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TOPIC: 5% body fat BUT NO ABS

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November 17, 2012 2:28 AM
hi,
i'm 5"11 and weigh just 55kgs (i know it's underweight but i'm a long distance runner)..i'm of 5% body fat but my abs only show very lightly..how do i get them to show more? do i need to drop my Body fat percentage further? what exercises are the best and would also appreciate some diet tips as my diet focuses largely around carbs and some protein here and there with very little/minimal fat
  32043520
November 17, 2012 2:49 AM
low body fat alone does give the elusion of abs to some people but even then people wont be impressed by it because technically all people have a 6-pack its just either covered by tissue or the muscle is not developed in your case your abdominal muscles are severely under-developed if you have 5% body fat, so that being said you need to train, hit the abs hard, things like planks, hanging leg raises, dumbell swings, dumbell windmills, weighted sit-ups etc are best for the development of abs, doing them every other day is good and some people will argue you can train them every single day but thats all personal preference, going back to my original argument, people arnt impressed by abs on very skinny people, so make sure to hit the legs, chest, back, shoulders, and arms to really get that good athletic look
November 17, 2012 7:17 PM
how long do you think it will take keeping in mind that i do a lot of running so that should help a bit as well...pretty much what you're saying is i just need to develop my abdominals right?
  32043520
November 17, 2012 7:19 PM
QUOTE:

how long do you think it will take keeping in mind that i do a lot of running so that should help a bit as well...pretty much what you're saying is i just need to develop my abdominals right?


It will take as long as it takes. There are no timers on these things.

You not only need to exercise your abs ***HARD***, this means ***with added weight***, but you will need to eat more. The ONLY way to grow muscle volume is to increase strength, and the ONLY way to increase strength is to (1) lift heavier and (2) eat more. Period.
  7080946
November 17, 2012 7:29 PM
How are you measuring your body fat%?
  3004823
November 17, 2012 7:32 PM
5% body fat? That seems quite low. How did you get that number?
  26001168
November 17, 2012 7:34 PM
QUOTE:

low body fat alone does give the elusion of abs to some people but even then people wont be impressed by it because technically all people have a 6-pack its just either covered by tissue or the muscle is not developed in your case your abdominal muscles are severely under-developed if you have 5% body fat, so that being said you need to train, hit the abs hard, things like planks, hanging leg raises, dumbell swings, dumbell windmills, weighted sit-ups etc are best for the development of abs, doing them every other day is good and some people will argue you can train them every single day but thats all personal preference, going back to my original argument, people arnt impressed by abs on very skinny people, so make sure to hit the legs, chest, back, shoulders, and arms to really get that good athletic look


And I'd bet that if your abs are that under-developed that the rest of your muscles are too. I'd start a heavy lifting program and eat a LOT.
November 17, 2012 7:54 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

how long do you think it will take keeping in mind that i do a lot of running so that should help a bit as well...pretty much what you're saying is i just need to develop my abdominals right?


It will take as long as it takes. There are no timers on these things.

You not only need to exercise your abs ***HARD***, this means ***with added weight***, but you will need to eat more. The ONLY way to grow muscle volume is to increase strength, and the ONLY way to increase strength is to (1) lift heavier and (2) eat more. Period.



You can increase strength even when eating a calorie deficit. You do not need to be eating a surplus. Also you do not need to exercise your abs "HARD". Spend 5-10 minutes a week on abs/core work and you're fine.
November 17, 2012 7:59 PM
At your age it is going to be difficult for you to get a 6-pack without a lot of body building. A man under the age of 26 stores most of his body fat just under the skin, but as you age you body fat will migrate into the muscles (like a steak that is marbled with fat) and away from the skin, making definition more visible.

If you start following a bulking routine, you should get some pretty fast results. You will create a muscle memory that you can carry with you throughout your life, whereas a man in his mid to late 20's just getting started on a body building routine will have a tough time creating much mass (not impossible, just harder).

Eat a lot of protein. Like 200 grams a day. You need to keep up the carbs, but you shouldn't be getting nearly all your calories from carbs if you want a more muscular appearance. Try to get your carbs from high protein sources such as whole grain rice, beans and dairy. Or eat carbs that are very high in nutrients such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

You say you do a lot of long distance running, but what does that mean? Are you running more than 50k a week? If so, try to bring it down to about 20k a week so that you body has a chance to build up some muscle mass. Running too much will make it very hard to put on mass.
  22710373
November 17, 2012 9:15 PM
Bro, 5% is like almost Münzer level body fat. Google Andreas Münzer if you don't know who I'm talking about. At that BF%, you can see like every little muscle fiber.
November 17, 2012 9:30 PM
QUOTE:

Bro, 5% is like almost Münzer level body fat. Google Andreas Münzer if you don't know who I'm talking about. At that BF%, you can see like every little muscle fiber.


Agreed. I would be really surprised if that % was accurate.
  5318632
November 17, 2012 9:33 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Bro, 5% is like almost Münzer level body fat. Google Andreas Münzer if you don't know who I'm talking about. At that BF%, you can see like every little muscle fiber.


