T Nation

First Physique Competition Review. Help Point Out Weak Parts


Hey guys,

Took part in first Physique competition in China September 2016. Preparing to bulk up and improve on my weak parts for next season. Would be greatly appreciated if you have an idea about requirements for physique competitors and could help focus on the parts to improve!

Thank you!

Final 6:




Calves for sure (doesn’t everybody?), and I’d get wider up top (shoulders). If you get wider with the shoulders, make sure your arms, chest, and upper back keep proportion.


Thank you! I’m trying to work on calves this winter but they are very resistant to growth. Any tips for increasing size?

Also, are they longer or is it my presumption?


My advice for calves is to train them more frequently and to keep the reps higher (10-15) for seated calf raises, and to go heavier (5-8) for standing varieties. I like to alternate starting with standing or seated each time I train calves…keeps them guessing somewhat…and you never get too comfortable with a given weight or routine.


I’m thinking upper chest will help as well. Give some low incline cable flyes a go, and focus on doing your incline pressing work at a less than 45 degree angle (where I believe the anterior delts help a bit much, which you don’t seem to need).

Calves are always helpful, especially as most comptitors seem to lag there. I like to hit my gastroc with lower rep ranges (6-8) and my solei with higher ranges (10-15). Stretching and massaging can also help as they normally seem to be stubborn in most people.



I’d say delts too, but all in all your physique is very good!


Well appreciated. Delts and Calves.

How many sets do you usually perform for one exercise session of calves?


I actually look at the clock and give myself about 15-20 mins. After a couple of warm ups, I do as many work sets as I can, stretching between each set.



Thanks Stu, you’ve been a great help!


Anytime! :slight_smile:



Never thought about training in this manner. Do you work any other muscles like this or just calves?


There are a few areas that I believe are typically relegated as “stubborn” by most trainers. So instead of trying the latest routines touted to make em pop, I just stopped counting sets, tried to apply a basic approach of fiber type training (i.e.- higher reps for the muscle groups primarily comprised of more “endurance” type fibers) and gave myself a time constraint.

These included calves, traps and forearms. Not to say that I really did anything earth shattering, I just accepted that I was going to apply a good amount of volume, so I didn’t count sets, and instead focused on resting (stretching or massaging) enough between each set so that I felt that they were as focused and productive as I could make them.

Certainly not magic, but worth a try :slight_smile:



Congrats on your first shows, looking really good man! I agree with the other guys, upper chest, calves and wider shoulders are always helpful. Upping frequency is certainly a way to do it, something I read recently for calves recommend started every session, regardless of what you’re training that day, with a few sets of calves. If you try @The_Mighty_Stu’s method of going for time (something I’ve been doing lately as well and enjoying it), maybe try 10 minutes of standing or seated calves (alternate day by day maybe) and then move on to your session.

Keep us updated with your progress and keep up the great work!


More rear and side delts are always beneficial. Read john meadows article on shoulder training, it is very helpful.


Thanks Stu. I’m grateful to have access to someone with your level of expertise on this forum.


He says its not magic. But I think it just might be :wink:

It works that’s for sure.

@hungry4all looking good, keep up the good work.