T Nation

Staying Sub-10% BF All Year Round?


So I came across a couple comments on youtube, on this video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnDKyqBD8_s

someone says in the comments:

"Honestly dude, no you can’t stay at 6% body fat all year round without the use of steroids

You could possibly stay at 10% naturally although you would have to have a very good and consistent diet. If you are new to the fitness industry etc, don’t watch gregs videos he is a total scam artist"

Is all this true?


Why are you so concerned about what people think?


if you had the genetics for it and an ungodly amount of dietary discipline then yeah, you probably could


Because I want to know the truth about how much body fat % is maintainable…?

Why are you so overly concerned about being not concerned about what people think?


Much of it depends on genetics. I believe I have crappy genetics but have maintained 8-10% for years and years. It’s not easy and I do slip up here and there. It’s also difficult to gain size and strength this way. The key is to kill yourself to get down real low like at least 6% then you can ease up and it’s not as hard to maintain 8-10%. Your diet has to be pretty strict.

I do it because I had slight gyno during puberty and as a result tend to hold a lot of chest fat. The only way I’m happy with my appearance is if I keep my body fat fairly low. In addition when I get fat it’s not a uniformed fat gain. I tend to gain it in my chest, love handles and lower abs. I envy other guys that are at least 30-40 lbs overwieght but they gan fat all over like arms, legs delts etc. They get thick looking all over.

That being said let’s pretend for arguments sake you have average genetics single digit body fat year round is tough but not impossible.


First sentence. Then ask how, not if. Why put obstacles before you even start? You don’t know what you can accomplish until you do it.

Second sentence. Seriously? If you don’t like the feedback, don’t ask the question.


Lol. You call your comment feedback? If you say so…


Everyone is different, so if you’re asking this question regarding what YOU can do, I can’t answer that. What I CAN say is what I’ve seen and experienced. I’ve always been lean, and probably not been above about 14% bodyfat at any point in my entire life. I’ve spent most of the last 6-7 years in the 8ish to 11% range. I don’t vary much, but I also don’t actually measure my bodyfat. This is a relatively good estimate though. I can consistently see a lot of veins, my abs are clearly defined, etc.

I was able to do this when I was natural, and it’s a little bit easier to do now that I’m not.

6% all year round is unlikely, but under the right circumstances it can be done. The trouble with this is that gaining muscle while maintaining that level of leanness, literally year round, is almost impossible, and certainly isn’t going to happen if you don’t have incredible genetics for it. I’ve known exactly 1 person in my life who I thought could maybe stay in this range and even gain muscle at it. Literally 1 individual.

Here’s the problem with the question you’re asking though. As far as I can tell, you don’t have a real world application for the answers you may receive by asking this question. Are you just trying to figure out who is and isn’t on steroids? That’s not a great path to go down. Are you just asking for yourself to figure out your own expectations? If THAT’S the case, then my advice would be to learn everything you can about diet, and apply it to your own life, and FIND OUT how it works for you. There is no reasonable way for me to tell you what you can do, but you can certainly learn it on your own time with your own body.


Oh, no I didn’t ask because I wanted to know if he was on steroids. I just want to know what to expect, and know what is possible in body fat maintenance, for my own curiosity and knowledge. I’m at around 18% right now, and gonna start cutting when I’m around 20%. I’ve never been below like 13-14% body fat in my life, so I don’t know what it’s like being consistently at sub 10% year-round, nor how to achieve it.


that’s kind of an entirely different direction than what you started with this thread.

A couple things. If you’re 18% already, it doesn’t make sense to continue to add fat if your end goal is to be leaner. Start your cut now.

As for ‘what it’s like’, Most people, including myself, would suggest that getting leaner makes everything better. I believe you are primed to build muscle faster if you can get lean first. Your metabolism will function at a better rate. Your overall health will improve, hormones will become more favorable. Lots of good things happen when you get to the 10% range. And here’s the best part: once you get lean, it becomes much easier to maintain that bodyfat than it is to get down to it in the first place.

If you want to make this sort of change, start by creating a food long, for at least a week. Figure out how many calories you’re eating per day, and reduce that number by about 300-400 calories per day. Pay attention to your macronutrient intake, and shoot for something in the neighborhood of a 40/30/30% split between protein, carbs, and fat calories to start out, and see where that takes you. Adjust carbs down a bit if necessary. Avoid ‘junk food’, and particularly high sugar content foods.

There ya go. Start today :slight_smile:


6% year round would be possible just about if you have above average genetics and would be super tough and really not worth your time unless youre a pro athlete.

10% is doable (but not still not that easy either)


As mentioned a few times already, for the vast vast vast majority it’s gonna require pretty darn good dietary discipline… all year round.

For the small percentage that stay that lean without even trying… well, they’ve never had to think about it in the first place.

And even with steroids, the vast vast vast majority cannot be completely clueless, nutritionally. The ‘proper nutrition’ factor simply contributes too much towards this goal for anything else to “neutralize” it.