I often talk about getting lean as the first step in your Skinny-Fat Transformation.
Unfortunately, a lot of guys confuse getting lean with getting a fully visible 6-pack without flexing.
There’s a huge difference.
When I talk about getting lean, I mean around 12% body-fat.
In my case, I have a pinch on my love handles, and just slightly visible abs at around 12% body-fat:
The picture above represents the look I have throughout most of the year. I’m about 190 pounds.
I put two pictures to show you how much of a difference good posture makes. I usually keep my abs slightly flexed (left pic) to keep good posture.
After years of doing this, it’s 2nd nature to me.
Now, when I fully relax my stomach, I don’t have visible abs. That’s normal, and nothing to worry about.
I’m telling you this, because I get a lot of emails from guys who think that they need to have fully visible abs WITHOUT flexing to be considered lean.
That’s not true.
At 12% body-fat you usually have a somewhat flat waist, and 2-4 visible abs in good lighting.
A pinch on your love handles is okay. That’s the kind of leanness I want you to aim for.
I Lost 60 Pounds and Still Had No 6-Pack
I never cared much about abs. I wanted a flat and small waist, but I never cared if it shows a 6-pack or not.
However, after being into fitness for a few years, I had been brain-washed into believing that you need a 6-pack to be considered lean.
So, I lost 60 pounds of bodyweight and ended up at just 177 pounds at a height of 6″2.
Did I have a 6 pack after cutting all that fat? No I didn’t. I just looked starved and weak:
I looked starved and weak, because that was reality. I was starving myself to get so lean, and I could barely complete a workout.
During my fat loss, I discovered that fat loss follows the law of diminishing returns; after a certain point it takes A LOT MORE effort to continue losing fat:
For me, that point is around 10-12% body fat. To get lower than that, I have to eat something like 2000 calories and train 5 times a week!
For me, 2000 calories is NOTHING. I often eat dinners that are over 1500 calories.
Now, to maintain the physique I have now, I can eat as much as I want, and remain lean as long as I train hard 4-6 times a week.
That’s a much better way to lead life. If I want to, I can go for a kebab after my training session, and not worry about my abs disappearing.
Does that mean that I’m against getting a 6-pack? Not at all.
It just means that not EVERYONE is meant to have a 6-pack…
The Price of Getting a 6-Pack for a Skinny-Fat Guy
I lost 60 pounds of fat, but decided to stop my fat loss before I achieved a 6-pack.
At that point, I had veins around my waist and no fat to pinch. My body was lean pretty much all over.
I was probably 5 pounds away from having 6-pack abs for the first time in my life.
So, why didn’t I continue my fat loss? I didn’t continue because I didn’t WANT to.
I knew that even if I got a 6-pack, I wouldn’t be able to maintain it over the long-term.
It’s not worth having great abs at the expense of well-being and health.
During the last month of my fat loss, I felt terrible and couldn’t function properly:
- I couldn’t concentrate since my mind was always thinking about food.
- I had no energy to complete a good workout.
- My reps on bodyweight exercises decreased despite losing weight.
- My libido was non-existent.
- My mood was VERY bad.
- I couldn’t get a pump when training, and my muscles looked deflated.
After a month of dealing with this, I decided to start eating like a man again and bulk up. Within a few months I was at 190 pounds and looked better than ever before:
I won’t deny, a 6-pack looks great, but so do wide shoulders.
Wide shoulders make your waist look small, even when you carry some body-fat. I can live with that, since it enables me to eat all my favorite foods in unlimited quantities.
Not Everyone Is Meant To Have A 6-Pack
There are people out there who naturally have fully visible 6-packs without flexing or anything. Some of them have always had them, and maintain a ripped physique without any effort put into their diets.
There are also guys out there who can maintain a 6-pack as long as they work out and watch their eating.
Now, on the other hand, there are guys out there who can lose a lot of fat, and still not have a 6-pack. They reach a point where fat loss pretty much stops, and to lose that last bit of fat, they have to starve themselves.
That last group, largely consists of guys who tend to be skinny-fat or just regular fat.
And that’s because some people are just meant to carry more body-fat than others. People have different GENETICS!
