Low BF %, but still no abs show
I got a caliper test done today at my rec center after I was done running. The girl said that my body fat percentage clocked in at 8.9%. I've read that abs show at 10%. When I look at my stomach, my abs really don't show. I have the main outline of where my abs would be, a 1-pack you could call it, but no horizontal lines at all. This is bad news for me, as I already have a pretty low BF% but no abs showing. It still seems like I have a small "donut" around my waist as well. I can sometimes see extremely vague lines if I flex my abs really hard and look at them in the perfect lighting... but nothing special.
So, has anyone else had this issue? What would you guys do if you had a low BF% but still no abs showing?
Well, I have been lifting and running non stop for a little over a year and a half now. I am 20 years old. I am 5' 6 1/2", 143 pounds. I will usually lift 2x a week and run 3x a week. When I run, I run for 4 miles and it takes me 30 - 35 minutes. I am a runner first and foremost. When I lift, I do everything, as in I make sure to work every muscle group. I have recently (like 2 months ago) added major leg exercises to my routine (squatting, deadlifts, etc.) because I was always scared of squatting. I am still working on perfect form for squatting so my weight has not really increased (I only do 8x135 pounds normally). I didn't know how much easier squatting makes running so I am doing that constantly now. And when I lift, I lift hard. Don't get the impression that because I'm mainly a runner that I lift like a sissy . My max on bench is 215, which is awesome for my weight. I can also do about 15 pull-ups (palms away) in one set SLOWLY, with NO CHEATING.
I have, for the most part, ignored doing crunches and the like as I have always read it's not really ab exercises that make your abs show, it's a low BF%. I always figured I would really start working on the abs when my "donut" was gone. However, in the past month I have really added some ab stuff anyways, such as hanging leg raises and commander's chair leg raises. I also occasionally throw in some bicycle kicks when I'm feeling crazy. So far no results have really shown from those.
I used to do HIIT last winter running on a treadmill, but after experiencing real HIIT running outside I will never go back. I am waiting for it to warm up until I start doing that again (not looking forward to that too much lol).
I'm proud of my diet, as I never eat or drink any empty calories. Pop and fast food are such a rarity for me they would have no effect. I try to eat lots of meat, especially on days that I lift, and occasionally drink some whey protein mix after I lift if I feel like I should drink some. I would say I rarely exceed 2000 calories a day in my diet during normal dieting times (not bulking or cutting). Although, I've never really officially had a "bulking" or "cutting" phase in all the time of me working out.
Well, that's about as detailed as I can get until I am asked more specific questions. Thanks!
Last edited by paulwis; Jan. 21/08 at 07:25 PM.
Reason: Additional Info
How old are you? While calipers can give a general approximation, there are other more accurate ways to obtain a BF measurement.
Originally Posted by paulwis
What has your training been like the past---few weeks? It is entirely "possible" (with what I know, at the present) that your age (possibly 18 or under) diet and training history are the primary culprits.
Give more accurate information concerning yourself. Provide some details on your history of diet and training. I think this would help myself and the others to assist you more accurately.
Best wishes to you my friend,
No disrespect intended, but the chances are very good that any body fat % info you get from a rec center, fitness centre, or whatever public gym is available in your area, is way off. I'm pretty biased against those particular sources, and for good reason.
If you want something reasonably accurate, you'll probably have to shell out $ for hydrostatic body fat testing.
Fairly sure simply cleaning and tightening up your diet will do the trick fine, though. As Chillen said, 'Need more input.' Checking out the fat loss stickies would be a good idea. If you're not doing what's described, well, that's the first place to look to.
Just because you have a low BF doesn't mean your abs will show. For those of us whose genetics don't allow for us to have a natural 6 pack,you have to build the muscle in the abs and thicken them first.
Here's a picture I took just now. Ignore the hair I get tired of shaving it .
If you have abs, they would have shown by now since you seem lean enough for them to show. if your goal is a 6 pack, go on a bulk, gain some muscle in the abs..then cut..walah.
Originally Posted by paulwis
In addition, you are not at 8% BF. An appropriate FBW plus some direct ab work and a good adequate diet, and you will improve greatly.
You have made some fantastic progress!
