T Nation

Optimal Fat Percentage Goal?


Alright guys. help me out here.

I'm 21 yrs old. Been training for some 10 months.

Height: 170 cm (5'7)
Weight: 87.2 kg (192 lb)
Fat percentage: 16.3 %
Lean Body Mass: 73 kg (161 lb)

Gonna start Don Alessi's Meltdown Training and gonna be taking Universal's Thermo Green Tea supplement for a month.

While my goal is to lose some fat, I dont want to lose so much fat that it would slow down my muscle growth potential. What's a good goal for fat percentage that would keep my muscles growing at a good rate? I don't care about being ripped. I care about having big muscles. BUT i wanna get rid of my extra belly fat.

thanks in advance.


Oh and, maybe you guys can help me figure this out...

I just finished a 5-week strength program.. I picked it up from Men's Health's "The Testosterone Advantage Plan" but I altered it in a few places. Here's what it ended up looking like in the end (forgive all the commentary I copied this right out of my blog):

Anyway, I took measurements one week into the program and new measurements today, (a month later). Isaw no change in lean body mass at all . Is that possible? I know it's a strength-focused program, but still... I really see a difference in my biceps and my lats... so why is there no difference in the numbers? Am i imagining the difference? Is the machine inaccurate? It's one of those long machines you stand on and you grab handles with your hands.. from infront of the pharmacy next door. i knwo they're not accurate but i was hoping they'd be consistent at least.

I mean i really did see a difference. what's going on here?


Then why are you cutting? Train hard and eat appropriately and you will get rid of the fat. You don't necessarily have to strictly cut to drop some fat.

This could be your problem...

Your diet probably sucks. Don't blame the training for not making progress.

I also would say that the machine you used is terribly inaccurate for tracking purposes as it relies on consistent water weight for measurements, which we all know is not consistent.




There no omne who can answer your question. It to individaul. Many people say you should never be above low teens BF%. Well that well and good but for me that doesnt work if I want to put un LBM and seek higher performance I have to teeter in the mid to high teens.

If you are/were naturally thin then you will most likely gain at a lower BF. If you were a Fat bastage or naturally chubby you may have to carry a bit more.

Just find out what it take for you.

As for diet. That T advantage plan is not the worst but there are better on here and its a BIT dated.

Check of T-Dwag 2 its a great starting place and JB's seven habits article among MANY others.

Hope that helps,


hahahaha... yeah. Although, set/rep schemes aside, I'm pretty impressed they chose those exercises for a program listed in that magazine. I was expecting something like the power plate or bosu balls.


yeah i gain fat easily.

problem with t-dawg diet and stuff is that i dont eat meat (other than fish or tuna which i might have 2 or 3 times a week). so i have to have lots of carbs and stuff.

my eating usually goes something like this:


3/4 mug oats cooked with 3/4 mug water, 3/4 mug milk. mixed with one scoop whey protein.

noon: one tuna sandwich (2 or 3 times a week, at cafe near university.. might have to make this 5 times a week)..

"lunch" (either 4 or 6 p.m depending on when i get back from uni): some type of vegetable or bean stew with lots of rice.

post-workout shake: 1.5 scoops whey protein, milk and bananas.

most times the post-workout shake itself is dinner. but sometimes i'm still hungry and i have falafel and hummus later at night. or maybe fruits or salad. depends.

i know it sucks, but not many food options in egypt for the vegetarian. also cause of class timing, etc.


Oh well your going to have to live with your choices of diet then.

I say MORE milk, MORE tuna, MORE Whey, less high GI carbs with exception of post work out. (rice, bread) More low GI veggies including a shit ton of beans.

Nuts and lots of them, your getting next to no fats which is CRAP for trying to build muscle/stay lean and will RUIN your hormone levels. Can you do eggs. ( i still dont get the whole vegetarian thing with drinking milk and eating fish being OK last I checked neither of those were plants, anyway). Eggs eat em if you can, Coconut will be your new friend if not you need a source of saturated fat.
Olive oil and olives.

More fruit. You can for sure do T-dawg just use the right types of vegeis etc the right parts of the day.
best of luck,


Since when is "mug" a unit of measurement? I must have missed that in school.



Phil, got a question for you....

I know they say you can eat carbs after workout.. But what if i finish workout at 8 or 9 pm? Can I still have a big plate of rice and vegetables or rice and beans? I always worry about that, so i stay away.

And i definitly have to eat a plate of rice and vegetables/beans almost every day. Should I do it at 6 when i come back from uni, or should i do it at 8 or 9 after the workout? and if i have it after the workout, does that mean keep the shake for later?

as for milk... i tihnk i need to start taking milk bottles with me to uni and chugging them down... i love milk.. especially after i stopped eating meat i fell in love with milk. as for tuna, i'm gonna try to start eating a tuna sandwich every day between classes.. but while i do eat tuna and do enjoy it, sometimes when i look at it i feel a little ...well basically i'm not too happy that i'm eating flesh... but still i eat it.

as for eggs, i havent eaten eggs in 10 years or so, altho i used to love them as a kid. now i cant eat them , can't handle the taste or smell.. BUT, just as i made myself eat tuna after having left it for some 10 years also (i made myself go back to eating tuna after i stopped eating other meats)... in the same way i'm hoping one day i'll make myself eat eggs until i start to like them again.

i do take egg white protein powder on the days i dont workout, at the same time i usually have a postworkout shake.

as for fats, you're right.. ... i do however take 9 grams of fish oil a day. not sure about coconuts in egypt, never looked for them... i did use to mix shredded coconuts in with my oatmeal every morning.. i should probably go back to doing that.

hopefully two years from now, inshalla, i'll go do my masters in canada and when i'm there the eating should be MUCH easier.. and i'll be able to buy Biotest supps.