Starving yourself is not a good long term solution.
When you try to maintain a body-fat which is too low for your body, your testosterone levels will drop, and you may experience the following symptoms:
- Brain fog.
- Low libido (no morning wood).
- Bad mood.
- No drive to get things done.
- Strength decreasing a lot.
It’s fine to experience some of those when losing fat once in a while. That’s just part of being in a caloric deficit.
However, you shouldn’t feel like that most of the time. That’s a sign from your body that something is not working. Listen to your body!
Unfortunately, I didn’t test my testosterone levels when I was at my lowest bodyweight of 177 pounds, but I know two things for sure:
- At 177 pounds of bodyweight I could max out 15 chin ups. At 190 pounds I have maxed out 25.
- At 177 pounds of bodyweight I had no libido, no drive and felt depressed. At 190 pounds my libido, drive and mood are great.
Now, ask yourself if you want to pay that price and be on a strict diet your whole life?
If you’re anything like me, you won’t pay that price. Why would you if you’re not making a living of your body?
Be proud but stay hungry,
– Oskar Faarkrog
So by this logic, all NFL running backs whose body fat percentages are between 2-6% have extremely low libidos, and don’t have the energy to finish their exercises? Do you know how body composition works?
So you’re comparing world class athletes with the best genetics with the average guy reading fitness blogs? Do you really think that the average person can get the same results as the world class athlete as long as they put in the same amount of work?
Humans are 99.5% identical genetically. We all have the same muscles and physiology. Genetics may play a role in the effort it takes but not for what you can achieve as far as ab muscle formation. If you exercise and eat right for long enough, you will have visible abs — not sure how you say that is not true.
“Exercise and eat right for long enough.”
For some people that means cutting their food intake to levels that aren’t sustainable long term.
I’m not saying it can’t be done, but that the effort required for some people simply isn’t worth it. I had 4 pack abs before myself and to maintain them I had to eat no carbs, go hungry everyday and looked like a skeleton.
I can maintain a flat waist with moderate diet effort and while retaining a lot more muscle mass so that makes more sense for me.
I’m questioning whether the libido thing is really true. Maybe if you get down to like 2% body fat your libido will drop (possibly just because you feel like crap in general), but I was incredibly lean and skinny when I was a teenager and that didn’t effect my libido. I’m 34 now and my libido is about the same, and my body fat is currently around 13%.
When I was at low body fat and starving myself I went 40 days without masturbating due to nofap. It was very easy. As soon as I gained weight again I got my libido back in full force. Just my personal experience.
Oscar. Thanks. You have known ked some sense into me finally. I am so glad that you put this website up. Amongst the host of nonsense that the Internet has to offer this is one of the first true to oneself sites I have seen. Ur an inspiration for ur advice and honesty and clear perspective. Thank you
I’m glad you like it Arjun!
When u say flex, do u mean suck belly in or push belly out?
can u help me please
Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer
Getting a 6 pack requires that 1) You are able to get a 6-pack (some people can only get a 4-pack) 2) You diet properly and 3) You train your ab muscles properly.
If you want a customized plan, you can order a diet plan and training program in my shop: http://oskar-faarkrog-fitness-store.myshopify.com/
AM skinny am am trying to get a six pack am eating everyday like rice and things of that nature but still no results
Have a look at the following article
Really breaks down the anatomy of abs in an understandable way. As Oskar said, some people cannot get a six pack. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger could only ever get a 4 pack and he was Mr. Olympia! Focus on teh right training, right diet and right posure. Six pack or not, you’ll look better for it.
Hi Oskar. I’m Paulo from Portugal. i’ve turned 40 this year. I’m 1,75 meters and 96 kgs, I’m clearly overweight and i have to lose fat because i have severe sleep apnea. Thing is (and i’ve experienced this in the past) when i start cutting and achieve a bf% where i can see my six pack forming (usually 10/12%), my face starts looking gaunt and unhealthy, like i’ve been on drugs or ill. I dont know if its because i have weak facial bones but i dont look the like of it. How can i look fit and have a bit of muscle without looking ill and gaunt in the face? What body fat % shall i be aiming for?
