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The Rule Of Body Fat Percentage When Building Muscle Mass

Kai Greene

Twenty and Under: The Rule Of Body Fat Percentage When Building Muscle Mass

Everybody wants to add a ton of muscle "mass" to their frame, but the word "mass" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. If you're reigning Mr. Olympia Phil Heath, then adding mass would mean putting 4 new pounds of muscle mass onto an already impressive frame in a year. Conversely, if you're a 155-pound lifter from Hoboken who can't crack 160 pounds no matter how much McDonalds he eats, then "mass" probably means gaining size at any cost. And if you're somewhere in between the skinny kid and the most muscled man in the world, then "mass" probably means.

A general and safe rule for adding new size to your frame and weight to the scale is that you should never allow your body fat percentage to climb above 20%. If you're a stick man who has to have veiny arms and abs year-round, then you're never going to be able to add 15 pounds of beef onto your chest, back and thighs. But if you're a well-muscled individual whose abdominals are reduced to a vague outline for just a few months, then not all is lost. Live with it, build up some muscle, then diet down whenever you're ready!

Many people who use steroids believe that 10 to 12% is the optimal levels for building muscle mass, and for them it is! But for naturals, keeping fat levels that low requires you to keep cardio high and calories restricted - which don't lead to new muscle mass gains for you.

We've all see the bodybuilders (who will remain unnamed to protect their identities) who accepted jobs as a guest poser then showed up at 25% body fat. Those pictures live forever on the bodybuilding forums, just as they will on your Facebook wall, should you choose to appear in public with that much mass on your frame.

The keys to bulking up, without getting too fat, are just to watch your fat and sugar intake. You're probably not going to gain 22 pounds of fat in a month by eating too much grilled chicken, let's be honest. But living on McGriddles and Taco Bell burritos for a month, with plenty of Mountain Dew, is a great way to add that much fat to your frame in a very short time. And while it may feel great to be as big as a house in all your clothes, you won't be feeling all that good when it's time to strip down and compare physiques on the beach or bodybuilding stage! Good luck!

Dane Fletcher is the world-wide authority on bodybuilding and steroids. He has coached countless athletes all over the world.

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Well-known member
Sep 24, 2017
In every meal of a body builder, fats should be limited as much as possible.


Mecca V.I.P.
Jun 30, 2020
20% seems to be very strict for body builders especially men. It might require so much hard work. Avoiding fatty foods altogether might help to achieve it. But healthy fats are important.

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