People With 0% Body Fat
Let's check out the leanest people in the world with almost 0% body fat!Society
Most people assume that bodybuilding is all about big muscles and tiny thongs, but there’s more to the sport than just hitting the gym and pumping some iron. A bodybuilders' success is based on both the size of their muscles and their body fat percentages, and the leaner the bodybuilder is, the easier it is to see their bulging biceps and tensed up tushies.
Let's take a look at some of the leanest people in the world who have almost 0% body fat!
This hard-hatted man’s name, ironically, is Helmut Strebl, an Austrian bodybuilder who’s been referred to as the ‘most shredded man in the world.’ He may be wearing a hard hat, but it isn’t as hard as the Austrian’s abs.
Helmut's insane physique is built through an intense weekly workout routine, and an incredibly strict 6-meal-a-day diet. If we ate six meals a day, we definitely wouldn’t be lean but Helmut isn’t cramming down burgers and fries. His workouts are fueled by a strictly low fat, high protein diet of egg whites, chicken, and basmati rice.
Helmut’s beige diet sounds pretty boring, but it clearly gets the job done, leaving the muscleman with a shocking 4% body fat. To put that into perspective, a healthy body fat percentage for men aged 40-59 years old is 11 to 21%. So, at 53 years old, Helmut is far leaner than the average man.
The bodybuilder is as fit as a fiddle and just as stringy! All of his muscles and tendons are visible due to his total lack of subcutaneous fat, that is, the fat just under the surface of the skin.
This allows him to show off muscles that I didn’t even know existed, even his back seems to have a six pack! This leanness is equal parts terrifying and impressive, and Helmut’s shocking muscle definition has earned him several bodybuilding competition wins from the 1990’s to the 2010s.
A lot of us spend a small fortune on moisturizers and procedures that’ll keep our faces and bodies as smooth as possible. Bodybuilders, on the other hand, want their skin to show the immense vascularity of every muscle fiber and vein as they tense on stage. And almost no one shows that off better than Frank McGrath!
A professional bodybuilder who lives by the motto ‘no vein, no gain,’ this athlete’s body fat percentage is so low that his skin looks like a roadmap! His immense muscles push every single vein to the surface when he tenses his arm.
Aside from just being jiggly fat that’s visible just under the skin, subcutaneous fat works as an extra layer of insulation that covers the muscles and veins that we have inside our bodies. It’s normal and healthy for humans to carry some fat, but for bodybuilders like McGrath, subcutaneous fat is a bitter enemy!
The athletes do everything in their power to burn away the jiggly layer that’s hiding their muscles and veins. Frank, for example, eats only high protein foods to help build muscle and rarely consumes excess sugar, which is more likely to be stored by the body as fat.
He also drinks a gallon of water a day, more than twice the recommended amount, to stay hydrated through his intense workouts, and keep those veins popping.
It sounds pretty punishing, but when he’s at his peak before a competition, it’s clear to see who’s the boss of the body fat battle! With an estimated 5% body fat, all of his massive muscles are clearly visible through his skin.
Let’s drop the dumbbells for a moment and hop on our bikes to get in the mindset of a completely different athlete with shockingly low body fat.
Tom Staniford is an English para-cyclist who suffers from MDP syndrome. This is an incredibly rare genetic condition that stops fatty tissue from being stored underneath his skin, leaving him with close to 0% body fat.
Less than 100 cases of MDP have ever been officially diagnosed, but it’s understood the condition is caused by a mutation in the POLD1 gene. This alteration also afflicts sufferers with low flexibility, low testosterone, and hearing loss.
Despite weighing just 134lbs at 6 foot 3, MDP causes Tom’s body to think that he’s obese! He’s even developed type 2 diabetes, a condition commonly caused by extra weight triggering a resistance to insulin, leading to damagingly high blood sugar levels.
All this despite his extreme lack of fat! As you can imagine, performing any activity with MDP is a grueling process. But amazingly, Tom is an incredibly successful cyclist, competing at international para-cycling competitions.
Tom only has 40% of the muscle mass of an average male, and his lack of body fat causes his muscles to become stiff and inflexible while exercising, however, Tom won the British National Para-cycling circuit race championship in 2011, refusing to let his condition stop him from doing what he loves!
From one inspiring athlete to another, Hamdullah Aykutlu is another sportsman who point-blank refused to give up on his dreams. Hamdullah was a professional bodybuilder in the 90s who competed in a string of competitions, most notably coming 17th at Mr Olympia in 1993.
