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Old 06-13-2012, 05:12 PM
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Default Is Low Body Fat Dangerous for Women/Competitors?

There's some great information from Tom Venuto here concerning when low body fat is dangerous and when it is not.

Lately I've seen a trend in some divisions towards dropping strength/weight training ALTOGETHER in favour of hours and hours of cardio alone to drop fat. Tom's information is for you if you're one of the women engaged in this type of prep.

http://www.burnthefat.com/is_low_bod...dangerous.html

Is Low Body Fat Dangerous For Women?
Fat Loss Q & A With Tom Venuto,
Author of Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle


Q: I was just reading a blog about a woman's fitness journey from overweight all the way down to 12% body fat. It was inspiring and motivating, except for one thing - she started experiencing negative health effects, which she attributes to being so lean. Her BMI was in the normal range. I'm curious to know your thoughts about this whole subject of "dangerously" low bodyfat levels, especially in women, but also in general.

Have you experienced clients getting to this point, and needing to advise them to increase their bodyfat to a healthier range? The ACSM position statement says that a body fat level of below 12-14% in women is considered a health risk. Fitness models and competitors regularly drop well below that, but in theory, it's only temporary for that contest or photo shoot.

I think the photos and publicity may create unrealistic expectations for the rest of us "average" women looking to get shredded. To be honest, this information discourages me, because my ultimate goal has been to get down to around that level. I know every woman is different, and maybe I won't have those unwanted side effects, but the idea that I might unsettles me.

A: I know both men and women who get contest lean and they have absolutely perfect health - far healthier than most people with "average" body fat levels.

However, yes it's true there ARE some possible health risks of extreme low body fat levels - especially for women - and especially maintaining extreme low body fat levels. Many physique athletes will even tell you that being totally "shredded" is not all that pleasant - more like a "necessary evil" for competition. There are some psychological issues here as well, which could be a whole separate discussion.

I think, especially in the context of sports, it's best to look at this in terms of risks, rather than certain danger or something you should never do.

There are risks in all extreme sports. In boxing or MMA, just participating is a guarantee that you're going to get hurt. In football you could get anything from broken bones to brain injuries. In almost every sport, there's risk. In physique sports, there's arguably a lot less risk than violent or even popular contact sports. However, you have to reach very low body fat levels to compete, and that could be considered extreme in its own way.

If you choose to be a competitor, you choose to accept the risks, or you just don't compete. Your goal is to manage the risks and be smart about it. There are some really dumb things done for the sake of the hallowed low body fat percentage, and they're just not worth it.

It's not just being super lean that might be unhealthy, it's what you do to yourself in the process of getting there.

Athough some concerns or dangers exist, I believe the risks of low body fat can be a lot less serious than many people think, due to the intelligent nature of how low body fat is achieved by smart and sensible physique athletes. Without a doubt, the risks are much greater when a low body weight and body fat are produced as a result of eating disordered weight loss than athletic weight loss.

So what are the risks of extremely low body fat?

When body fat levels drop to extremes, questions about general health, endocrine health, immune system health and even mental health often come up. But probably the biggest issue is amenorrhea, defined as the loss of the menstrual period for three months or more, which is associated with extreme leanness. That in turn brings up concerns about bone density, which raises concerns for osteoporosis and increased risk of fractures especially as you age. Combined with low calorie dieting, this is known as the female triad.

Bone density is a legitimate and serious concern for women. The good news is, women who do strength training usually have excellent bone density. That is different from someone who starved herself and didn't exercise (as in anorexia or extreme weight loss diets). Also, bone density can easily be measured, so instead of worrying about it, you can get a test and know for sure.

Women over age 40 are often advised to get their bone density tested. A piece of wise advice for female athletes who drop to extremely low body fat levels: Get your bone density measured, regardless of your age. If the results come out favorably, that's one concern you can lay to rest.

Studies confirm that strength-trained athletes who have lower body fat are likely to have far fewer problems than women whose low body fat came as a result of starvation dieting or disordered eating behavior, without the training. A study at Concordia University in Quebec found that female boxers have a high bone mineral density despite low body mass, high energy expenditure and amenorrhea. The researchers said that the type of training that boxers do has a positive effect on bone mineral density.