Agreed. I would be really surprised if that % was accurate.


Ditto to both. I doubt your calculations are accurate. If what you're speaking is correct, then you just need to add some muscle mass.
  11390926
November 17, 2012 10:40 PM
If you are seriously 5%, first off, for heaven's sake please bulk. Chances are if you're not seeing it at 5% BF that means you're not going to see it at any BF %, so you need to build muscle there. You can do that by bulking and lifting weights, but hitting abs particularly hard.
November 17, 2012 10:43 PM
Hmmm, I started insanity recently and it's helping my abs to come out!
  14184735
November 18, 2012 7:26 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

how long do you think it will take keeping in mind that i do a lot of running so that should help a bit as well...pretty much what you're saying is i just need to develop my abdominals right?


It will take as long as it takes. There are no timers on these things.

You not only need to exercise your abs ***HARD***, this means ***with added weight***, but you will need to eat more. The ONLY way to grow muscle volume is to increase strength, and the ONLY way to increase strength is to (1) lift heavier and (2) eat more. Period.



You can increase strength even when eating a calorie deficit. You do not need to be eating a surplus. Also you do not need to exercise your abs "HARD". Spend 5-10 minutes a week on abs/core work and you're fine.


Only in so far as your fat stores are burned to fuel muscle growth. For "normal people" this is absolutely the case. I personally have dropped from ~30% bf to 18.2% while increasing my lifts by 2-4x (depending on lift).

At 5% body fat, however, your chances of building strength while eating at a deficit are so low as to be non-existent.

So like I said, lift heavier and eat more.
  7080946
November 18, 2012 12:23 PM
A lot of how your abs look is genetics, however I'd get your body fat checked because at 5% your skin would look thin as paper over your abs so Id say your body fat is higher than you think. Your weight is very low even for a long distance runner so first off I'd look at your nutrition and increase your intake of food. Get to some heavy compound lifting. Drop back a bit on the cardio. Focus on your health.
November 18, 2012 11:29 PM
using the body fat callipers as i've been told that's the most accurate method...i also used some formulas on the internet by measuring my waist etc and got around the same
  32043520
November 18, 2012 11:35 PM
Build some ab muscle depending on how much muscle you have there you should be able to see around 10%
November 18, 2012 11:36 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

how long do you think it will take keeping in mind that i do a lot of running so that should help a bit as well...pretty much what you're saying is i just need to develop my abdominals right?


It will take as long as it takes. There are no timers on these things.

You not only need to exercise your abs ***HARD***, this means ***with added weight***, but you will need to eat more. The ONLY way to grow muscle volume is to increase strength, and the ONLY way to increase strength is to (1) lift heavier and (2) eat more. Period.

it is near impossible for me to eat that amount of calories like say around 2500-3000 a day because i burn most of it off and also the foods i eat mostly only contain carbs and not that calorie dense..my only option is to turn to junk food like mcdonald's etc...should i cause that is the only way because for one i don't have much time to cook nor the money to spend on ridiculous expensive foods!!
  32043520
November 18, 2012 11:42 PM
If you have 5% body fat and cant' see abs, I think you may be legally dead. Consult the local police department.
November 18, 2012 11:46 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

how long do you think it will take keeping in mind that i do a lot of running so that should help a bit as well...pretty much what you're saying is i just need to develop my abdominals right?


It will take as long as it takes. There are no timers on these things.

You not only need to exercise your abs ***HARD***, this means ***with added weight***, but you will need to eat more. The ONLY way to grow muscle volume is to increase strength, and the ONLY way to increase strength is to (1) lift heavier and (2) eat more. Period.

it is near impossible for me to eat that amount of calories like say around 2500-3000 a day because i burn most of it off and also the foods i eat mostly only contain carbs and not that calorie dense..my only option is to turn to junk food like mcdonald's etc...should i cause that is the only way because for one i don't have much time to cook nor the money to spend on ridiculous expensive foods!!


Peanut Butter + Spoon = Calorie Goal Met

But seriously dude, you're going to have to do less cardio and more weight training if you want to gain muscle definition.
If you're looking to bulk, ie take in more calories, see if this helps: http://thisiswhyyourejacked.com/the-best-foods-for-cheap-bulkin/
  5318632
November 18, 2012 11:50 PM
Its genetics
  13862729
November 18, 2012 11:57 PM
its not genetics!!!! is your lean muscle mass! you need to increase overall strength and muscle mass in order to have abs , firstly eat more, secondly do heavy compound movements such as squat , deadlift, rows, bench press etc and thirdly eat more after you eat more ;) u tiny
November 20, 2012 6:01 AM
Bump
November 20, 2012 6:05 AM
At 5% BF you should be able to see sharp details in all your muscles. Tendons, striations, fibers, etc.... No matter how much muscle you have.

5% BF is a freakishly low BF% and unsustainable, people that get that low do so only temporarily for a specific date.

You're not at 5% BF.
  12040936

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