T Nation

36 Y/O. How Can I Improve?

Pictures that show your legs and abdomen will give us a better way to evaluate. What’s your goal?


Why are you holding a plank of wood?


In general, there are three sorts of posts on this subforum. Two tend to go smoothly, whereas the third often ends poorly.

One sort is people seeking stroke–compliments regarding what they’ve achieved vis a vis their physique. Naturally, the pics these posters use are those they believe present their physique in the most flattering way possible.

The second sort is people seeking physique feedback–advice regarding how they should focus their fitness efforts to greatest effect vis a vis improving their physique. The pics these posters use are those that present their physique in the most straightforward, easy-to-see manner possible: Full-body front-and-back shots taken in their underwear or short-shorts, against a white/light-colored background, with straight-on bright lighting, and without any sort of filter.

Let me emphasize that both sorts of posts are absolutely appropriate. All of us love stroke, and there’s nothing wrong with throwing up some super-flattering pics and saying ‘Hey world, look at what I’ve accomplished!’ All of us know and understand the challenge posed by the training and diet needed to get to the point where you feel it’s finally paying off, and folks here are happy to give kudos. And of course it goes without saying that posters anywhere along the physique continuum–from the obese to the contest-lean mass monsters–who seek feedback/advice (and are willing to accept it without becoming defensive) find themselves welcomed, and usually get what they were looking for.

It’s the third sort of post that often goes sideways. The problem in these is one of mixed messages: The title of these posts suggest the poster is seeking feedback, but the pics clearly indicate s/he is seeking stroke, ie, they present the poster in the most flattering manner possible, often by obscuring aspects of their physique they consider unattractive. It sure seems your post is of this sort.

My suggestion: Decide which sort of post you want this to be. If you’re looking for stroke–and again, let me emphasize there’s nothing wrong with that–it would help a lot if you put up some ‘Before’ pics, because while your current physique is not terribly impressive, it may well be light-years better than your starting point. Or, if you’re truly seeking feedback regarding your current physique, post pics of the sort I described above. Either way, an honest accounting of what you’re looking for will go a long way toward getting it. Best of luck reaching your fitness goals.


Lockdown. Using whatever the hell I can

I don’t understand what you are using it for in the context of taking physique photos?

BTW, do you have a broken finger?


Sorry I didn’t know there was any rules on how a photo had to me.

No but it doesn’t look great in that photo I agree.

For improvement, I would seek to get lean enough that I don’t feel compelled to conceal my abdomen with lumber.


Said what I assume everybody is thinking.

I would take this opportunity to work on your BF which looks to be in the high 20’s percent-wise, maybe even 30%. But I guess it depends on whether your goal is to look big and brawny or whether you’d like to look aesthetically pleasing.
Whatever cardio/calisthenics you can do now. Then when you can lift again, it looks like your chest and your back width are lagging big time so I’d work on that for sure. You can do pushups at least now and have someone add weight on your back if need be. Find something to do pull ups on. Get something heavy you can hold in one hand and do one arm rows for back. Fill a big jug with water. You can get a set of exercise bands on Amazon for around 20 bucks and can do all kinds of shit with those.

The fact that you analytically broke down why his opening post sucked just makes this thread more hilarious.

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Why has starting again and eye dentist got the same profile picture? Is that some of action star role model I should be aware of?

I didn’t know I have a profile picture. On my screen, it doesn’t show any. I can see EyeDentist’s pic, though.

Yes, Pink Dumbbell Man.


Starting again was replying to eyedentist, so eyedentist’ avatar appeared on the right, similar to how your avatar is appearing on the right of my message right now.

That photo is of @EyeDentist . He looks like a living anatomy chart. Well worth listening to.


We’ve seen some scandalous Rate my Physiques, but never seen someone hold their wood.

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OK so back to my post. I did take a couple of pictures with no wood involved!

My aim is not to be a hardcore bodybuilder (I’m probably in the wrong place to be fair)

Just wanted an opinion of where I currently am, and what I can do to get more fit and athletic looking.

You’re not in the wrong place, and getting more fit and athletic looking is a tangible goal. Go start a training log. There are plenty of workouts with no equipment to get you started.

By the way, I knew I’d seen that basement before…



Without a doubt, the biggest payoff with regard to looking more athletic would come from losing bodyfat. It’s not easy and it’s no fun, but if you dropped a significant amount of weight I think you’d be shocked at your appearance. You’re carrying enough muscle to where you would have an aesthetically-pleasing physique; ie, you wouldn’t have that too-thin/cachectic look some guys get.

In terms of lifting, focus on three things: Shoulders, shoulders, shoulders. Everything else is secondary.


OK thanks.

I’ve always found I have very weak shoulders what do you recommend to improve?