The same results have been found in gymnasts. Female gymnasts have much higher prevalence of amenorrhea than non athletes. A study from Oregon State was published in the Journal of Bone Mineral Research. It compared gymnasts and runners who had similar body fat (around 14%), where the control group was 22%. The gymnasts had a higher lean body mass and higher lower body muscle strength than the runners, even as the body fat percentages were similar. Amenorrhea was present in 47% in the gymnasts and 30% in the runners.

Here's the interesting part: Among either athletic group, bone density did not differ significantly whether they were oligomenorrheic, amenorrheic or eumenorrheic. However, runners had lower bone density in the spine than gymnasts OR controls. This suggests that strength training or training that protects lean body mass helps maintain bone density (and that runners whose only training is endurance work would benefit from adding strength training).

Other studies in both men and women have made similar findings: a low amount of lean body mass is associated with increased bone loss. So this rule holds up in general: lift weights and gain or maintain lean body mass to protect your bone density.

Weight bearing exercise is also associated with maintaining bone mineral density. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise compared body composition and bone density in groups whose exercise program was only swimming versus groups participating in weight bearing sports such as running, field hockey and basketball. They found that females who participated regularly in the premenopausal years in high-impact physical activity had higher bone density than nonathletic women who did not.

Let's get back to the physique sports for a moment

Bodybuilding, physique, fitness, fitness model, figure - these are sports where the outcome is not performance, or where the low body fat is a side effect of training for performance. Physique sports are cosmetic, where the low body fat levels are an end to themselves. It's important to recognize however, that peaking at a low body fat for a figure/ fitness contest and maintaining a low body fat are two different things.

I know women who have cracked the single digits - the lowest I've ever measured on a female was 8.9%. You could look at that and say, "If amenorrhea shows up in gymnasts almost half the time at 14% body fat, then clearly single digit body fat is far too low, isn't it? Yes, but a point that many people outside the physique world don't acknowledge is that not only do fitness or physique athletes NOT maintain at 9 or 10% body fat, they can't (practically speaking). That same girl I spoke of was, in fact, around 14% body fat in the off season, a swing of about 5% between off season and contest season. To the best of my knowledge, she had perfect health, all year round. Many women look spectacular and are as lean as they ever want to be at 15-19% body fat.

Frankly, the leanest most average women will ever get is the off season level of a figure or physique athlete - 14 to 15% or so. Even if the average female could reach 9 to 10% body fat (it's extremely difficult and hard work), most wouldn't take it that far because it's not the look they want (think shredded abs, bicep/shoulder veins, drawn-in facial features, loss of breasts, etc). So whether contest level body fat is healthy is probably a moot point for any women except fitness, figure or physique athletes - a very small percentage of the athletic population and they only get that lean for a few weeks out of the year.

Very low body fat is par for the course for many athletes - in physique competition and in some endurance sports. I think the key for these women to be aware of the risks and possible markers of risk (the "female triad"), monitor them and open up a dialogue with their physicians. The best one would probably be a sports medicine doctor who "gets" the needs and goals of athletes (this article is opinion and information only - it doesn't replace a qualified medical opinion).

Let me leave you with a couple final points to think about:

One, you will see this discussion about low body fat come up in the context of two completely different areas: women with eating disorders and extremely lean athletes. It pays to recognize there is quite a difference in how each of these two different groups of people pursue their goals, and how that affects their health.

The former are starving themselves skinny and struggling with body image issues. The latter are training for strength and feeding the muscle and don't necessarily have body image problems (though they do exist in physique sports - including in the opposite direction - "muscle dysmorphia").

You're going about your quest for super-leanness in the healthiest of ways if you avoid starvation diets, avoid rapid/crash weight loss, monitor bone density, eat nutrient-dense natural food, maintain your lean body mass, train with weights, do weight bearing activity or cardio, set realistic goals and consciously work on a healthy self-image.


