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Old 12-23-2008, 05:43 PM   #1
Daniel Labuz
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Default Question about Body Fat %

I heard it was not healthy, or at least not ideal to have a body fat % under 6-7% for long periods of time. Why is that?

I know that those elite bicyclists have really low body fat %, sometimes in the 3-4% mark I've noticed, do they typically stay that way all the time or just on race day/season?
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:37 PM   #2
Emily Mattes
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I'm guessing bicyclists are not actually in the 3-4% range. Otherwise they wouldn't be performing all that well.

More medically-trained people than me will soon chime in, but there is a level of essential fat in your body, fat surrounding your organs and such, that's necessary for survival. Get lower than it and shit stops working.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:57 PM   #3
Garrett Smith
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If BF% gets too low, the hormonal systems get all out of whack, that's for sure. Technical terms, of course.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:24 PM   #4
Derek Weaver
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I have started to see a trend where people tend to feel really good between 8-12% -give or take a % point- BF depending on the person. This observation is mainly from a couple of discussion boards that I frequent.

I've also read, probably from crazy ole' Poliquin, that insulin sensitivity for males tends to be best sub 10%. I personally feel best around 8-10% BF... and I feel like all hell right now which is an indication of where my body comp is at post mass gain.
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Old 12-23-2008, 09:47 PM   #5
George Mounce
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I'm with Derek, I do best at around 10%.
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Old 12-24-2008, 11:33 AM   #6
Dave Van Skike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Labuz View Post
I heard it was not healthy, or at least not ideal to have a body fat % under 6-7% for long periods of time. Why is that?

I know that those elite bicyclists have really low body fat %, sometimes in the 3-4% mark I've noticed, do they typically stay that way all the time or just on race day/season?

they really drop to sick levels during long stage races..it's not uncommon for amateurs to drop as much as 10 pounds on a 4 day stage race.....anyone who says they are consistently under 5% is

a) lying to themselves
b) a genetic freak
c) a taking hormonal aids.
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Old 12-25-2008, 02:27 PM   #7
Daniel Labuz
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I see, thanks for the replies. I was jut wondering because a few climbing folks I've talked to say they stay around 4-5% all the time, and it doesn't seem like they pay much attention to diet little or at all.

I also read somewhere that bicyclists do have very low body fat %, but it didn't say if they consistently held that. I wouldn't think so due to the fact that there would be no reason to after race season since a lot of them do strength training
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Old 12-27-2008, 12:54 AM   #8
Will Moore
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Over the years, I have been able to maintain around 5% for long periods of time...however, it comes with a price:
1) Nearly impossible to gain additional strength or muscle in this state.
2) Enurance suffers
3) A general "crappy" feeling and bad attitude that never seems to go away.

Most of the time, these low percentages occured "accidentally" as a result of my diet, activity level at the time. Usually, when the cold months approach, I instinctively consume more calories and the percentage increases.
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