T Nation

Mr. America 4/20/13


Figured I’d throw this up here for any east coast folks who are interested in coming down and seeing some of the amazing competitors who are showing up to do battle and win the oldest title in competitive bodybuilding.

I attended last year, and it was a slugfest down to the last!

This year, I’ve actually been asked by the powers that be to judge the event, so I’ll be there from sunup to sundown (and beyond most likely -lol)

S

that is so cool you’re judging!

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
This year, I’ve actually been asked by the powers that be to judge the event, so I’ll be there from sunup to sundown (and beyond most likely -lol)

S[/quote]

this is lovely, a natural top bber as judge to MA!

Congratulations Stu. When I compete this fall, come be my judge- by no means do I insist biases *wink *wink.

Lol, yeah, I guess there has to be a real honorable disconnect when stepping up behind the big table. Obviously, even if offered, I’m going to have to decline any show that my wife, or close friends are competing in. Still, and this is why I’m getting such a kick out of this, it’s a nice validation that I know what I’m talking about when looking at physiques. Certainly not a bad thing for my current and future clients :slight_smile:

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Lol, yeah, I guess there has to be a real honorable disconnect when stepping up behind the big table. Obviously, even if offered, I’m going to have to decline any show that my wife, or close friends are competing in. Still, and this is why I’m getting such a kick out of this, it’s a nice validation that I know what I’m talking about when looking at physiques. Certainly not a bad thing for my current and future clients :slight_smile:

S[/quote]

Can you talk about what you’ll be looking for with regard to size, symmetry, definition, etc.? What kind of weight do you give each area?

5’10", 280 lbs, 3% bodyfat-- “what do you mean I’m not natural!!!”

[quote]super saiyan wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Lol, yeah, I guess there has to be a real honorable disconnect when stepping up behind the big table. Obviously, even if offered, I’m going to have to decline any show that my wife, or close friends are competing in. Still, and this is why I’m getting such a kick out of this, it’s a nice validation that I know what I’m talking about when looking at physiques. Certainly not a bad thing for my current and future clients :slight_smile:

S[/quote]

Can you talk about what you’ll be looking for with regard to size, symmetry, definition, etc.? What kind of weight do you give each area?[/quote]

aw yeah yes please Stu, that’d be really interesting

[quote]rds63799 wrote:

[quote]super saiyan wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Lol, yeah, I guess there has to be a real honorable disconnect when stepping up behind the big table. Obviously, even if offered, I’m going to have to decline any show that my wife, or close friends are competing in. Still, and this is why I’m getting such a kick out of this, it’s a nice validation that I know what I’m talking about when looking at physiques. Certainly not a bad thing for my current and future clients :slight_smile:

S[/quote]

Can you talk about what you’ll be looking for with regard to size, symmetry, definition, etc.? What kind of weight do you give each area?[/quote]

aw yeah yes please Stu, that’d be really interesting[/quote]

Okay guys, I’ll throw out what the “official” notes say on the matter, then of course chime in with my own thoughts, and how I like to look at placings.

According to the “WNBF/INBF Bodybuilding Judging Criteria”: (I’ll skip the other classes)


COMPETITION ATTIRE:
Men: bodybuilding posing suit
Women: two piece bodybuilding posing suit

JUDGING ROUNDS:
Round 1- SYMMETRY - Encompasses overall balance and conditioning from top to bottom
Round 2- MUSCULARITY/CONDITIONING - Athletes will be judged on conditioning by executing a series of mandatory poses. Competitors must hit all the mandatory poses in a timely manner. Remember every time a pose is called for the judges are looking at the complete package from top to bottom, not just that body part.

Note: The Head Judge at all INBF/WNBF events reserves the right to penalize an athlete one point for each pose if the athlete refuses to perform the requested pose properly. The athlete will be given a warning to correctly perform the pose and if the judge’s request is ignored, a penalty assessed to their placement for each improper pose. Athletes will perform only the poses requested by the Head Judge or face the same penalty.

WNBF and INBF MANDATORY POSES:
-Front Double Biceps Pose
-Side Chest Pose
-Side Triceps Pose
-Front Lat Spread Pose
-Rear Lat Spread Pose
-Abs and Thigh Pose

SCORING OF EACH ROUND:
INBF: Judges will score each round and give them a final placement for that round before moving on to the next round. Example: If there are 8 people in the class the judges will place them 1st through 8th place in each round. When the judges are done they will add the 2 scores together to come up with the final placements for each competitor in that class.