Unfortunately, Hamdullah’s professional career was relatively short, where he gave up his pro card and returned to amateur competitions in 1997. Hamdullah wasn’t in it for the fortune and fame, he just wanted to compete, and the bodybuilder won a string of Amateur competitions throughout the late 90s and early 2000s.
Although Hamdullah wasn’t the most successful pro-bodybuilder, some bodybuilding fans believe that he may have been one of the leanest, sharing images of his striated muscles on bodybuilding forums.
Throughout his career, Hamdullah’s low body fat caused his muscles to take on some pretty crazy shapes, and he was arguably most famous for his peculiar glutes! Some internet users even affectionately nicknamed him ‘Spongebob square-cheeks.’
Hamdullah retired back in 2002, and it looked like the bodybuilders career was over until 2010, when the athlete blew the dust off his thong and returned to the competitive bodybuilding stage at 45 years old.
Despite being in his mid-40’s, Hamdullah had kept in shape and was as lean as ever, becoming the overall winner of his division at the World Amateur Championships in both 2010 and 2012.
When it comes to sports, DK Metcalf is more about touchdowns than tensing, because this athlete currently plays as a Wide Receiver at the NFL level.
When DK was still a student at the University of Mississippi, Sports Illustrated listed a few stats about the student athlete, claiming his body fat percentage was a staggeringly low 1.6%. DK’s 6-foot 3-inch frame weighed in at 228 lbs of lean muscle, and the absurdly ripped receiver certainly looked like he hardly had an ounce of fat on him.
However, when Sports Illustrated made the claim back in 2019, medical professionals quickly swooped in to dispute this. One of these professionals was Joe DeFranco, a personal trainer and gym owner who’s trained several NFL players for the draft combine.
DeFranco argued that DK’s body fat percentage had to be higher than 1.6%, explaining that ‘you need at least 3% body fat for your organs to function. If somebody’s body fat percentage legitimately dips under 2%, that’s not an impressive physique, that’s a medical emergency. Get that person to hospital ASAP before they die.’
The fact that DK can run routes and score touchdowns on a daily basis proves that Sports Illustrated’s numbers were incorrect. However, Metcalf himself claimed his body fat percentage was actually closer to 1.9%, which is still absurdly low! Fans and professionals believe he’s more likely around the 4-10% marker.
That’s still incredibly impressive, but when it comes to competitive sports, a dangerously low body fat percentage isn’t necessarily a good thing. The last thing you need is your wide receiver dying before he reaches the endzone.
When you look at photos of Ronnie Coleman in the 90’s and 2000’s, it’s clear to see why the bodybuilder was nicknamed ‘The King’! This mass monster weighed in at a whopping 300lbs of pure muscle, all piled onto his 5-foot-11 frame.
Coleman won 8 consecutive Mr. Olympia titles during his prime, and when it comes to size, strength, and muscle definition, Coleman definitely takes the cake (not that he’d eat it).
Ronnie may have retired from competing in 2007, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten how to shock an audience. When Coleman appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast in 2020, he claimed that he used to have a 0.33 body fat percentage in his prime. Not 3.33. Not 1.33. 0.33%.
Ronnie has always been a crowd-pleaser, and the claim drew a huge reaction from both Rogan and Ronnie’s fanbase! They believe the ex-bodybuilder is now using misinformation to shock his fans, rather than his muscles.
However, a group of brave bodybuilders and medical professionals were quick to call him out, taking to the YouTube comment section to explain that having 0.33% body fat is medically impossible.
The problem with measuring body fat percentages is that body weight calculators aren’t always totally accurate. There’s always room for error within the measurements, which results in a lot of misinformation regarding body fat percentages in general.
So, when a bodybuilder as well-respected as Ronnie gives a misinformed reading, it’s usually taken at face value, encouraging other bodybuilders to try and get their fat levels down to dangerous levels.
It’s unclear whether Ronnie’s comments were outright lies, or whether the body weight calculator was on the fritz that day. Either way, experts believe that Ronnie’s body fat probably sat at around 3 to 4% while competing at contests.
Even though it’s not 0.33%, that’s still an insane number that establishes Ronnie as one of the leanest and largest bodybuilders of all time.
Guk Young Lee
The rise of the Internet has seen amateur bodybuilding move from the stage to social media, with many muscle-bound influencers sharing their insane bodybuilding images online.
