6'1.5", 199 lbs and 2 Weeks Out from First Competition

So here I am: two weeks out from a show I only learned about 7 weeks ago. The original plan was for my first show to be July 3rd; but I had already made a lot of progress after starting my cut mid September and when I saw a show coming up April 3rd I figured it would be a good first try.

I will be competing in Classic Physique: open, true novice, novice and masters 35+. Ultimately I’m quite nervous and don’t feel on point, but I just want to enjoy the experience and learn. I’m not too concerned with winning, but I would love to be in the first call out. I mostly just don’t want to be laughed off the stage.

I figure I can learn from this show and apply it to the 13 weeks before the July show to improve. Ultimately I’m not looking to become a pro, I just want to have fun and live out a 20 year dream.

I still have a bit of fat around my spare tire area and quite a bit of loose skin/ stretch marks from being quite fat in my 20s.

Note: these pictures are captured from a video taken by my phone and aren’t the best quality or in the optimum light. Also, no pump and not flexing hard as I just got to the gym and was itching to get to my leg workout.


Looks good IMO, back seems like the strong point. I’m no expert though as I powerlift. I do think for stage ready condition you are a bit off on leanness. Focus on diet for your remainder.

I wouldn’t worry about being embarrassed. You look like you have serious time in the gym.

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Yup. Jumping into this show was relatively last minute as I learned about it only 9 weeks out and was originally dialing in for a show a further 13 weeks down the road. I’m going a bit harder on the diet hoping to shed 4-5 more pounds before showtime.

Good luck :four_leaf_clover:. Post photos before the show and let us know how it went.

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One of the biggest complaints I hear from competitors is, “I looked a lot better the next morning.” They tend to believe they didn’t time their carbs correct to look their best at stage time. I see it differently. IMO it’s anxiety that adversely affects your muscle volume and sharpness. You have got to get out of your head.

That is the attitude you want to have. You want to be there to have a good time. You will look your best if all anxiety has left your body. Keep in mind the July 3rd show. This will assist reducing the pressure on this one.

Some other thoughts:

  • Keep up the diet, but don’t over do it. Keep as much muscle as you can.
  • You have prominent sartorius muscles. Show them.
  • It looks like might be able to do a “rope vacuum” with your stomach. That is rare and will catch the judges eyes if you can perfect that ability.

I think you have really fantastic physique, especially considering you are quite tall.
Just take it easy, be relaxed, it DOES affect body composition a lot.
I wish you great experience and keep us posted.


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I think Shelby Starnes said, if you can look good in harsh lighting, you know you look good. You’re fine, man. Zero chance of embarrassing yourself. Stick to the plan and dial it in.

Moving towards the second show, my two cents would be to do all you can to avoid working the traps. Probably gives a wicked most muscular, but I think they totally dominate the relaxed back pose and take away from your width. Focusing even more on lats and side delts would certainly help to offset that.

Thank you. I’m feeling less nervous day by day.

I’ll try my best: but my traps have always been huge even with no direct work. I low key hate it because they make me look like I have no shoulders when wearing a normal shirt.

You’re looking good! add some color and oil and you’ll be stage ready. Since you are only 2 weeks away, there is not much that i believe can be improved, physically, just keep doing what you are doing. My advice is although you may not be able to improve much of your physique in 2 weeks, focus on posing. Every day. if you can nail that, and i feel we all can get better at that, you’ll increase your chances of doing well! Good luck and keep us posted!

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How was your experience in the first show?

And what’s the finalized plan headed into the next one?

To be honest: it went very poorly. I basically came in last in all four categories I entered. The only person I beat in True Novice and Open looked like he entered as part of a bet or joke from his high school or college buddies and the one guy I beat in Masters was ridiculously out of shape. In Novice I came dead last.

