Did my first bodybuilding contest at Okinawa, Japan. I felt I did really well and got third place in middle weight division. Please tell me your opinions. Please no trolling with statements like, “Do you even lift?” As funny as they are, I’m more interested in what members think of my body composition, posing, and just overall aesthetic. Look forward to what you think.
Just a little bit about myself.
I’m a Soldier in the U.S. Army and have been training since 2004. I’ve had many ups and downs as far as my training is concerned. The “ups” being all of the experience I have accumulated throughout the years and the “downs” being all of the mistakes I’ve made during this life journey.
I did this contest because quite a few people said I should and I never had actually competed in a contest before. I wanted to see what it was like. I can’t say that it was my favorite thing to do because of all the preparation that was required. I am glad that I did the contest for the experience of it all. I didn’t realize there was that much work to look good on stage.
I’m 5’10" tall and was at a contest weight of 177lbs. My biggest weakness to me has got to be my back. It always has been. The guy that got second place over me had a much thicker back than I did and has been competing longer. I’ve been since working to improve the thickness of my middle and upper back so hopefully it will improve some. I’ve been told that I’ve got really thick legs and that was one of my strengths. I do feel I need to know how to flex them better.
My best lifts for 1 rep are:
Bench Press- 325lbs
Military Press- 205lbs
These are obviously not breaking any records and since I’ve been in the military, my goals have since changed. I don’t care that much anymore how much weight I can do for 1 rep and obviously for the contest I was going for max weight. These lifts are quite a few years older so when I get to more of a strength training cycle, maybe these lifts will improve some.
Again, I appreciate the time it takes you guys and gals to read through this post and I hope I can receive some good advice from all you experienced athletes.
For me, nothing has developed lower/middle back thickness better than heavy deadlifts. Sets of 3-5 should be sufficient for growth if you’re not interested in maxing. I don’t think any other exercise can truly replace deadlifts for this. Also heavy dumbbell rows for higher reps (15+).
You could certainly have been leaner, based on the look of your legs (upper body looks great), but you definitely did well for your first competition. Did you work with a coach? If not, I’m even more impressed.
I would say your upper body looks better than your legs, but it’s hard to tell from the pictures and your posing. Your numbers you posted would also indicated you’re top heavy in terms of strength, although that obviously doesn’t translate direct to bodybuilding.
I think your arms are a strong point.
If you have access to posing classes (a lot of ‘hardcore’ or bodybuilding oriented gyms offer these) I would take a few.
Good work, hope to hear more from you!
Thanks Flipcollar for the advice. I am planning on going back to a more strength style training program. I’m going to do the Primer 4 program that was advertised on this site. That program involves doing deadlifts for reps of 4. I think that is what I need to.
Since I’ve been in the military. I’ve noticed my propensity for changing my workout style to a more endurance-based style. The military has a habit of making your type of training change a bit and I think I did it without even realizing it. I started to get away from the strength training that I used to do when I first started.
Yeah I could of been leaner. (We all could).
I forgot to respond to some of your other questions Flipcollar. Yeah I did work with a coach as I didn’t know really how to pose. I feel my posing could still be better but I had never done it before. Posing is a workout in itself.
Thanks for the complement on the arms. A lot of people say my arms look big and I don’t really hit them that hard.
I’m no bbing expert, but I’ll agree on the lean-factor. I think it would really help bring out your legs.
I was about to comment on your back but reading your text you already answered it for me. Everyone has there weak points unless you have the genetics of Phil Heath. Overall you have good proportions. Your not too top or bottom heavy but some longer and thicker lats would make you stand out more. Im the opposite. My back is my largest and strongest muscle group and my lower legs (calfs/lower quads) are the ones that suffer criticism.
Yeah you are right about having the genetics of Phil Heath. Ha ha. I wish that I did.
The guy that beat me for second place had a massive back and knew how to show it off really well. I have been going back to basics and focusing hard on the good old deadlifts as suggested by an above poster. Hopefully, that will help improve my weak point a bit more.