What % body fat can be maintained without drugs?

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Not sure what my data is worth, but I'll explain why I am not skeptical of Wiggans's figure(s).

The only times I've been higher than 6% is when I was on a break between seasons (measured with bioelectrical impedance on a bathroom scale, which cna be a cause for skepticism). I would usually go up to 160-162/74kgs if I took two weeks off, and tried to eat everything in sight. When I rev up for a season again, It doesn't take long to get under 160, when I would usually start to see a body fat % of 5.9 or less. When I got in shape, I never registered on the device (it had a minimum of 5%). I was in great shape at 151/69kgs, and spent most time around 154/70kgs. I'm 6'4", and a runner, so different timing and exercise than what were talking about...

But whatever. I don't know the research for the sweet spot between loosing mass and loosing power. It sounds like the science doesn't either, though. Every athlete though, does know, innately. I brought myself up as an extreme example of that, where my experience does not align with what the collective would predict as effective.

Like many things in performance, the science creates a general understanding, but past history and individual experience is much more useful of a guide for how to train. I think that Wiggans, as far as his weight goes, is just another example of this
 
Apr 23, 2012
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Ironically I was just about to post a question about bodyfat in the nutrition section when I saw this thread. So FWIW, I had the hydrostatic test a month ago and came in at 7%. I was told the machine had a margin of error of +/- 1%. I guess per Gallic Ho and some others I'm impossible :) I certainly do _not_ look like the picture posted for that range... If anything I still have some visible flab around the stomach.

Thanks to BroDeal for the original link - the thread made for some interesting reading. I would guess I was at 12% in previous seasons. This year made a concerted effort to drop five pounds during off season. Reading the velo thread makes me wonder if it was a good decision.
 
More Strides than Rides said:
Not sure what my data is worth, but I'll explain why I am not skeptical of Wiggans's figure(s).

The only times I've been higher than 6% is when I was on a break between seasons (measured with bioelectrical impedance on a bathroom scale, which cna be a cause for skepticism). I would usually go up to 160-162/74kgs if I took two weeks off, and tried to eat everything in sight. When I rev up for a season again, It doesn't take long to get under 160, when I would usually start to see a body fat % of 5.9 or less. When I got in shape, I never registered on the device (it had a minimum of 5%). I was in great shape at 151/69kgs, and spent most time around 154/70kgs. I'm 6'4", and a runner, so different timing and exercise than what were talking about...

But whatever. I don't know the research for the sweet spot between loosing mass and loosing power. It sounds like the science doesn't either, though. Every athlete though, does know, innately. I brought myself up as an extreme example of that, where my experience does not align with what the collective would predict as effective.

Like many things in performance, the science creates a general understanding, but past history and individual experience is much more useful of a guide for how to train. I think that Wiggans, as far as his weight goes, is just another example of this
How did Wiggo keep the low body fat with all of those marginal gains? ;)

Not sure about your experience, but age may factor in.

Once upon a time I set some kind of submersion weight test record.

I was younger then.

Achieving lower fat content as you age, AND maintaining your strength AND endurance when all skin and bones.

How can you burn fat during a five hour stage when you don't have any? If one of your fuel sources is not available, then how do you maintain the same output?

That is very unusual.

Some might even say, NOT NORMAL.

Dave.
 
D-Queued said:
How did Wiggo keep the low body fat with all of those marginal gains? ;)

....

Dave.
Actually he just cleared everything up. Wiggo was just passing along information from his digital scale.

Not to poke fun at you Strides/Rides, no doubt you're a lean athlete, but that has got to be the least reliable method of them all. From my own experience, weight differences of over 10 kilos didn't register over a 2% change in BF on my high dollar digital scale. (no, I don't weigh over 500 kilos)

***useless anecdotal evidence alert!!!***
A couple years ago a teammate and I got really focused on burning off as much lard as possible. At the start of the season I had a skinfold/caliper BF test done, 3.5% (yeah right). I'd read enough to know that was ridiculous so followed it up with the dunk tank/hydrostatic test that came out 5.9%. My cool scale told me 13 and some change. I was a skinny b@stard, well below 13. Bones sticking out everywhere.