Also is 40 years too old to be in shape?
thanks in advance
Higher bodyfat percentage. Aim for 15-20% and forget about the six pack.
Regarding your age…of course it isn’t. Look at The Rock!!!
You’ve got this Paulo
Really great information. I searched google for six pack abs for skinny guys for days and finally came to exactly right place! Thanks a lot.
Hey man love the article keep up the good work 6’2 153 my goal is actually 180 I no what ice kinda look like at 177 I have abs and chest want to be bigger
Do you mind that if I ask you about losing weights and gaining muscles questions in email?
If is not convenient is alright, I will try to post it here but not getting in too detail.
I am 26 years old, I used to be having 2/4 packs with good lighting (exactly like you said). I gave birth to two for the past 3 years. During pregnant, I have terrible morning sickness, to stop that I indulged in food that I feel like but food I never consumed before, such as junk/fast food, candy, choc, ice cream and all etc rubbish food. Hence I put on the pounds/kg really fast, I used to have really high metabolisms (whatever junk I ate, as long I be good the next 1 or 2 days, I won’t gain extra pounds/kg). Lost that ‘superpower’ after gave birth to my first baby. Now that after second pregnancy, I gained a total of 41kg. Prenatal was 50kg, now is 91kg. And my husband has left me. Now I am still breastfeeding, do you have a simple weight loss and healthy diet to help me? Thank you.
I can send u my picture so that u can make out how I look and tell me the solution can u give me your email address :)
I was fat I did lot of cardio and made myself skinny fat …I did run for miles lost my muscle now trying to gain some muscle but don’t want get fat
U probably felt weak, starved, moody because u didn’t had a redeed day. At 12% bodyfat while cutting u need at least 1 refeed day each 5days to restore your glycogeen in your liver and muscle storages.
also a refeed day kicks your slow metabolism rate out of balance again and fires it up to speed again.
you will feel more energetic again te next workouts and you might even have a slight muscle gain.
I always had 1-2 refeed days a week.
Tell me how you did on refeed day?i mean how much calories you shooted at above maintenance.
I’m following your advice at the moment while leaning down and its exciting seeing nice cuts on my body and my face is looking more sharp, much better and EASIER than bulking and waking up to a new lump of fat.
Great to hear Ibrahim! Keep me updated on your progress.
Libido only drops significantly when you cut unnaturally low, probably anything below 8-9%.
Were you getting enough dietary / saturated fat when you cut down 60 pounds? Also, how old were you when you made that cut?
That’s great progress Oskaar though Oskar. I can only do like 12 or so chin ups since i’ve bulked.
Thank you, how many can you do when you’re cut?
Do you think I might have been below 8-9% in those pics? I definitely felt a HUGE difference at that time, compared to now where I eat whatever I crave.
I finished my cut at age 20. I was eating a KETO diet during my final month where I made the most progress in my cut. I ate protein/fat for 5 days, then filled up on carbs on the 6th. I think that at that time, I was feeling like shit because of the lack of carbs. I was training everyday for 1-2 hours while eating almost no carbs.
great blog, keep posting!
I lately realized that the for me the bothering part is to see the fat dancing on my belly when I sit. When I stand up my belly is quite flat, but when I bend my body for exercises or sitting I can see this blob enslaved to the law of gravity!
A tight core would be an awesome result.
Thanks Luca, I definitely will.
I want to eat in a surplus, with pushups, pullups and incline bb everyday. I want to do 4 sets 0f 10 reps slow controlled.
You did a similar routine to achieve your physique right?
Just want to know, I cut and upon looking at your slimmed lean photo, I realised that I was not “very lean”. When I stand, I tried pinching around my waist and tummy and I would say that I am lean just like what you have described, a pinch around love handles. But when I sit and just bring my head near to my leg (not extensively, just a slight lean), my tummy would bulge and the fats could still be seen and pinched. Is this considered lean to start bulking?
Hey Sam, I have that too when I sit and lean. Do you look lean when standing up?
Yes, I look lean when I stand.
