T Nation

Ideal Bodyfat Percent?


#1

So what do you guys/girls think the ideal bf % is to walk around at? You could take this anyway you want from any perspective ie. esthetics, health, athletic performance etc.
I'd say 10-15% is probably ideal. You'd have decent muscle definition but also enough fat reserves to maintain proper body fucnction and enough to tap into in case of an "emergency" such as a prolonged illness where food intake was minimal. Also, I think for most people, this is a reasonably easily maintained level that wouldn't require excessive effort.


#2

%8.31415943524623642pancakes352352


#3

8-10%


#4

Search button


#5

I understand the point of body function but I don't really see why somebody would carry extra fat in case they get sick.

I don't really walk around with a helmet in case something falls on my head. Bad example. You could be a construction worker.
I don't really walk around with a shield in case I encounter a dragon. Bad example. You could be a battle-mage.


#6

You know...I don't think your body gives a shit exactly what "number" you are.

Even mentioning "ideal" is discussing a subjective definition...which means "ideal for what?".

Why would a powerlifter care what "number" they were? Why would it be the same for everyone?

If anyone even begins arguing an exact "number range" they ignore basic biology and sports specific training.


#7

10-15%? That's quite a difference there bud. The body fat percentage you want to sit at is completely based on goals. 8% is probably the leanest you can get and healthily maintain for awhile.


#8

I like dis post.


#9

Exactly what i was gonna say. Ive never been much leaner than 8 and never been much higher than 10. Thats the look i like but also does not hinder progress


#10

Agreed. You can talk about extremes....like someone too fat can hinder performance enough to hinder muscle gains....or someone too lean can be so lean that their body does not gain muscle efficiently.

Anything else is all about what someone feel comfortable at...which is up to that person alone.

Extremely lean is generally "under 8% body fat". It would be difficult for most people to maintain this and gain efficiently.

Extremely fat is generally above 25%. You are heading into "obesity" range above this.


#11

Everybody's body functions so much differently and has different bodyfat distribution. Some guys at 10% might look worse than someone at 15% because of how they carry their fat. Again, it's entirely individual. If you want to rock a hot bod year round, I would say around 10% would be ideal, but this might hinder gains in some people.


#12

7%


#13

I mean, it's this exactly.

Ideal for a bodybuilder about to step on stage: %4
Ideal for a bodybuilder 10 weeks out: %10
Ideal if you're a PL'er: whatever puts you in your most competitive weight bracket
Ideal for me to just see my abs: %8
Ideal for someone else to just see their abs: %14
Ideal if lost at sea: %50
Ideal if lost as sea with a bunch of people who are increasingly hungry: %4
Ideal according to your mom: she loves you just the way you are
Ideal according to your insecure girlfriend: enough so that other girls don't look at you

So, 9 different scenarios and 9 different right answers.


#14

/thread


#15

Well, those aren't the "right answers". They might be the "right answers" for you. But for each person it is different depending on their goals for that scenario lol. For instance, someone might go into a bodybuilding competition and be like Andreas Munzer (R.I.P.) and go all out and try to get to 0% body fat. It's all about your goals and how you want to look...


#16

I don't get some of the answers in here?
The OP asked for people's opinions on what each individual thinks the ideal BF% is and left it wide open based on goals.

Just give your opinion on what your answer is and knock off the "deeerp, dum question OP" comments.
Obviously the answer is different for different people, that's why he asked for opinions and not absolute scientific prime numbers.
Geez, some of you like to argue and be negative just for the hell of it


#17

You can tell me that you didn't look at the title of this thread and instantly think that this one would probably head south in a hurry and end 37 pages later with everybody still saying the same thing?

Not saying that's the OP's fault, just my first thought because that seems to be the common pattern with these. But I will answer the question. I think 8-12% for mena and 15-19% for women is ideal for max health and aesthetics.


#18

Depends on whether or not you can carry of the full house look. : )


#19

I will admit, I did for see that fate when reading the title of the thread.
BUT!!! The OP left his question open to personal opinion so it shouldn't go that route.
I said 8-10%
Another could say "I'm a powerlifter and feel my best at around 15-18%, am at peak strength and don't look sloppy so that's it for me"
While yet another could say "I just like to lift weights and look good so I stay at 12ish% and I find that ideal. It's easy to maintain."

All of those are perfectly fine answers and would not get any criticism from me (shouldn't get any criticism from anyone actually)
The OP is trying to get some people's feedback and opinions.
It doesn't have to be taken as gospel or the one and only acceptable answer.
It's an opinion.

Anyways.
I agree with your numbers though :slightly_smiling:


#20

People get flamed for less (better questions) on this site

I'm surprised this thread hasn't been a category 5 shitstorm so far, and also no suspicions of trolling at work, indicated by such a low number if posts.