T Nation

5'8" & 180lbs at 19, What Should I Work On?


Sorry if the pictures are a little off angle hence why one side looks smaller than the other and for some reason I have trouble flexing my left bicep


What are your goals?


Hopefully to enter a PL comp but also look Aesthetic last time I posted here my lats were my weakest point I’m just wondering what body part is lacking from experienced peoples opinions so I can hopefully help my physique stand out a little more from looking I do think it’s maybe my chest and well obvioisly calves which is the case for a lot of people lol


Elbows too pointy


Next time I’m in college I’ll do 10 sets of belt sander on them


Your goals are too broad to offer any real advice. You have a decent physique, but nothing stands out as exception just average. IMO, you need to add a considerable amount of muscle and lean out quite a bit to “stand out” at the beach or on IG, for example.

If you want to “hopefully” enter a PL comp just enter one. Take the hopefully out of it. Then program backward to today.

Follow the “SMART” goal setting guidelines. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.


Would be interested to know your numbers if you’re interested in PL


200kg DL 2.5x BW
115kg Bench almost 1.5x BW
180kg Squat 2.25x BW

Tbh if I was to enter a comp my coach would have me drop water so I’d probabaly come in around under 80kg rather than the 81.5kg I’m at.

Fair enough I gained a lot of strength during my last training split so I’m going to try a bodybuilding split in a week once my plan is finished to hopefully add some mass, I’m probabaly going to try get to 90kg then cut from 90 to try be a lean 81.5 which is my current weight.


Yeah, I’d just jump into PL. Those are decent numbers and you can fart out 1.5kg to make that weight.


He’s not going to win any competitions at those numbers and weight. He’s barely breaking 1000lbs on the big 3. They are good for your age but that’s about it. If you drop a ton of body weight your lifts are going to suffer too. Your physique looks good especially for your age. I would focus on dialing in the diet to maintain weight and just focus on your lifts. Add another couple hundred pounds to your lifts then enter your first competition.


Won’t be a win, but a good starting point for a first meet.

In USPA, 1071 at 181 qualifies for drug tested nationals. Dunno what the classification standards are in the UK


What? What is the benefit of delaying competing? Meet experience is invaluable.


Agreed nothing wrong with competing but then why post here at all? He posted here because he wanted to know what to work on. Soul Fighter thinks they are decent numbers… I do not. My advice is to work on those numbers to get them to a competitive level. Absolutely nothing wrong with going and giving it your all regardless of where you are at.


Good point, may as well go for it and learn from the experience.


I understand your advice for him to get stronger. My question is why should he delay entry into a meet UNTIL he is stronger? What benefit will he get to delay competing? I ask, because I see far more beenfits to competing vs not.


Ya, I don’t understand why you wouldn’t just give it a shot if you’re interested in powerlifting. Just do a small local meet. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Hell, one of our local Crossfit boxes does a powerlifting meet for charity every year. Find something like that if you can.


why in the hell would you do that? you want to add 9 kg, in order to take off 9 kg? You’re ridiculous man.

You’re already relatively lean. The amount of muscle you would likely add by doing what you’re suggesting won’t be much. Don’t bulk and cut, just grow. Instead of ballooning up to 90kg quickly and adding excess fat, make it a goal to get there as lean as you are now. That’s a much smarter approach, and from there, you can recomp over time to an even leaner 90kg. I just don’t think it’s wise to chase a bodyweight that you don’t want to stay at. Cutting the way you’re describing only makes sense for bodybuilders, not powerlifters.

Water cutting is really, really silly at your level. Granted, if the weigh in is the day before comp, then 1 or 2 kg isn’t a big deal, but still. Why water cut if you’re not setting records, or competing at a very, very high level? I don’t get it. I do water cuts, and I can promise you that I would not be doing them to reach a level that was anything less than elite. They absolutely suck.

@blshaw, what, in your mind, would qualify as ‘decent’ numbers at his level? To me, decent means ‘not going to embarrass himself’. It does not mean hitting a masters or elite total. His numbers are very clearly sufficient to not embarrass himself. He would not likely finish with the lowest total in a meet.

I think a lot of people are scared by meets, and they shouldn’t be. As you get more into the iron sports, you realize how little other people care about you. It’s impossible to embarrass your self, because, quite honestly, nobody is looking at you in the first place. Nobody else is holding you to any standards.

I should have done a meet long before I actually did one. I waited until I was capable of putting up an elite total, and that’s pretty silly. It made me put so much pressure on myself to hit that total, because I’d placed so much importance on this first meet. I got the job done, but it would have been easier if I had some experience under my belt before that point.

Now, if someone asked me to do a powerlifting, I wouldn’t even feel like I needed to prep for it. Like I would literally be willing to do one this weekend. I’d do the same in strongman as well, unless I absolutely hated 3 or more of the events. The benefits of getting used to competing are absolutely tremendous.


Yup. One of the things I bring up about this approach is just how silly it would seem with any other sport. Usually, you play a sport, find out you like it, and then try to get better at it. Your friends get together and play basketball or baseball or football, or you try out ice skating or bike riding, etc, and think “Oh hey, I could get into this”. How awful would it be if you spend years and years grinding away at the weights and diligently following programs only to go to your first meet and say “Oh wow, this is really boring, I don’t want to do this”


@flipcollar, at 180lbs I think a 1200lb total is decent for someone training for such a purpose but that’s my opinion and everybody is free to ignore it. Sure he won’t be embarrassed and I am forgetting that he is only 19.


Ok but from a physique standpoint what do you think would be a good addition, I’m happy with the strength gained from my last phase, now I want to move to a hypertrophy phase.