Some of these bodybuilders have incredible physiques, but unfortunately, misinformation about weight loss and body fat percentages has never been more prominent. A lot of influencers are able to edit photos, post made up stats and fake body fat levels with no real repercussions.
Of all these gym-fluencers, only one has the credentials to back up his body fat claims: Guk Young Lee. A South Korean fitness model, this guy broke a world record back in 2018 by becoming the first person to maintain less than 4% body fat for more than 100 days.
Now I know what you’re thinking; we’ve already looked at a ton of bodybuilders who can get their body fat levels down to 4%, so why are the world record committee sleeping on guys like Helmut and Hamdullah?
Well, although many bodybuilders can get their body fat levels down to 4% for competitions, they can only maintain this level for a few days at best, and immediately put some fat back on once the competition is over.
When you look at bodybuilders over the course of a year, their weight fluctuates massively, as it’s unhealthy and unsafe to stay that lean for an extended period of time. Unlike this endless cycle of bulking and cutting, Lee’s world record was all about endurance.
He managed to live with a medically unhealthy body fat percentage for more than three months, maintaining his levels by doing two intense workouts every day and eating balanced meals.
Unlike most other professional bodybuilders, he also achieved the feat without the use of any supplements or performance enhancing drugs. This meant the fitness model established himself as both one of the leanest, and cleanest, bodybuilders in the world.
When you look at feats like Guk Young Lee’s world record, it’s easy to see why bodybuilders are often likened to real life superheroes.
Before the age of CGI, directors were forced to rely on bodybuilders to play characters like the Incredible Hulk, and even today, the largest bodybuilders still manage to rival the superheroes on the silver screen.
When it comes to supersized, superhuman bodybuilders though, nobody fits the bill better than Greg Kovacs. He is one of the largest bodybuilders of all time, a 6-foot-4 colossus weighing in, in his competition off season, at around 420lb! He’s so superhuman in size, he’d look right at home fighting next to Captain America or Thor.
Despite his extra size and weight, Kovacs managed to get his body fat percentage down to a staggering 6% during tournaments, trimming down from 420 lbs to 330lbs in a matter of weeks!
However, unlike the Hulk, Kovacs is only human, and a 6% body fat percentage at 330lbs is impossible to maintain. As an aging Kovacs started to put on extra fat, he showed how huge bodybuilders can be when they’re not working hard to be as lean as possible.
As his career came to a close, the Canadian arguably became the first bodybuilder whose size and strength could truly rival superhuman characters like the Incredible Hulk!
From an outside perspective, bodybuilding is a relatively simple sport; muscle-bound people getting as big as possible, covering themselves in baby oil and bronzer, all to strike heroic poses on stage.
However, bodybuilding is constantly evolving, and sometimes, an athlete comes along who changes the game. At the Night of Champions in 1985, 22-year-old Rich Gaspari made his professional debut, taking the stage and starting his routine.
Despite Gaspari’s success at Amateur competitions, he’d come into the event an underdog, but he had a card up his sleeve or more accurately, a card up his thong. Halfway through the routine, Gaspari turned around and tensed his tushy, shocking the judges and changing bodybuilding forever.
At that moment, Gaspari became the first bodybuilder to ever show off striated glutes that same square, muscly butt that we saw on Hamdullah Aykutlu earlier!
Rich’s performance earned him second place in his first ever pro competition, but more importantly, it changed the way that judges viewed bodybuilding. From that point on, bodybuilders started wearing smaller thongs on stage, with judges now paying closer attention to their glutes, all due to Gaspari’s ground-breaking performance!
As you can imagine, showing of striated glutes requires an incredibly low body fat percentage, and Gaspari claims that his body fat lay between 5 and 8 percent back then, and still does today while he’s in his 50’s.
When it comes to bodybuilders, one name stands out above the rest; the most successful, influential and famous bodybuilder of all time is undisputedly Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s pretty hard to top The Terminator, but surprisingly, Arnie was actually beaten by three bodybuilders in his career.
This exclusive list includes Frank Zane, one of the most successful musclemen to ever take the stage. At 5 foot 9 and 190lbs, Zane was a lot smaller than his competitors, coming in at 50 pounds lighter than Arnie at the 1968 Mr. Universe competition.
