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Breon Ansley

Breon Ansley Demonstrates How to Perform Three Classic Physique Poses

Two-time Classic Physique champion Breon Ansley is returning to the Classic Physique Olympia potentially for the last time in 2022 before changing divisions. The 42-year-old bodybuilder maintains a tight physique but has changed his diet in the 2022 off-season to bulk up in an attempt to dethrone three-time reigning Classic...

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Top Athletes

Bodybuilding Guides

Best Lower Lat Exercises

The 5 Best Lower Lat Exercises for a Denser Back

Big lats serve two primary purposes: They support your spine during squats, deadlifts, and bench presses and make you look big in sweaters. However, many lifters have trouble engaging their lats because we don’t use them much in daily activities...

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Bodybuilding Basics

What is Bodybuilding?

In the sport of bodybuilding, athletes compete to see who has the best physique. They are judged on their muscularity, level of conditioning (or leanness), muscular symmetry, and posing routines. Most of the work is done off stage, as competitors must train hard, eat clean 24/7, and follow a rigid supplement regimen to build a complete body.

There are two major bodybuilding organizations — the IFBB Pro League and the NPC (an amateur league). The NPC, which is where most bodybuilders start, offers eight divisions — three for men and five for women. For the men, they are Men’s Bodybuilding, Men’s Classic Physique, Men’s Physique. The women’s divisions include Women’s Physique, Fitness, Figure, Bikini, and wellness. In the bodybuilding category, there are also specific weight classes. They are:

  • Bantamweight (up to 143.25 pounds)
  • Lightweight (over 143.25 pounds and up to 154.25)
  • Middleweight (over 154.25 pounds and up to 176.25)
  • Light Heavyweight (over 176.25 pounds and up to 198.25)
  • Heavyweight (over 198.25 pounds and up to 225.25)
  • Super Heavyweight (over 225.25 pounds)

A typical bodybuilding show consists of four rounds— the symmetry round, the mandatory posing round, the free posing round, and the posedown. (Note: Each division is judged a little differently.) Here’s a breakdown of each stage.

Athletes will first complete a series of “relaxed” quarter-turns so the judges can compare their symmetry and conditioning. Then, they’ll complete the eight mandatory poses to demonstrate their size. Each athlete will then perform a rehearsed posing routine, about 90 seconds long. Finally, the top three to five competitors in each weight class will compete in a posedown, as the last chance to show the judges their best assets.

The eight mandatory poses include:

  • Front Double Bicep
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Side Chest
  • Side Tricep
  • Rear Double Bicep
  • Rear Lat Spread
  • Abdominals and Thigh
  • Most Muscular (men only)

More in Bodybuilding

Hunter Labrada

Hunter Labrada Details the Importance of Sleep for Recovery

Fourth-place finisher at the 2021 Mr. Olympia contest Hunter Labrada returned to his YouTube channel for another edition of his "Tuesday Tip" series, wherein he shares his expertise in bodybuilding, fitness, nutrition, and anything else his social media followers inquire...

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Shaun Clarida

Train Arms Like Shaun Clarida for a Striated Pump

If you’ve ever wanted arms like the former 212 Olympia champion “The Giant Killer” Shaun Clarida, a video posted to his YouTube channel on Sept. 19, 2022, might draw your attention. During an intense, high-volume arm pump session following a...

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