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Low BF% = Joint pains?


I have dieted more or less AD-style so I get at least 50-60% of my calories from fat (flax, animal, fish oil). I also supplement with curcumin.

I am for the first time approaching <10% bodyfat and have noticed that all my usual problem areas - knees, AC joints are giving me a much harder time than when I was at 13-15%. Is that common?

I'm 37 by the way..


Are you eating less than ever? Or still losing fat on the same diet?
I'm in the newb/fatty camp but I remember reading some bobybuilder saying he added fat to his diet when his joints hurt. I have high fat days with avocados and olives but so far I feel best when I start adding carbs back in for lifting days.


I experience this as well. The reason people usually attribute to this is the last of cushioning that you get used to when you have more fat surrounding your joints. I don't know exactly how scientific of an answer that is, but is sounds like it would make sense -lol. Really adhering to popping a few fish oils with every meal throughout the day should help avoid such issues.



^Yes, it is due to losing interstitial body fat. The truth is, for many people being much below 10% body fat isn't always the healthiest option.


Yes I have been gradually decreasing my calories to keep the weight loss up. I usually check my weight Monday and Tuesday - average that and if I lost less than say 0.5lbs I will make adjustments.. Im now - sadly - down to around 2400kcal a day except from Saturdays where I carb up.. I managed around 1000 grams of carbs in 6 hours - skiploading style on my last carb up which aside from obviously filling some psychological need made me absolutely comatose and swear never to overdose on kids cereal and low fat poptarts again. That said - weight/fat wise it didn't seem to do any harm and I expect to be down to baseline tomorrow or Thursday.

The anabolic diet has lots of fat in it which was why I wondered about this in the first place.

My wife is competing in the Chinese bodybuilding nationals this coming Saturday and thats the reason I decided to diet to lower BF ranges along with her (being the ever supportive husband :wink: )..

What was interesting was that neither of us has done much cardio at all and she basically got to competition leanness on just controlling the mouth and increase weight training volume (<-- The volume her coach has her doing is insane - and still with very heavy weights.. but hard to argue with a coach that has dominated female bodybuilding in Asia for 15-20 years)) ... If I wrote down her leg day for instance you would not believe it.


Interesting - I did not realize this actually but it makes sense that when one loses the extra "padding" it aggravates the joints. I currently get 2 table spoons of fish oil daily (equivalent to 24 "regular" fish tabs - not Flameout because Biotest unfortunately stopped shipping to China) but I will try to bump it up to 3 and/or 4 and see if that makes a change.


Understand that fat has MANY roles in the human body...some of which even include the insulation of nerve fibers which is how you function at all.

That is why "0%" body fat is not possible without death.

Most athletes likely function better between 10 and 15% body fat because of these same issues, including joint insulation.

That is one reason guys expecting to make the most progress while trying to stay at or under 10% body fat may often lead to less progress made in the long run.


old subject, yes it's better to have a little higher bf% for joint cushions.


10% doesn't seem that low. Would you really so low-bodyfat related problems at 10%?


You could possibly see slower muscle gains at that body fat percentage if maintaining that is seen as a stressor by the body. Some people simply perform better at higher body fat percentages. Just like "8%" may be difficult for someone to maintain long term without sacrificing muscle gains, some people may experience the same closer to "10%". That doesn't mean anything other than learn to listen to your own body and avoid believing we all perform the same under the exact same conditions.

It also doesn't mean someone can't diet to below 10% body fat.


Bodybuilding is an old subject, yet we still ask questions.


Great! this is advise I LIKE.. I find the gristle and fat to be the best tasting part of a steak.. not to mention bone marrow which is out of this world delicious.. I usually refer to it as non-foo foo foie gras which, lets face it, is the pinnacle of foo foo-ness.