T Nation

23 y/o Ex-College Football Player Thinking of Competing


#1

Been 3 years since my last post but a lot has changed so I wanted to hear some more opinions. I played football at a small college for 4 years but always had a passion for fitness and lifting going back to high school and now that I am done training for a sport its allowed me to do my own thing and train more like a bodybuilder than an athlete. Ive always played with the idea of competing in either bodybuilding or physique when I was younger but now that Im done with football and done dealing with the weight fluctuation Im seeing more progress.

Im roughly 6’3 and currently weigh 245lbs which is pretty close to as much as I ever weighed during football. Dont have much for before pictures since it was never really more than a secondary thought at the time but I have a couple old ones I added just for some idea those pictures were from my sophomore summer weighing about 220.

Looking for advice on whether or not competing would be a good idea or plausible in either bb or physique and more importantly areas that I need to sure up and focus on.

** sorry about all the phone pics I am 1.) not good at posing and 2.) without any friends who wouldnt roast me if I asked them to take pics **

also will post more leg pics later, the videos will have to do for now
(2014)

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Constructive Criticism Much Appreciated
#2

Looking very beefy man!

Packin’ a chew for the progress pics with the little dip tin in the pocket. Badass.

I’m no bodybuilder, but I’d say your back could be brought up a bit…but this could also just be from the pics/angles.

You’ll get some solid feedback from the crew in here, but damn good start.


#3

Good going mate. Lat width would be a focus of mine if I were you.


#4

appreciate it and ya didnt realize that until I had posted oh well hopefully mom doesnt see :wink: but I think part of that is because Im very bad at posing, it usually looks decent and i usually get compliments about it but need to work on it for sure.


#5

any tips on that specifically for width? im fairly well read on all this stuff ive been visiting this site since i was about 16 so i know the basics and stuff but other than good ole lat pull down variations and pullups but clearly something is missing from the recipe.


#6

Progressive overload? Banging a few pull ups every back day won’t get you far unless you’re overloading over time. More: Reps, Sets, Weight, Weekly Volume, Frequency, Drugs and Shorter rest periods. That’s the stimulus to grow and in the right environment with adequate recovery and nutrition you will.

Also your posture/posing pretty much makes the difference. You could have huge Lats but won’t see shit if you don’t position yourself right.
A most muscular kind of crab pose where you make your traps prominent will pretty much have the opposite effect on your Lat width and V Taper.

If you’ve seen Men’s Physique guys their “posing” consists of whirling their arms around like helicopters until they find that perfect combo/position that accentuates their V taper. Pretty much try walking around with mild imaginary lay syndrome.

What kind of training have you been doing up until now, thinking about areas/body parts which you be underdeveloped. I’d think football would do a lot of pressing and power cleans? PEDs? Anabolics will build but can build disproportionately.

Any preference between bodybuilding and physique or you could get some opinions off here?


#7

…Pullovers first or second on back day to preexhaust and then yeah just loads of chins and lat pulldown. Hammer strength pulldown particularily good if have access


#8

Great comment appreciate the long message but starting with the back ya I know what you’re talking about with the physique dudes try and pose and watch bodybuilders do the last spread but I just have never really figured out how to do it without looking like a jackass.

And as for training ya we were actually blessed at our tiny college to have a strength coach between D1 jobs that was great for me. We did upper/lower splits usually somewhat divided between push/pull with all the normal power moments, cleans, snatches, push jerk, etc. once I finished football I was pretty much all but burnt out both of the sport and workouts that I basically took a couple months off last winter/spring where I’d go to the gym maybe 3 times a week and probably dropped down to about 220lbs so once I got started again I went back to doing bodybuilding or maybe better bro type splits like chest/tris back/bis but usually will mix in a couple fitting sets like some back on chest day. I’ve read a bit about how that’s not really ideal for a gear free lifter(which I am) but it’s more enjoyable and allows me to focus on the muscle mind connection and the pump.

Lastly I would probably prefer to do bodybuilding but I feel like physique would be more realistic because idk if I could put on bodybuilder type size.


#9

How good is your MMC with your lats? It’s commonly a problem area to make a connection with. Light, straight arm pull-downs before chins or deads/rack pulls has allowed me to better feel the lats working in bigger movements.

I’m no bodybuilder but I do try to achieve the MMC with my muscles and find it helps with the pump if nothing else.