Also, I have begin my first bulking for a week now and I must say I have increased in “size” a little, but the thing is that this “new” diet portion has caused my training to be less efficient; I become much more tired faster and also really feel de-motivated. I would train 5-6 times per week when I cut and that gives me more energy to do stuff rather than training on a caloric surplus. Why is that?
You may feel “heavy” and “slow” during bulking, because you’re eating more food.
The solution is simple: eat smaller meals throughout the day to stay energized, and then eat a HUGE dinner at night where you will be resting anyways.
I’ve been training hard, thanks to you! Will begin my first bulk cycle today!
Just a few questions:
1. To bulk: Food portion will have to increase not frequency of eating. Agree?
2. Preparing meals for busy week: Do you prepare your meals for Mon till Sun? How would you keep the food and heat it up? If you said microwave, how would you know you are gaining proper nutrients and freshness? Also, during busy week, how many times you would eat per day?
^ I am really concerned about the 2nd part because I will be busy for the upcoming months and also the “freshness of the food”.
Anything else I should know about being busy and cooking?
1: You can do either, however I prefer to increase portions and eat huge meals.
2: I cook daily most of the time. Sometimes I cook once every 2-3 days. I prefer to cook daily since the food tastes better. If I cook for several days I’ll put it into glass containers and inside the fridge. When I want to reheat it, I use the microwave. The food never tastes as well when I reheat it, but it’s fine. It’s a trade-off: would you rather save time or have fresher food?
Currently I’m busy and eat whenever I want, which can be everything between 2-5 times a day. On average, I’d say 3 times a day.
If you’re busy I suggest you just take 3-4 hours out of your day every Sunday and cook for the whole week. Put the food in the fridge/freezer after, and take it out when needed.
eating 2-5 times during your bulking weeks? But the portion size is small right?
I imagine if I would be eating 3-5 meals per day it would be basically be divided into 2 main meals (lunch and dinner) and 3 snacks.
On another note, what are you currently pursuing in Uni?
I usually eat 2 big meals a day, and then if I eat more meals, they will be smaller/snacks.
I just finished my bachelor in international business and politics, and starting the same program at master level in September.
Question; what routine do you do nowadays?
Still every day pushups and pullups?
Is it ok to do, incline barbell everyday 4 sets? Incorperated with pullups ?
My current routine is outlined here: https://skinnyfattransformation.com/gain-muscle-while-staying-lean/
I still do push ups/pull ups for warm up, between sets or as finishers, however I don’t base my current routine around them.
Are you going to max them out everyday? How many reps? Are you going to eat a caloric surplus or deficit?
No I want to do pushups, pullups and the incline bb with slow control not to max out, just 4sets in a surplus. I think my muscles need to be overtrained in my weak area(chest) everyday. The most of your pyhsique was achieved with a similar routine, right ?
Pushups and pullups everyday right?
My physique was achieved with many different types of training, although high rep/controlled reps/bodyweight training have worked the best.
I think you should try the routine out for 4-5 days a week first, and then see how you recover from that. Then if you need to, increase it to 6-7 days a week. However, don’t go to failure if you want to train everyday.
I want to eat in a surplus, with pushups, pullups and incline bb everyday. I want to do 4 sets 0f 10 reps slow controlled.
You did a similar routine to achieve your physique right?
I did a similar routine for a long time yes, although it was without the incline bb.
Great article, thanks Oskar.
Im skinny fat. 5’7. Last month i was 176 lbs, with skinny arms and legs, but with a prominent belly and moobs. The last 4 weeks i started to eat in caloric deficit only, no workouts, and every week im 2-3 pounds lighter. Im now at 165lbs, arms and legs the same, pot belly noticeable smaller but still big, and the moobs are exactly the same, no difference. So, my body is almost exclusively taking all the fat from my belly, which is great. I will keep eating in deficit to remove the excess fat from my belly and moobs and start to bulk from then on.
I have some questions for you and i hope you can answer them.