Two, let's be completely honest. Even if you experienced no real health problems, and you could maintain a contest-lean body fat level, most athletes will tell you it's no walk in the park. It might look glamorous in the fitness magazine photo shoots, with the models all smiles. But it's very hard work and the truth is, you're usually hungry, tired, grumpy and weaker than you are at a more normal "off-season" body fat level.

Fortunately, you don't have to be "shredded" to look fantastic. But... If you want to compete in physique sports, or just look like you could, you certainly CAN get very very lean - even competition lean - and there IS a way to do it that's most physically kind to your body and psychologically healthy as well.

That's what Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (BFFM) is all about - healthy, natural fat loss - whether your goal is a "lean, but normal" body fat percentage or all the way to ripped and ready for competition.

Train hard and expect success,

Tom Venuto,
author of Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle,
www.BurnTheFat.com
Learn more about Burn the Fat: www.burnthefat.com
Order Burn the Fat: www.burnthefat.com/order.html
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:16 PM
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Now here's the very interesting blog that sparked the question Tom is answering, above (go to the actual blog for photos of Amber):

http://gokaleo.com/?p=431

Iím Calling for a New Paradigm
Posted on March 27, 2012 by Go Kaleo


I grew up looking at underweight and yet impossibly perfect models on the pages of magazines. It did a number on me. Made me feel ashamed of my fleshy thighs, my broad shoulders, my small breasts. Sparked an unhealthy, decades long troubled relationship with food and my body.

A few years ago, when super-fit, uber lean models started to become popular, I celebrated! Progress, I thought! Perhaps my daughters wouldnít have to grow up surrounded by such destructive images! Strength a desirable quality? Sign me up!

And as I began my journey towards health, I kept those images close. I replaced the skinny ideal with the super-fit, super-lean ideal as my goal. I began to hear the phrase ĎStrong is the New Skinnyí and was thrilled. Iíve kept a picture of Dara Torres at her leanest on my fridge for four years as inspiration. Crossfit gained in popularity and with it images of strong women accomplishing incredible feats of strength and fitness. How wonderful! Take that, skinny models and the magazines that pushed them on my impressionable daughters!

As I got closer to my goal of a lean, fit body though, something started to change. I began to realize how much time I spend thinking about my diet and my workouts. Donít get me wrong. In our modern food climate, we need to be diligent and mindful about what we eat, and our lifestyles have become so sedentary and easy that we need to make time to get the exercise that was a built-in component of our ancestors lives. But as I got leaner, I needed to become increasingly disciplined about calories and macronutrients. At some point I realized Iíd gone beyond simple mindfulness about food, and had ventured into the sort of behavior that some people might consider an eating disorder. Every calorie, every gram of protein, every micronutrient was being tracked. Thatís what I needed to do to continue getting leaner. But oh, did I look great!

Do I want my daughters to grow up healthy and strong? Absolutely. Do I want them to feel pressured to be as disciplined about their diets as I am? Absolutely not.

I think most people can reach a healthy weight and body fat percentage by eating real food, keeping loose track of how much theyíre eating and getting adequate exercise most days. I did that! I got down to about 165 pounds and 18-20% body fat fairly easily once I started eating well and exercising. But that wasnít good enough. After all, I had a picture of Dara Torres at about 9% BF on my fridge. I sure didnít look like that! Nor did I look like the models I saw in fitness magazines, or the women I saw competing in the crossfit games on TV. I had a lot of work still to do if I wanted to be what had clearly become the standard of beauty and desirability in the fitness world.

Last December, I decided enough was enough. This is ridiculous. That lean ideal is as unrealistic for most of us women as the underweight ideal I grew up with. I was maintaining at about 15% body fat and felt great, looked great, was getting stronger and healthier every day, had a husband who adored my body, and yet when I looked in the mirror I still saw the fleshy thighs. What was it going to take to be what I somehow had absorbed as the new standard of beauty?

I decided to find out, and to blog about it.

I set out with a goal to drop down to the level of leanness we women are barraged with in the popular media. 15% wasnít it, and I suspected it was going to be single digit body fat for me, given my genetics. I did set some limits out of concern for my health, though:

-I wasnít willing to sacrifice my basic nutrient needs. If I got to the point that I had to drop my calorie, protein, fat or micronutrient intake below that which is essential for health, I would stop.

