Learn To Pose For Bodybuilding Competition!

"When a bodybuilder decides to enter an important physique contest, there are several things he must consider. He must train for muscularity, shave excessive body hair, and most importantly, he must practice his posing. Many bodybuilders will spend hours developing a really terrific physique, and then fail to display it properly through faulty posing. Some do not even know what poses they will do before the contest begins! This strikes me as being ridiculous.

To my way of thinking, at least one-tenth of the time spent training should be devoted to developing a showman like posing routine. The mark of the champion is a superb posing routine. And yet, how many bodybuilders actually spend time to develop a really professional posing routine? Only a very small percentage. But where doe the fruit of all their labor come out? On the posing platform!

I am quite sure many bodybuilders have not seen great posers in action, or their posing would have been greatly benefited. Every bodybuilder should try to attend every physique contest possible, especially if there is going to be a guest poser. Only by comparing his routine against the greats can he hope to build a really impressive posing routine. Besides, seeing the top men in the physique world may be the added spark you need to really make progress.

My own training has been greatly influenced by the great champion, Bill Pearl. When I competed in the 1967 Mr. Universe, one of the high points of the contest was seeing Bill's great posing routine. It stands clearly in my mind even now as a masterpiece of controlled power. Every pose he struck was flawless, and each seemed better than the one before. There was no jerking around, no clumsiness, just a fluid movement from one position to another. Every long hour spent in the gym, every sacrifice now paid off, in the ultimate moment of glory for the bodybuilder, the Mr. Universe contest. There could be no doubt about who was in command here. Pearl had the entire audience eating out of his hand.

Not all of us can have the herculean massiveness of a Bill Pearl, but we can all improve our posing. Naturally, the better built you are, the better you will look when you have mastered the art of posing. But as long as you are capable of displaying your physique to advantage, showing symmetry and muscularity dramatically, the effect is bound to be impressive. This can be easily shown by visiting any museum and looking at some of the statues. You will find some with grace and flowing lines that don't have much size or muscularity at all. Many of the greatest posers of all time were slender men, yet when they began to pose, they looked tremendous.

This points up another important factor in posing. If you have any weak points in your physique, you will of course plan your training to correct these deficiencies. But when contest time comes around, select the poses that will camouflage your weak points, and call attention to your better areas. Strive to create perfect symmetry, both in your training and your posing.

This will take a lot of practice, But then anything worth having is worth putting in a lot of time for. Practice your posing after your workouts. After a time you will find yourself gaining control of your muscles and your posing will become much easier. Naturally, you will try and pick a time and a place where you will disturb a few people as possible. If you have a training partner, and you can point out each other's weaknesses. If it seems embarrassing at first, remember that it will all pay off in your next contest.

Another point to remember is to always try and look as relaxed as possible: do not shake, or look as if you are flexing so hard that it hurts. Flex each muscle group just enough that all your muscularity shows, and no more. And smile! This will go over well with the audience and judges. This will require some practice as it is hard to think about all the different things that go to make up a good pose and worry about your facial expressions as well.

On the day when your contest finally rolls around, there are a few things you should have in mind. When you are in the lineup, and the judge says relax!, do so. Don't stand there with your lats spread out like you are trying to take off. But on the other hand, don't slouch. Just stand there, straight and tall, and do what the judges tell you. When you are called to pose individually, walk out to the posing platform with a spring in your step. Don't keep the audience waiting. Make sure your poses are firmly in mind before you are out there. 

Shifting clumsily from foot to foot while you try to think of what pose comes next is one sure way to lose a contest. As you go through your poses, keep symmetry and fluidity in your mind. Flow from one pose to the next gracefully, with a minimum of movement. Finish with your best pose, as this should be the climax to your routine, and leaves a good impression with the judges. Bow to the judges and audience, and walk off. Remember that you must play to the judges and audience - if you antagonize them by appearing vain and conceited, your chances are greatly lessened.

Pose badly, and your work and sacrifice in the gym will come to nothing. Pose masterfully, and the judges will have no choice but to award you the prize. Practice your posing about three times a week, a half an hour to a session, and you are sure to become a good poser. Don't neglect one of the most vital aspects of bodybuilding. Learn to pose!"

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S&H 1968 may