1.- You talked about gyno and the fact that it doesnt bother you like it used to be, so you are not thinking about surgery and you dont apply gels or try to conceal it. So, that means that the gyno dissapeared completely? I ask this because i have a combination of gyno and fat in my chest, so the fat makes them big and the gyno makes them puffy. I started to think that if i lower my body fat and create muscle, what is left of gyno will not be very noticeable as now, because now im skinny, no muscle, and with t-shirts they stand out a lot. I was always skinny, flat chested, no fat at all, until 2 years ago when i started a desk job and my belly and chest filled up with fat… so im not sure if i have gyno or if it is mainly fat, but this are my clues that at least my left chest has gyno: my left chest is bigger than my right one (noticeable without clothes because one creates a shadow and the other doesnt); my left nipple itches when i put some type of clothes on; and sometimes i feel like there is something inside my left nipple, its kind of hard/weird to describe.
What do you think about it? What were/are your symptoms?
2.- Do you think that a skinny fat individual can achieve what you have achieved at home, no gym at all? Because i hate gyms, and im planning to start a bodyweight training rutine and buy some free weights.
3.- Regarding diet, im trying to eat as clean as possible and has not been difficult at all… its just that i dont like water at all, being used to drink sprite on a daily basis, the change to plain water has been awfull…. What drinks can i take besides water that will not screw up my diet?
Thats all for now, keep up the good work and have a great weekend. ;)
PD: Sorry for my english, is not my main language.
Thank you Rod,
1: My chest never carried much fat. I got it scanned a year ago by an endocrinologist, and he told me that I have almost no fat in my chest, but a lot of muscle, and a little gland. I had manboobs because of the gland.
You said that your chest used to be flat before (mine never did). In your case, it’s most likely fat, so I would lose that fat before worrying about gyno. If you manage to lose the fat, and you still have manboobs, go to a specialist and get it checked. A surgeon or endocrinologist should be able to tell you if it’s gyno or not.
About the symptoms: when your gyno is new, you may feel a bit of pain when you touch your chest. Also, you can kind of move the gland around inside your chest when you squeeze it.
2: The body I had in my 2013 transformation pic was achieved with bodyweight training and sports. You can build a great physique with bodyweight training. This is a group of guys from Copenhagen who train with bodyweight: https://scontent-b-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/t31.0-8/10339408_788202351230475_5032248149049193895_o.jpg
With that said, the gym has some advantages. You can isolate certain muscle groups better, and there’s more variety. However, those things are not important until you’ve trained for a long time.
3: I never had this problem, so can’t help much here, but I’d just say that you have to get used to it. Give it time. You most likely crave sugar because you were used to getting it through soft drinks before. Those cravings should stop soon.
Thank you very much Oskar, keep up the good work. ;)
Solid article. That 10 to 12% range is ideal imo for guys looking to gain muscle as your hormones are all within the optimal range. When you get too lean it actually becomes harder to put on muscle.
Thanks Manny. You’re right, it’s all about balance. You don’t want to go too low or too high.
This is a very good article, Oskar.
Thank you Victor, talking with you and Mike really got me motivated to work more on my site.
Good Job Bro! Nice site too. Your abs are a type II fiber muscle and they are a function of long term consistent training. Your fiber typing will ultimately determine if you can have ‘abs’ while relaxed or walking around. You look to be a combo of Ecto/Endo and as such everything you’ve written about is spot on. The sacrifice folks with sub optimal (fitness) genetics have to make to retain a visible six pack aren’t worth the lifestyle effort as you very correctly surmised. I’m going to push this article out there and I will do my best to link back to it in time as well. Keep up the good work!
Thanks a lot Jay, I’ve listened to your podcasts with Mike and looked at your site before, and really liked the content!
Hmmmm, you might not be lifting heavy enough weights. I bulk up and lose every year, and that’s the only way I get my 6-pack.
If you get the chance, check out my before and after shots on my blog: http://www.theofficialjohnandre.com/?p=94
Whats your bench? What are you lifting for shoulder, etc?
I just checked your pics, impressive results!
I’ve lifted heavy for a few years before I changed my routine into higher reps/bodyweight stuff. When I was lifting heavy, I actually had worse abs than I do now.
I don’t know what my bench and so on are, since I never max out and don’t lift heavy on a consistent basis. Last workout I did a set with 80 kg on bench and 60 kg on shoulder press.
