Athletes train to develop all muscle groups to maximum size but in balance and harmony. There should be no "weak points" or underdeveloped muscles. Moreover, they should follow a special pre-competition training and nutrition plan to decrease the body fat levels as low as possible and remove the under-skin water to show the density, separation and definition of all muscle groups.
Athletes are judged on muscle development, conditioning, symmetry and aesthetics. In general terms the later means broad shoulders and narrow waist as well as adequately long legs and shorter upper body.
There are currently nine official bodyweight categories for men: 65 kg, 70 kg, 75 kg, 80 kg, 85 kg, 90 kg, 95 kg, 100 kg and over 100 kg.
In each round each panel judge must judge each athlete giving them individual placings from the first to the last. The physique round points are doubled and added to the posing routine round points. The athlete with the lowest score wins.
The athletes are called on stage in a line-up in numerical order and stand in front position. The Master of Cermonies will then instruct the athletes to perform the seven compulsory poses. The order of the line-up is then reversed and the compulsory poses are performed again. The athletes may then be instructed to step to the back of the stage and call outs are performed if judges are still undecided with regards the placing of athletes in the physique round. When all call outs are completed the athletes are allowed a one minute pose-down. Click here to view new compulsory poses
After the pose-down athletes return to their original line-up and proceed to back stage.
Solid coloured, opaque posing trunks are used for all rounds. The colour, fabric, texture and style of the trunks will be left to the competitor’s discretion. The trunks must cover a minimum of ¾ of the gluteus maximus. The front area must be covered and the side of the trunks should be 1 cm in width at a minimum.
Except for a wedding ring, competitors will not wear footwear, glasses, watches,necklaces, earrings, wigs, distracting ornamentation or artificial aids to the figure. Props are not allowed at any time on stage.
Correct posing trunk style.
The above suits are not in conformity with the rules. Athletes will be asked to change before going on stage.
The IFBB has banned all tans and bronzers that can be wiped off. If the tan comes off by simply wiping, the athlete will not be allowed to enter the stage.
Sparkles, glitter, shiny metallic pearls or gold colouring are prohibited whether applied as part of a tanning lotion and/or cream or applied separately.
The delegated representative, will have the right to determine if a competitor’s attire meets an acceptable standard of taste and decency and, eventually, recommend the athlete to change the attire, if it does not meet the prescribed standards.
When assessing a competitor’s physique, a judge follows a routine procedure which will allow a comprehensive assessment of the physique as a whole. During the comparisons of the mandatory poses, the judge first looks at the primary muscle group being displayed. The judge then surveys the whole physique, starting from the head, and looking at every part of the physique in a downward sequence, beginning with general impressions, and looking for muscular bulk, balanced development, muscular density and definition.
The downward survey should take in the head, neck, shoulders, chest, all of the arm muscles, front of the trunk for pectorals, pec-delt tie-in, abdominals, waist, thighs, legs and calves and feet. The same procedure for back poses will also take in the upper and lower trapezius, teres and infraspinatus, erector spinae, the gluteus group, the leg biceps group at the back of the thighs and calves and feet.
A detailed assessment of the various muscle groups is made during the comparisons, at which time it helps the judge to compare muscle shape, density and definition while still bearing in mind the competitor’s overall balanced development. The comparisons of the Mandatory Poses cannot be overemphasized as these comparisons will help the judge to decide which competitor has the superior physique from the standpoint of muscular bulk, balanced development, muscular density and definition.