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  1. #1
    baseline_9's Avatar
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    Adjusting your 'set point' - discussion

    So what's your take on the body having a 'set point'.... Your genetic potential.... A genetically determined body fat and lean body mass level...

    I really do believe this exists as after my cycles if i have a good amount of time off gear i always slowly creep back to where I was before.....

    But what's your take on body fat set points specifically?


    I know that there are some guys here who are currently trying to shift there set point but is this more mental.....

    For example..... If your body fat set point is at around 14%, meaning you an easily maintain that without having to think too hard about it could you diet down to 7% and then work hard to maintain that for say 12 weeks.... Would your body fat set point have been reduced down to maybe 10%...

    Or is this a mental thing.... By maintaining a low body fat percentage for an extended period while you try to 'adjust your set point' are you not just teaching/ training yourself to eat more consistently at target macro and do regular (if required) cardio..... Will this not just spill over into every day life after you stop the process of trying to adjust your set point... Meaning you'll be more likely to remain leaner because of what you know/do rather than what your body wants its set point to be...

    Has anyone managed this successfully?


    GB, can you share narks info on this if your aware of it.... I'm sure he is in the 'you can adjust your set point' camp

    Discuss
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  2. #2
    kronik420's Avatar
    kronik420 is offline Anabolic Member
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    my body seems to stay at 95 kg..

    whether that's mostly fat and little muscle, or mostly muscle and little fat....

    i can cut down to 90, and bulk up to 100 with ease... but i always seem to hover around 95 kg...

    idk if that's what your trying to talk about but yea..

  3. #3
    gbrice75's Avatar
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    Great topic Base. I have a lot of thoughts on this as it's something I'm very aware of and actually currently working to alter (so clearly I believe it's possible, to some degree). They will have to wait until tomorrow however as I'm on my iPhone and can't stand typing that much, lol.

    I'll hit Nark up and see what his viewpoint is on this... I'm sure he has some thoughts (doesn't he always!? ). I tend to think he'd be in agreement with me, at least in part. In fact, I'll try and get him to stop by to weigh in if he has a minute.

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    RaginCajun's Avatar
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    I remember slimmerme asking this exact question about a year or so ago.

  5. #5
    cj111's Avatar
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    I know one thing, the longer you stay lean, your body will recognize it , and it will be easier to stay lean. Its easier for fat people to stay fat, and lean people to stay lean. In essence, a fat guy looks at a burger and he will put on weight. Someone who is lean who barely eats burgers it wont do shit to him. Just my 2 cents, not sure if that really applied to the topic but oh well

  6. #6
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    Im very much a believer in the fat gene, It is very difficult for me to cut below 15% I have to use extreme methods to go below 15% it's because as a survival mechanism my body has become very efficient at storing bodyfat, this is incase we are forced into times of famine. Fat is stored energy to use when times are hard when there is no food around, the body stores it's for the kind of shit what's happening in parts of Africa at the moment (famine). Good news for folks like me is I have very efficient body for a survival situation, bad news is it's a bastard when your trying to get six pack abs lol

  7. #7
    Times Roman's Avatar
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    I've been very lean when i was younger. 160lbs and 6'

    stripped the skin off the chicken, avoided potatos and other carbs, no jjunk food, ran about 100 miles a week. so really you can't do too much more cardio than that, wouldn't you agree? and although I didn't have a good enough understanding of a "clean" meal at the time, I didn't eat anything that wasn't healthy.

    and I've ALWAYS had this layer of subcutaneous fat in my belly.

    So how low of BF% would I have to go to get the scalloped abs we see?

    Now, having said that, how many times have you seen some skate board dude smoking a cigarette and eating a candy bar WITH abs?

    I do believe we all have different set points.

  8. #8
    cj111's Avatar
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    Good news for folks like me is I have very efficient body for a survival situation
    Well when the world goes to shit, you will be alive and I wont. 6pack abs is pretty useless when you dead

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj111 View Post
    Well when the world goes to shit, you will be alive and I wont. 6pack abs is pretty useless when you dead
    Haha I do envy you tho lol im getting there tho, im 12% got my top four abs out, but im literally having to train like a maniac and starve myself half to death lol

    Hopefully like base mentioned, if I can maintain it for a while, (when I reach sub 10%) hopefully my set point will change.
    Last edited by 951thompson; 03-25-2013 at 06:13 PM.

  10. #10
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    You ever eat up around maintenance or do you always run a deficit? I been eating maintenanceish lately, and I swear I've just gotten leaner. For about a week I was eating dinner 9-10 at night because of school n shit, and I had a nightmare I woke up with a gut...it was pretty disturbing. Woke up smaller if anything, body is one unpredictable mofo

  11. #11
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    i believe the set point can be changed and i believe i have changed mine from diet and exercise as well as hormonal balance (finally).. this is an area that hasnt been brought up yet.. now i havent tested where my body would go if i quit doing everything, i know before my set point was around 27%bf BOD POD..

    now when i quit doing all cardio and just lifted and ate fairly freely i got as high as 15% and this was around last august. i agree with CJ that lean people tend to stay lean and fat people fat but i think it has to do with many factors and not just ur "set point" being in a vacuum.

    before i had no idea how to eat and work out effectively together. now i do. also i have managed to get a "feel" for where im at and can tell if i need to reduce carbs for a couple days vs continue eating them as usual.. IMO all these thing and probably some others come into play..

    i am curious to hear nark's perspective on this GB.