Thanks! Right now I am around 158-162 lbs, I am going to try to hit 185 this coming winter.
Oskar, you mentioned in your article how when you were 177 lbs you felt like crap like you had symptoms of low T whereas when you were 190 lbs you felt great.
I’ve read that losing enough fat to get a six-pack will actually cause testosterone levels to rise. Did you experience these negative symptoms because you drastically cut your calories to get a six-pack?
Getting lean and staying lean is the best approach to optimize your hormones. However, the way you look when you’re lean is different depending on your genetics. As stated in the article, some people have to put in a lot more effort to get a 6-pack than others. For me and many other skinny-fat guys, that means starving ourselves to lose that last amount of fat around the waist. When you do that over a long period of time, your testosterone will decrease.
Ideally, you will stay in the body-fat range where YOU feel the best. For most people, I would guess that’s around 10-15% body-fat.
About cutting calories drastically: I lost the first 50 or so pounds without much effort, other than eating healthier and less. I was rarely starving. However, to lose those last 10 pounds I had to lower my calories (especially carbs) a lot and starve myself. I’ve since then tried getting very lean several times, and I always reach a bodyweight of about 185 pounds where it just seems to be impossible to go lower without drastically reducing calories.
Great article Oskar!
A lot of fitness gurus are always having their disciples chasing 6 pack abs. But to be in good shape, feel good and keep at it for life, yours is a very doable and sensible philosophy. Thanks Oskar! I’m learning a lot from you!
That’s the goal of this site; to teach skinny-fat guys how to build a good body without sacrificing all other areas of their life.
Hey Oskar. I’m 21. I had been extreme dieting (1400cals with less than 30g fat per day and a shitload of protein and small amount of carbs for 4 months. I’ve lost about 25lbs but had no mass to start with and look like shit. I since upped my carbs and filled out a little. I didn’t realize I lost my libido until I was about to have sex with this girl and my dick was like an accordion player. Noodle dick. When I did get it up, it wasn’t for long. I searched and found out that my diet fucked my system all up. Anyway, I upped the calories gradually and got to 1800 with 60g fat from mostly eggs and peanut butter. Got my libido back but a week of drinking fucked it all up again. After this I now Eat about 2000-2100 and eating 80-90g fats, 100-120g protein and the rest carbs. No carbs on rest days (fats,protein) and carbs, proteins,fats on workout days (3 days a week) Am I on the right path to restore my test levels or should I up calories more? Or change my plan up? Considering I’m still on a deficit. I’m still skinny fat ish.
You’re on the right path to increase testosterone, but I wouldn’t eat 0 carbs on rest days. You don’t need to go that low in carbs to lose fat.
Alright, thanks Oskar I’ll report back in a few months. Nice eBook btw. I’m going to make some huge back gains with it !!
Thanks man! Looking forward to hear about it.
Yo man wassup
I’m 5’8 like 205-210 and I think I’m like 25% body fat I got moobs but the push ups and shoulders and traps are looking somewhat lean
I read Convict condition talking about you won’t grow much
I come on your website and ppl saying they get great gains
I also eat three times a day I need some help should I do your program or what?
Please help I’m tired of this body Man I really am motivated to get a new body and maintain it.
Gaining muscle is mainly a result of EATING enough food to gain weight. In your situation, you should focus on going from 25% body-fat to around 12%. That will take several months, and you will most likely not gain much muscle if any at all, no matter if you do weights or calisthenics.
All the articles on this web site are excellent – as is this one – I’ve learned so much from reading all of them.
I am a skinny fat person – I’m 160lbs – very thin arms and legs – round fatty stomach area.
I’d really like to have a six pack – even just for the holidays – but it seems an impossible goal. Last year I dieted and got down to 145lbs, – everyone told me I looked ill – still no six pack, and felt really weak – I looked dreadful – like a stick insect on a diet!
Having read a number of the articles here, I’m going to focus on getting rid of some flab around the stomach area, then really blast the three exercises mentioned – Chin ups (I can do 2 at the moment) Push ups (I can do quite a few of these) and squats (very weak – lifting 33kg on dumbbells at the moment)
Don’t know if anyone else here is suffering from this – my forearms are really thin and weak – they are constantly getting strained when doing bicep curls / underarm rowing/chin ups? Don’t know how to avoid this though?
