T Nation

Want to Compete a Year From Now


#1


I've posted in the beginner forum before, but I wanted to get some specific feedback as it relates to competing. I just started lifting seriously this year. I'm currently running a full body routine 3x days a week. Here are some of my recent numbers to give you an idea of where I'm at:

Today's workout:
Squats - 165 3x8
Bench - 185 3x10 (NOTE: It's a Powertec machine press, and it is all I have. My true bench is probably much lower.)
Bent-over rows - 105 3x10
Landmine Presses - 70 2x15 (just because I felt good)

Last workout:
Deadlifts - Worked up to 2x of 225
OHP - 70 3x10
Pull-ups - However many sets until 30 total reps. Normally I alternate chin-ups with pull-ups.
Bicep curls and tricep extensions - I've been doing 2x12 or so with these at 45 and 55 respectively.

As you can see from my numbers, I'm still relatively weak, but I'm definitely progressing. My most noticeable strength gains are in deadlifts and bench.

Other stats haven't changed much from my beginner thread. 5'10" 174 lbs as of this morning. I'm eating around 500 over maintenance - 3500~ calories of clean, wholesome food on training days and around 3000 on non-training days.

My question regarding competing is this: Is it possible for me to compete in a local NPC show next August and be competitive? I don't know whether I'd be a better fit for physique or bodybuilding because at this point there isn't enough size on me to make any sort of decision. I've attached some photos so it's obvious my physique is poor. What can I do with this in a year's time? Hope? No hope?

The reason I'd like to compete is that it gives me a specific date in which I need to have made serious progress. There's that and just the fact of having a goal to work toward.


#2

Here’s a side shot to go along with the other. Again, far from good. Could be worse I guess. I’m guessing I’m 15% bf at least.


#3

[quote]Stryder wrote:
I’ve posted in the beginner forum before, but I wanted to get some specific feedback as it relates to competing. I just started lifting seriously this year. I’m currently running a full body routine 3x days a week. Here are some of my recent numbers to give you an idea of where I’m at:
.

My question regarding competing is this: Is it possible for me to compete in a local NPC show next August and be competitive? I don’t know whether I’d be a better fit for physique or bodybuilding because at this point there isn’t enough size on me to make any sort of decision. I’ve attached some photos so it’s obvious my physique is poor. What can I do with this in a year’s time? Hope? No hope?

The reason I’d like to compete is that it gives me a specific date in which I need to have made serious progress. There’s that and just the fact of having a goal which to work toward.
[/quote]

Answer : no I don’t believe it’s possible to be competitive , to put things in perspective there will probably be guys in your class who are deadlifting 500 for reps and have been training twice as long , maybe three times as long .

You need to put more time in,

Years ago people would lift weights and focus on muscle gains for years without the thought of competing , so I’m curious why you think competing at your current level of muscularity is a good idea ? If you are looking for motivation to "get your shit together " in the gym and need to compete to do so, that’s just not going to be an attitude which will serve you well In your physique endeavours .

My practical suggestion is spend at least 3 more years where you are focused on gaining muscle and periodically cutting when body fat gets too high . You aren’t especially lean in your current photo

Sorry for being a dick but hopefully that helps


#4

[quote]GrindOverMatter wrote:

Answer : no I don’t believe it’s possible to be competitive , to put things in perspective there will probably be guys in your class who are deadlifting 500 for reps and have been training twice as long , maybe three times as long .

You need to put more time in,

Years ago people would lift weights and focus on muscle gains for years without the thought of competing , so I’m curious why you think competing at your current level of muscularity is a good idea ? If you are looking for motivation to "get your shit together " in the gym and need to compete to do so, that’s just not going to be an attitude which will serve you well In your physique endeavours .

My practical suggestion is spend at least 3 more years where you are focused on gaining muscle and periodically cutting when body fat gets too high . You aren’t especially lean in your current photo

Sorry for being a dick but hopefully that helps

[/quote]

No offense taken. I’d rather hear it straight to be honest. It’s not that I need any added motivation really. I’m strict on my diet and giving it all I’ve got with each workout. I was just thinking it would be cool and a great experience to compete. But, since I’m new to this, I didn’t know if that would be possible to continue bulking until around the beginning of April and then trying to lean out as much as possible until August and get a good result. Judging from your reply, that probably wouldn’t be as good an idea as I thought.

I’m definitely not lean. I’m super-soft, especially in the gut. I’m probably at least 15% bf now - though it could be higher.

Anyway, I appreciate your honesty and advice.


#5

Even if your physique were to achieve comp ready status, your big yellow face is too distracting for the stage.


#6

[quote]CLUNK wrote:
Even if your physique were to achieve comp ready status, your big yellow face is too distracting for the stage. [/quote]
I should have known. So many bigots out there.

