T Nation

23 Y/O Competing in 2018

Sup Fam,

Natural Lifter, planning on competing on the Mens Physique division May 2018.

Pics where taken fasted with plenty of light to have an accurate idea.

I have been training for over 3 years but 2 years knowing what I´m actually doing and being careful with what I eat.
I train 6 days a week and I like the approach of intense 45-60 min workout.

t-nation backt-nation front


Any details on how you plan to approach your diet/training over the coming months? You’re going to really need to work on those delts. I’d prioritize them for sure.

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This is the mindset that will make you a winner!


LOL Thanks for pointing that out!!

Sup Flip!

Yes, I have been working hard on my delts but I had an ATV accident last year and my mobility range is very limited, I´m currently taking therapy to fix the issue so I´m constantly training around the Injurie.

I´m going for a lean bulk from this point to February and then start the 12 week prep on a caloric deficit till the show date in May.

As far as the workout I´m training one muscle per day so it looks like:
Sat/Cardio with Box practice / Calves
Sun/ Rest

I have read about PPL, but never tried before, what are your thoughts on that?

you should try a training split to train every muscles 2 days a week !

Push pull legs can work. What you’re doing now can work. Many things can work. My training is centered around competing in strongman competitions, and even that can work. As long as you are increasing muscle mass across the whole body, you’re doing just fine. To me, it’s a good idea to try many approaches, particularly early on in one’s lifting life, to see what really works for the individual. You MAY think you’re doing the best things for yourself, but you can’t really know it without having other things to compare it to, even if you’re seeing results. If that makes sense. If you’ve never given a split like that a shot, I say go for it.

For me, the most important thing to figure out when determining an optimal split or program to follow is ‘is this sustainable, can I make it to every training session, and will this keep me mostly injury-free’. Those are essential concepts in training. As long as those basic requirements are met, you should see results if you’re eating appropriately.

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I reckon it’s more a matter of balancing out your left and right sides. Delts and lats especially.

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Thanks for the comment man, it was probably the posing but I will keep an eye on that.

Makes sense Flip, thanks for the comment.

I’ll post progress pictures as I get close to the show and see if I actually have a good chance of taking the W home.

Solid V-Taper. Focus on upper chest and delts,… curious if you’ve got a side shot so I can see how the arms are looking. Calves or no?


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Thanks man.

I’m prioritizing upper chest now, I’m starting the week with delts from now on, gotta hit them hard!

I’ll post a side picture tomorrow morning, calves are growing but still a long way to go, I was very skinny back in a day so muscle has been hardly earned haha.


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I found that my delts never really grew until I started working them 3x a week with really high volume. I used to do LOTS of delt pressing, now I do a LOT of lat raises, a few front raises (front delts get hit a lot with chest movements), upright rows, rear delt rows machine and dumbbell, and some dumbbell press’s and that’s it. I just do those exercises often and always for 5 sets of high reps. The shoulders are slow twitch dominant, so most people should have a similar experience to me.

I think you look GREAT for being 3 years in bro, congrats! I Would definitely put that #1 focus on your delts from what I have seen, but I haven’t really seen your fully body. Make sure you concentrate on your flaws and bring them all up to par with that v taper!

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Here is an example of my workout routine, it works each muscle group once or twice every four days, and works on a 4 day rotation. This is a very high volume routine and only works for someone with great recovery ability! You can obviously tailor it to fit your needs though, its just a great way to get in that volume and frequency WITHOUT resorting to a push pull legs which I really DO NOT like.

Day1: Chest, Front and Side delts, abs
Day2: Back, Rear delts, Traps, Calves, Forearms
Day3: Legs, Front and side delts, abs
Day4: Triceps, Biceps, Traps, Calves, LIGHT rear delts

I also add secondary pump or feeder workouts in the evening, usually once every four days focusing on the same muscle group in that way for a month at a time. This helps bring up weak points. These secondary workouts don’t make it hard to recover as it may sound like, but they actually increase recovery.

The idea of the secondaries is to use light enough weight that you are not tearing the muscle fiber, just enough to pump the muscle full of blood to increase protein synthesis, recovery, nutrient partitioning, and to increase neural firing. Really can help if you have the time.

IF time is an issue but you would like to try and make it work, you can buy some cheap 5 and 10lb dumbells and that should be good for doing a pump shoulder workout at home. When doing a secondary shoulder workout, il drop my upright row from my normal 65lb to a mere 20lb for 80 or so reps, then ill do 200 lateral rais with 5lb and rest when needed, maybe 100 front raises and 200 rear delt flies.

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Thank you for your input!

I’m definitely focusing on my weak points, as we all agree here bodybuilding is all about symmetry and that’s what I want to display the day of the show, a well proportioned body.

I like the idea of hitting delts on chest day because there’s obviously a great amount of stress on the delts by the time you are done with bench presses,etc so it make sense to give them a good pump.

I’ll hit the rear delts on back days as well, good point there mate!

No worries man! I have had a lot of delt success since putting front and side with chest and rear with back, it just fits naturally. I suggest also putting traps with back day, I like to superset my shrugs with deadlifts!

Say I’m deadlifting 225, at the top of every rep I do one shrug and hold it for 1 second at the top of the rep. Then once the deadlift set is complete, I rep out 10 shrugs! IT’s a really innovative (IMO) way to work traps and its working for me!

@oc21 - looking great for how long you’ve been training! Seems like some other posters have provided some great feedback. For a physique athlete, delts, full chest and wide lats are essential. As others have mentioned as well, not sure of your calves, but the majority of physique competitors don’t have them, so you can set yourself apart by ensuring you’ve got some solid calves with your board shorts.

This concerns me greatly. 12 weeks is NOT a lot of time, that’s an extremely short prep. Just as an example, I typically do 20-24 weeks as a natural, the shortest I’ve ever seen for a natty is 16-17 weeks. 12 weeks leaves you no wiggle room for potential stall outs. A contest prep is the craziest thing you’ll ever do, and the process of getting to stage-level conditioning is a very intense one that is different for everyone. I would highly suggest a minimum of 16 weeks, especially since it’s your first time. Considering you really want to look ready by about 2 weeks out, you’re only giving yourself 10 weeks to get stage ready. It always takes longer than you think it will, and you always have to get to a lower weight than you think you will. As a first timer, I would never go less than 16 weeks. Again, that’s just my opinion, but it would be a shame to work so hard and not be stage ready because you didn’t give yourself enough time.

Be sure to keep us updated bro!