T Nation

34, 172 Pounds, 5'11, Natural


I'm aiming for 183 pounds over the next few months (gaining 0.2 pounds a week).
I've been training a while (20 years!) but if I'm honest I'm more concerned with staying lean than getting massive.
Having said that, I'd like to end up looking like Frank Zane.

I'm following my food intake using mynetdiary on my phone and my average macros are 40% calories from carbs, 36% protein, 13% unseat. fat, 11% sat. fat. (roughly 3000 calories a day).

I recognise I need to work on thickness, my left triceps needs to be brought up a bit (I haven't got the full range of motion on my left wrist) and my legs need a lot of work.

I am fairly strong for my weight (264 bench/374squat/286deads) but I'm just going for the aesthetic look.
I do no cardio but prefer to get my heart going using the weights.

Back double biceps http://imageshack.us/a/img189/4592/20130527at235327.jpg
Side http://imageshack.us/a/img69/8407/photo4znr.jpg
Front double biceps http://imageshack.us/a/img21/9535/photo1lmt.jpg
Back http://imageshack.us/a/img705/6205/photo5ni.jpg
Biceps/Silly expression http://imageshack.us/a/img17/8100/photo3sf.jpg
Side http://imageshack.us/a/img94/2861/photo2bsx.jpg
Back http://imageshack.us/a/img854/2011/20130527at235329.jpg


Pics have been acting funny on this site for the past week or so, you probably didn't do anything wrong.

A couple observations from your post though: 264 bench and 286 deadlift are not strong for your weight. Especially the deadlift, that's really not very good at all for almost any weight. Not the worst thing in the world for someone mainly concerned with aesthetics, but it is an indicator of your level of development.

Note: if those are KG's and not pounds, I take back what I said.

Also, Frank Zane was massive. As in, big enough, that there may be a human or 2, if that, who has achieved his size and leanness without steroids. I think you're underestimating his size.


I agree the numbers aren't very impressive, I'm hoping eating more will help that! Also, I'm 34 and my joints are SKINNY!
Though it's not the best source of information, wikipedia says Frank was 187-195 pounds when he won Mr Olympia.


That sounds about right. He was also 2 inches shorter than you. To get to his level of muscle mass you would have to be 200+, and even leaner than you are right now. Meaning you'd have to add 30-40 pounds of muscle. This is next to impossible without juicing, given that you've been training so long already to get to where you are now.
Your pictures showed up, so that's good. You look better than I expected. Keep up the good work!


Cheers flipcollar.
I'll see how I look at 183 and take it from there.


Doing a good job. Flip has given you good advice. Work on getting your lifts up and putting on more size. You have a good base bro. Good work!


Definition http://imageshack.us/a/img541/7394/20120705at220149.jpg
Definition http://imageshack.us/a/img9/6692/poserh.jpg
Back http://imageshack.us/a/img844/6922/20120406at182412.jpg
Back definition http://imageshack.us/a/img546/7389/20130507at212758b.jpg

I'm proud of my definition but I'm looking to put on 9 pounds of lean muscle. I will post progress pics


800mg-1g primo along with another gram of test will treat you wel.


I assume you don't deadlift often because considering your squat and your back development you should easily be deadlifting more? For comparison, I weigh 160 and deadlifted 352 x 3 last week after 3 months of training. Looking good anyway, deadlift is only a means to an end.


I will try to increase my deadlift numbers by focussing on it more. I use my grip without any straps as I'm trying to grow proportionately (so my forearms are forced to grow).
Do you guys recommend anything to increase grip strength?

Just got back from a trip to Newquay, Cornwall. Great weather this time of year.
Did some flexing on the beach! :lol:

Front neutral pose http://imageshack.us/a/img11/7088/20130602at123600.jpg

Front double biceps http://imageshack.us/a/img402/7260/20130602at123607.jpg

Back double biceps http://imageshack.us/a/img22/9048/20130602at123612.jpg

Back looking fairly thick http://imageshack.us/a/img600/319/20130603at173018.jpg


raise your elbows on your back double biceps, it's a more flattering pose that way.

I'm not a fan of straps on deadlifts, unless I'm trying to hit a rep record with a heavy weight. For heavy singles, doubles, triples I'm using chalk. If you don't already use chalk, I recommend it. If you have access to a thick bar, training with that will help your grip a ton. Doing as much deadlifting as possible with a double overhand grip helps grip strength. These are the only techniques I've used for my grip.


There's really no need to increase deadlift numbers unless your physique is being limited by your lack of deadlift strength.

That said your deadlift #'s are probably inhibiting physique gains :slight_smile:

Did I read you don't use straps? Are you stopping when your grip fails?


By the way you're look pretty good in your pics man!

Deadlifting heavier will help thicken those traps up. I also like Power Cleans for trap development.


Thanks for the advice guys.

Front double biceps pose: I'll raise those elbows next time...

When deadlifting, I switch my grip, left under, right over to right under, left over as it feels stronger that way.
I've been doing sets of ten on the lighter sets, as a warmup as I'm a bit paranoid about putting my back out by just launching into huge weights for 2 or 3 reps.

I heard from someone at the gym that you can buy attachments that clip onto the existing bar to give it that extra girth.
I might get one of those if anyone knows a good retailer.


fat gripz, mate. www.elitefts.com.


You aren't likely going to hurt yourself if your form is good. I use straps all the time once I get to around 80% of my 1RM or am going for reps. You lose some stimulus in the forearms, but you can easily add fat gripz or direct forearm training to avoid neglecting them.

You can use an alternating grip you just have to be careful of developing any imbalances. It sounds like you already have considered that though.

This is just my point of view, but I don't see the benefit of using less than 70% of your 1RM when deadlifting (besides when warming up/ramping).


I use straps regularly for shrugs and deadlifts. The point of these exercises is to put maximum stress on the back muscle and not your forearms. If you are lifting regularly week in and week out, your forearms are getting plenty of work. Never had an issue with mine growing or staying developed even using straps.


Looking good. You said you don't do much cardio. How long do you lift and how long do you rest between sets? You look like you do cardio.

For grip strength you should pull your warm up sets overhand-style. If you use the overhand grip as long as possible it will best develop your grip strength. Dead lift using the mixed grip on your last several heavy sets. I will do as many as nine sets every two weeks. No feeling matches that.