Maintainability of Leanness

I’m looking to finally take the plunge from lean to shredded. My question is, what level of leanness is maintainable and not detrimental to a natty?

What level could I get to and stay at indefinitely without hampering training or sacrificing health?

I want to get very lean, but I don’t want to push to a point I lose a lot of muscle/strength or where I crash my metabolism and force a rebound or without having to be an absolute diet nazi to the point I can’t mentally keep it up.

Any opinions of where that point is?
Is it overly individual?
Are there warning signs in training or look or feel?

Edit: posted in BBing because it seems like guys pushing that limit to contest form would know the most about it.

That was me at my leanest last month. Was still a couple of pounds away from my glutes getting tight tho.

In all honesty I find dieting easy because mentally you are always moving forward week by week, pound by pound. Maintaining is a fucking night mare though. It’s a complete mind fuck trying to balance it correctly.

Training was fine and diet wasn’t tough but right now i’m 3-4 lbs heavier but finding it really tough to not eat shit because I feel i’m not moving forward and getting leaner i’m just trying to maintain the leanness I have.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
I’m looking to finally take the plunge from lean to shredded. My question is, what level of leanness is maintainable and not detrimental to a natty?

What level could I get to and stay at indefinitely without hampering training or sacrificing health?

I want to get very lean, but I don’t want to push to a point I lose a lot of muscle/strength or where I crash my metabolism and force a rebound or without having to be an absolute diet nazi to the point I can’t mentally keep it up.

Any opinions of where that point is?
Is it overly individual?
Are there warning signs in training or look or feel?

Edit: posted in BBing because it seems like guys pushing that limit to contest form would know the most about it.
[/quote]

Your natty so the loss of muscle is INEVITABLE.

I think that hitting specific macros within a feeding window utilizing IF is a great way for someone to maintain a great degree of leanness for life…if you choose the right voluminous foods and mix in a few “treats” from time to time, you can pretty much eat your fill and still hit the macros necessary to maintain the look you’re comfortable at

[quote]optheta wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
I’m looking to finally take the plunge from lean to shredded. My question is, what level of leanness is maintainable and not detrimental to a natty?

What level could I get to and stay at indefinitely without hampering training or sacrificing health?

I want to get very lean, but I don’t want to push to a point I lose a lot of muscle/strength or where I crash my metabolism and force a rebound or without having to be an absolute diet nazi to the point I can’t mentally keep it up.

Any opinions of where that point is?
Is it overly individual?
Are there warning signs in training or look or feel?

Edit: posted in BBing because it seems like guys pushing that limit to contest form would know the most about it.
[/quote]

Your natty so the loss of muscle is INEVITABLE.[/quote]

some sure. Seems that there is probably diminishing returns though. Dropping from 240 to 220 I doubt I really lost much muscle. 195 down into the 180s, I bet I’ll lose more. I’m trying to figure out when it’s no longer worth it.

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
I think that hitting specific macros within a feeding window utilizing IF is a great way for someone to maintain a great degree of leanness for life…if you choose the right voluminous foods and mix in a few “treats” from time to time, you can pretty much eat your fill and still hit the macros necessary to maintain the look you’re comfortable at[/quote]

I like IF too.

What look are you comfortable at? I used to always be super lean. I’d like to do that again, only be 30 pounds heavier.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]optheta wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
I’m looking to finally take the plunge from lean to shredded. My question is, what level of leanness is maintainable and not detrimental to a natty?

What level could I get to and stay at indefinitely without hampering training or sacrificing health?

I want to get very lean, but I don’t want to push to a point I lose a lot of muscle/strength or where I crash my metabolism and force a rebound or without having to be an absolute diet nazi to the point I can’t mentally keep it up.

Any opinions of where that point is?
Is it overly individual?
Are there warning signs in training or look or feel?

Edit: posted in BBing because it seems like guys pushing that limit to contest form would know the most about it.
[/quote]

Your natty so the loss of muscle is INEVITABLE.[/quote]

some sure. Seems that there is probably diminishing returns though. Dropping from 240 to 220 I doubt I really lost much muscle. 195 down into the 180s, I bet I’ll lose more. I’m trying to figure out when it’s no longer worth it.[/quote]

Isn’t that just down to preference? I.E. how lean you really wanna get.