Yeah i have been having problems with my forearms/elbows as well, I unfortunately had to cut back on my chin ups because I think that was the biggest culprit, it has taken a really really long time to heal and the only thing that has seemed to help at all has been using that voodoo floss band. Hoping to be able to reincorporate my close grip chins very soon because I need bigger biceps!.
Start with removing the curls and rows (you don’t need them yet if you can do 2 chins), and focus on doing chin ups only. If that doesn’t help, reduce the amount of work you do on chins. It’s better to start low and build up, rather than starting too high and getting a serious injury.
I can definitely speak to the truth of this article, I actually took my fat loss a bit too far due to some issues in my head about loose skin and wanting to have a 6 pack. I got all the way down to 4.4% bodyfat (measured by Dexa) and still did not have a 6 pack, and on top of that I looked pretty bad, I looked flabby and weak and my neck and face were not full, (think starving Ethiopian). I slowly increased my food and started working harder in my work outs and I actually look significantly better now than I did when I was 4.4% despite being at a higher bf%. I do not know my actual bf% at the moment because they suggest waiting 6 months between scans but i know that i look much healthier and aesthetically pleasing now that i am no longer starving myself. Unfortunately, I still have it in the back of my mind that I would like to get a six pack but I now know that starving myself is not the way to get it. So glad to have found this site because otherwise I would have probably followed my brothers advice using traditional bodybuilding methods of dirty bulking up first and am sure I would be fat as hell right now. I much prefer looking half way decent while I slowly bulk up even if the gains come more slowly.
That’s the right mindset to have. Even if you try to gain fast, most of that weight will be fat anyways, so over the long term it will take you longer to build a great physique.
Word, my fellow skinnyfatter. I’m 185cm and I’ve been moving back and forth between 68kg and 91kg (“Starting strength and gomad surely will make me the new Arnold”, yeah right) during last 5 years and I’ve never had a sixpack. It’s like stomach is the last fortress of fat in my body and my arms are the first ones to go famine mode. I’ve been starting to train by your example and losing some fat during last weeks and I’m now at 78kg with a relatively good muscle base. I wasn’t sure how far I should go but after reading this I’m guessing I’m probably already there, veins in my arms are starting to stand out and so do my ribs. Probably should try those mini bulks next and see if my 12 medium pullups go up.
Definitely try the bulking and cutting cycles and let me know how it goes. It’s incredible how many guys followed the typical “lift heavy and eat big” advice, and got no desirable results.
Hi Oskar, Great article once again. I am 5’10 and currently 180 lbs, lost 24 lbs already by following your advices and planning to have a BMI of 22 the same as yours when you were 177 lbs. During your fat loss series, did you have sleeping problems? I can sleep well but sometimes I wake up 4 AM however I just started doing the alpha male exercise before I sleep and it went well.
Wow great to hear you lost 24 pounds, congrats on that!
I did have sleeping problems and got sick at the end of my fat loss towards 177 pounds. Now, my sleep is much better.
Great points, Oscar!
It’s funny timing since I’m dieting pretty hard right now, at around 2,200 calories. Fortunately, I don’t have any of the issues displayed with really harsh restrictions yet. Due to my desk job (somewhat ironically at my gym), I don’t spend a lot of energy except for lifting so I’m at a reasonable amount of calories.
I think a big problem here is media, although the biggest one is the individual. There’s no need to feel less worthy because of a lack of 6-pack. It’s just not that serious, although many make it out to be.
Exactly. It’s only an issue if you make it an issue. As long as you’re lean and muscular your body will look great.
Hi sorry the comment section wasn’t working :)… I was wondering I weight 70 to 78 kg on and off I’m 17 I have muscles arms and shoulders but abs ha ha… no I don’t eat breakfast or school Lunch but I have big suppers my two top abs show but the awesome foursome aren’t being pals is there anything I should change or end up doing also does doing ab workout increase the visiblety of your abs like will excerise to the abs bring them of or make my other two just pop out more? Thanks :D