  12. #12
    951thompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj111 View Post
    You ever eat up around maintenance or do you always run a deficit? I been eating maintenanceish lately, and I swear I've just gotten leaner. For about a week I was eating dinner 9-10 at night because of school n shit, and I had a nightmare I woke up with a gut...it was pretty disturbing. Woke up smaller if anything, body is one unpredictable mofo
    I had a week off last week, because I've been cutting since the 1st January. So I eat at maintenance for the week with the idea of recharging my metabolism. Im the same weight on the scale as before I had a week off and im not sure but I feel like I've gained some LBM. Need to get my bodyfat tested to be sure. the body is a complex machine, your right what you say, can be very unpredictable.

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    RaginCajun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by --->>405<<---
    i believe the set point can be changed and i believe i have changed mine from diet and exercise as well as hormonal balance (finally).. this is an area that hasnt been brought up yet.. now i havent tested where my body would go if i quit doing everything, i know before my set point was around 27%bf BOD POD..

    now when i quit doing all cardio and just lifted and ate fairly freely i got as high as 15% and this was around last august. i agree with CJ that lean people tend to stay lean and fat people fat but i think it has to do with many factors and not just ur "set point" being in a vacuum.

    before i had no idea how to eat and work out effectively together. now i do. also i have managed to get a "feel" for where im at and can tell if i need to reduce carbs for a couple days vs continue eating them as usual.. IMO all these thing and probably some others come into play..

    i am curious to hear nark's perspective on this GB.
    I was waiting for someone to mention hormones.

    I wonder how the body works with fat partitioning in low test males as well as high test males. What role does estrogen play in all of this?

  14. #14
    --->>405<<---'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 00ragincajun00 View Post
    I was waiting for someone to mention hormones.

    I wonder how the body works with fat partitioning in low test males as well as high test males. What role does estrogen play in all of this?
    well i can tell u it doesnt work worth a damn when u have low test.. thats for sure! man i wish i wouldve figured out TRT sooner! but im glad i figured it out when i did!

  15. #15
    gbrice75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baseline_9 View Post
    So what's your take on the body having a 'set point'.... Your genetic potential.... A genetically determined body fat and lean body mass level...

    I really do believe this exists as after my cycles if i have a good amount of time off gear i always slowly creep back to where I was before.....

    But what's your take on body fat set points specifically?


    I know that there are some guys here who are currently trying to shift there set point but is this more mental.....

    For example..... If your body fat set point is at around 14%, meaning you an easily maintain that without having to think too hard about it could you diet down to 7% and then work hard to maintain that for say 12 weeks.... Would your body fat set point have been reduced down to maybe 10%...

    Or is this a mental thing.... By maintaining a low body fat percentage for an extended period while you try to 'adjust your set point' are you not just teaching/ training yourself to eat more consistently at target macro and do regular (if required) cardio..... Will this not just spill over into every day life after you stop the process of trying to adjust your set point... Meaning you'll be more likely to remain leaner because of what you know/do rather than what your body wants its set point to be...

    Has anyone managed this successfully?


    GB, can you share narks info on this if your aware of it.... I'm sure he is in the 'you can adjust your set point' camp

    Discuss
    Again - great topic. This is something I'm currently working hard at. I absolutely do believe our bodies have set points, both with regard to bodyweight and bodyfat percentage. For instance, I've weighed as little as 177lbs (at roughly 9%) and as much as 219lbs (at roughly 17%) after cutting or 'bulking', respectively. No matter what I do, when I start 'letting things fall as they may', I almost always wind up at around 193lbs, 15% bodyfat. My body is just very comfortable there. That is homeostasis for me.

    I DO believe it's possible to change it to some degree, however I believe it will take much longer than 12 weeks. Any number I throw out will be arbitrary, but I'd be willing to bet upwards of at least 6 months would be necessary. Currently, I'm cutting. I'd love to sit at somewhere between 10-12% year round, but as I said - when I stop being meticulous, I always creep back up to around 15% (a place I'm not happy or comfortable at). To achieve this, I will spend at least 6 months eating at TDEE once I reach my goal. From that point, I'll add a few hundred calories/day and see how things go. It's also important to point out that our bodies seem to handle nutrients more efficiently once we're under ~ 12%. i.e. nutrient partitioning appears to become more efficient, making it easier to build muscle and not as easy to store bodyfat.

    I can say that I have some experience with changing set point. I spent the better part of 15 years at around 255lbs, mid 30's bodyfat. I ate like a pig and sat on my ass - I literally did NO physical activity. For all intents and purposes, I believe I SHOULD have gotten much fatter - but my set point appeared to be 255lbs-ish, mid 30's bodyfat. I dieted down to around 201lbs at one point, maybe 16% bodyfat, but eventually crept back up to my set point. I never went over despite continuing to eat the way I did to get there in the first place. Also of interest is the fact I was a VERY skinny kid. i.e. I did not have any issues with childhood obesity. Basically, I'm an ectomorph who, through laziness and poor eating habits, allowed myself to become fat.

    When I FINALLY made the commitment to drop the weight once and for all, I managed to 'retrain' my body and as I mentioned earlier, my new (and probably more accurate, metabolically) set point is around 190-ish at 15% bodyfat. Time to retrain once again!!

    As for whether it's mental or physical - I think it's fair to assume it's a combination of both. By being disciplined, you're not only training your body but also your mind, and both are working synergistically to achieve the same goal.

    I'm going to try and wrangle Nark to chime in as I'm also curious about thoughts and opinions on this as well.
    Last edited by gbrice75; 03-26-2013 at 08:26 AM.

  16. #16
    GirlyGymRat's Avatar
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    This is a great discussion topic. It seems to be genetic VS behavior. We our given a genetic disposition and behavior can either work for or against us.

    I hope their is a reset point cuz I like mine to be 15 ponds less.

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