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    Can’t figure out what my body fat percentage is

    I’m 6’2 and weigh 193 lb. I’ve been trying to figure out what my body fat percentage is, as I’ve been cutting for a few months and would like to bulk soon

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    Don't bother, knowing it doesn't help you in any way.

    If you look in the mirror and don't see at least some ab definition, you know you either have too little muscle or too much fat (both result in a higher than desired BF%), that's all there is to it really.

    Keep track of progress by weighing yourself and maybe by taking waist measurements (first thing in morning, lying on back, relaxed, measure at navel height).
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    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...post1586055331 - there you go its already been answered Tucane knows his stuff.

    Why do you keep asking the same question over and over again.
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    Registered User beq1991's Avatar
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    Registered User beq1991's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hardyboysare View Post
    https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...post1586055331 - there you go its already been answered Tucane knows his stuff.

    Why do you keep asking the same question over and over again.
    I feel terrible about how I look and people keep giving pointless answers like “Do whatever you want.” I need someone to tell me I look like **** and to either cut for X amount of time or bulk for x amount of time. That’s why I keep asking.
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    Guessing BF% is a crapshoot, even the best machines like BodPod and hydrostatic weighing have large margin for error. Based on your posts in the other thread about being worried you're too fat to bulk, you're flirting with a dangerous area where many lifters find themselves and spin their tires for years. Forever chasing year round rippedness/ being scared the minute your abs lose definition can result in a cycle of not getting anywhere. You look fine to start bulking now if that's what you want to do. Use a small surplus and remember the initial 2-3lb weight jump you may see is from extra water and glycogen.
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    DEXA scan will likely show you 17.81% to 17.96%.
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    I feel terrible about how I look. That’s why I keep asking.
    Then cut if you want to lose more fat then. You have to do one or the other if you want to change it, you are leaner then probably a vast majority of the population and you are concerned. With a world in which obesity is on the rise and people starving themselves to nothing because of Instagram models you have that luxury of choice its up to you where they don't.

    As for your body image problems you must deal with these issues if you want to progress in improving body composition. You have to crack a few eggs to make a cake so either cut and look small in shirt but lean out of one. Or bulk add a little bit of fat but look solid in a shirt. Or finally stick the same calories and attempt to gain muscle by progressing calories comparison to the gym progress as Tucane suggested.

    You have to pick one keep asking will not change the outcome. You will most likely have years of all three at some point anyway so which order to do it makes no difference.
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    I feel terrible about how I look and people keep giving pointless answers like “Do whatever you want.” I need someone to tell me I look like **** and to either cut for X amount of time or bulk for x amount of time. That’s why I keep asking.
    Grow a backbone.
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    I feel terrible about how I look and people keep giving pointless answers like “Do whatever you want.” I need someone to tell me I look like **** and to either cut for X amount of time or bulk for x amount of time. That’s why I keep asking.
    Man you’re an adult. Nobody has to make that choice for you.

    What about the way you look so you hate? Too much fat or not enough muscle? Do you want to get stronger?

    People can guide you but ultimately you need to make a decision on what you want to do. It’s your body. Cut if you want to lose some fat, bulk if you want to gain some muscle then cut after.
    Life is constant learning. Give advice about things you know. Ask questions about things you don't.
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    Registered User beq1991's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nicksosure1 View Post
    Man you’re an adult. Nobody has to make that choice for you.

    What about the way you look so you hate? Too much fat or not enough muscle? Do you want to get stronger?

    People can guide you but ultimately you need to make a decision on what you want to do. It’s your body. Cut if you want to lose some fat, bulk if you want to gain some muscle then cut after.
    I don’t like how I have lower back fat, which makes it seem like cutting is the obvious weigh to go, but I also feel like I want bigger arms and a wider upper back, which can only be achieved by bulking.
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    I don’t like how I have lower back fat, which makes it seem like cutting is the obvious weigh to go, but I also feel like I want bigger arms and a wider upper back, which can only be achieved by bulking.
    Then chose to cut or bulk then do the opposite after man. Either way it’s going to take a long time with a lot of commitment, which makes it even more important that you guide your own path. If you’re just following orders, you’re less likely to stick with it. Gotta come from within big dawg.
    Life is constant learning. Give advice about things you know. Ask questions about things you don't.
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    I feel terrible about how I look and people keep giving pointless answers like “Do whatever you want.” I need someone to tell me I look like **** and to either cut for X amount of time or bulk for x amount of time. That’s why I keep asking.
    We didn't say you should do whatever you like. Clearly sitting on your ass and eating oreos isn't going to help if you don't like how you look.

    I said grow muscle and lose fat. The order doesn't matter, the exact quantities don't either - just keep going until you've achieved what you want, it's not like you're going to accidentally overdo it, it takes a lot of time.
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    Originally Posted by Nicksosure1 View Post
    guide your own path. If you’re just following orders, you’re less likely to stick with it. Gotta come from within big dawg.
    Well said; couldn't be more true.

