Body fat levels for elite male sprinters?

Jon Drummond’s eyes don’t look too dark to me :smiley:

yeah i guess with my white skin, blonde hair and green eyes i may as well give up running completely

sprinter984, A lot of gyms use the digital fat scales for people that are jsut coming in and really out of shape. Most people have said they are only accurate if you are over 15%

i hear the same about the infrared tests. They are not to accurate if you have a low body fat percentage. I’ve recorded 1% on an old one. I recently was tested on a new one, and i got 5% which varies 1-2%.

the darker the skin and eyes, the less fat the person will hjave (by nature)

you cant be serious? if you are, please expand on this.

Elite sprinters are lean probably because they’re naturally that way and tend to stay that way even when eating a caloric excess. It’s the issue of bodyfat setpoint. This is an incredibly complicated topic when one starts to examine all the various things that influence bodyfat levels like leptin. Basically, the higher leptin levels are, the easier it is to maintain a given bodyfat %. An elite sprinter or any other naturally lean athlete say, at 5% bodyfat, will have higher leptin levels, and thus a more normal metabolism, than someone who diets down to that range. Scientists can take a look at certain brain chemicals and tell whether one is in a “dieted” or “fed” state. An elite sprinters brain chemicals would look normal even at 5% bodyfat. Someone who had to diet down to that level would have certain brain chemicals that would show an adaptation by the body to starvation.

When leptin levels are normal, as they are in a “fed” state, the body’s performance is maximized. Someone who has to diet to maintain a low bodyfat isn’t going to be in a fed state. With decreases in leptin also come decreases in performance which is why it would be difficult for someone at 15% bodyfat to diet down to 5% bodyfat and maintain that long term while increasing their performance. Leptin also induces a shift towards more type II muscle fiber and more efficient nervous system characterized by athletes in speed dominated sports.

When examining the issue of race one carries the genes of their ancestors. If their ancestors lived in places where food was abundant year round then their genetics will tend to be that of the “spendthrift” phenotype where low bodyfat levels are easily maintained, muscle is easily gained, excess calories are burnt off, and the metabolic rate is higher. Their ancestors never had to worry about periods of starvation so their metabolisms tend to be inefficient. Excess calories are either burnt off or used to build muscle mass. Leaness can be maintained with little rebellion by the body.

In contrast, those with a “thrifty” phenotype have genes which have evolved to being faced with periods of famine. Even though famines may not exist for them now, they still carry the genes that allowed their ancestors to deal with them as efficiently as possible. This is not good for athletic success! For people in this category (most americans), their bodies deal with caloric excess by storing as much as possible (fat) and deal with caloric deprivation by slowing the metabolism. They will also have a higher natural amount of bodyfat to begin with as this would be an asset in times of starvation. Since muscle is metabolically active and costly they also tend to have less muscle mass and have a more difficult time building it and lose it much quicker during periods of diet.

A fine theory but rather flawed. How do you explain the higher rate of obesity in African Americans and Hispanic Americans as compared to White Americans.

Could it be socio economic? Could it be lifestyle? I think so.

People these days eat not just to stave off hunger, but to stave of boredom. They eat for comfort, for entertainment. They just eat. Instead of exercising, they eat. The paradox is that their caloric requirements are lower because they are spending more time eating.

Nobody ever got fat on air. OK, except for the Michelin man. :slight_smile:

I saw something up there about hormonal problems if your BF is too low.I’ve measured mine once and I was at 3.7%;could this be a reason I’m relatively short?

My friend had about 4%-6% bodyfat ran 10.27

Ok this is going to sound so so so crazy. Has anyone read any studies on effect of bodyfat with sauna use. I read an article while I was indosposed the other day. Which stated it takes the bad fat and makes it good. Well I be darned. No seriously can this stuff help with bodyfat. By sweating out fat. JK. By sweating out toxins?

