T Nation

What is the perfect body fat %?

After 10 weeks of dieting i have reached 163 pounds at 11% body fat and now want to pack on some serious muscle. But still had my doubts if 11% is really low enough. I hear so many people say that they are 5,6,7,8% and then doctors and the like say that anything under 14-15% is too low. I can see my abs in the mirror clearly so if i were to go to 7% i would probably look like a match stick.
Another thing if i were to bulk up to say, 200 pounds approx how much body fat would i be adding onto my current 11%?
Thanks.

This is a personal decision. I feel like complete shit during wrestling season when I am at around 6%. It’s too low for me. What are your goals? Do you think you’re lean enough at 11%? It’s your decision on how you look and feel, not what a number says. And expect to gain some fat when bulking.

Slaine, I’m pretty much in the exact same boat you are. I recently dieted down to about 10 or 11% bf. I’m now 5’8" at 160 lbs. I would like be at a lower bf as I’m fairly lean, but not anywhere near ‘shredded’. However, I don’t think I have enough lean body mass to push my body fat any lower. Sounds like you are in a similar situation. I think it’s best to just forget about being ripped until the muscle is there. How tall are you anyways? If you’re only around 5’5" than you do have a fair amount of muscle and maybe you can keep dieting, but if you’re any taller you could probably use some more bulking. Just my opinions, let me know what you decide to do.

You should at least get to a single digit. All the pro athletes are in the single digits.

Chewing gum, why is it necessary to get to a single digit body fat %? Sure, it’s impressive to say you’re only 7, 8 or 9 % bf, but not if you’re 155 lbs. The muscle has to be there. I’ve had the physchological mindset for the past year or so that I have to get shredded before I add more mass. However, I wish I’ve thought about it the other way as it has severely impeded my progress. Also, who are these ‘pro athletes’ you are talking about? Pro bodybuilders? Pro football players? There are no rules as to what body fat percentage you should get to. It all comes down to personal goals, that’s what this is all about.

We can’t really answer accurately without knowing your diet and physical makeup. But I’d say go to single digits, if not now, then in the future.

Thanks guys, well first off i am 6 feet tall with my runners on, so i am just under that figure without them.
I actually started bulking up as of today, i though since i am still only 19 years old, there will be PLENTY of time to get cut up again later on.
I used to be 232 pounds at age 16-17, so i think i have lost enough fat already.
Just wondering how much body fat some of you other T-Men have added on while bulking up? Do you really add a significant amount or just a little?
Thanks.