The components of bodybuilding posing

Bodybuilding posing contest physique presentation by bodybuilder Tricky Jackson

TO POSE OR NOT TO POSE

By: "Tricky" Richard Jackson
1996 Jr. National / Jr. USA Lightweight Champion
Winter 1996

This article will discuss the components of posing in the sport of bodybuilding. If we look at the history of posing in the sport, we think of the classic physiques like Steve Reeves, Larry Scott, Sergio Oliva, and of course the man, Arnold. Back then athletes not only had great physiques but they knew how to display them. In today’s arena of bodybuilding the young athlete’s main concern is getting freaky big. This is O.K. however you must also be prepared to present this muscular ensemble on the stage, in front of judges, and in front of an audience.

The first component of posing is called facings. The main purpose of the facings is so the judges can compare balance, symmetry, and the complete head to toe V-taper of individuals alike in a given weight class or group. The facings are followed by sixty seconds of free posing. Many competitors go through their rehearsed evening posing routine at this time. Others perform a separate routine designed just for the sixty second posing round. Whichever you choose be sure that you accomplish two things during this round. One, hit your strongest poses and two, do something a little different that will stand out in the judge’s mind, especially if you are in a large class. It is easy to become just a number and be lost in the group.

The next component is the mandatory or comparison poses. You want to be well versed in presenting your mandatory poses. Mandatories, when performed correctly, demonstrate great muscularity and aesthetics. The poses were designed for the sole purpose of displaying muscle. Every show, I see athletes placing lower than they could have if their presentation had been tighter. I have seen this both as an athlete and as a judge. It is like a quarterback with a cannon, but who can’t hit his receivers (and thus cannot win a damn game). You have to practice your mandatories just like you practice a jump shot in basketball. The more you practice the better you get at showing off what you’ve got, and consequently the harder and more defined you get.

The last component is the posing routine. Many competitors feel that this component of posing is unimportant because most of the judging is done during the prejudging. However, this is an important portion of the competition for several reasons. A good posing routine could be of benefit if there is close call in a class, or it could be influential in the call for the overall victor. It is yet another opportunity for the athlete to show his level of professionalism and dedication to the sport, and the amount of time he or she has put into his posing routine. And finally, it is the entertainment portion of the competition. The audience comes to see excellent physiques and they also look to be entertained. I say the posing routine is the component where we can draw more attention from the general public to the sport. The more creative and energetic posing routines are, the more fun a spectator will have. Good quality posing routines can help enhance the sport of bodybuilding.

In the arena of bodybuilding posing is a key component, where an athlete can display showmanship. Just as they great competitors of yester year perfected all aspects of the sport including posing, so should today’s competitor. A basketball player can score with a lay-up but the audience wants to see a dunk. The same applies in bodybuilding, have a great physique, couple it with impressive posing (the dunk), and you have a satisfied and well entertained crowd. So athletes practice your posing from facings, free posing, and mandatories to the posing routine, and you may see your placing rise along with interest and support for your sport.

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