I have successfully reduced my body fat from 15% to 8.5%. Keep in mind these are pinch tests so the over all body fat calculated percentage might be a bit off. My abdominal skin fold measures 7.1mm.

I eat 3000 calories a day and whenever I try reduce this, I lose muscle (which results in an identical or worsened overall body fat percentage). Its almost as if my body doesn't want to lose any more fat.

I don't do ANY cardio - just hard & heavy (to me at least) weight training 4 or 5 times a week. What cardio should I try putting in (assuming that will get me down)? Anyone tried and had success with intermittent fasting?

I'm ALMOST happy with my physique. I would hate to come all this way and not achieve a full shredded physique. Here is a picture. You can see that blob of fat where the bottom 2 abs should be.

body snapshot

  • 7
    Just a note - You may not HAVE "bottom two abs". Abdominals are basically one sheet of muscle that goes from your ribs down into your pelvis. What creates the "divisions" or the 6-pack is connective tissue that helps anchor the abdominals. Some people have 4 divisions, 5, 6, 8. It's entirely genetic, and can't be changed. Just from personal experience (College major and subsequent experience) I would put you closer to 5-6% bodyfat. That's about as low as you want to be on a daily basis, anything more than that is an extreme condition that requires specific diet attention to maintain health.
    – JohnP
    Dec 4, 2012 at 14:38
  • Interesting. Cheers for the comment.
    – Mike S
    Dec 5, 2012 at 1:22
  • 1
    @JohnP There's no way this photo is even under 10%. Oct 17, 2022 at 15:58
  • @JohnP As Thomas said, there is no way the person in the picture is close to 5-6%. This looks more like 9-12%. That being said, the comment about muscle insertions on the abs is correct, it may not be possible for the person to ever show the bottom two abs if he doesn't have deep insertions.
    – MJB
    Oct 18, 2022 at 8:47

5 Answers 5


Firstly mate your looking in great shape considering you don't do any cardio. I believe what you need is 20 min cardio in the morning before breakfast. Id start on 10 minutes on cycle machine in the morning. 5 days a week then every week add a minute or to. That will help build stamina and slowly get your percentage down with out, fasting then piling the weight back on.

The idea behind this is that your insulin levels are at their lowest before breakfast, and that leaves your fat supplies vulnerable. A light amount of cardio in morning before breakfast (called fasted cardio) targets the fat supplies and, for the most part, leaves your muscles intact. Linked here is the t-nation article describing this in detail.

  • I am honestly not sure why this got three downvotes, since the advice is sound. I've added a link to t-nation that explains the idea behind what Smitt_3000 is recommending.
    – Moses
    Dec 4, 2012 at 19:09
  • I'll give that a try - thanks @Smitt_3000.
    – Mike S
    Dec 5, 2012 at 1:23
  • I managed to pick up a second hand cycle machine from a car boot for my house and found it easy to cram the minuets in with out to much expense or inconvenience. Thanks Moses for the Edit much needed!. Glad we could help Mike S
    – Jdsmith.It
    Dec 5, 2012 at 9:17
  • Good answer, just make sure to add that low intensity cardio is the best form of cardio in this case.
    – MJB
    Oct 18, 2022 at 8:47

Unfortunately, there's no secret to impart here man. It's just a matter of sustaining a negative daily net calorie regiment (more daily calories burned than consumed) over a certain period of time. Once you've reached the physique you're looking for, you can start to match daily calories consumed to daily calories burned to maintain that figure.

Given the shape you're in, I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know. If you're already keeping a negative calorie diet, then it should only be a matter of consistency before that fat percentage begins to drop. If the rate is too slow for your liking, the answer is simple: either burn more calories, or consume less calories, or both. It doesn't much matter whether you do cardio, weight lifting, or bear wrestling, so long as that negative calorie intake is adhered to. Good luck.

  • 3
    If I had sustained a negative caloric intake, I wouldn't have put on 6kg of muscle in the last 6 months. This is where there is a big hole in my understanding. Since the intensity of my training triggered an adaptive response to the body I have today, (fat loss + muscle gain), maybe I need to increase the intensity of my training (somehow) to induce a further improvement in body composition? My training intensity has plateaued a bit for sure..
    – Mike S
    Nov 6, 2012 at 3:29
  • You cannot burn fat without a negative caloric intake. However, it is not unheard of for people to lose fat and gain muscle within the same time period (assuming this is the case for you). This can occur for beginners, and those with superior genetics (as well as those taking steroids). Nov 6, 2012 at 12:57
  • 2
    Not true. I have never taken steroids and the crowd I train with get hundreds of people per year loosing fat and gaining muscle (www.biologiclabs.com.au) at the same time. I found a website that explains how it is possible. What do you think? scoobysworkshop.com/gain-muscle-lose-fat
    – Mike S
    Nov 6, 2012 at 22:58
  • Looks legit - Scooby generally knows what he's talking about. Nov 6, 2012 at 23:13
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    "You cannot burn fat without a negative caloric intake" I think this statement is based on the "calories in, calories out" oversimplification. What about when I eat like a horse but train hard, gain muscle, and my body fat % seems to drop? Nov 7, 2012 at 18:24

Can't really claim to have personal experience on the matter, but I happened to stumble upon a video that might be of interest. The claim is that the training regime has lead to a final figure of 3%.

In short, the concept is to work out 5-6 times a day, a few hours each. In terms of nutrition the advice given there is to eat high protein low fat/carb products (like eggs, chicken breast etc) as well as cutting carbs after 8 PM.

Now I do not claim that this is completely true, or that it works as claimed on the video. However the person in question is pretty well known, you might have even seen him in a movie or two. :)

  • Interesting - thanks! I'll check it out. I reckon those movie stars are running clenbuterol (very common apparently in hollywood).
    – Mike S
    Nov 7, 2012 at 23:01

You could try water manipulation. Basic idea is to drink 4 litres of water a day for several days in a row along with carbs restriction.

After that you stop drinking, load yourself with carbs and creatine. And observe muscles become back round and your body becomes ripped, while you piss like a horse all day long. Diuretics help as well.

This is not a true fat loss of course , but a way to prepare for photoshoot or figure competition.


What are the macros?

Lower on your calorie deficit, you should adjust your protein higher, as leaner you get muscle waste can be very quick, so see if your protein is on 3g/kg of your body weight. http://www.jissn.com/content/11/1/20/abstract

IF proven to be detrimental to your current level, you want to burn more fat so calorie deficit and high protein. You are unlikely to get set protein levels on IF

Not sure if you have genetics for bottom two abs, I guess one way to find out :)

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