T Nation

Show or Go?


Right... I have a bit of a connundrum I'm at a crossroads in my progress and I'm trying now to decide whether to lift for show or go or a mixture...

Now basically recently I've gained a lot of muscle despite still being at such a low weight but anyway.

This time last year I was eating a clean diet and doing a lot of cardio... I was actually trying to get lean and ripped... I ended up 123lbs and I wasn't ripped at all... At the time I had a waist of 27.5 inches. Today I finally have the same waist size at 143lbs.

My routine is in stasis... I stick to doing bench press a few times a week... This has now jumped to 60kg 12x2 for me from just 2 months ago not being able to lift 60kg for more than one rep. Also doing deadlifts 70kg for 12x2... My routine is high rep at the moment which can't be that great long-term. Anyway...

Could any of you give me some of your experience on building for show or go? Also what program do you think could benefit me best? I'll put some pics up they're not very good quality because the stupid webcam is old - wont come out of grayscale and wont zoom out.


Could you explain "show or go". Thanks.


143 pounds? I can tell you right now what you are gonna hear from this site. Eat, sleep and lift heavy shit. Eat until you are full, then eat some more. You are scrawny. I don't know what this show or go stuff means, nor does it matter. Bottom line is this, you are too light at any height to have any muscle to "show" or "go". Drop the high rep shit, if you can do it more that 10 times it's way too light. All you're doing with high reps are aerobics with weights. Ideal rep range IMO is 5-8, this is where muscle is built.


I would bet the OP means "mass or strenght" aka "pure hypertrophy or functional hypertrophy"...Even if those two ways are somewhat real (a BBer trains for mass and get strength as a "side" effect, and the opposite is true for a PLer), the OP is still far away from the point he need to choose something to focus on.

OP, it would be good if you posted your whole routine (exercises, sets, reps, weight used), but right now let me tell you that your DL is somewhat lagging behind your BP; it should be at least 150% (in your case, 60 kg BP, 90 kg DL, same rep/set).

As a guideline, keep increasing your bodyweight and the kgs you lift; once Dan John wrote that before even thinking of specialization, a trainee have to get to a x2 bw DL (in your case, it would be 280+ lbs).


When in doubt: Do WS4SB and bulk.


Don't get big useless muscles. Stay small. You live longer and the women are attracted to the concentration camp look.

I say show. Or go. Whichever.


i wanna look like dexter jackson but be able to lift like chuck V..i guess thats show and go.


Well at least you didn't post this in the bodybuilding forum.

Unfortunately by T-Nation standards, being 143 pounds with a 60kg bench is neither big nor strong. To at least be constructive, I will say that its pretty clear you are not the type of guy who wants to be 250+ pounds. So assuming that to be true, I would switch the rep scheme to something like 5x5. Focus on getting stronger across the board on all of your lifts and as a bonus, you may just actually get bigger too.


I think you incorrectly posit a dichotomy between "show" and "go". The good thing is, "show" and "go" coincide for you right now, and for most people up to a certain point. Right now, whatever you do (excepting maybe marathon running) will make you bigger and stronger. There are not three paths for you to choose right now, and you should stop thinking in those terms. There is one path. Stop doubting and follow it!

The other problem in your approach is that you fail to define "go". Unless you have a clear athletic goal, training with a vague sense of "functionality" is a waste of time. Anyhow, I'm sure you're a smart guy, and you'll be able to find a number of good beginner programs here. Pick one, and go forth and lift!


Low rep for sure. 2x12 isn't going to do anything for you at the moment. Increase the weight and go for 8x3 or 5x5.

Better yet, find a set program that many have made gains from, and stick to that for a while.

I looked through some of your previous posts, and you haven't been listening to the guys trying to help you. You need to eat more than you currently do. 20lbs in a year is not enough for a bulk. Stop worrying about your waist size and put on some mass, wouldja?


Um... uh... um... try picking up a copy of Built for Show.

Nate Green started out around 145, I think he's 5'9"-ish, and he's up to about 190-something.


Thanks bud, I'll have to get this.