T Nation

22 Yrs Old, 1st Contest- 4 Weeks Out

Hey y’all, just thought I would start up a log for the next four weeks until my first contest. I’ll be competing in the NPC Regional Qualifier- Southern Indiana. Currently I am 6’1, 182 lbs & plan to cut to 176 over the next 4 weeks to make the Middleweight Novice division. I have been training for 3 years, taking about 5 months off last year due to a study abroad opportunity.

I started out training 3 years ago at 148 lbs, so this is an incredible achievement to me to be stepping on stage now at this weight! My training has been completely natural, aside from the general test booster here & there, Creatine & glutamine, & of course… PROTEIN!!!

I train each body part once a week & focus on one body part to bring up each 4-6 week period that I will hit twice a week & more intense than the rest. I train 6 days a week, with the 7th being an “off day” which I still do mild cardio or play sports & do abs.

Can’t wait to step on stage in 4 weeks, wish me luck & constructive criticism is always welcome (obviously). My posing still needs work, but this is what I’ve got so far!

Back Double-bi

Rear lat spread


right side chest… my right leg is much more separated than my left, BUGS THE HELL OUT OF ME

Right tricep


left tricep… need to work on left side posing

& of course, the coveted quads & abs pose!


finally, most muscular

Your most muscular makes you look really narrow. You should work on spreading your anterior delts out in front of you. You have a decent chest, so you could try a hands on hips most muscular?

Your back is lagging, I guess you don’t squat or deadlift heavy enough? Because your chest and arms are good, but your erectors are non existant.

[quote]SlothGuy wrote:
Your most muscular makes you look really narrow. You should work on spreading your anterior delts out in front of you. You have a decent chest, so you could try a hands on hips most muscular?[/quote]

like I said, posing is a work in progress! haha I’ll give it a shot, I appreciate the comment.

[quote]niksamaras wrote:
Your back is lagging, I guess you don’t squat or deadlift heavy enough? Because your chest and arms are good, but your erectors are non existant.[/quote]

Completely agree. I’ve been working on my deadlift for the past year, finally up to 500+ on a consistent basis! Always seems that my erector are fried when it comes time for squats though. Thanks Niksamaras.

i would row, alot. All the time. I would deadlift, alot, with alot of reps. Then i would do pulldowns for alot of reps. Otherwise i think you look good.

Doesn’t look like you deadlift more than 225… My back is twice as developed as yours and I’m only doing 450+. I don’t know. Try more reps and squeezing the hell out of your lats on each hold.

Maybe dead lifting isnt the answer…

If you are putting up over 500 and your back is not responding, perhaps that isnt the right exercise FOR YOU to develop your back.

Are you familiar with any of the back training concepts that CT has been teaching around here? ie - Fatigue loading(2 second holds, super sets, etc…), and the band work? Its very interesting and might be an avenue to explore. I can point you in that direction if you are unfamiliar with it.

You look pretty good, however your lower back doesn’t look like you train it…at all.
You have no erector spinae, or lower lat muscle development.

Good luck in your comp, with only 4 weeks there’s not a lot you can change. Just don’t lost any muscle as you diet.

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[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
Maybe dead lifting isnt the answer…

If you are putting up over 500 and your back is not responding, perhaps that isnt the right exercise FOR YOU to develop your back.
[/quote]

X2

@Lonnie: I do keep up with CT’s stuff on here, though I have not implemented it. I’ve toyed around with the notion of adding it to my routine post contest. I have a while until my second one, it’s not until August. I’ve also recently started stiff-legged deads to try & isolate the erectors more, seems to be a positive change. Though it may not show, I can really feel it hitting the targeted muscles a lot better. I appreciate the advice!

I also think the pictures may be a bit deceiving. My back looks incredibly flat & not striated at all. I have a full mirrored room that I pose in with some decent lighting, I’ll attempt to take some pictures in there next & see if there is any difference. When I see my back in the mirror, especially my upper lats pop & mid-back has some good striations & “lumps.” My back is one of my weaker points in terms of thickness & development… damn skinny genetics, though it is my strongest muscle group.

Lower lats are lacking, I’ve had trouble trying to extend them down ever since I started training. I’ve implemented some MMA type of weight training such as one-handed pull downs, one-handed deads & a few other lat-activating/isolating exercises. I’ve seen slight progress, but am still stuck! Any tips??

@BBB: Thanks brother, I’ve still got about 6 pounds left to lose in 3.5 weeks, shouldn’t be too tough. I thought I had a strict diet before… boy was I wrong Haha I now have sympathy for the pregnant women & potheads everywhere. Training at about 8% year round is easy compared to cutting down to 4%… much respect to the guys who have the self control to do this on a constant basis & as a career.

Will be posting more pictures in a few days, kind of my weekly blog so I can see the differences in my hard work to keep my mind off of the sour patch kids & reese’s peanut butter cups that I so badly want right now… mmm