My experience was very much like the thread Bro linked originally. I fluctuated within 1K for 6 weeks. My FTP was 15 watts higher than what it had consistently been for the prevously 3 seasons (with training guidance). Things were going great for about 6 weeks, then the wheels just totally fell off with 2-3 weeks to go to my goal event. Bloated up like a Python that swallowed an alligator. Ate everything in sight and power plummeted during the big race. Motivation gone.

I don't think we'll get the BF%'s from the pro's, they don't like to reveal top-secret information like that to their rivals. I'd be interested to see what a nutritionist working with a pro team has to say, or maybe JV himself.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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Growing up as a swimmer we were tested for bodyfat throughout the year. This was between the ages of 13-16. Most of the guys would be between 5-10 percent. The distance freestylers tended to be closer to 10%. Most of the girls ranged between 12-20%. It was terrible how badly we teased them for being fatties when the tests were done. Even though we could see they werent really fat.
 
Jul 10, 2010
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Raul Ramaya said:
Ironically I was just about to post a question about bodyfat in the nutrition section when I saw this thread. So FWIW, I had the hydrostatic test a month ago and came in at 7%. I was told the machine had a margin of error of +/- 1%. I guess per Gallic Ho and some others I'm impossible :) I certainly do _not_ look like the picture posted for that range... If anything I still have some visible flab around the stomach.

Thanks to BroDeal for the original link - the thread made for some interesting reading. I would guess I was at 12% in previous seasons. This year made a concerted effort to drop five pounds during off season. Reading the velo thread makes me wonder if it was a good decision.

If you have, indeed, some "flab around the stomach", then the hydro test was not accurate. I do not pretend to know why - but I do know that this is not possible. 7% is ripped lean. Best ripped is 2-5%, better ripped is 6% - 7%. At 12% you could have some perceived "flab around the stomach". But if your hydro results were accurate, then your mental body image was not.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Raul Ramaya said:
Ironically I was just about to post a question about bodyfat in the nutrition section when I saw this thread. So FWIW, I had the hydrostatic test a month ago and came in at 7%. I was told the machine had a margin of error of +/- 1%. I guess per Gallic Ho and some others I'm impossible :) I certainly do _not_ look like the picture posted for that range... If anything I still have some visible flab around the stomach.

Thanks to BroDeal for the original link - the thread made for some interesting reading. I would guess I was at 12% in previous seasons. This year made a concerted effort to drop five pounds during off season. Reading the velo thread makes me wonder if it was a good decision.
Who said you are impossible? It depends on the method you use to measure body fat % whether it is accurate or not. I never once said a person could not get to a low body fat %. Heck I didn't even say it couldn't be done clean. I know it can. What I was saying, was people's body's have a natural balance and order to them. There is a guy on the other page, the 6'4" runner, who says he was regularly 6%. I believe him given his weight listed was 70kg. What he described best was a persons innate ability to know when they can no longer lose weight and keep power. I know where that is for me. So does that guy. Do you?

All I was suggesting with Wiggins as an example, was that he went way below what is to be expected, given he was already a proven rider. He wasn't some schmuck who hopped on a bike and said he was going to win the Tour. He was a proven pro, a solid track rider who went drastically below what could be considered is his innate limit (it was his base weight of about 80kg) and went to 70kg, dropping weight somehow, mostly in muscle and yet was as powerful if not slightly more than at the heavier weight. That's abnormal. Can I explain it? Yep. Every heard of a drug called AICAR? You should try it if you want to lose weight, cut down in body fat and strengthen muscle. If that drug ever hits the mainstream market it will sell better than any supplement on the market. Took WADA a long time to ban it and even longer to find a test for it. No positives as of this date.

So yeah, I never said a person cannot lose body fat naturally and get their % low clean. Far from it. I know a person can. I was disputing whether any rational person would consider it normal for a man who weighed 80kg supposedly at a very low body fat % to be considered an naturally skinny ectomorph. I said Andy Schleck or his brother, or Robert Gesink, they are the guys who are naturally skinny. Just like my youngest brother. 5'9.5"-5'10" and we weighed him today. 55kg at 20 years. He is naturally skinny. Wiggins as I said ain't in the same category because if he was, he would never have needed to lose 10kg, he'd have been that weight for a long time. One does not hit 30 years of age and need to drop 10kg off their frame as pro cyclist to reach their natural body weight. That is not natural. It's forced and is abnormal. Same deal for Froome.
 