I think I could make a million dollars on that idea. Sweating out the fat by Tim Lane. Maybe I could beat dr.phill and hillary clinton in book sales?

Sweat it out? lol Why not just jab a straw in your gut and suck that fat out LOL

I read somewhere jordan had 3.3% bodyfat(one of the Jordan websites.)
However, I read in some mag he had 2.5%! Well, even 3.3% is pretty amazing.

3.5% BF was lowest MJ recorded, but bear in mind after 6 or 5 % the differences are very hard to differenciate, and at that low does it really matter either?

Bruce Lee wasn’t 1.5%. Theres tons of rumors about him. I once heard he had 0% BF… Bull. Shit.

The lowest feasable BF% you could get to is 3% and even when you do get down there, you’re not able to stay there for a very long time. If you find yourself at 3% BF, then take a picture and admire it.

Think about it, ever heard of “fat soluble” vitamins? Think theres a reason they’re called fat soluble?

Bruce Lee’s low bodyfat contributed to his untimely death according to doctors. I would like to lay the ghost to rest… no pun intended.
First of all, his bodyfat levals changed over the years so there’s no point looking at a picture of when he made “the big boss” or “fist of fury”
becuase his bodyfat at that time was not his lowest. Rather, by the time he made “Enter the Dragon” that is when his bodyfat went extreemly low, to the cost of his health…
He occassionally chewed marijuana in his later years, usually in a biscuit or cookie. Unfortunately for Bruce he was allurgic to the stuff. When marijuana is eaten rather than smoked it apparently goes round more of the system. Becuase he was allurgic he needed “fat” to fight off the metabolites. By 73" he simply didn’t have enough fat to fight it off, resulting in the severe brain damage/death.
At the time of Enter the Dragon his bodyfat was pretty much at an all time low, he had also lost some muscle and was 10 pounds lighter. Any numbers that I quote are not to serve as inspiration, niether are they to suggest an ideal…
Rather, an example of bodyfat that went too low. Now, his bodyfat at the time was apparently 2 %.(LOW 2, read 2.0 ) Look at some scenes of Enter the dragon and some incredible “behind the scenes” photos. I have seen pro bodybuilders past and presant and those guys diet etc… to ridiculously low levals for competition. I’m telling you, Bruce was even lower bodyfat
and was shredded to the bone. (By the time of Enter the Dragon).
Arnold shwazzenegger has also said that Bruce had one of the lowest bodyfat counts ever.
What is the disbelief about 2 %? There are some xtreeme people out there and Bruce was one of them. I could get down to 2 % but I would be in hospital for it and would be back up several percent within a weak.

Picture of Bruce during the making of Enter the Dragon.

Yes, anything under 3% is medically dangerous, even to the most elite athlete. As body fat is used for many biological / physiological processes(hormome production, forming structural components of many tissues eg. membranes, acting as a vehicle for fat soluble vitamins, D, A, E, K, and also acting as a padding around the vital organs), anything less than acceptable will end up doing more harm than good.
I myself was measured 2 weeks ago (calipers, 12 sites, and this obviously isn’t the most accurate test), and came to 4.5% (185cm, 84kg), and (for me anyway) there is no way that I could lose anymore BF, without serious, negative changes to my diet, and without it becoming more detrimental to my health and, in turn, my sporting performance.

Excellent post, extremely well articulated and I agree 100%. I, as a kinesiologist with a specialization in fitness, could not have said it better myself. Well DOne dirtyolprorunner.

Linford was ~7%

23 LC was lower than 7%,he was naturally very lean.carl lewis’ lowest was 3.5-4% which happened during the 92 games,fabulous shape.ian mackie from scotland is always around 5-6% with a low of 4.5 but yet again he is genetically very lean.

alot of the top sprinters nowadays are all around 6% which is the norm,even leroy burrell wasn’t far off that-he looked chunky but daley thompson called him a fat-cat during the 92 games and once he seen leroy with the top off he had to eat his words.he got a shock in the shape the guy was in