“Do you have jaundice, bro?” “You don’t have a nose!” “Mouth-breather!” “Take the children inside!”

Just have to shrug off the haters. I’ll have my day.


#7

[quote]Stryder wrote:

[quote]CLUNK wrote:
Even if your physique were to achieve comp ready status, your big yellow face is too distracting for the stage. [/quote]
I should have known. So many bigots out there.

“Do you have jaundice, bro?” “You don’t have a nose!” “Mouth-breather!” “Take the children inside!”

Just have to shrug off the haters. I’ll have my day.
[/quote]
I personally think the world could do without so many noisy mouth-breathers, and I’ve been known to be wrong before but I don’t think I’ve seen a No-Noser on any stages either. Sorry.


#8

Just being honest here, but you are still a beginner. Enjoy the things that are awesome about being a beginner: linear, steady progress, noticeable changes within shorter time frames, etc. There’s a lot of stuff that’s great about being new to weightlifting.

Regarding bodybuilding or physique competitions, particularly being competitive in one, you are honestly years and years away (and programs and programs away, in terms of your training protocols, as doing full body 3x/week is generally what people start off with and then later specialize).

So don’t worry about this stuff just yet–enjoy the things that there are to enjoy with where you’re at.


#9

Its possible, depends on your level of commitment and amount of money your’e willing to spend…

Train balls out 6 days a week, eat 100% clean and take the ‘American Sniper’ stack and you could be well on your way in 9 months


#10

The actual bodyfat percent is pointless in your case since that is not the issue here lol. You dont really have any muscle, you’re a near complete beginner. A year back we had a bunch of guys who’d been training a few months and egged on by the peanut gallery decided to hop on stage “for the experience” and luckily that trend has slowed down.

If BB is your goal you need to lift for a few years first. On the other hand if you go on a hardcore cutting diet you’ll be happy with the result, provided you dont do anything stupid - and provided you keep gaining strength (given your level of muscularity) throughout the cut. Thats not going to be anywhere near a bodybuilding physique, mind you, but you’ll look good enough for selfies in good lighting on facebook and will likely be a better solution for you.

Where you go from here is up to you.

[quote]Stryder wrote:
I’m definitely not lean. I’m super-soft, especially in the gut. I’m probably at least 15% bf now - though it could be higher.
[/quote]


#11

[quote]minimaltechno wrote:
I personally think the world could do without so many noisy mouth-breathers, and I’ve been known to be wrong before but I don’t think I’ve seen a No-Noser on any stages either. Sorry. [/quote]
You’re one of those elitists aren’t you? You guys and your precious noses and your non-yellow faces. :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]MinusTheColon wrote:
Just being honest here, but you are still a beginner. Enjoy the things that are awesome about being a beginner: linear, steady progress, noticeable changes within shorter time frames, etc. There’s a lot of stuff that’s great about being new to weightlifting.

Regarding bodybuilding or physique competitions, particularly being competitive in one, you are honestly years and years away (and programs and programs away, in terms of your training protocols, as doing full body 3x/week is generally what people start off with and then later specialize).

So don’t worry about this stuff just yet–enjoy the things that there are to enjoy with where you’re at. [/quote]
I appreciate the advice. I am very much enjoying my linear gains for now. It’s nice to be able to increase weight by either 5 or 10 pounds every other session (depending on the exercise) fairly easily. I know it won’t last forever, but I’ll milk it for as long as I can.

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
Its possible, depends on your level of commitment and amount of money your’e willing to spend…
http://tnation.T-Nation.com/...ght_to_pro_card

Train balls out 6 days a week, eat 100% clean and take the ‘American Sniper’ stack and you could be well on your way in 9 months [/quote]
That’s an incredible transformation! Thanks for sharing that thread. I’ll continue to train hard, and if nothing else I know I’ll look much better in a year’s time. Also, that stack you mentioned is astoundingly expensive. :o This is off-topic, but are supps really that necessary? I only take creatine and a pre-workout (which I dislike and won’t buy again). I don’t even take protein because I get more than enough from my normal meals.

[quote]jeremielemauvais wrote:
The actual bodyfat percent is pointless in your case since that is not the issue here lol. You dont really have any muscle, you’re a near complete beginner. A year back we had a bunch of guys who’d been training a few months and egged on by the peanut gallery decided to hop on stage “for the experience” and luckily that trend has slowed down.

If BB is your goal you need to lift for a few years first. On the other hand if you go on a hardcore cutting diet you’ll be happy with the result, provided you dont do anything stupid - and provided you keep gaining strength (given your level of muscularity) throughout the cut. Thats not going to be anywhere near a bodybuilding physique, mind you, but you’ll look good enough for selfies in good lighting on facebook and will likely be a better solution for you.