[quote]optheta wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]optheta wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
I’m looking to finally take the plunge from lean to shredded. My question is, what level of leanness is maintainable and not detrimental to a natty?

What level could I get to and stay at indefinitely without hampering training or sacrificing health?

I want to get very lean, but I don’t want to push to a point I lose a lot of muscle/strength or where I crash my metabolism and force a rebound or without having to be an absolute diet nazi to the point I can’t mentally keep it up.

Any opinions of where that point is?
Is it overly individual?
Are there warning signs in training or look or feel?

Edit: posted in BBing because it seems like guys pushing that limit to contest form would know the most about it.
[/quote]

Your natty so the loss of muscle is INEVITABLE.[/quote]

some sure. Seems that there is probably diminishing returns though. Dropping from 240 to 220 I doubt I really lost much muscle. 195 down into the 180s, I bet I’ll lose more. I’m trying to figure out when it’s no longer worth it.[/quote]

Isn’t that just down to preference? I.E. how lean you really wanna get.[/quote]

Sure, I just don’t know what the tradeoff will be. I’ll evaluate as I go based on preference, I’d just like to have a better idea of what it will be like.

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:
That was me at my leanest last month. Was still a couple of pounds away from my glutes getting tight tho.

In all honesty I find dieting easy because mentally you are always moving forward week by week, pound by pound. Maintaining is a fucking night mare though. It’s a complete mind fuck trying to balance it correctly.

Training was fine and diet wasn’t tough but right now i’m 3-4 lbs heavier but finding it really tough to not eat shit because I feel i’m not moving forward and getting leaner i’m just trying to maintain the leanness I have.[/quote]

So, are you thinking that level is or isn’t maintainable? That’s the kind of leanness I’m talking thinking about FTR.

What are the goals while maintaining? New muscle new strength? Just complete Maintenence? Tht changes things IMO.

[quote]ryanbCXG wrote:
What are the goals while maintaining? New muscle new strength? Just complete Maintenence? Tht changes things IMO. [/quote]

Get more awesome? lol

Right now conditioning/performance. But probably something of a yearly cycle through muscle, strength, conditioning long term.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]RATTLEHEAD wrote:
That was me at my leanest last month. Was still a couple of pounds away from my glutes getting tight tho.

In all honesty I find dieting easy because mentally you are always moving forward week by week, pound by pound. Maintaining is a fucking night mare though. It’s a complete mind fuck trying to balance it correctly.

Training was fine and diet wasn’t tough but right now i’m 3-4 lbs heavier but finding it really tough to not eat shit because I feel i’m not moving forward and getting leaner i’m just trying to maintain the leanness I have.[/quote]

So, are you thinking that level is or isn’t maintainable? That’s the kind of leanness I’m talking thinking about FTR.[/quote]

I think it is maintainable as long as you compromise other aspects, such as gaining more muscle I think you could gain strength though (albeit at a very reduced rate).

During the period I was hovering around that leanness I did IF just to make the meals I was eating a hell of a lot more enjoyable and had an insane cheat day once a week.

Energy was always good though which makes me think it is maintainable if you are tough enough, especially easy for you cause if I recall correctly you lean more towards fats for energy than carbs meaning your workouts probably won’t suffer as much compared to those that are used to higher carbs.

FTR I think muscle loss is a load of shit, when you are shredded you just realise how little muscle you actually had lol. There is no water or fat to hide behind. Might be different going for striated glutes territory tho.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
I think that hitting specific macros within a feeding window utilizing IF is a great way for someone to maintain a great degree of leanness for life…if you choose the right voluminous foods and mix in a few “treats” from time to time, you can pretty much eat your fill and still hit the macros necessary to maintain the look you’re comfortable at[/quote]

I like IF too.

What look are you comfortable at? I used to always be super lean. I’d like to do that again, only be 30 pounds heavier. [/quote]

When I first started training in high school, with sports mainly the focus, I really followed the “see food, eat food approach” and reached a top weight of 220 my senior year. I thought I looked awesome at the time, stretching tshirts, etc, but now looking back at pictures I just looked sloppy, lol! Although I’m playing college baseball, my goals in the gym have changed pretty dramatically.

