T Nation

Lowest BF% Possible


what is the lowest bf% obtainable before body begins to function poorly? also i've heard rumors of a documentary about a guy going from 27% to 4% in 24 weeks without drugs or supplements or anything, called something along the lines of "i want to look like that" but i cant find it on IMDB or netflix. thoughts?


It's called "I want to look like that guy"

5% for men? Higher for women?


yeah i would guess 4-5%, but in another forum people are saying BB'ers get down to 2-3%. IMO 3 MAYBE, 2? ehhhhhh


I remember for men it was 3-5%, for women it was obviously higher.


I'd guess fictional characters would have a body fat of 0%.

That would be fictional characters that haven't been created yet though.


Essential fat is 3%-5% in men, and 8%-12% in women


I have heard that as well. But then again, I would say their body is functioning poorly. Like they say, a bodybuilder comes close to death when on the stage.


You cant answer this without giving a time frame. And are we including drugs in the conversation?

2% is possible for the very short amount of time it takes to compete in a bodybuilding contest. But its also entirely possible that no Olmpia competitor ever got hydrostatically tested the day of his show, so 2% may be exaggerated but its commonly mentioned.

I dont think most people could even stay at 5% for any significant amount of time.


I think Clarence Bass claimed 1-2%, but at this point it is all guess work anyway, because this will mostly be fat protecting the internal organs.

I would not call that healthy though.



I honestly don't think that most people would want to walk around much lower than the high single digits for any length of time.




over 9000!!!

Staying at 5% for a while is possible (have I done it, no, do I want to, no). Getting that low or lower feels like shit. Maintaining it is difficult, 7-8% is much easier physically and mentally. Honestly you can barely tell the difference between 5-7% unless the person is dry as in close to contest.

Thibs has even said that most people in shows are like 5-6% but dry as hell. I don't recall if he meant pros or not.


what over 9000!?!?! hahaha
yeah idk, i figured 5% would be alright but i dont know a lot about being able to function on a daily level at certain bf%, i was hoping someone would reference some studies or something.


i think its 2.354125% you nimwits


It probably depends on shoe size


Able to function?

6-9% -ish.


It depends on a variety of things. I've been as low as 5%, and I maintained that for way longer than I should've and suffered for it. Also, I was miserable the whole time. You're irritable, your brain is cloudy, the simplest of tasks and questions seem overwhelming and frustrating,etc... The whole experience is pretty awful.