Where you go from here is up to you. [/quote]
I appreciate your reply! Nope, I don’t have any muscle at all. My current plan is continue my clean bulk until next year and then cut down to a reasonable level of bodyfat and start over. A classical BB type physique is my aim. I don’t want to be a mass monster or anything. Of course, I want to be bigger, but aesthetics trumps all. I’ll probably continue running my full-body routine until I hit some specific numbers (1.5x bodyweight squats for reps, 2x bodyweight deadlift, 1.5x bodyweight bench for reps) and then switch over to a 4 or 5 day split.

I’ll pass on the hardcore cut for now and focus on my bulk. I don’t even have Facebook so all those selfies wouldn’t serve me much purpose. :slight_smile:


#12

Supps not necessary at your level. Bcaas or whey isolate taken intra workout are good base supps if want kick it up a notch.

My point was you would have to make an extreme commitment and put down some serious coin to make such rapid progress.


#13

I think it’s a smart plan, as you propose, to build that “base level strength” and then move to a split. That’s the transition that I and most people on these boards followed, and it just seems to make the most sense. 1.5x bodyweight bench for reps might be a bit ambitious as a “base of strength” number, but the others seem reasonable.

Another way to approach it is just the traditional “1 plate OHP, 2 plates Bench, 3 plates Squat, 4 plates DL” and then just taking that as the marker as a time to move on. Around me doing 315 5x5 on squat is the time that I started switching up my training protocol to try things outside the 5x5.


#14

You’ve got an awesome attitude. This will serve you well.

I remember when I first started lifting, I decided that competing on stage was a goal. I probably looked more or less like you when I made that decision, with the idea that I was a year away. Fast forward 10 years, and I’m still not at the point where I think I could be particularly competitive (although my training focus has shifted over the years…)

Here’s the thing though. Wanting to compete was a good thing for me, even though I never did, and likely never will. I see no issue with you making that a goal, whether the goal is to compete in a year, 2 years, whatever. The bottom line is that such a mindset will not negatively affect your training, and at the end of the day, anything you can use to motivate yourself in the gym is a good thing.

I disagree with Badger’s recommendation for supplements. They aren’t any better than whole food at this stage. I find protein shakes to be useful for the convenience factor, and I do use Plazma during my workouts, but this is because a) I’m short on time, so I don’t cook enough meat, and b) I have the cash to spend on them. Don’t go broke buying powders.

And finally: don’t be concerned with ‘accidentally’ becoming a mass monster. Nobody has ever gotten to that point by accident. You need to train as if that’s the goal though. That sort of intensity is what is necessary to achieve any reasonable goals in the gym. Train as if becoming The Hulk is the goal, and if you’re lucky, you’ll eventually get to that classic BB physique you want. If you don’t train that hard, you will come up short.

Best of luck.


#15

Meant to reply sooner but, you know, work stuff. >_>

@RampantBadger: Gotcha. I see your point. Commitment I have…money, not so much.

@MinusTheColon: Yeah, training on a split to further develop muscles when there isn’t any there doesn’t serve much of a purpose does it? Ha. The only reason I mentioned the high bench number is because I use a leverage bench press (AKA not a real bench press) and I can do way more weight than I could do on an actual bench press. The traditional measure you mentioned sounds straightforward. I might shoot for those numbers.

@flipcollar: Thanks, I appreciate that! I had it in my head that I could build enough muscle and then cut enough to look really good in a year. In hindsight, I probably would look “good” but not competition good. Wanting to compete is additional motivation for me but I realize it is a much more distant goal that I realized. In the meantime I keep myself motivated by hitting mini-goals - a new PR, an extra couple of reps on a weight I failed at during the last workout, etc. Little goals help keep me moving forward.

As far as intensity is concerned, I push as hard as I can (without snapping stuff up) on my workout days. I only focus on the big compound moves for now - concentrating on good form and getting stronger. Speaking of, I need to post a form video eventually to get some feedback.

At the end of the day, I’m just a dude in his shed trying to get bigger, stronger, and the benefits one gets from having a healthy, muscular body. Also, I’ve always struggled with severe depression and having goals to strive for helps me deal with that as well.

Oh, and for anybody who happens to GAF, I’m going to make a training log so I’ll happily receive any feedback, encouragement, or what have you.


#16

Get on a proper split, buy a gym membership, train there and observe how people you want to look like train. Go pester them for tips.

Do not chase numbers, as in do not do some sort of limit strength program just because someone told you something stupid like “squat 400lbs and you’ll have big legs”. If you put in the intensity and effort, you will be able to squat 400lbs ONCE you have big legs. The ability to increase your reps or weight lifted weekly is simply a gauge of your effort.