I’ve caught the bodybuilding bug in the past year, and competed in men’s physique in November just to get my feet wet on stage…cutting from 205 to 170 competition shape was a pretty humbling experience. I’m taking a year and a half to put on as much lean size as possible, and plan to compete in several more shows next summer. My ultimate goal in the sport is to earn a pro card in natural bodybuilding.

Sorry for the long post lol, but I feel like a little background info helps clarify my response better. To answer your question, the way I gauge where I am comfortable at is to look at it like this: am I confident taking my shirt off in front of an attractive girl right now? If the answer is no, I better dial things back! I really like IF though as I said, because I love to eat until I’m stuffed. 5 or 6 small meals a day simply doesn’t work for me, but 3 large meals within a feeding window that allow me to still hit my targeted macros has been working great for me to keep my abs visible while still gaining size

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
I think that hitting specific macros within a feeding window utilizing IF is a great way for someone to maintain a great degree of leanness for life…if you choose the right voluminous foods and mix in a few “treats” from time to time, you can pretty much eat your fill and still hit the macros necessary to maintain the look you’re comfortable at[/quote]

I like IF too.

What look are you comfortable at? I used to always be super lean. I’d like to do that again, only be 30 pounds heavier. [/quote]

LOL you do realise depending how long you have been training and what shape you are in putting on 30lbs of lbm could take anywhere from 2-5yrs right? Putting on 30lbs is no big deal at all, but 30lbs of lbm is crazy.

Being lean is one thing, lean and muscular is another and being then adding on 30lbs to your lean and muscular frame is INSANE.

I think if you are fairly diligent you can maintain 10% with -/+ 2% depending on your lifestyle. I’m sure some guys maintain 8% all year around but they will be eating very clean all year around.

Koing

[quote]Koing wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
I think that hitting specific macros within a feeding window utilizing IF is a great way for someone to maintain a great degree of leanness for life…if you choose the right voluminous foods and mix in a few “treats” from time to time, you can pretty much eat your fill and still hit the macros necessary to maintain the look you’re comfortable at[/quote]

I like IF too.

What look are you comfortable at? I used to always be super lean. I’d like to do that again, only be 30 pounds heavier. [/quote]

LOL you do realise depending how long you have been training and what shape you are in putting on 30lbs of lbm could take anywhere from 2-5yrs right? Putting on 30lbs is no big deal at all, but 30lbs of lbm is crazy.

Being lean is one thing, lean and muscular is another and being then adding on 30lbs to your lean and muscular frame is INSANE.

I think if you are fairly diligent you can maintain 10% with -/+ 2% depending on your lifestyle. I’m sure some guys maintain 8% all year around but they will be eating very clean all year around.

Koing[/quote]

Ah, like a decade of training in between. In college the handheld BF measures used to read me at 5% (I know that isn’t very accurate). I was really lean and I stayed that way year round. But i was only about a buck 50 (I swam, ran, wrestled just practice, and lifted at the time). I’d like to get back to as lean as I was, but I’m not sure that’s maintainable long term while keeping muscle.

I’m not talking about adding 30 pounds from where I am now. I think I’d be pretty damn cut at 180 or so, which would be 30 pounds over early college me a decade ago.

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
I think that hitting specific macros within a feeding window utilizing IF is a great way for someone to maintain a great degree of leanness for life…if you choose the right voluminous foods and mix in a few “treats” from time to time, you can pretty much eat your fill and still hit the macros necessary to maintain the look you’re comfortable at[/quote]

I like IF too.

What look are you comfortable at? I used to always be super lean. I’d like to do that again, only be 30 pounds heavier. [/quote]

When I first started training in high school, with sports mainly the focus, I really followed the “see food, eat food approach” and reached a top weight of 220 my senior year. I thought I looked awesome at the time, stretching tshirts, etc, but now looking back at pictures I just looked sloppy, lol! Although I’m playing college baseball, my goals in the gym have changed pretty dramatically.

