The Truth About Achieving 6% Body Fat

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What's up guys, Sean Nalewanyj,,, and in this video

today we're talking about the real truth behind achieving 6% body fat.

Before I get started, if you're new to the channel, and you find this content helpful

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The big question, how exactly do you get down to 6% body fat?

The simple answer is that you don't, because aside from a very small percentage of genetic

outliers, or drug users, or genetic outliers who also use drugs, the vast, vast majority

of average natural lifters have no business trying to get that lean as any sort of long

term condition, and they won't be able to get that lean without experiencing very significant

side effects.

I know that there are certain YouTubers out there who make this part of their marketing

approach, and promote this idea of achieving six or 7% body fat as being some sort of normal

standard that everyone should be able to achieve, and maintain, and then, if they can't achieve,

and maintain it, then it just means that they are on the right program.

But, this is actually a pretty dangerous thing to promote, in my opinion, because it's just

not realistic.

It actually causes harm when you're constantly putting this idea in people's heads, that

leaner is automatically better, especially if they're a beginner, and they don't know

any better.

Now, there's always going to be genetic variation at play, but as a general rule, most guys

on average will probably start running into negative side effects once they drop below

about 10% body fat.

Okay, some guys can do 9%, some can do 8%, but in general, about 10% and above is where

you want to be in order to be functioning optimally, both physically and mentally.

And, even at 10%, if we're talking about a true 10% body fat, even that is pretty lean

as it is.

In terms of maintaining maximum strength, and energy levels, probably more like 11 to

12% and above, that's where you'd want to ideally be.

You might see these pictures online of guys on Instagram with shredded abs, [inaudible

00:02:11] shoulders, veins popping out everywhere, who are 7% body fat, and they've got this

big smile on their face, but in reality, they probably felt like shit when that picture

was taken, and if you ask most people who get that lean if they're being honest, they'll

probably admit that even though they looked really impressive, they really didn't feel

good at all at that lower level of body fat, which isn't surprising, because going down

that low is essentially just a form of controlled starvation.

It's not health and fitness at that point, it's literally gaining muscle, and then, starving

yourself as far as you can physically and mentally tolerate, and it's not just a matter

of being hungry either.

When your body fat goes too low, you'll also have less energy, less strength, your mood

will go down, you won't be as mentally sharp, your sex drive will tank from the decrease

testosterone, you'll probably feel more neurotic about your appearance in general, and then,

in more extreme cases in certain people who are predisposed to it, there can also be longer

term problems with things like eating disorders, body image issues, that kind of thing.

Unless you have a very specific reason for why you're wanting to do it over the shorter

term, maybe you're competing, or you're dieting for a photo shoot, or something like that,

and you've done the proper research to really understand what it is that you're getting

into, and how to go about it properly.

I really don't recommend that most people try to get shredded, and people really need

to stop buying into this 6% body fat hype, and also, the people promoting this idea should

really reconsider some of their content that they're putting out, because even though it

might help them sell more programs, it probably does more harm than good to the overall fitness

community when you're constantly glorifying that level of leanness as a normal standard.

You can definitely be lean, you can be impressively lean, and still function really well, you

can be leaner than probably 95% plus of the population with a visible six pack, and a

great muscle definition and vascularity, but there's a certain fine line where it crosses

over into just being straight up unhealthy.

About 10% is realistic, and technically all the way up to 20% body fat is still within

the healthy range for a male.

Where you specifically fall on that spectrum ultimately just depends on your personal preferences

in terms of how you want to look.

Some guys like that leaner, more aesthetic look, and are willing to sacrifice some size

for the increased leanness, other guys prefer the sort of fluffier look, and are happy to

maintain that higher body fat, so they can just look more powerful and stronger in general,

and then, some guys go somewhere in between.

Again, keep in mind that there will always be genetic outliers, there're always going

to be guys who can get really lean, and stay that way without any problems, or who might

have a certain body type where their DEXA scan shows a body fat percentage that's a

lot lower than normal, even though they might not look exceptionally lean, because keep

in mind, different body fat percentages can look visually different depending on the person,

but those are rare exceptions rather than the rule, and unless someone is specifically

showing you their DEXA scan results, which also isn't perfectly accurate by the way.

You can still be off by a couple percent, but without a DEXA scan, any specific body

fat number someone gives you really shouldn't be trusted, because body fat is notoriously

difficult to accurately measure, and unless you were able to physically slice your body

up, and measure all the different tissues individually, there's just no way to get a

perfect reading, and most methods do have a pretty big margin for error.

Most people way underestimate what their true percentage actually is.

I see guys online quoting themselves as 8% when they're probably more like 12%, or guys

who say they're 14% who are literally like 20% body fat.

Just take the numbers people give you with a grain of salt, because it's always just

a rough estimation, but bottom line here guys, there's nothing wrong with wanting to have

that lean aesthetic look, and you can definitely do it with the right approach in place, but

you also have to be realistic about it.

Okay, 6%, 7% even 8% body fat year round is probably not realistic for most guys.

You you don't need to be that lean, you probably won't be happy being that lean anyway, and

to find the proper balance between aesthetics and strength, and general health 10%, and

above in most cases is realistic, and sustainable if you have the right approach in place.

If you found this advice helpful, and you want to learn exactly how to lay out a proper

program for yourself to achieve a physique that is impressively lean, strong and muscular,

but while also using methods that are healthy, and sustainable over the long term, then make

sure to take my physique quiz over at, because that will map out the specific step

by step training, and nutrition program you need to get there as efficiently as possible,

and based on your individual goals body type, and experience level.

You can click up here for that, or use the link in the description box.

When it comes to supplementation.

You can also visit to check out my science based, no BS formulas

that I personally created to help you fully streamline your plan, and get the very most

bang for your buck.

Link for that is also in the description.

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Thanks for watching guys, and I'll see you in the next one.