The mirror and others’ judgment comes before the readings on a set of calipers. Who cares what the reading is if you look good? If it comes back that you are 12% body fat yet every ab is showing and you look decent, are you really going to start dieting? And if so, what sense does that make? Mufasa, I think I see what you are getting at, however, my take on it is this. If you are just beginning and the goal is to gain much more muscle than you have now and you are considered “small” or “skinny” by most, worrying about your body fat percentage could have the potential to hold back progress. The main focus should be gains in strength and overall body size, not an overly concerned attention to what number the body fat percentage is at. Once you have the basic mass, then yes, focusing in on the smaller details can help refine your physique, but let’s not try to skip steps here. Unless you are already fat, trying to hold onto a single digit body fat reading when you are trying to gain much more size is like getting your car detailed and then changing the engine, getting a new paint job, and buying a spoiler. First things first, build the size, sculpt it afterwards. In my opinion there is no other way to push your genetics to their limit. I have yet to see someone gain muscle faster while trying to maintain their abs year round. It sounds good and sells magazines, however, who the hell is making the most progress out of those bulk up to gain and those who attempt to stay near contest level year round?