker to look at


Context is important, agreed. I’m overweight at 6’1", 195 pounds and 18% body fat at 58 years old. I have abs, but am overweight.

I would be considered “normal” by BMI at 145 pounds.

With context, it’s clear that with my frame I might be normal, but not healthy at 145, that I am “overweight” but healthy at 195.

I think it’s like most things - we should not use a single measurement as a snap shot of our health.

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I couldn’t disagree more with this entire approach, especially for someone starting from a higher bodyfat. This is the scenario I see leading to stalls that made me write this up last year; When Your Cut Stalls

As you say yourself, the body adjusts, which contradicts the rest of your advice. If you cut slowly, your body has all the time to adjust. If you do 35 min on elliptical everyday (not sure where you came up with this specific number), guess what…your body adjusts. Then you stall and what? 1hr on elliptical per day? That’s a great way to burn yourself out. The body does like to adjust, but a successful cut is about not letting it…we want recomposition.

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Too fluffy/fat for what?

This didn’t seem right to me, so i ran the numbers you’ve given through a BMI calculator and it estimated you’d need to lose 6lbs to get into the healthy range. 145lbs would put you right on the borderline of underweight.

If it helps, i ran my numbers through after out of interest and it wasn’t so kind to me.

Excellent point. If a goal is performance-based, then this conversation becomes different.

However, i would say such a person is too fluffy/fat to:

  • A) look the way the majority of lifters probably want to look
  • B) not be at a significantly elevated risk of early death

would you be willing to elaborate on this? Specifically, for my current plans?

I wonder if BMI is only concerned with historical understanding of longevity. I mean, muscle mass is only as good as the body determines it to be. As in, we live in a environment where food is plentiful and there is no such thing as famine, but the body is “unaware” of this and is in constant optimization, more muscle mass means it has more tissue to support which requires more calories and heart performance, so reducing all mass overall would be beneficial for survival. the picture attached is a Selous Scout (famous recon unit) from what was Rhodesia. My guy in the pic just finished a 60 mile ruck in like 2 days. He has little to no muscle mass but is an obviously physically capable body. So long story short, BMI is not applicable in an environment in which food supply is not a concern and building muscle mass is an objective.

Yes - the range for me is 143-189 I believe. Not exactly specific. I’m over the 189 but with good metrics - bloods are good, BF is lean for age, heart rate, etc… all good, but overweight.

Clearly, at 143 (“Normal” just barely), I would likely not be “healthy.”

I do think I would be “healthier” at 180 and 15% BF, but…

It’s quite a broad range.

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Interesting theory. I vaguely remember a conversation at a Starting Strength seminar - a cyclist was arguing Rippetoe’s opinion that stronger people are harder to kill and more useful in general. With strength comes mass, mass is a cyclist’s enemy.

The conclusion of a bunch of meatheads and SS Coaches was that there is a point of diminishing returns based on your goals - ever hear that before, “What are your goals?”

So, I guess, if I was a hunter and gatherer tracking animals with stealth over long distances, I am guessing the lower end of the BMI would suit me. Living in a sedentary food rich environment allows me the luxury of more mass.


So, is longevity the objective, or is building muscle mass the objective? Pick your goal, and then figure out if BMI is applicable to said goal.

I just meant I think BMI was created with the goal being longevity as BMI was created in the late 1800’s and then slightly revised in the 1970’s. Obviously it be more advantageous in a fight or war (if well supplied) to have more muscle mass. Idk I was just trying to contribute lol

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We have a whole thread I believe devoted to nothing but BMI


This seems obvious, but when you look at Special Forces troops, many tend to be more wiry vs jacked.

Primarily because, when you’re humping gear through rough terrain, every pound counts.