-If I started to experience negative health effects of underfat (missing periods, bleeding and bruising, fatigue, hair loss, etc) Iíd stop.

Howíd I do it? I restricted my calories to just a few hundred less than I burn per day. This was so my body wouldnít perceive a sudden reduction in calorie intake as famine, and start burning lean mass for fuel in an effort to preserve fat mass. I averaged an intake of 2200-2500 calories a day, I typically burn 2600-3000 calories a day. This kept my metabolism from slowing down. (Important for anyone trying to lose weight! Better to lose it slowly and get to the finish line with a healthy metabolism than to drop weight quickly but kill your metabolism in the process!)

Next, I maximized my protein intake to aid in lean mass preservation. When losing weight, some of the weight you lose will be fat and some will be lean mass. This is true no matter how healthfully you lose the weight. Getting enough protein can help limit lean mass losses though. I was aiming for 150+ grams of protein a day (at a body weight of 160 when I started). Itís difficult to get that much protein from food on 2200 calories a day, even for omnivores. Factor in my plant based diet, and protein supplementation was pretty much a necessity. I use Garden of Lifeís Raw Protein pretty exclusively, itís the one protein supplement that meets all my requirements: organic, unsweetened and unflavored, made from something I would eat Ďin real lifeí (sprouted seeds), and, as protein supplements go, fairly minimally processed. (If this sounds like a commercial, it sort of is. If you buy it by clicking through from my blog I get a few cents, which helps pay the hosting bill! But I do really believe in this product, for the record, or I wouldnít recommend it.)

A typical day (and they all looked much like this, when having to be this strict itís difficult to have much variety):

Breakfast: green smoothie with 1 fruit, 2 vegetables, algal DHA oil and protein powder
Snack: fruit and a protein shake
Lunch: salad with legumes (frequently tofu or tempeh for itís high protein), roasted root vegetables, kraut and avocado
Snack: a larabar or Vega whole food bar
Dinner: lentils, cooked vegetables and a protein shake
Snack: a spoonful or two of nut butter or a small piece of dark chocolate

I did enjoy my food, I didnít eat anything I hate, so there was that. But I had to be strict with portions, and I had to plan my days carefully to make sure I got everything I needed. And Iím not a fan of protein shakes, so trying to dress them up to make them palatable without adding extra calories was tedious and difficult. There wasnít any room for creativity, and going out to eat was a nightmare! Iím sure I was no fun in that department. No alcohol, teeny tiny portions of chocolate, no impromptu evenings out because I would need to look at the menu beforehand to plan my meal, and the rest of the day around it!

I kept up with my lifting 3-5 days a week and intended to do more cardio, but in reality that sort of went out the window, mostly because, as Iíll discuss later, I just didnít have the energy.

I lost 10 pounds over the course of 12 weeks, which is exactly what I would have expected given my 300-500 calories/day deficit. (It IS calories in vs out, people, donít believe the hype).

My weight loss stalled out at 147 pounds. This is because my weight Ďcaught upí to the number of calories I was consuming. To lose more I would have to reduce my calories or increase my burn through activity. This is where things got really uncomfortable. See, I wasnít willing to reduce my calories further, because Iíd have to sacrifice nutrition. And increasing my activity? Well, by that time I was experiencing unrelenting, low level fatigue, and I simply didnít have the fuel to do more exercise. I have been bouncing around 148-150 for almost a month now, and itís one of the reasons I decided to end the experiment when I did. I simply hit a wall that I couldnít get over without risking my health, and that had been my limit going into this.

I scheduled a hydrostatic body fat test and maintained my weight until the test. That was a few-week wait. During that time I began to see some symptoms of Ďunderfatí. There was the fatigue, for starters. And I was constantly impatient and irritable with my family. My husband, bless his heart, really stepped up and ran a lot of interference between my kids and I so they didnít have to deal with my short temper. Iíve been spacey and forgetful. My libido has completely vanished. Most worrisome, my period didnít show up when it was supposed to. As I write this, itís 17 days late. Iíve been like clockwork since Iíve been at a healthy weight.

