T Nation

Well, Waddaya Think

I’ve never been one to post pictures online, even rarely on my social media accounts. But just wanted some honest feedback on my physique. Just got a dexa scan done today and came back at a surprising 11%. I’ve always been stuck between trying to look good while also lifting heavy. Burning the candle at both ends.

I’m just finishing up the PHAT routine that I typically run every summer. While my legs are definitely weak points, I’ve added an inch +1/2 since last summer. Been doing more hack squats and “suicide” sets or 225x50 (not all at once. Usually get 20-30 first set then grind em out and try to finish all 50 reps in under 5 minutes. Thinking once I drop below 10% may look to hire a coach and train for a physique competition when I turn 30 next June.

You’re only kinda lean… seriously doubting 11 percent. I would have guessed 14-15. You have zero vascularity, your midsection is kinda chubby, and your legs have absolutely no cuts.

Your quads are small, but I guess if you’re doing physique that’s not a really big deal.

I think you’re gonna be pretty small all over when you actually get close to contest-lean. But that being said, if a contest is what you want to do, go for it. You have plenty of time to get in condition between now and then. I definitely support the idea of hiring a coach. That’s essential if you want to be competitive at any level. A contest would be a good learning experience regardless, and I don’t think you’d embarrass yourself on stage.

Best of luck! It’d be awesome if you tracked your progress here. I think a lot of guys your size/condition would like to know what they’d look like if they did a true contest cut.

Thanks for the honest, and detailed feedback Flip, much appreciated. I also anticipated 14-15% body fat. As you can see, I carry most of my fat in the midsection, while relatively lean(ish) elsewhere. Being 6’3 and 220-225lbs, I agree I need to put quite a bit of muscle on to fill out my frame.
I’ve never done a whole lot of core work (obviously) but in the past month I’ve started incorporating overhead carries, Farmer walks, Pallof Pressing, and Dead bugs. These were done more to help with my squat than aesthetics. While legs may not be a big priority for Physique, I fully intend to hit them with enough volume to grow and add some quality mass.

I’ve been experimenting with blood flow restriction at the end of my workouts. I’ll set my timer for 10 minutes and switch between leg extensions, hamstring curls, and unilateral leg presses on lower body day, while doing various raises and curls/extensions on upper body day. They give a great pump, however it remains to be seen if it will benefit in the long term. The science is interesting from a hypertrophy standpoint, but obviously, it will not be the meat and potatoes of my workout.

Now that summer is over, I’m back from vacation, and my family issues have luckily calmed down, it’s time to get serious and stop “working out” and really begin “training.” I planed on doing 5/3/1 BBB 3month challenge, but I’m wondering if I should just stick with a more bodybuilding focused plan instead of once again, trying to burn the candle at both ends. I will make sure to update my progress, and look forward to this upcoming journey.

For your goals, I like the idea of spending at least a few months out of the year truly dedicated to ‘bodybuilding style training’. I like pretty much everything you said in this second post. It sounds like you’re approaching your training with intelligence.

What you need is legs and posterior chain, i like leg presses and deadlift variations, trap bar, straight leg deadlifts, farmers walk and a free weight squat front or back high reps you are tall. I didn’t see your calves , many black man have high calves sprinters calves hardest muscle in world to develop, you can work them ed. Once that posterior chain is strong every thing will feel lighter, less cheating on rows pulldown etc. Good luck .

I am actually strictly doing trap bar deadlifts now. I pulled 525 in a competition early summer at a weight of 215. While not great #"s by any means, I’m satisfied no longer chasing arbitrary maxes and just working on body development at this point.

I do have some minor vascularity in my calves and with a pump they can measure between 17.25 and 17.50 @ their widest point. I have tried a bit of everything over the the years to make them grow. I only started seeing minor results when implementing high reps (20+) with great time under tension, as well as some blood flow restriction training. I’m a patient individual and will continue these techniques until they no longer produce results. Here is a calf shot with my first vein ever lol, and a slightly “better” shot of my back.

Right on i love trap bar deadlift, hurt my back much less. Your pull should be your strong point cus of height, as well as rows. 17 plus calves impressive keep on em, i have been in iron game 31 years and seen many a genetic freek not place as high in show due to poor calves they should be on par with arms . It is approaching fall, winter perfect time to bulk up i prefer potatoes over bread pasta, they put shit in wheat to make bread white. You have good genetics train hard, i know all about distractions try to resolve them, as they can hamper training. I lot of people will be jealous of your build , be ready even women will hate try to sabotage progress steer clear.