Despite his smaller size, Zane’s muscles were leaner, better proportioned, and more symmetrical than Arnie’s, allowing him to walk away with the victory. An outraged Schwarzenegger reportedly called Zane a ‘chicken with 17-inch arms,’ but his insults did little to slow down Frank’s career, and he went on to win the title of Mr. Olympia 3 times in a row!
Throughout his career, Zane was known as ‘The Chemist,’ earning the nickname due to his bachelor’s degree in science and his use of chemical supplements and amino acids during his workouts, something that was relatively uncommon back in the 70’s.
When Zane combined these chemical potions with intense workouts, it allowed him to get his body fat down to around 6-7%, making him one of the leanest bodybuilders of the 70’s. This also paved the way for generations of lean bodybuilders that came after him and all without ever appearing in big Hollywood blockbusters.
From a bodybuilding icon to an obscure amateur, Alessandro Galli isn’t a particularly well-known athlete. But every time images of the avid Italian appear online, they garner a lot of attention from the bodybuilding community.
Galli’s leaner than the tower of Pisa! His insanely low body fat percentage allows you to see through his skin and make out just about every muscle on his body.
This unbelievable muscle definition won him the 2012 and 2013 Arnold Classic Amateur competitions, gaining him a reputation online as one of the leanest bodybuilders to ever compete.
It’s so extreme that he’s often compared to anatomy charts from science class, and is sometimes mistaken for our next bodybuilder, who is arguably the leanest muscleman to ever walk the earth.
Allesandro is often mistaken for Andreas Münzer, an Austrian bodybuilder who famously took the term ‘no pain, no gain,’ a little too far. Münzer is undisputedly the leanest bodybuilder of all time, gaining a reputation for his paper-thin skin and dangerously low body fat percentage.
Like most other professional bodybuilders, there wasn’t anything natural about Münzer’s workout regime, and the dubious methods that he used to cut his body fat down soon caught up with him.
It turns out, the Austrian built his physique through an insane concoction of steroids and performance enhancing drugs. Every day, Münzer would take two doses of testosterone, four different types of steroids, between 4 to 20 doses of human growth hormone, and at least 5 aspirin tablets to handle the pain of all the training.
As you can imagine, this daily diet of pills and injections wasn’t particularly healthy, and Andreas’ reliance on the drugs started to take a huge tole on his body. After competing at the San Jose Pro in 1996, Münzer started to complain about severe stomach pains, admitting himself to hospital 3 days after the competition.
Within 2 days, the athlete had passed away, and after conducting a shocking post-mortem, the doctors revealed just how damaging Andreas’ lifestyle had been to his internal organs. Andreas had several table-tennis-ball size tumors on his liver, the organ that filters and rids the blood of toxic components.
According to multiple reports, Münzer’s liver was so damaged from the catastrophic amounts of drug use that it had started to crumble like polystyrene.
Münzer’s heart also weighed in at 636 grams, well above the typical 300-gram heart of an average man. All of this was a direct result of the 20 drugs that the doctors found in Andreas’ system, the tools that he’d used to compete at the San Jose Pro just a few days before.
Andreas’ story is famous in the bodybuilding world, serving as a warning to other bodybuilders as they strive for perfection.
His lifestyle may have allowed him to achieve the lowest body fat percentage of any bodybuilder before or since, but the Austrian’s body fat percentage was ultimately his downfall, causing the athlete to pass away at just 31 years old. In cutting down, this muscle man tragically cut his life short.
Bodybuilders like Andreas Münzer go to unbelievable lengths to reduce their body fat and impress the crowd, however, none of these muscle men are nearly as impressive as Lizzie Velasquez.
Lizzie is a motivational speaker, activist and author who suffers from MPL, an extremely rare genetic condition that prevents her from accumulating body fat and gaining weight.
Velasquez is forced to eat every 15 minutes to keep up her energy, and despite consuming between 5,000 to 8,000 calories a day, she’s never weighed more than a shockingly low 64lbs. Velasquez is the closest a human being can come to having 0% bodyfat, showing Ronnie Coleman what 0.33% actually looks like.
Unfortunately, the reality of 0% body fat isn’t Mr. Olympia titles, and Lizzie has had to put up with a lifetime of abuse, bullies targeting her physical appearance both in person and online.
Amazingly, Lizzie has used her rare condition to gain a public platform, speaking out against bullying in a series of books and YouTube videos that have garnered over 71 million views, using her life experience to inspire and educate everybody around her. What a hero!