Itís difficult to find scientific info on the health impact of underfat. Most of it there is is specifically about women who are underweight as well as underfat, and even now at 12% body fat my weight is still a very healthy 150 pounds, making my BMI 22.1, smack dab in the middle of the Ďhealthyí range on the weight charts. I have over 20 pounds worth of Ďcushioní before I drop into the Ďunderweightí category. Given my declining health, though, itís clear I canít spare that weight without risking serious complications.

Here is my before and after photo, the difference in color is due to the natural lighting at the time of day the pictures were taken, Iím standing in front of the same wall in both pics. On the left, November 2011 at 160 pounds and roughly 15-16% body fat. On the right 150 pounds and 12% body fat. I look great, donít I? Aside from some fluff on my knees, Iíd look right at home on a fitness magazine cover. And that fluff can be photoshopped out, no problem! But according to the American Council of Sports Medicine, a body fat composition of less than 12 to 14 percent is considered too low and a health risk. Other sources suggest falling below 15 percent is a concern. According to this site, having too little body fat increases the risk of brittle bones, loss of menstrual periods, infertility, dry skin, poor concentration, low mood, feeling cold, constant thoughts about food and low sex drive. Body fat protects the internal organs and aids in proper nerve function, Iíve discovered very unpleasantly, as Iíve recently started experiencing sciatic pain for the first time in my life. Maintaining too little body fat for any length of time can weaken your bones and contribute to osteoporosis. Too little body fat can effect not just your moods, but your neurological function, triggering full-blown eating disorders in people whoíve previously had a healthy relationship with food.

I like this picture because while it highlights how lean I am, the look on my face is a great illustration of how I feel. Spacey, out of it, low energy. Youíll also note my complete absence of breast tissue. This is pretty standard when a womanís body fat gets this low. There are a few lucky women who maintain some semblance of breasts, but most of us, when this lean, will have the chests of teenage boys. Hence all the surgically enhanced boobs in the fitness industry.

They donít tell you this stuff when they bombard you with images of impossibly cut and defined women, do they? They also donít tell you that the models in those pictures take diuretics (check out the last tip at the end of the article) and restrict water intake, to dehydrate themselves and make their muscles appear more defined. Or that every image you see in the media has been photoshopped and altered to better fit the standard image of beauty. And donít even get me started on the fake tans, the strategic posing, the surgical enhancements, the flattering lighting, and the drugs some of these women take.

I know Iím going to get lots of comments from people who can maintain an uber-lean physique without experiencing health effects. Thatís great! You are very fortunate that your body type has been declared ĎGood and Desirableí by our culture. There are people who are able to maintain weights and body fat levels that classify them as obese and remain healthy, too. Do we glorify them and suggest that all women should aspire to that ideal? Of course not. Because most of us wouldnít be healthy if we tried to maintain that physique. Just as most of us wouldnít be healthy at the body fat levels that are being pushed on us by the media and each other.

I no longer appreciate the ĎStrong is the New Skinnyí meme, mostly because it is generally accompanied by images that are unrealistic and unhealthy for most of us. I believe in the original intention, the celebration of strength. Being strong is great, but you donít need to be shredded to be strong. And you donít need to be, or look, strong to be healthy. The original message has been co-opted, twisted and turned into a marketing tool to sell us a new mythology. Iím calling for all of us, even the fitness models and figure competitors, to reject the cultural mythology that there is one standard of beauty and health. Stop buying in! Stop buying the magazines and the products advertised in them, stop sharing and glorifying the pictures on facebook, stop looking at yourself in the mirror and focusing on the ways you donít look like what you see in the media. Not even the models in those pictures look that way in real life. Health first. If you end up looking ripped because youíve adopted a healthy lifestyle, great! And if when you are healthy you donít end up ripped, join the club. It wonít be easy to change the way we think. I admit, I really like the way I look now! Thereís a part of me that wants to say Ďscrew my health!í and stay here, or even lose a little more! We are so brainwashed that even when confronted with evidence that what weíre doing is dangerous, we still are tempted to keep doing it because of the positive reinforcement we get from society. I hate it, and want better for my daughters. I want better for myself. I want better for all of you! We all deserve better than this, and to be loved just the way we are.