#10

Although you can’t tell from how I flex I think it’s actually pretty good and that’s why it’s one of my favorite muscle groups to hit I think doing some rack pulls and maybe mixing in some more deads could do it since it’s not something I do a ton of.


#11

Tbh you’ll look like a jackass anywayyou do it but who cares.

Sounds like you have a good training background and base.

If you want to go into bodybuilding I think more mass all over will be required. Probably have to prioritise certain areas to get the look.

Natural bodybuilding sounds like a contradiction but it’s far from it. You may not turn into a mass monster but there’s plenty of gains to be made even without AAS or other drugs. If you are lucky some of the resident natural bodybuilders, many who’ve had great success, here on the forum will help you out.

Physique doesn’t mean low muscle mass though you can probably get away with that at lower levels of competition. If you take a step or two up or even look at the olympia some of these guys are as big as or bigger than old school bodybuilders. The difference will probably be how much focus you put on certain areas. You are probably plenty big in some areas already for physique whereas other points will need to be hammered out of proportion or into Men’s Physique kind of proportions.

Posing wise you don’t have to do helicopter arms lel. Think Buendia (olympia physique champ) said something about minimising those movements to look more confident, using just a single smooth transition between poses/turns.Easier posing in physique too but less fun that way

So up to you


#13

I have no room to talk about anyone’s physique.

But calf work would do your look some good.


#14

Avoid anymore trap work. It actually make you look more narrow than you are.


#15

You could train for physique a while compete and then transition into bodybuilding if you don’t enjoy physique. Kind of works well because you’ll get bigger and more aesthetic training for physique which you’ll need anyway and then, if you choose to, get even bigger while keeping your aesthetics for bodybuilding.

Some considerations:

Deadlifts and torso thickness: I’ll be straight with you and say I deadlift, squat and do loads of beltless work because I think it’s beneficial for me and only thickens the waist minimally. That said, for you whether by genetics or training you seem to have a waist on the blockier side already.

This has to be offset by posing and growth in your lats and back (and fat loss but you seem lean already) to achieve that V Taper. Trap growth will likewise detract from the physique look so I can’t see deadlifts being beneficial to you. Probably best to priortise and hammer (read progressive overload) vertical pulling variations and horizontal low pull variations for dem lats.

Delts/Shoulders can’t be too big IMO even with all the genetics and drug usage in the world so keep doing whatever you’re doing if it’s still growing. Your delts look great from the front but from the side maybe a bit more rear delt work would be beneficial.

Chest is k. Biceps… maybe a bit overpowered by surrounding muscles e.g. front delt and triceps. Calves… idgaf

Physique posing came very naturally to me when I first tried it though some of my friends can’t get it down and end up having 0 taper. There’s only a couple of turns and you don’t really pose to show muscularity anyways. Watch a couple of vids online. Find a mirror… actually use any reflective surface from the gym locker room to car windows and puddles and hit a practice pose at every opportunity (Will look like a douche and cringey af but at least it’s more subtle than a front double bi)


#16

What do you mean narrower


#17

You have a very thick torso (great for football, not so much for a physique contest). This brings a more narrow appearance since you’re the same width from upper back down to your waist. The V taper is what most seem to be striving for when doing a physique contest. So maintaining a tight/small waist while maximizing the upper back/lat width creates that illusion of being much bigger than you actually are.

Take my comments with a grain of salt, as I’m the furthest thing from a bodybuilder…

Great physique though, but your front poses look much stronger than your back.


#18

You’ll still be as wide from shoulder to shoulder but the illusion or appearance/perception/illusion of width will be diminished.


#19

I’d work on that sumo form.


#20

With where you’re at now, I’d say there’s no major difference since the general build is pretty comparable. Also, being taller than the average competitor, you’re going to need the size no matter what.

As far as practical issues, you need to be okay with never doing shrugs or direct upper trap work again, because more trap size is the last thing you need. It makes you look even taller and more narrow, like the guys said.

This article has specific back training info and this article, also from Dr. Clay Hyght (a competitor and bodybuilding judge) has shoulder advice. Even for Physique contests, you want that X frame - wide shoulders, back v-tapering into a small waist, then flaring out into big quads.

As soon as you sign up for a contest, start a thread over in the bodybuilding forum to get more specific contest prep advice, posing tips, etc.


#21

how so? It’s not a lift I do frequently but I’ve been coached on it by a division one strength coach and was always good. it was more just the fact that it was the only picture I had that had legs kinda showing