Last edited by Chillen; Jan. 21/08 at 08:50 PM.
phate89 hit it on the head... genetics... a true six pack may not be in the cards for you. I guarantee that if you build the muscle like everybody else is saying, you will get much better defined lines... not far away
Agree with chillen..
#1 your abs aren't big. they're there, but small. this can be changed.
#2 you're not 8%, lose more fat and you'll see them.
I'd guess you're 11% or so ...I see your upper abs trying to peek out
heheh peek-a-boo,,,, upper abs I see you....LOL!!!! hahahahaaha
no offense to the ab guy, but Gooch is a data junky, and to here him say "peeking out" cracked me up!!!
I can go back to work now.
Now why would you say that? Just yesterday I went 21 calories over my allotment
Originally Posted by flyinfree
Well, I have been lifting and running non stop for a little over a year and a half now. I am 20 years old. I am 5' 6 1/2", 143 pounds. I will usually lift 2x a week and run 3x a week. When I run, I run for 4 miles and it takes me 30 - 35 minutes. I am a runner first and foremost.
Young man, be a mind spounge and soak in all the appropriate advice you can, sort it out, and then try to make decisions based on what you learned, and then implement a plan of attack and track it, you will be rewarded more than the time you took to learn it, I promise.
We have height in common. I am 5' 7", and was at my lightest weight (154lbs, 8%BF) in avatar pic. Currently, I am 161lbs (after a short bulk period), and at approx 8.9%, checked professionally at my DR's office (she also has many certifications in diet and fitness). This measurement was completed by a Dual X-Ray (DEXA) that she has at her office, and I get it done for free as she is a family friend. Soon (like in about 3 weeks or so), I am going to show some new pics, that will "totally" blow a way all of the previous pics I have shown on the forum--"combined", and this is a promise. I will be posting these to the COL.
I am relating this information to you because I am 46 years old (will be 47 in August). Im 26 years older than you. I assure you I have more going against me (biologically) than you do at your age. I met my goals, and currently just doing some tweaking.
You can do this thing.
You want-o-meter is going to have to rise to another level--especially when one wants to drop below the threshold of 10% and reach single digits. You WILL encounter many mental and physical barriers within your goal path that you WILL HAVE TO adapt and overcome.
Many fail to address these by having a plan of action, and this is a huge mistake IMO. I see making plans of action to address mental and physical barriers no different, than having a plan of action to address diet and fitness training--they go hand in hand, and should work in unison and as a team. You take appropriate action within the team, YOU WILL NOT FAIL. Let me use myself as an example, again.
I joined the forum in May 2007. At the time, I was at the tail end of reaching my goals, and provided pics between May and June (and some in Spetember). In other words most of my goals were reached PRIOR to joining the forum. Since then my attitude, happiness, and overall motivation has remained unchanged. VERY FEW can say this. Some have tried to explain why. But are all in error. Only I know the truth. I have found the psychological package that works. My point? You will have to find yours. Obtaining knowledge within diet and fitness is required; however, its the--consistant--application of this knowledge that becomes the problem--in the long run. Thus the reason I post the way I do.
Knowledge flat isnt enough to get the job done.
Get to know yourself, understand yourself, press yourself for in-depth personal interpretation
In addition, addressing the portion of training that you like versus the ones you dont, equation, is another formula you will have to address. Some say do things that you like and you up the odds to stick with it. This is true--to a point.
However, there may be a time that you may be required to do something to reach your goal, that you flat will not like and will be extremely difficult to do. This can test your resolve toward your goal. You will have to decide what to do when the fork in the road is facing you.
The POWER of CHOICE (within diet and fitness) is both a curse and a blessing. Proper manipulation of choice, and you will maintain your course. Improper manipulation of choice will compel you to low levels of personal dispair. When the Jews were in the concentration camps, they had their choices removed, set calories implemented, and a prescribed work load to complete. These persons lost a tremendous amount of weight and became bones. Did they suffer, absolutely. Did they like it? Of course not. In the end of things, they had no choice.
Its a wise person to "open up perception" on things within history (or on other things read)--and see MORE than most would see, and see if there is something to learn that is "applicable" to a personal situation. You appropriately handle "choice" within your life (when concerning diet and fitness), and you will become nearly unstoppable as you work down your goal path. When you open up perception with things you read, learn about the biological and pyschological feed back one obtains when dieting and fitness training, and separate the brain from the body--as the empowering tower, and learn how to "properly" master your "unique" self, the odds of the fire within your spirt burning out goes down tremendously.
