ACCORDING TO THE American Council on Exercise, essential body fat for men is 2 to 5 percent, and the “athlete” range is 6 to 13 percent. However, “although single digits seems enticing, low double-digits are just as impressive and easier to attain and maintain,” says Angel Aulet, an International Physique League Athletic Pro and personal trainer and group fitness instructor at serveral boutique gyms in NYC.

“The average man can live his entire life with 12 or 13 percent and still have abs and look good—I’ve been there for the last 12 years.” (He’s not a complete freak of nature; he was in the more mortal 16 to 17 percent range before that.)