To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. My friends and family all feel I should’ve placed higher, but they’re biased of course. I don’t have any high rez photos yet and I’m waiting on the package I paid for, but the photos/ videos I have seen seem to suggest that the judging was a bit odd as I was beaten by guys who were smoother, smaller, less symmetrical and didn’t know how to pose at all.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter. I was either judged fairly and looked like crap; or I was judged unfairly and got shafted. The end result is the same: I really don’t see myself wanting to compete in bodybuilding again any time soon, if ever. The cost in time, energy, stress and money wasn’t worth it and I could have put that towards something far more rewarding. I have other sports and hobbies I love and excel at.

The experience itself wasn’t that great as the organization didn’t seem to know what they were doing. They couldn’t figure out where they wanted the athletes to stand, how they wanted to enter or exit the stage or where they wanted them to stage in the pump up room. The lighting, I was told, was terrible; and in the live stream playback when the athletes stepped forward to do their posedown they all but disappeared. It didn’t happen to me, but they lost the music for a fair number of other athletes.

The format was different than typical with basically no prejudging only finals in the morning. It was nice to be done by 10:30 though.

For some reason everyone was heighted an inch shorter than actual. I am 6’ 1.5" according to my doctor, multiple times; they measured me at 6’ 0.5", and everyone else I talked to noticed the discrepancies. If an athlete was close to their weight cap this could be a serious problem. Lucky I wasn’t.

This show was nothing like the ones I’ve attended as a spectator: no IFBB pro guest poser, no vendor area, no sponsors that I could see.

Funny enough, the best part of the experience was the nice lady who tanned me up and the conversations I had with the other competitors while waiting in the various lines. I learned about a new, local, doughnut place.

I did get a couple trophies though :man_shrugging:t4:.

In the end: the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze.

Afterwards though I’m feeling better physically. I’m no longer tired all the time. I look bigger and fuller again (still have abs though). I’m getting more compliments from random people again.


Hate the whole experience wasn’t great but you should still be proud of all you’ve accomplished! Not many get in that good of shape and even fewer see it through to the stage! Cool lookin trophies too

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The subjective nature of bodybuilding (and my inability to spend weeks dieting down to lose the weight) are why I could not compete. I’d find it hard not to have an objective measure to use.

Perhaps you were screwed. But even if not - you entered a tough race and lost. There is no shame in that.
Did you get feed back? Were there areas the judges told you to improve?

Man, you look absolutely great and I can’t imagine how the competition looked to end up better ranked then you.
Very strange.
But, your feedback is so honest and cool(and funny at some points), and thank you for this.
In any case, your phisique is fantastic, even at t-nation standards, not random people passing the street standards.
Enjoy your great looks and enjoy lifting and of course other sports that you like :slight_smile:

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Well, John Meadows first show, he ended up dead last as well.

I mean, you look great… Anyway I hope you’ll still have learned something about yourself, and you should be proud of the effort you did, and pain you went through.

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Aw man, sucks to hear it was a rough time, but you actually showed up on game day and that’s more than most do. It really does sound like the whole thing was just run poorly and it soured the experience, unfortunately.

Any chance you’ll regroup and go for the one in July or are you really hanging up the trunks for good? If you’re just competing as a hobby, I can totally see it both ways - either not wanting to deal with the hassle and potential frustration again or wanting to give it another go and end on a higher note.

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So to be honest, I’m still pretty messed up and salty about this show. I went through some of the recorded live stream and took some screen shots.

I know my conditioning wasn’t great; I messed up my peak. My tan was also a little weird, I have a skin condition that I’m looking to medicate.

Maybe someone with more experience and knowledge can tell me how I, #71 on the far left, was beaten by #48, who starts in the middle and gets moved far right. Explain it to me slowly like I’m in 1st grade please, because I just don’t get it.

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Thank you. Ultimately I’m glad I went through with it instead of bailing out last minute.

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I definitely prefer my objective sports like street luge racing. Basically the first who crosses the line is the winner: simple.

Thank you very much. I’m mostly just trying to be honest with myself, but that’s really, really hard.