Posted by Tammie Sarkozy in Muscle Building
Estimated reading time: 10mins
I've been heavily involved in bodybuilding for 10 years. As a competitor, prep coach, posing coach and a judge on various federation panels. Over this time span, I've seen the same issues and mistakes while working with competitors leading up to their show and observing them on stage (men and women in all divisions). Therefore, I want to share some pointers with you to present the best physique possible on stage.
This will vary between federations and, of course, divisions, but there is one key point that every judging panel wants in their champions:
It is best to be crystal clear on what your chosen federations require in their poses and stage presence. Every federation is different, so it’s important you know the standards, the stage layout and what happens over the course of the day, e.g., how many rounds you do. I highly recommended attending a show to see what it’s all about and see if this particular federation is right for you.
One of the biggest mistakes competitors makes neglecting their bodies. A lot of bodybuilders (or people in general) train to get a pump or sweat. Form goes out the window, and I can tell you this as a fact because I’ve worked and trained in gyms for over 10 years and have observed this in the majority of people.
Good mobility means your body can function well with a full range of motion without pain or restrictions. Most people have mobility issues, totally normal. However, you must take action and improve your mobility to a) avoid injury and b) achieve a better range of motion for better performance.
The better your range of motion, the better you can execute the exercise, the more weight you can shift or pump out reps, the more muscle you can build!
I'll give you a classic example: If you have internally rotated shoulders, your range of motion in A LOT of exercises will be limited (lat pulldown, shoulder press, pushups, pullups... plus many more).
The execution of the exercise will be poor because the correct muscle groups are physically unable to engage due to restrictions. As a result, you are missing out on all the major benefits these exercises can give you.
Most people I know have poor shoulder mobility due to their everyday lives (working at a desk, driving long hours, looking at their phone 24/7). Of course, every human on the planet needs to work on mobility to keep injury-free, but it's super important for bodybuilders to achieve their best potential by building muscle.
This is brutally true. It doesn't matter how jacked you are; if you can’t pose to show your muscles, you're in trouble.
Stage poses for men and women in any division require good flexibility, range of motion, body awareness and the ability to activate muscles on demand. This requires a diligent focus on mobility and mind-muscle connection during training. This means thorough warm-up and cool-downs, finding where you can improve your mobility and then working on it with specific drills or treatment (physiotherapist/chiropractor/remedial massage) to address the issue and provide treatment (deep tissue massage, dry needling etc.)
To further assist in optimal mobility, incorporate Bulk Nutrients Joint Complex Powder to assist in recovery and to build and maintain healthy joints.
The following is a list of muscles you use in every pose and the most common associate muscle group.
These are the common issue that most competitors have and need to address in the early days. I’ve helped people improve their posing simply by incorporating mobility exercises into their programming.
Not only does it improve their posing and chances of doing well on stage, but it also improves their performance and reduces pain.
Stretch, mobilise and incorporate activation drills into your training. As a result, not only will your posing improve, but your training will also take a step up due to enhancing your movement patterns.
Also, pay attention to what your muscles feel like when you train. Mind muscle connection is required in posing as you won’t have a mirror in front of you to gauge your positions; you need to rely on feel, so get that brain firing when you train.
Try our Bulk Nutrients ZMA supplement to assist in muscle recovery. The better you recover, the less chance of injury and better your ability to grow.
I want to shout this from a mountain! Start posing no later than three months out and practise every single day.
Do you want to stand out on stage? Then perfect your posing. I can’t tell you how many people leave this last minute and panic when they discover it's harder than expected. Beautiful posing (both male and female) is mesmerising, and when done right, the judges cannot take their eyes off you. This can be you if you put the time in.
You can see there is far more involved than just showing up. Put the time, love and effort into your posing, and you’ll blow the judges away on stage. But, from my experience as a judge, I can tell you when someone walks out with grace, a smile, and like they know what they’re doing, you cannot take your eyes off them. It’s beautiful. It’s an art.