T Nation

22, Thinking about Competing


So I’d like to possibly enter a competition at some point in the future, I’d want lean out before of course. But what body points look good, what body parts look like they need work? Please let me know. I’m 5’11" and about 205 around 11-12%bodyfat


A few thoughts:
–Your pics leave much to be desired. In your front shot, your body is angled away from the camera slightly, and your phone obscures half your chest. The back shot is better, but it’s sideways. Finally, there are no pics of the wheels. So, posting more/better pics will likely result in more (and better) feedback.
–In terms of what is visible in your pics, your back development in general, and lats in particular, are miles ahead of your ‘mirror muscles’; ie, pecs, delts and arms. (Are you a former powerlifter?) Thus, I would recommend following a split wherein your lats/back get worked once a week, while the bulk of your training efforts are dedicated to (in order of importance) Chest (especially Upper Chest), Delts and Arms.


Thanks for you input! I’ll get some better pics up soon. In terms of what you said what would you recommend in terms of volume on chest and shoulders? I tend to favor higher volume training so I’m not opposed to high set and reps. I have been plateauing on regular bench for sometime however, would you recommend that I focus more on volume than strength for hypertrophy in the push muscles?


How did you manage to get such superb lats? What sort of training did you do for them?


Thanks man appreciate that. I think my back carries less fat and is my strong suit overall just by genetics. As far as training my back day consists of
4x8-12 regular lat pull down
4x8-12 low row or close-grip cable row
4x8-12 lat pull down w/close grip handle (the one you usually would do cable row with)
4x8-12 cable row underhand or using a wide-grip straight bar
3x10 straight arm push down nice and slow
Solid lat/mid back destruction
I just alternate grips and the order every now and then
**I sometimes superset the vertical and horizontal pulling if I’m feeling brave.


What does your split look like?


Start: Alternate hitting Incline and Regular Bench Press each time you hit chest. 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
Second: Cable Flys 4 sets of 12 reps
Third: Tri super set-3 times through close grip bench,skull crusher,chest pull over. (10 sets each exercise don’t rest until you do all three 10 times, use a curved barbell don’t worry about heavy)

Leg day
Start: 4 sets 8-12 squats
second: 4 sets 8-12 front squat
Third: Straight leg deadlift 3 sets of 10
Fourth: Leg press 3 sets till failure (go for high rep get the burn)

Shoulder and Trap/biceps
4 sets of 8-12 overhead press (no leg drive)
4 sets of 10-12 arnold press
3 sets of bent over reverse delt flys
4 sets till failure dumbbell shrugs
superset preacher curl 3 sets of 10 start with overhand grasp on bent barbell in the middle grip and then go straight to close grip regular curls.
3 sets of 10 of lateral raises

5 sets of 8-12 deadlift (I use wrist straps but no belt, use olympic plates)
4 sets of 10 cable row
4 sets of 10 dumbbell row each arm
4 sets of 8 wide grip pull down
3 sets till failure pull ups

I’ve changed it up a bit but this has been a good staple for me. Whats your split look like? I’d like to try some new stuff.


How many times/week do you work each bodypart?


once or twice depending how busy I am I end up hitting shoulder alot though. I should focus on shoulder arms and legs to be honest.


It sounds like you’re pressed for time. If that’s the case, it means prioritizing your limited gym time is that much more important. I’m no expert, but would recommend that you work Back only once/week. Doing so will free up time and energy to devote to your less-developed bodyparts.

In that regard, I would recommend you hit the following twice/week:
Upper Chest (forget flat bench for a while)
–Delts (with an emphasis on medial delts–wide grip rows; DB laterals; Scott presses)
–Legs (since you seem to think they’re a weak point)

Do bis and tris where you can fit them in.


Okay thank you. I’ll have more time once summer school is over. I’ll try to get some better pictures up within the next week or so, I think Ive added some mass to my front shoulders especially.


My plan would be to bulk up slowly for around 5-6 months then cut for 2-3 and try to be around 200-215 at 6-8% if thats low enough. I’ll definitely have more time and an easier time refining my diet once I go home at the end of the month.


OK, reality check time.

I would guesstimate that, in your current condition, you would need to lose ~25# to get to the 6-8% BF range. That means your current 6-8% weight would be ~180#. Thus, to be 6-8% at 200 to 215# (!) would require gaining 20 to 35# of muscle. Absent a very heavy cycle of pharmacological assistance (which I am definitely not advising you to do), such a gain will not be accomplished in 5-6 months of ‘slow bulking.’ The point being, if you want to be that big and shredded unassisted (5’11" and 215# @6% is monstrous for an unassisted BBer), you’re going to have to bulk for years, not months…


Hmm I think I was more ambitious because I recently checked my lean body mass and fat mass to be 183lbm and fat to be 26. In about a year I put on 15 pounds of muscle and 12 pounds of fat. Partly due that I was around 185 and got to 200 mostly due to the fact that I had already been 200 and the muscle came back very quickly. That being said how much lbm could I gain realistically in a 6 month clean bulk?


There are two groups of (natty) lifters who gain mass relatively quickly:

  1. Noobs. Obviously, you’re not in this group.
  2. Those who were previously more muscular, but became de-trained for some reason. So-called ‘muscle memory’ allows these individuals to re-gain their lost mass very quickly. (It’s probably a function of the presence of an increased number of mitochondria in the shrunken muscle cells.) However, once they have reached their previous size, new gains come slowly. The point being, don’t allow yourself to be misled by the rate at which you’ve re-acquired lost gains.

As for how much muscle you could gain in 6 months, I’d say the limit is somewhere around 5#. That may not sound like much, but think about it–that’s a rate of 10#/year. The reason your rate is so high is your age–in my opinion, the early-mid twenties are prime mass-building years. My son is 23, and I’ll tell you the same thing I tell him: Use your early/mid-twenties to get as big as possible. Once you hit your late 20s, the gains will slow down as you approach your genetic limit. That’s the time to start leaning out. Just my $0.02.


thank you for your input. My goal would be to put on 5-8 pounds of lbm and cut over the next 10-12 months in that case. I’ll get some better pictures up next week so you can have a better idea of what looks like it needs work and what looks good already.


Oh I also had a question for you, how do you feel about weight pushups/pull ups for mass or at least muscle maintenance?


Properly employed, push-ups and pull-ups are both effective exercises. As for “muscle maintenance:” Are you anticipating being away from the weight room for an extended period of time?


Well I do pull ups at the gym, and the pushups would be something for chest maybe especially if I focus on incline. I can still go to the gym plenty


Hello EyeDentist, Thanks for your help in the past. I’ve been back at the gym pretty hard I’ve been focusing on upper chest and shoulders like you said. How does my progress look? Where should I go from here?

Uploading… Uploading…