T Nation

Compulsory Poses, and 1st Show Prep


So as I keep saying on this site, I'm very new to T-Nation and I'm still finding my way around. This is the first thread I'll be posting and my question is this. I'm sure that somewhere in the Archives of the T-Community there have been articles or other forums on the Compulsory Poses involved in bodybuilding? I'd like any and all imput on this and other relevent first show topics. I have a long way to go, and if you check out my profile there's more info about me on there. But, I'm starting now to try and compete in my first show sometime late Spring, through mid Summer of 2012.

I'm deployed at this time, but I return to the states in a couple months, and my military contract ends in Oct. I've been trying to build my contest physique over the last year, and will continue through the next 9 mos. I figure it's better to plan ahead now, so while I have the time and this resource I'd love to hear any and all comments/recommendations about the best ways to master poses, and make the most of showing your physique. As with all things I'm sure that practice makes perfect, and it's been my experience through powerlifting that the best advice comes first hand from those who've been there.

I'll also try to keep track of my progress on here as the months go by, and hope to keep up as much as possible on posts. I hope throughout the months I may even be able help some of you who post in this forum as much as I know you'll be able to help me. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and help out.

Before I post this. I'm well aware and realize I have a long way to go, but if you don't have dreams and goals in any faction of the lifting community then why bother to bust your ass. I feel I've made a lot of progress over the last year, and plan to continue to work as hard as possible towards my goals of being in show quality shape. Having said that I'm a big fan of constructive criticism so feel free to post any of the latter, and speak your mind as I continue to post pics and measurements as the months go by. To see some of the pics I've already posted please see my IBB log, or my profile.


google "mandatory bodybuilding poses"


watch skip's latest dvd he released for free(pretty sure you can find it on youtube) his posing tips are pretty spot on and will help you. Since he judges competitions as well he tells you what not to do.


@grind and jwesus, thanks for the help. I'll look into both today. It's my off day, which means more time for research. That and I hope to get some relaxed measurements taken today to continue charting my progress.


The internet is invaluable in learning how to pose. When I was first learning the mandatories, I would find as many youtube videos as I could of contests and watch how the different competitors would hit the same shot. You quickly realize that a lot of thought goes into every little twist and placement.



@Stu thanks Man, good luck with your upcoming contest. I've started watching various individuals posting and it really blows my mind how the most minor of tweaks and turns here and there can make musculature really pop. I just hope to get as many of those little movements learned before my first stage debut. Summer 2012 really is a dream as much as it is a goal. But I know by setting a high goal I'll just push myself that much further.

Current Measurements as of today 15 Jun 2011

Height: 5ft 8in
Weight: 173 lbs
Arms: R - 15 1/8in L - 15in
Forearms: R - 12 3/in L 12 1/8in
Chest: 43in
Shoulders: 48 1/2in
Waist: 34 1/8in
Thighs/Quad: R - 22 1/8in L - 22 1/8in
Calf: R - 15 1/2in L - 15in

So far in the last 5 months (before I was a member of the T-Community) I've put a little more than 3in on in my shoulders and 1in on my chest. I'm very happy about that. I lost 1in in my arms but I've also leaned out 13 lbs working on carb reduction to reduce my insulin resistance, and also lost 4in in my waist so I'll take that trade off. For now I'll be concentrating heavily on my lat spread and quad sweep, my two weakest areas in my opinion. So there's going to be a lot of compound Olympic lifts in my future. I'll also be upping my calories and volume because I'm done leaning out for the time being. So hopefully I'll see some steady growth in the months to come, between added weight, and a lot of sled work.

Pics will be posted as soon as possible.

Thanks again to you all for the input!


So the next step in the journey is the difficulty of finding a show prep coach. Been doing a lot of research to find some reputable coaches in my area, with not much luck. When I'm stateside I'm stationed in Jacksonville NC, but will be moving to school in Raleigh after October of this year. With anyluck I'll be able to find a nice gym there that encourages hard work, blood, and sweat. Not a PF Chain. If anyone knows of that kind of place in Raleigh or is from the area I'd love to hear about it. Until then it's just me and google. Thanks.


what kind of prep coach are you after? someone to teach you how to pose? or to help with diet?


@Jwesus, actually I'm looking for both. Having a solid background in powerlifing (I was a junior record holder) my old trainer gave me a ton of tools for building both strength and size. So I know how to eat to generate power, but I'm not a nutrition guru by any means, far from it. And as I've said earlier I'm avidly reading as much as I can and trying to learn a lot. But I know when it comes to posing, diet, etc. the best advice comes from someone who's done it. I hope that all makes sense. I've also yo-yo'd a lot being in the military because our diet is far from regular, so I'm really excited to be able to cook healthy and get a regular schedule back when I go back to school in a couple months.


Here are a couple pics of where I was at about a week ago. Forgive the crappy quality and angle. These are before working out. But, it should give somewhat of an idea as to where I'm at. I plan to have a full set of all angles up within a week when I can get time outside of work stuff, that should be a better look at where I'm at.


Side Chest, also not I'm super white aka pale as hell, so I don't know much about tanning prep either. That and I also haven't been able to find anything as far as tattoo stipulations or if they'll hurt my standings when it comes to judging at all either. All stuff I've been trying to learn.


So got the chance to have a friend take some actual physique pictures. As I've said before my actual posing needs some work. Feel free to post feedback.

Side Chest Left


Side Chest Right


Back Double Bi

As I've said before if anyone has any insight as to NPC regs on tattoos, or how best to keep them from obstructing musculature on stage I'm all ears. I haven't found anything in the official rules so far. So hopefully it won't pose a big problem for me.


Most Muscular Front


Front Abs (still needs a lot work, I'm continueing to try and slim down from my powerlifting days)



I consider my Quad Sweep to be one of my weakest areas so any suggestions are more than welcome here as well.


IMO I wouldn't compete, I'd hit the food and weights. Maybe think about it after 18-24 months imo. I'd really focus on lower lats/back width/side


Certainly do not take this as an insult, but just exactly what I would do/did in a similar situation:

I would personally use the competition coming in 9 months as a practice competition, realizing what level of development you are in comparison to other competitors (then again, you never know). This is partly due to your lack of lower body mass and development.

Whatever you decide, practice posing daily, going through mental checklists and trying different twists, stances, etc. Always seeing what works to show your strengths and hide your weaknesses.

Good luck!


No offense taken in any way! Thank you for the input.
@Jwesus, I couldn't agree more, my only hope was to actually enter a show to get the first show jitters out of the way. I know I will more than likely place low if at all, but my hope was to do the whole process from start to finish to say I did. So that way in another 24+ months I can competitively join a large show and try and place well. Obviously you never enter something trying to lose, but I'd really just like the opportunity to stand in front of a judging panel, to ask them there oppinions afterwards. As I post more pics in the future please feel free to continue to critique :).

@Ironwheel - I can't wait to actually be able to practice posing out here I still do, but I have no mirrors so it's more just a daily fascia stretching routine lol. As for the lower body mass, I'm trying everthing.

Do either of you have any suggestions for really blowing up your quads. I'm currently doing the IBB program, but I've been adding in front squats, to help. Any other exercises you would suggest that have worked for you?