1. A diet vs. fitness plan optimized for fat tissue loss.
A. Determine your MT Line.
B. Create a small deficit (deficiting for fat loss)
C. Create calorie TARGETS each day
D. Track your calorie intake each day
E. Create an exercise program that is a FBW or an upper/lower split (when work and other life issues require such a split). Or flat develop "something" within the confines of what you have available to use (even marginally less equipment can get the job completed)
Understand that is the "total" body composite being worked versus your calorie intake (and not "necessarily" direct ab work)that will EARN your goal. Incorporate compound lifts in your routine. Understand the "importance" of Squats and Deadlifts in your routine--and how and WHY these hate to love lifts will be a MAJOR player in your core development--more so (IMO) than direct ab work (I think these are minor players---in the equation I am relating). Understand too, that all the work you do will be for NOT (in "revealing" your work) if your diet is messed up.
Know how to manipulate calories within your diet. IMO this is one of "most powerful" tools within ones arsonel; when applied correctly, and when one is tracking calories and has a general circumference of knowledge of the approximate calories burned during exercise. Lets face some bare facts. When one deficits to loose fat tissue, one is depriving the body of energy and FORCING the body to feed upon itself for its energy needs. Therefore, isnt it logical for the body to FIGHT YOU and "somewhat" be an enemy within your goal aspirations? Isnt it going to give you feed back with intense cravings, possibly low energy levels, depression, and other types of responses to COMPEL you to eat? Why be surprised. Have a plan of action to deal with these---biological and pyschological functions that ARE GOING TO COME. If you do not, the odds go UP you will fail. Therefore, one weapon in your arsonel can be manipulating the calories V. exercise ratio. For example, to allow you to eat more, but at the same time, keeping your deficits to loose appropriate fat tissue. This is only one very breif example.
A continuing education on diet V exercise techniques (manipulations of calories, manipulation of the three nutrients, etc) will SERVE to combat and deliver to ones self--in the event this "extra" education is needed to assist in eliminating problems.
This is one reason "among many" I advocate tracking calories--at least until you get to the point, that its such a life style change and you are so in tune with what you eat and what you do in fitness, that this is no longer necessary to continue your progress. I STILL track my calories. I want it on paper, I want to know where I am at in the energy IN side of the equation--because this is "critical" in lowering body fat.
I see you run. I understand your desire, but I want to relate something to drive HOME the importance of diet:
The Diet is the fat burner first and foremost and without question. If the diet is messed up---you can do cardio (running) until the sun goes out (or even HIIT), and the fat will not come off. The correct way (or one way to say it) is: To burn fat one has to be in a caloric deficit (created through exercise, or just diet, or a combination of both diet and the exercise complimenting the diet). Cardio by itself DOES NOT get rid of fat---UNLESS, the diet is on the up and up. Once the diet is straight, THEN cardio could assist in the fat burning process--dependent on several bodily factors.
And one more ( ) :
No Fat Burning Program is Correct without the Deficit Diet Affect
The Deficit Diet will Subject the Fat Loss Zone to much Respect.
My point? No fat reduction program is optimum......without the Mighty calorie understood.
You obtain knowledge between the calorie and exercise---and learn all you can....most importantly--keep your perception OPEN never narrow it, and learn how to manipulate and apply what you learn.
You are the person who has to decide. Whether you'll do it or toss it aside; you are the person who makes up your mind. Whether you'll lead or will linger behind. Whether you'll try for the goal that's afar. Or just be contented to stay where you are.
Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.
Go here and read on some basic and fundamental information:
Weight Training 101
Mreik-per-your-request-nutritional ]Mreik per your request, Nutritional sticky
Weight Training Technical Articles
How to get abs guide
Go here for some thoughts on the mental side:
Weight Loss Intricate
The ChillOut Log by Chillen
(allot of pages to go through, but there IS good information that may help you if you take the time to seek it)
If you need ANYTHING let me know, I will try to help you all I possibly can.
Understand yourself, find what motivates you. Aspire and deliver to yourself.
Doesn't it make you feel older when you always call everyone 'Young man' !?
Originally Posted by Chillen
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