WNBF: Judges will score each round and give them a final placement for that round before moving on to the next round. Example: If there are 8 people in the class the judges will place them 1st through 8th place in each round. When the judges are done they will add the 2 scores together to come up with a SUB-FINAL PLACEMENT for each competitor in that class. Pro Judges will finalize their scores after the Pro posing round to either break a tie or move a competitor up 1 placement.


Now, some of you may remember a few years back the INBF/WNBF was using a 3 round system (Muscularity, Mass, and Symmetry). Although I actually thought it worked well (when followed), at a little Administrative/Judges/Promoters meeting I was at a few months ago, it was decided that everything that was being looked for by the judges was there already no matter how you break it down. In the efforts to make things easier (IMO) and simplify what is being assessed each round, it must have caused a greater confusion among some people, because it was discarded, and the original 2 round system was reinstated.

So here’s the basic breakdown in my words:

ROUND 1 - Quarter Turns, or “Relaxed” poses. This, according to Rich Gaspari (when he helped me with my posing before my first show!) is when the Judges really size everyone up, shuffle things around a bit, and by the end of the round, already know who the top 3 are going to be. No matter how great a competitor may look in one or two of their Mandatory Poses, you can’t hide weaknesses in the Quarter Turns.

ROUND 2 - Mandatory Poses. These are the poses that most people, even those who don’t compete, will do in front of a mirror when they’re either showing off or just goofing around. While each pose may indeed have the name of a particular muscle group in its name, you must always assess the entire physique as a whole. When I work with clients on their posing, I always tell them that the Front Double Biceps shot isn’t about their biceps at all. It’s an “X-Frame” pose. If done properly, your waist will appear small, your lats will be flared out widely, and your quads will be sweeping outwards, all contributing to a dramatic “X” when onstage.


One thing I’d like to point out though, is that of genetic predispositions. Some people just naturally have ‘gifts’. Fred Dimena, one of the “old school” Pros, judges and everything else in the WNBF, wrote that as a former competitor, he leans towards rewarding traits that obviously had to be worked for, and earned. That’s NOT to say that you reward shredded guys with no muscle over dude with big arms, and a muffin top hanging over their posing trunks. BUT, you have to weight the degree of each. Does the amount of muscle built on a guy who’s obviously not even close to being in condition exceed the degree of shreddedness on a guy who’s obviously lacking in the mass department?

Therein lies the issue when each goes home and has their friends swear to them up and down that they were robbed.

S

Very cool Stu, thanks for posting.

Weird question for you though: how forgiving are judges about things that can’t be controlled, like operation scars?

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:

[quote]super saiyan wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Lol, yeah, I guess there has to be a real honorable disconnect when stepping up behind the big table. Obviously, even if offered, I’m going to have to decline any show that my wife, or close friends are competing in. Still, and this is why I’m getting such a kick out of this, it’s a nice validation that I know what I’m talking about when looking at physiques. Certainly not a bad thing for my current and future clients :slight_smile:

S[/quote]

Can you talk about what you’ll be looking for with regard to size, symmetry, definition, etc.? What kind of weight do you give each area?[/quote]

aw yeah yes please Stu, that’d be really interesting[/quote]

Okay guys, I’ll throw out what the “official” notes say on the matter, then of course chime in with my own thoughts, and how I like to look at placings.

According to the “WNBF/INBF Bodybuilding Judging Criteria”: (I’ll skip the other classes)


COMPETITION ATTIRE:
Men: bodybuilding posing suit
Women: two piece bodybuilding posing suit

JUDGING ROUNDS:
Round 1- SYMMETRY - Encompasses overall balance and conditioning from top to bottom
Round 2- MUSCULARITY/CONDITIONING - Athletes will be judged on conditioning by executing a series of mandatory poses. Competitors must hit all the mandatory poses in a timely manner. Remember every time a pose is called for the judges are looking at the complete package from top to bottom, not just that body part.

Note: The Head Judge at all INBF/WNBF events reserves the right to penalize an athlete one point for each pose if the athlete refuses to perform the requested pose properly. The athlete will be given a warning to correctly perform the pose and if the judge’s request is ignored, a penalty assessed to their placement for each improper pose. Athletes will perform only the poses requested by the Head Judge or face the same penalty.

WNBF and INBF MANDATORY POSES:
-Front Double Biceps Pose
-Side Chest Pose
-Side Triceps Pose
-Front Lat Spread Pose
-Rear Lat Spread Pose
-Abs and Thigh Pose

SCORING OF EACH ROUND:
INBF: Judges will score each round and give them a final placement for that round before moving on to the next round. Example: If there are 8 people in the class the judges will place them 1st through 8th place in each round. When the judges are done they will add the 2 scores together to come up with the final placements for each competitor in that class.