Did you enjoy this post? Join the discussion on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/gokaleo
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:13 PM
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Both were good reads. Thanks for sharing them. Some of that really hit close to home when I was leaner, and it is all stuff I need to re-read a few times over as I lean back down to a healthy weight.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:30 PM
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Awesome stuff!
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http://www.siouxcountry.com/showthread.php?t=25226
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:47 AM
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She says she is 12% bodyfat in that 2nd pic.

Is that right? She looks higher than that to me. Seems at 12% she would have more abs showing.

It was an interesting read, but she makes it seem like a big deal that she is tired and a little out of it.. I was the same way when I prepped for my shows, just part of competing, like being grouchy and getting a spray tan.

This is written by a totally normal person I guess, so it is meant more for them than the fitness crowd.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by lann1011 View Post
She says she is 12% bodyfat in that 2nd pic.

Is that right? She looks higher than that to me. Seems at 12% she would have more abs showing.

It was an interesting read, but she makes it seem like a big deal that she is tired and a little out of it.. I was the same way when I prepped for my shows, just part of competing, like being grouchy and getting a spray tan.

This is written by a totally normal person I guess, so it is meant more for them than the fitness crowd.
Everybody holds BF differently...even people the exact same height...and she may not truly be 12% as anything but hydro isn't all that accurate.

My abs don't show till about 10% on me (and that was hydro tested). A GF of mine who got tested on the same day was 13% and had abs showing.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lann1011 View Post
She says she is 12% bodyfat in that 2nd pic.

Is that right? She looks higher than that to me. Seems at 12% she would have more abs showing.

It was an interesting read, but she makes it seem like a big deal that she is tired and a little out of it.. I was the same way when I prepped for my shows, just part of competing, like being grouchy and getting a spray tan.

This is written by a totally normal person I guess, so it is meant more for them than the fitness crowd.
I think the take-away point is that the fitness set is used to market a difficult (and for some, impossible) lifestyle and look to the general public with the result that most normal women feel shitty about themselves because they can't look like the cover models. Her point is that even the cover models don't maintain that look all the time. And this marketing keeps women seeking the next best diet solution, workout regimen, and supplement to get that look. It's the BS that keeps the business going: a marginal group of people who are part of a unique subculture are the means used to convince "normal," average people that "You can look like this, too!!" Some can. MOST cannot. And, again, even those that CAN can't sustain it and most suffer a lot on their way to looking that way. Being told that fuzzy thinking and your body shutting down on you is the price you have to pay for a cosmetic end is kind of messed up. At the end of the day, it's a choice, but we competitors normalize this to the nth degree.

It's an important message. I used to think I could look ripped all the time, too, if I lived the lifestyle. Turns out it's not a healthy nor a sustainable look for me, although you can be sure I take photos when I'm there.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Crystol88 View Post
I think the take-away point is that the fitness set is used to market a difficult (and for some, impossible) lifestyle and look to the general public with the result that most normal women feel shitty about themselves because they can't look like the cover models. Her point is that even the cover models don't maintain that look all the time. And this marketing keeps women seeking the next best diet solution, workout regimen, and supplement to get that look. It's the BS that keeps the business going: a marginal group of people who are part of a unique subculture are the means used to convince "normal," average people that "You can look like this, too!!" Some can. MOST cannot. And, again, even those that CAN can't sustain it and most suffer a lot on their way to looking that way. Being told that fuzzy thinking and your body shutting down on you is the price you have to pay for a cosmetic end is kind of messed up. At the end of the day, it's a choice, but we competitors normalize this to the nth degree.

It's an important message. I used to think I could look ripped all the time, too, if I lived the lifestyle. Turns out it's not a healthy nor a sustainable look for me, although you can be sure I take photos when I'm there.
^^^This...both the first and second paragraph.