Thanks to a link to a story in the Australian Crime Commission thread, I did some body building forum trawling and found some interesting things.

There's quite a number of peptide injections claiming to greatly assist in losing fat and some other peptide injections for encouraging a muscle building state. There's also a very popular hormone modulator one can take orally.

I have no clue if WADA can detect any of these things, but it seems pretty easy to develop a stack to get Wiggo's unnatural skinny power.
 
Jul 10, 2010
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DirtyWorks said:
Thanks to a link to a story in the Australian Crime Commission thread, I did some body building forum trawling and found some interesting things.

There's quite a number of peptide injections claiming to greatly assist in losing fat and some other peptide injections for encouraging a muscle building state. There's also a very popular hormone modulator one can take orally.

I have no clue if WADA can detect any of these things, but it seems pretty easy to develop a stack to get Wiggo's unnatural skinny power.
Quite true, quite true. Lots of supplements out there. Lots of stuff that is surely WADA illegal - but readily obtainable.
 
hiero2 said:
Quite true, quite true. Lots of supplements out there. Lots of stuff that is surely WADA illegal - but readily obtainable.
And there's the value for an athlete/team to pay someone with human biology training to return not-suspicious tests. The drugs are pretty cheap outside of maybe HGH. Maybe illegal, but just buy in a country with easy access to them. Cyclists are traveling to events all over the world anyway...

The payoff for the "Doctor" giving the cheating advice and the athlete is huge.
 
Apr 23, 2012
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Galic Ho said:
Who said you are impossible? It depends on the method you use to measure body fat % whether it is accurate or not....
So yeah, I never said a person cannot lose body fat naturally and get their % low clean. Far from it. I know a person can. I was disputing whether any rational person would consider it normal for a man who weighed 80kg supposedly at a very low body fat % to be considered an naturally skinny ectomorph. I said Andy Schleck or his brother, or Robert Gesink, they are the guys who are naturally skinny. Just like my youngest brother. 5'9.5"-5'10" and we weighed him today. 55kg at 20 years. He is naturally skinny. Wiggins as I said ain't in the same category because if he was, he would never have needed to lose 10kg, he'd have been that weight for a long time. One does not hit 30 years of age and need to drop 10kg off their frame as pro cyclist to reach their natural body weight. That is not natural. It's forced and is abnormal. Same deal for Froome.
Got it. I misunderstood what you were saying. Thanks for taking the time to make it clear...
 
Apr 23, 2012
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hiero2 said:
If you have, indeed, some "flab around the stomach", then the hydro test was not accurate. I do not pretend to know why - but I do know that this is not possible. 7% is ripped lean. Best ripped is 2-5%, better ripped is 6% - 7%. At 12% you could have some perceived "flab around the stomach". But if your hydro results were accurate, then your mental body image was not.
yeah probably body image. Apart from the stomach "flab" that apparently only I can see (my wife doesn't either) my upper body is pretty "ripped" -- and certainly not because I have any upper body strength :)
 
Realistically, the number has been pegged around 3-4% at the very low end.

But, this question has been dealt with years ago...from you guessed it, the guys that experiment and have given us all we know about performance enhancement...bodybuilders.

At competition weight, dehydrated, show day, they are often at 3-4%. That is short lived, and water out of their body to get that amazing ripped look.

But, can you maintain that? No. Same with MMA/fighters that cut weight for fights.

Actual realistic bodyfat I've probably seen on a daily basis for an athlete at a high level is around 5-6% day-to-day. As many mentioned, it depends on the sport...but I will assume we are talking endurance, like marathon/running, cycling etc...which requires good power-weight ratios, which means leanest body mass.

Do I have a study? Nope, can't site anything. That has just been my observation over the past 25yrs of being/dealing with elite athletes, in many types of sports personally.

I know, how scientific right?
 

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