    OP, remember, you'll look more muscular and feel like you've made more progress if you lost some BF. I'd cut so you start seeing some shape, then lean bulk. BF is probably the biggest thing people feel bad about themselves for.
    Cut man; then lean bulk
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    Registered User beq1991's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Well said; couldn't be more true.

    OP, remember, you'll look more muscular and feel like you've made more progress if you lost some BF. I'd cut so you start seeing some shape, then lean bulk. BF is probably the biggest thing people feel bad about themselves for.
    Cut man; then lean bulk
    The problem is I’ve been cutting for 3 months and have made progress (lost 10 lb) but 3 months feels like too much time cutting and my body composition hasn’t changed much. This is the first time I’ve been on a serious cut before and it was hard to stick it out when most of my lifts plateaus or decreased. I stuck to a 500 calorie deficit every day and kept to my regular routine. I also don’t particularly care if I’m shredded and I’d rather be big, but I would like to burn that excess far in my lower back. The problem is I seem to be right in the middle of the pack, body fat percentage-wise. If I was really shredded and lean and wanted to put on mass, or if I carried a gross amount of body fat and wanted to cut, the decision would be much easier to make.
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    The problem is I’ve been cutting for 3 months and have made progress (lost 10 lb) but 3 months feels like too much time cutting. I feel like at 193ish lb I’m too skinny. I also don’t care if I’m shredded and I’d rather be big than shredded, but I would like to burn that excess fat in my lower back.
    3 months is too long? Wow, you're in for a rude awakening if you want both of those goals (big and lower back fat gone) and you want them both now.

    You can't spot reduce bodyfat; your body will burn fat at an even rate across your whole body when in a deficit. So the areas that are the thickest (lower back for men and hips/buttocks for women) naturally, take the longest to go.

    I hate to say it but to get that area of fat gone, you're going to have to just get leaner. I have the same issue man. Lower back/lower abs are the last to get lean on me. So, to be 7-8% in those areas, I end up having to get to 5-6% everywhere else...lol


    EDIT: 3 months is a wink in time man
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    3 months is too long? Wow, you're in for a rude awakening if you want both of those goals (big and lower back fat gone) and you want them both now.

    You can't spot reduce bodyfat; your body will burn fat at an even rate across your whole body when in a deficit. So the areas that are the thickest (lower back for men and hips/buttocks for women) naturally, take the longest to go.

    I hate to say it but to get that area of fat gone, you're going to have to just get leaner. I have the same issue man. Lower back/lower abs are the last to get lean on me. So, to be 7-8% in those areas, I end up having to get to 5-6% everywhere else...lol


    EDIT: 3 months is a wink in time man
    If I get really lean and then do a lean bulk, isn’t my lower back just going to accumulate that fat again? I understand you have to get really lean to get rid of that fat, but I feel like bulking will just bring it all back.
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    3 months is too long? Wow, you're in for a rude awakening if you want both of those goals (big and lower back fat gone) and you want them both now.

    You can't spot reduce bodyfat; your body will burn fat at an even rate across your whole body when in a deficit. So the areas that are the thickest (lower back for men and hips/buttocks for women) naturally, take the longest to go.

    I hate to say it but to get that area of fat gone, you're going to have to just get leaner. I have the same issue man. Lower back/lower abs are the last to get lean on me. So, to be 7-8% in those areas, I end up having to get to 5-6% everywhere else...lol


    EDIT: 3 months is a wink in time man
    This is really well said. If it were me and I’ve been dieting successfully for 3 months my mind (and my body) would want a change and so I would lean bulk. Summer’s almost over anyways and no one is going to see back fat under a Fall/Winter coat.
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    If I get really lean and then do a lean bulk, isn’t my lower back just going to accumulate that fat again? I understand you have to get really lean to get rid of that fat, but I feel like bulking will just bring it all back.
    Sadly, if you stay on that bulk too long, eventually it will

    The trick is to get really lean; then lean bulk so you are only gaining around .5 lb per week; which is very tough (imo) to do. I can cut 1 lb per week easier than I can bulk at .5 lb (steadily and consistantly) per week.

    You lean bulk until you are uncomfortable with your BF%, then do a short cut again.

    The benefit of this whole procedure is you never let yourself get really out of control either way. It's so much easier to maintain a smaller swing of weight than to go to extremes with your weight.

    Get lean once and do small bulks/cuts and you can stay, reletively well, in your goal condition. I used to swing 40 lbs on/off season between shows. Then I got smart and realized this was so much more work and very unhealthy to do it that way.
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    Sadly, if you stay on that bulk too long, eventually it will

    The trick is to get really lean; then lean bulk so you are only gaining around .5 lb per week; which is very tough (imo) to do. I can cut 1 lb per week easier than I can bulk at .5 lb (steadily and consistantly) per week.

    You lean bulk until you are uncomfortable with your BF%, then do a short cut again.

