T Nation

Should I Do a Teen Competition?


Can I ask what is the significance of doing this as a teen?

Is it that important that you compete at 17/18 instead of, say, 20/21?


The OP still needs to put on muscle from where he is right now if he wants to compete. Which is why your qualifier of " More muscle needed,unless you want to do physique" is dead wrong.

This is the Bodybuilding division and Men’s Physique division of the same natural local contest.

Do you truly think the MP guys don’t have just as much, if not nearly as much, muscle as the bodybuilders?

Bonus points for anyone who spots the forum members who won their respective shows in each pic. :wink:

The actual first step is finding a show you can enter. Search online and find an entry-level show, preferably as many months away as possible, and then sign up for it. Discussing anything else without getting that done is literally pointless.

Details like how well you’d do, how much weight you’d have to gain, how to prep, or whatever else are moot if you’re not actually doing a show.


Whats with the lighting?Do they change it between classes or something?


Rob and the guy wearing the blue and red shorts!
(Can’t remember his name, sorry)


The two photos above are from two different years, so I am guessing the lighting was set up differently. The one that includes Rob was his very first ever contest. He came back a year later and won the overall looking very much improved!



thank you very much for the advice ! currently only 17 , and was planning on doing a small show at a local high school on may 4th , 2019. This would be about a month before i leave for bootcamp , and im pretty set on doing it. I was planning on adding as much “good” size as possible over the next 3 months , then prep for the show. I would be in the amatuer junior division (show goes up to 18 years old) , and im looking into a coach for a prep. The main reason behind doing this show is the experience , as going to bootcamp , training , etc while being an infantryman im sure will sacrifice me a lot of muscle mass that i already have , or will gain and not having the time to train at the gym. Let me know your thoughts on how you would go about this !


Hey Stu , i know you’re widely liked around the forums here , and would like some insight from you. If im doing this show for pure experience and yes , hope of placing. Im currently 17 , and the reason for doing this at this age is mainly my time. Im leaving for bootcamp in around 7 1/2 months , and the show is on May 4th. The show is local , at a high school near me. Id be in the teen amateur division for phyisque. Would you recommend i gain a bit more good weight for around the next 3 months , then get a coach for prep for the last 3? As bootcamp would be around the corner , the weight drop would be beneficial for me as my pullups and run time would increase , (for some reason i can bang like 20 out when im a lot lighter). Let me know your thoughts ! Thanks stu!


Good eye. You win 4 MacGuffin Points.

Being sure not to add size simply for the sake of size is key, since it’ll just be more fat you have to work off later. But you’re on the leaner/not fat side right now, so that’s a plus.

Those two things go together, you know.


In an ideal situation, you’d likely gain a lb of muscle a month if you’re doing everything perfectly. Now a few lbs can make a huge difference if you’ve already got a solid physique (ie. I put on 2-3 lbs per YEAR I competed and it made a huge impact!), but at your stage, it will be contributing to what will likely be trying to catch up to the level most other competitors on stage will already be at.

Could you do it for the experience? Sure, but I always tell people that most lineups are comprised of every “big guy” in their respective gyms. Even then, a first contest can be many things,… a wonderful experience, a scary experience, an inspiration to push harder, or even a sobering wake up call.

I’ve worked with plenty of guys on this site (the names you see always tagged in competition related threads are all clients of mine), and even in the situations where we’ve been able to add muscle while cutting fat, there has always been somewhat of a base to start with. Brad had a 6 month prep, and we had to totally change a lot of things he had been doing thanks to what has been in vogue with fitness writers the last several years in order to bring up weak points. Rob worked with me months of off-season before we officially started prepping for his first contest and after that a full year bringing up weak points starting another prep and competing (and winning!) his next year’s show. I mention these two guys because they train damn hard, are very smart and committed and have put in years more work than you have.

Now I could very easily sell you some BS and try to take your money as a coach, but I’d rather be honest up front so that you realize the situation you’re in. I’m not saying that you can’t make amazing progress (recomp) in 6 month’s time, because you can, but I want you to understand what you’re getting into.



is it possible to privately contact you stu ?


Of course, just google my name and you can track down my personal email address pretty easily.