15 Month 'Get Back in Shape'

Hey guys. I’ve been lifting since early 2009. I was pretty serious the entire time, however fell off a bit(alot) when I ran out of money and had a kid! It’s amazing how fat and weak you can get in a couple years. I’m 27 right now and the last 15 months have been spent getting back in shape. I’m gonna post the before pic first here so don’t rate me until I’m done posting lol (how the heck do you post more than one image in a post anyway?).

My main lifts are as follows:
bench press:
300x6(I truly think I had more in me too)
I failed at 500 a couple weeks ago but almost got her up.

Front relaxed




side “pose” (I don’t know how to pose lmao)

I’m 5’8 225lbs(I know I look smaller I don’t know where I keep it lol)

Right now my only goal is to stay strong but look the best I can. I will be starting a short diet at the end of this month (12 weeks or shorter) just because I haven’t been on one in ages, and this weight is too much for me to carry around.

I know my main issues are chest, lats, traps. My overall upper body does not look “thick” at all to me. It’s funny, I’ve NEVER been a biceps guy but had large triceps. I think this last year I really over compensated on the bis and undercompensated the tris.

I’m not particularly lean either, and I think dieting will truly expose my weak points as well.

First off, that “side pose” was a bit too much to say the least. You don’t need to slightly pull the pants down so we can see side butt-cheek cleavage. No disrespect intended. Now that I got that off my chest, I feel better.

Secondly, you have a really solid build being 5’8" at 225lbs. Great job!! You must be really dense because you don’t look like it to me. I am assuming that you have been lifting for a while and fell off the bandwagon only to rebound back to being better conditioned. To me you look like you have been at it for a while.

Finally, you look pretty well balanced to me but I agree that you chest is lacking compared to the rest of your body. Overall I feel that you have done a great job. Not sure that you really need to diet all that much unless you really want to single digit body fat look. I don’t think that your body composition looks bad at all but to each is own.

Whatever your goals are, I wish you the best.


I must have missed the first part of your post that said you have been lifting since 2009. I figured that you had a few years of training under your belt.

I also wanted to add that you have great quad development. Please share the programing that you have used to get back into shape. It is always an interest of mine to see other’s programs and what has worked for them.

All the best,


lol apologies for the butt cleavage! Now I’m embarrassed. The reason for the lowering was to show the contrast between waist and glutes blah blah blah.

I did a push/pull/legs/push/pull/off/off. In the last 6 weeks or so I have added an arms day in place of one of my off days, that consists of 4 biceps/triceps supersets to failure with essentially no rest. It is incredibly painful.

I was still continuing to utilize heavy lifts on the flat bench, squat, and deadlift. I was doing pushing movements in all 4 “main” planes of motion, as well as things like slight incline, and slight decline as well. Barbells and dumbbells, I’ve really been trying to find out exactly what I “like”, so I’ve tried alot of different things. What stayed consistent was increasing weight on my heavy lifts, and otherwise always reaching (or TRULY near reaching) failure. I did a few pushdowns but did NOT isolate my triceps nearly as much as I wish I had. I also used the chest fly machine for a squeezing motion. I have a bad shoulder, and squeeze exercises tear it up.

For pulling it was deadlifts at low reps, or rack pulls at slightly higher reps. Chins, lat pulldowns, rows, also multi angle pulling exercises to failure or near depending. I tried alot of different curling exercises, preachers, pinwheel, and hammer were my “main” curls though.

Legs… well I’ll be honest… full disclosure. I only made it in for a leg day three times the entire year. One was a “full” leg day. One was working up to 315x12 squat, and the other was just warming up, and hitting 415 for 3, and walking out. I am ashamed yes.

Looking good man. Keep it up! :slight_smile:

Excuse the incoming butt cleavage shot… Here’s some of the progress made since:

okay never mind my work computer does not allow me to upload images it would seem!

Here’s quads

front mirror

more butt cleavage oops

just a good display of vascularity I thought

I’ve decided competition is in my future. I’m doing a physique show in february, just to sort of get my feet wet, and hope to transition into bodybuilding immediately after. Chest and lats will be a large focus this next while.

[quote]matthew_gray wrote:
I’ve decided competition is in my future. I’m doing a physique show in february, just to sort of get my feet wet, and hope to transition into bodybuilding immediately after. Chest and lats will be a large focus this next while. [/quote]

Good on you for recognizing and fixing weak spots.

Ha more than recognizing, when I look in the mirror it’s all I see!