What you learn on the way to single-digit body fat… (part one)

For many of you, reducing your current body fat levels is a major goal.  While everyone is unique, the post below will give some bullet points that apply to everyone on that path….


What Bodybuilding Competitions taught me about Nutrition

  • It starts with discipline and desire.  If you want something bad enough, you will discipline yourself to succeed.
  • Physique changes are at least 80% directly related to nutrition.
  • Once you can dial in your genetic predisposition, your nutrition can be much more individualized.  For
    Susan Ball was in her late forties when these were taken.  What a bod!
    Susan Ball was in her late forties when these were taken. What a bod!

    example, as a predominantly fast twitch person, higher carbohydrates, lower fat worked best for me.  It may take some experimenting for this to work, but be patient.

  • Getting lean is simple, but not easy.
  • Training more is not the answer.  Higher reps are not (always) the answer.
  • Supplements are good, but not mandatory.
  • Internal dialogue is the only friend/enemy you have.
  • Food is what you see, smell and taste; nutrition is what happens next.  Boring, but effective, strategy.
  • There is no “best” way:  What works for one person may not work for another.  Also, what works for you one year may not work as well for you the following year.  For my lowest recorded reading of 2.8% (I am not making that up – hydrostatic weighed, verified by my college professors), I ate the following six times per day for 8 weeks:  Frosted Flakes, skim milk, 6 egg whites.  About the closest thing to zero fat grams as possible.  About 12 years later, I used a lower carb approach (<50 grams/day) to get to 4.3% with an additional 30 pounds of muscle.
  • There needs to be some “discomfort” and hunger if you are to drop body fat.  Not to be confused with misery [icon name=”smile-o” class=””], but if you feel awesome all the time, you will likely not achieve the numbers you are chasing.

For some, single digits is just not going to happen.  Or, if it does, you are so miserable, it may not be worth it.  It might be even harder to stay at single digits then it was to get there in the first place!


Ask yourself if it is worth all of the above just to get below 10% (or 15% for women)?  Is it all really worth the sacrifice, or can you be happy with a little higher percentage and still love yourself?  That seems like a contradictory statement, given the fact that I outlined some things to keep you on track towards the elusive single digit reading.  However, loving yourself, inside and outside, is much more important than a number will ever be!


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