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Decent Physique or Skinny Fat with a Bit of Muscle?

Hello all,

This is my first post on any kind of bodybuilding forum so bare with me.

Technically I have been lifting for about 5.5 years. However the first four of those years I had bad training (focusing too much on overly complicated, isolation based workouts, working out like 3-4 times a week, sometimes not at all lol), awful recovery (irregular sleeping pattern with 4-6 hours sleep a night), and bad diet (basically constant ready meals from tescos and no nutrition/veg and often slacking off and not sticking to my calories.) During this time I was at university so there was also lots of drinking, going out and just a generally unhealthy lifestyle. I was bulking pretty much the whole 4 years and gained like 8KG/17lbs. It’s pathetic I know and it’s because I would eat like 3000 calories for a couple days and train, then go out on a bender and feel too hungover to eat properly and end up only eating 1500-2000 calories for the next couple days. Then repeat.

This is me at the end of uni on a lads holiday in Bulgaria after at least a month of no training and not sticking to my calories.
I was 5’9 and around 76KG/176lbs, maybe like 17% bodyfat.

There was a free bar don’t judge.

As you can see I was on a diet of cheap booze, cigs, all nighters and kebabs. It’s probably the worst I’ve looked but I also didn’t really care cos I was having a blast.

Since uni I’ve been training pretty solidly for about 1.5 years now.

I mostly train 5 days a week, 4 at the least. Push, Pull, Legs, Upper, Legs. Train each muscle group twice a week. I focus on compound based workouts (Bench, Deadlift, Military press, Squats) I make sure to use progressive overload (increasing reps within a range before increasing weight.) Recovery is much better (at least 7 hours sleep a night mostly 8 with consistent bed time), and diet is much more consistent currently bulking on 3100-3200 calories with plenty of nutrition/veg. I take creatine, multivitamin and fish oil. I still slack off from time to time and lay off for like a week or so but overall my training/lifestyle is much better than when I was at uni.
Currently I am 5’9 84KG/185lbs and probably like 20% bodyfat.

Current physique:

I uploaded a lot of pictures with various lighting some with a pump some straight out of bed.

My problem is that while I think I’ve definitely made some progress with my physique I’m not sure if it’s enough or even anything decent. Sometimes I think I look alright, other times I think I look too fat and sometimes I think I look like I’ve made very little progress and look like I barely lift/skinny fat.

So do I have decent physique? Or should it be way better considering the time I’ve been lifting etc? Should I carry on bulking or do a cut? Currently I’ve been training at home with some dumbells, barbell and a pullup bar cos of lockdown so my intention is to carry on bulking for when gyms are open and then I can really focus on strength again. Any honest opinions and advice to what areas I could improve would be greatly appreciated.


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“Do I even have a decent physique?”

It’s all relative but you have a decent amount of mass and seem to have made impressive progress on that front.

On whether you want to cut or keep bulking…how do you feel about yourself? Are you training to get stronger or to look better? Have you ever done a cut before? :+1:t4:

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I think you have made pretty good progress. Can tell you have added some muscle.

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I am happy to of just gained mass whether it’s muscle or fat, as I was a skinny runt when I was younger so that’s good to hear.

Right now it’s kind of both, I want to get stronger as I’ve always been a bit weak but it’s hard to do strength training with no gym. When gyms are open I want to go back into strength training which will be harder on a cut. Guess I’ll have to embrace the thicc life?
Did a cut once at uni and it was pointless I had no muscle to begin with.

Anyway cheers for the feedback much appreciated.

Cheers mate, just read your story awesome comeback!

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Looks to me like you’ve added some good mass to chest and shoulders in particular. Only way to know for sure is to cut down to 76kg again and compare, but I’d be pretty confident you’d see you’ve gained muscle and not just fat mate

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You aren’t skinny fat. You’re muscular, you’ve got that “bearmode” look. Fantastic progress for only 1.5 years :slight_smile:

Btw 76kg is 167lb

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