Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
Lee Labrada perfected the art of physique presentation with poses like this. Fine-tune your own presentation.
I’M A CLASSIC PHYSIQUE COMPETITOR, AND I’M STRUGGLING WITH MY POSING ROUTINE. ARE THERE CERTAIN COMPETITORS FROM THE PAST THAT YOU’D POINT TO AS GOOD EXAMPLES OF HOW TO PUT TOGETHER A HIGH-SCORING PRESENTATION? WHAT WOULD BE THE NO. 1 THING I SHOULD KEEP IN MIND WHEN DESIGNING IT?
STEVE WEINBERGER: The posing routine is the performance part of the competition, and regardless of whether the round counts as part of the scoring, most competitors wish to present themselves to the best of their ability.
First, select music that you like, because you’ll be hearing it over and over again in the weeks leading up to your competition. Also, select movements that match the music and your physique. For example, bodybuilders like Lee Haney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Dorian Yates, who all had massive physiques, used powerful music and strong poses in their routines.
Smaller competitors who rely more on their symmetry and conditioning to score well in contests have tended to use slower, inspirational, or more romantic music and reflect this in their posing by using dramatic classic poses, or by developing unique poses that hide weaknesses and emphasize the strengths in their physiques.
Such classic posers would include Ed Corney, Frank Zane, Lee Labrada, and Shawn Ray, to mention just a few. They all present themselves like statues onstage, and use sweeping arm movements to transition smoothly from pose to pose. It’s useful to exhibit drama and elegance in a classic bodybuilding routine, and changes in tempo can add movement and emotion to the performance.
Finally, very few bodybuilders can successfully wing it for a performance. A posing routine must be repeated until it becomes fluid and appears effortless. You must be comfortable with the movements and music you have chosen, and it should be a reflection of your body and your personality. Do not attempt to dance, or shimmy, during your routine, unless this is natural to you. Be yourself, and practice, practice, practice.
Whether you are short, or tall, like Sarah Sweeney, proportion is the name of the game.
I’M A 5’11” FIGURE COMPETITOR, WHICH OFTEN MAKES ME THE TALLEST IN MY CLASS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL. WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND I FOCUS ON DEVELOPMENTALLY TO ACCENTUATE A TALLER FRAME? AND ON THE FLIP SIDE, IS THERE A BODY PART THAT, IF TOO DEVELOPED, COULD REALLY THROW OFF MY BALANCE?
SANDY WILLIAMSON: No matter your height, you want to develop your physique so there is overall balance between your upper and lower body. Because you are taller, it’s going to take longer to ll out your physique so that you don’t appear too thin compared to athletes that may be shorter.
The timeframe is what seems to be the hardest for taller competitors—you have to give your physique enough time between competitions to gain the needed muscular development for the figure division.
The body part that I think hurts a lot of figure competitors is overdevelopment of the glutes, which then overpowers their upper body. So I would be more cautious in your glute development.
Judges Sandy Williamson and Steve Weinberger