We can get there...but is it healthy to stay there? For me it was so not mentally and even really physically. I so very much WANTED to be there.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Crystol88 View Post
I think the take-away point is that the fitness set is used to market a difficult (and for some, impossible) lifestyle and look to the general public with the result that most normal women feel shitty about themselves because they can't look like the cover models. Her point is that even the cover models don't maintain that look all the time. And this marketing keeps women seeking the next best diet solution, workout regimen, and supplement to get that look. It's the BS that keeps the business going: a marginal group of people who are part of a unique subculture are the means used to convince "normal," average people that "You can look like this, too!!" Some can. MOST cannot. And, again, even those that CAN can't sustain it and most suffer a lot on their way to looking that way. Being told that fuzzy thinking and your body shutting down on you is the price you have to pay for a cosmetic end is kind of messed up. At the end of the day, it's a choice, but we competitors normalize this to the nth degree.

It's an important message. I used to think I could look ripped all the time, too, if I lived the lifestyle. Turns out it's not a healthy nor a sustainable look for me, although you can be sure I take photos when I'm there.
Exactly. That was my takeaway from the article. The biggie was that it's not realistic, nor healthy, to maintain at that level.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:30 AM
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Great post! I agree, we need to focus on being healthy and not so ripped all the time. I see too many girls obsessed with having that really lean body and they will do anything to get there even if it is unhealthy.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:04 PM
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When I measured at 12% I didn't have crazy abs. Don't think mine were developed enough at the time (that was before I started doing a lot of weighted ab stuff. Even now, if I get really lean I don't have the bricks that some people have)
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:05 AM
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Both very good reads! i really enjoyed both and I believe that many, if not most of us competitors can relate to these stories!
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Old 06-16-2012, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lann1011 View Post
She says she is 12% bodyfat in that 2nd pic.

Is that right? She looks higher than that to me. Seems at 12% she would have more abs showing.
Amber told me to be sure to pass on that she was carbed up and hydrated in those pictures. No "peaking," or dehydrating.

Just so's ya know.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicky9914 View Post
When I measured at 12% I didn't have crazy abs. Don't think mine were developed enough at the time (that was before I started doing a lot of weighted ab stuff. Even now, if I get really lean I don't have the bricks that some people have)
Same here I was measured at 10.5 and no crazy abs...

Good reads, thank you for posting
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:28 PM
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What one was 'measured' at is truly irrelevant since it's can't be accurate.

12% female typically equates to a 7% male. 10.5% female? Under 6% male due to the inherent gender assumptions built into the mathematical models and predictive equations.

I think most would deem a 5-7% male shredded, not lean.

All the more reason i can't stand body fat claims.

That is not 12% by any means. Not that it even matters in the context of the article.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik
What one was 'measured' at is truly irrelevant since it's can't be accurate.

All the more reason i can't stand body fat claims.

That is not 12% by any means. Not that it even matters in the context of the article.
Hell yez

Numbers schumbers when it comes to body fat. Never measured it for me, never will. Don't care.

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Old 06-16-2012, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik View Post
What one was 'measured' at is truly irrelevant since it's can't be accurate.

12% female typically equates to a 7% male. 10.5% female? Under 6% male due to the inherent gender assumptions built into the mathematical models and predictive equations.

I think most would deem a 5-7% male shredded, not lean.

All the more reason i can't stand body fat claims.

That is not 12% by any means. Not that it even matters in the context of the article.
Absolutely Erik and Crystol!
I just stated that to reiterate that BF is irrelevant to the way you look (in reply to the comments re the girl in the article's BF%)- that measurement was 2 years ago, before I had even thought of competing and thought I needed to know my BF% - that was from a DEXA scan. Haven't had one since and no plans to measure it again - training for a look not a number
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisacal View Post
training for a look not a number
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:35 PM
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Awesome post I have no idea what my BF is ?? I did the caliber thingy once and knew that had to be wrong hahaha
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:40 PM
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even though numbers aren't important, can someone tell me what is the average you would say women are in different divisions?

what would be estimate bf on a FBB, WPD, figure and bikini competitor? just wondering about the difference
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