    The benefit of this whole procedure is you never let yourself get really out of control either way. It's so much easier to maintain a smaller swing of weight than to go to extremes with your weight.

    Get lean once and do small bulks/cuts and you can stay, reletively well, in your goal condition. I used to swing 40 lbs on/off season between shows. Then I got smart and realized this was so much more work and very unhealthy to do it that way.
    I guess I don’t see the point of getting that lean if it’s going to take me probably 4-6 months to achieve that. On top of that, I would be probably need to weigh around 175-180 lb to get close to that lean and at 6’2, I would be a beanpole. I was that skinny with no muscle mass in college and I don’t want to go back to those days, even if it’s temporary. As it is, I’m starting to feel like I’m approaching unmanly territory at 6’2 and 190, so I can’t imagine losing another 10 or more lb. I guess my goal is to be fit 220-230 lb. Not sure if you know who Jocko Willink is, but I want to have a similar composition
    Last edited by beq1991; 08-17-2019 at 07:49 PM.
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    Registered User Nicksosure1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by beq1991 View Post
    I guess I don’t see the point of getting that lean if it’s going to take me probably 4-6 months to achieve that. On top of that, I would be probably need to weigh around 175-180 lb to get close to that lean and at 6’2, I would be a beanpole. I was that skinny with no muscle mass in college and I don’t want to go back to those days, even if it’s temporary. As it is, I’m starting to feel like I’m approaching unmanly territory at 6’2 and 190, so I can’t imagine losing another 10 or more lb. I guess my goal is to be fit 220-230 lb. Not sure if you know who Jocko Willink is, but I want to have a similar composition
    Man I want you to have success in whatever you choose to do, but judging by your responses, with this mindset it isn’t going to go well for you. Before even choosing to bulk or cut, you HAVE to gain a mindset of patience. If you think that’s a long a period cutting, then to get to a fit 220-230 is going to seem like ages for you. To achieve the look you desire at that weight, you’ll likely have to go through many cycles of cuts and bulks at reasonably slow paces for both. This doesn’t happen overnight, it will take years.

    I feel like all I’ve done in this thread is being you bad news, but I’d hate to see you end up a worse position than you are now due to unrealistic expectation and impatience. You already seem very unhappy with yourself. That might be one thing you need to shore up before you do anything. Everybody looks different, love yourself pal.
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    Cut. Maybe another 10 pounds. Then slow bulk.
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    These weird mental feedback loops are fascinating and irritating to read.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

    Formerly LactoseTolerant. I'm not very imaginative.
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    These weird mental feedback loops are fascinating and irritating to read.
    So I just looked up the definition of mental feedback loop and still don’t understand what that means lol

    Break it down for me.
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    Originally Posted by Nicksosure1 View Post
    So I just looked up the definition of mental feedback loop and still don’t understand what that means lol

    Break it down for me.
    It's not accepted terminology. OP is fixated on the downsides of all courses of action including staying status quo. He's argued against all advice given and will continue to do so until he breaks this thinking pattern.
    I can tell time. Time cannot tell me.

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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    It's not accepted terminology. OP is fixated on the downsides of all courses of action including staying status quo. He's argued against all advice given and will continue to do so until he breaks this thinking pattern.
    Thank you. I was thinking the EXACT SAME THING.

    It’s more irritating than fascinating to me, but you have to come to it with a level of understanding. I think it comes down to him wanting a quick fix without having to work for it and experiencing the negatives in the process. Don’t think he understands how this works. All ya can do is try to at least help him, even if he doesn’t accept the advice given because it’s not what he wants to hear.
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    Originally Posted by Nicksosure1 View Post
    I think it comes down to him wanting a quick fix without having to work for it and experiencing the negatives in the process. Don’t think he understands how this works. All ya can do is try to at least help him, even if he doesn’t accept the advice given because it’s not what he wants to hear.
    This ^^.

    OP wants to be leaner - but doesn't want to cut.

    OP wants to add muscle - but doesn't want to bulk and get fatter.

    Only other option is "recomp" which may or may not work, but is notoriously s.l.o.w. - and OP has shown that he wants a quick fix.

    I'm not sure what the next option is...
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    This ^^.

    OP wants to be leaner - but doesn't want to cut.

    OP wants to add muscle - but doesn't want to bulk and get fatter.

    Only other option is "recomp" which may or may not work, but is notoriously s.l.o.w. - and OP has shown that he wants a quick fix.

    I'm not sure what the next option is...
    Unfortunately you’re spot on.

    You can only give so much advice when someone won’t accept it and just hope that something will eventually stick.
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    I find taking body measurement even more significant
    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Don't bother, knowing it doesn't help you in any way.

    If you look in the mirror and don't see at least some ab definition, you know you either have too little muscle or too much fat (both result in a higher than desired BF%), that's all there is to it really.

    Keep track of progress by weighing yourself and maybe by taking waist measurements (first thing in morning, lying on back, relaxed, measure at navel height).
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