T Nation

Size of Amateur Men's Physique?

Just curious what size the amateur men’s physique competitors are landing at these days. I’ve never competed and I’m 42, so I would expect (or at least hope) a masters and/or novice division probably won’t be as competitive as others. My plan is to spend quite a while building size, as I’ve spent most of the last 7 years training BJJ and doing S&C for that. I would hire a coach for prep for sure, and maybe even before that if my mass gaining doesn’t go as well as I hope. Just really have no idea what these guys are stepping on stage at. I’ve looked at some novice NPC competitors from the past to try and gauge but that hasn’t helped.

I assume you’re contemplating a specific (presumably local) show? If so, you can peruse pics from previous years online, and judge for yourself how competitive it is.


Eye dentist makes a good point. I remember when I as first considering stepping onstage, I was able to get magazines that had covered certain shows and track down the stats of eventual winners. That and one supportive encouragement from a few “names” in the sport made me feel that I wouldn’t be wasting my time just to look out of place.

A few things I’d suggest keeping in mind:

1- being in stage level condition will make anyone appear larger

2- physique has been a division For years now so realize that it’s not a beginner category as it may once have been thought of. Plenty of the better physique competitors would do well in an open amateur contest if they had better legs.

3- there’s a lot to be gained/learned from competing, so even if you don’t win 1st, I can tell you that it’s a great experience and a lot of fun just pushing yourself and trying to improve from show to show (year to year?)



Yeah I looked at the 2018 and 2019 NPC pics from the local show they had then. Not sure when/if they will have a 2021 show, and I doubt I could be ready for it anyway. So probably would have to target 2022.

This is the thing that has surprised me the most in my research. The top IFBB MP pros look absolutely fucking huge. The top guys the amateur shows are still very big as well. Maybe I am skewing things by not looking in the natural federations. Since I am on doc-prescribed TRT and have no intentions of coming off, I assume I would have to compete untested.

Yup. If I had better legs, I would be able to not-win a BBing contest just like I not-winned a Physique contest. :laughing:


You were just a little behind when time ran out
Can we still use that in this sport?

1 Like

Depends. Can I heel hook someone who has bigger delts than me? :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Technically, maybe ethically you should compete in an untested comp. Even if tested, and you are taking a low dose of testosterone your levels will still be in the normal range, and you’d pass any basic test. There are plenty of natural, tested comp’s where guys are clearly on gear, or on it recently enough to still have an advantage with size.

If competing in an untested comp you will be at a disadvantage as most of the other guys will be on gear, and probably a lot more than just TRT.

Yeah I don’t know all the rules of untested vs tested yet. I just assumed that any tested fed would not allow ANY exogenous T, regardless of a prescription. And I absolutely would not try to evade any tests, I’d rather place last in untested versus try to slide by a test. Or I could just blast off like the rest of them. :laughing:

There are different methods of testing T levels, and I’m sure someone more knowledgeable than I am can attest.

I competed in two different tested feds (USBF and WNBF). Both subjected me to Polygraphs as well as Urine tests which were sent to Labs and the fed and I would both received official result declarations.

Usually, I assume Polys ward off anyone who knowingly is taking anything that would give them a leg up on their competition. Of course back in the 90’s and early 2000’s, you had a lot of confusing/gray market stuff that most gym rats thought was “clean” but would have likely made them blow a negative on a Urine test from a strict federation.

There have been a couple of smaller groups that will allow TRT with a serious pile of supportive and documentary paperwork, but the specifics are something that you’d need to confirm with different federations.