I’ve caught the bodybuilding bug in the past year, and competed in men’s physique in November just to get my feet wet on stage…cutting from 205 to 170 competition shape was a pretty humbling experience. I’m taking a year and a half to put on as much lean size as possible, and plan to compete in several more shows next summer. My ultimate goal in the sport is to earn a pro card in natural bodybuilding.

Sorry for the long post lol, but I feel like a little background info helps clarify my response better. To answer your question, the way I gauge where I am comfortable at is to look at it like this: am I confident taking my shirt off in front of an attractive girl right now? If the answer is no, I better dial things back! I really like IF though as I said, because I love to eat until I’m stuffed. 5 or 6 small meals a day simply doesn’t work for me, but 3 large meals within a feeding window that allow me to still hit my targeted macros has been working great for me to keep my abs visible while still gaining size [/quote]

How much have you gained and how long?

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
I think that hitting specific macros within a feeding window utilizing IF is a great way for someone to maintain a great degree of leanness for life…if you choose the right voluminous foods and mix in a few “treats” from time to time, you can pretty much eat your fill and still hit the macros necessary to maintain the look you’re comfortable at[/quote]

I like IF too.

What look are you comfortable at? I used to always be super lean. I’d like to do that again, only be 30 pounds heavier. [/quote]

When I first started training in high school, with sports mainly the focus, I really followed the “see food, eat food approach” and reached a top weight of 220 my senior year. I thought I looked awesome at the time, stretching tshirts, etc, but now looking back at pictures I just looked sloppy, lol! Although I’m playing college baseball, my goals in the gym have changed pretty dramatically.

I’ve caught the bodybuilding bug in the past year, and competed in men’s physique in November just to get my feet wet on stage…cutting from 205 to 170 competition shape was a pretty humbling experience. I’m taking a year and a half to put on as much lean size as possible, and plan to compete in several more shows next summer. My ultimate goal in the sport is to earn a pro card in natural bodybuilding.

Sorry for the long post lol, but I feel like a little background info helps clarify my response better. To answer your question, the way I gauge where I am comfortable at is to look at it like this: am I confident taking my shirt off in front of an attractive girl right now? If the answer is no, I better dial things back! I really like IF though as I said, because I love to eat until I’m stuffed. 5 or 6 small meals a day simply doesn’t work for me, but 3 large meals within a feeding window that allow me to still hit my targeted macros has been working great for me to keep my abs visible while still gaining size [/quote]

How much have you gained and how long?[/quote]

I have taken things pretty slow and steady, building my carb and fat intake slowly since that November competition. I weighed in this morning at 183 with all abs visible when flexed, so about 15 “lean” lbs in about 8 months. Could I maybe build muscle a little faster if I wasn’t so meticulous about my macros? Possibly, but I think that the minimized fat gain, shorter next contest prep, and not having to do as much cardio to get into competition shape will definitely be worth it

8% would be the bottom and 12% would be the top. For maintaining not suffering and looking good and performing well. IMO

me personally I would only allow my self to get as lean as possible without sacrificing my hormones in the process. I accidently got so lean that I lost interest in sex and getting an erection was almost impossible. Not sure if this was due to being lean or the caloric deficit that lead me to it. either way I dont mind carrying around some body fat as long as i keep a hair trigger on my arousal. BTW I am stepping on any stage, whenever I drop down to 200lbs is when I run into these issues, and I am a natural.

This is definitely only of those personal, do-it-and-see kind of things. You will have to see if being that lean impacts your strength/muscle significantly (I dont think it has to if your training and diet are on point) or if its worth the sacrifices lifestyle/diet wise TO YOU.

I think being six-pack lean IS doable for a natty but it is a TOUGH road to hoe. You have to be VERY consistent with your diet, even a few cheat meals a month adds up over 4-6 months and “suddenly” your abs are gone. On the other hand if you are too worried about getting a little bit of chub you might limit your gains… Its a very fine line to walk.

But yeah, being sub 10% is a perfectly reasonable goal to expect out of yourself. There is NEVER a reason to be “fat” if you lift weights and watch your diet.