WNBF: Judges will score each round and give them a final placement for that round before moving on to the next round. Example: If there are 8 people in the class the judges will place them 1st through 8th place in each round. When the judges are done they will add the 2 scores together to come up with a SUB-FINAL PLACEMENT for each competitor in that class. Pro Judges will finalize their scores after the Pro posing round to either break a tie or move a competitor up 1 placement.


Now, some of you may remember a few years back the INBF/WNBF was using a 3 round system (Muscularity, Mass, and Symmetry). Although I actually thought it worked well (when followed), at a little Administrative/Judges/Promoters meeting I was at a few months ago, it was decided that everything that was being looked for by the judges was there already no matter how you break it down. In the efforts to make things easier (IMO) and simplify what is being assessed each round, it must have caused a greater confusion among some people, because it was discarded, and the original 2 round system was reinstated.

So here’s the basic breakdown in my words:

ROUND 1 - Quarter Turns, or “Relaxed” poses. This, according to Rich Gaspari (when he helped me with my posing before my first show!) is when the Judges really size everyone up, shuffle things around a bit, and by the end of the round, already know who the top 3 are going to be. No matter how great a competitor may look in one or two of their Mandatory Poses, you can’t hide weaknesses in the Quarter Turns.

ROUND 2 - Mandatory Poses. These are the poses that most people, even those who don’t compete, will do in front of a mirror when they’re either showing off or just goofing around. While each pose may indeed have the name of a particular muscle group in its name, you must always assess the entire physique as a whole. When I work with clients on their posing, I always tell them that the Front Double Biceps shot isn’t about their biceps at all. It’s an “X-Frame” pose. If done properly, your waist will appear small, your lats will be flared out widely, and your quads will be sweeping outwards, all contributing to a dramatic “X” when onstage.


One thing I’d like to point out though, is that of genetic predispositions. Some people just naturally have ‘gifts’. Fred Dimena, one of the “old school” Pros, judges and everything else in the WNBF, wrote that as a former competitor, he leans towards rewarding traits that obviously had to be worked for, and earned. That’s NOT to say that you reward shredded guys with no muscle over dude with big arms, and a muffin top hanging over their posing trunks. BUT, you have to weight the degree of each. Does the amount of muscle built on a guy who’s obviously not even close to being in condition exceed the degree of shreddedness on a guy who’s obviously lacking in the mass department?

Therein lies the issue when each goes home and has their friends swear to them up and down that they were robbed.

S
[/quote]

Stu, how much do you think judges factor genetic shape into the score cards?

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
Very cool Stu, thanks for posting.

Weird question for you though: how forgiving are judges about things that can’t be controlled, like operation scars?[/quote]

Well, I judged the INBF Northeast America yesterday, and there was the usual, and expected amount of scars, tattoos, and visible injuries. For the most part, I, and I would assume all judges, are very forgiving on matters like scars. In this day and age, you’ve got a lot of ‘older’ women getting onstage and looking amazing. So the chances of seeing the occasional C-section scar are fairly good. With a decent tan, most probably aren’t too visible unless you’re sitting right up front.

Tattoos, well, that’s another story. A few here or there aren’t too distracting, but I have seen guys literally covered to the point that their skin just appears a mess of gray and black smudges. This can seriously obscure areas where you would otherwise see a lot of detail on a competitor (ie. Upper back, delts).

Injuries are bound to happen. “Separated Shoulders” (a term one of the other Judges used, not a medical description) are common as well. You can see this in the IFBB magazines too, where standing straight on, the shoulders appear to be held, as well as physically be shaped, very differently. A bit of conscious posing practice can usually remedy this (so I’ve heard), but I personally don’t mark down for it during the Symmetry round.

S

any chance you can post up some pics from the show?

ideally with how you judged them - no probs if you don’t think that is appropriate

[quote]yolo84 wrote:
any chance you can post up some pics from the show?

ideally with how you judged them - no probs if you don’t think that is appropriate

[/quote]

Actually, it’s kind of not cool for me to post competitors pics up and assess their strengths and weaknesses. When I was at a WNBF Administrative meeting earlier in the year, and we were trying to really hammer out the wording of the differences between the different classes at a contest (bodybuilding, figure, fit body, best body…), someone suggested that we use photos for examples of what would be a good fit, and what wouldn’t. Of course the led to the realization that it would be pretty harsh to use someone’s pic as a what not to look like.

All I can suggest if anyone wants good examples, is to find photos online of competitors who have already turned pro. That’s what I based my own training on when I started focusing on competing. If so and so (usually Cordova or Whitacre) looks like this from this angle, then I need to remedy my own physique accordingly.

S