I recently competed in The Indianapolis Championships on August 4th, 2018. I am going to briefly document the process that a competitor would go through for Bodybuilding and Classic Physique on Friday, August 3rd and Saturday, August 4th.
I competed in Men’s Novice Bodybuilding, Men’s Open Bodybuilding, Men’s Novice Classic Physique, and Men’s Open Classic Physique. Bodybuilding is what you think it is: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pumping Iron, tiny posing trunks, etc. Goals here are muscle size, symmetry, proportions, and low body fat AKA cut, leanness, tone, graininess, etc. You present your body in front of a panel of judges who judge you based on these things. In every division (here we are discussing bodybuilding and classic physique) there are “mandatory” poses that everyone does together so that you can compare physiques. Before we go any further let let’s go through the schedule of events.
Friday night you get spray tanned and have weigh-ins. For bodybuilding there are different weight classes, similar to other sports.
I competed in Bodybuilding Middleweight see table to side.
For Classic Physique it is based on height and weight to make the classes look similar in proportions. See table below for Division A.
For this show I needed to be 170. So, after getting my first coat of spray tan at 5:20p I checked in and weighed in at 6p. I weighed in at 169lbs. Now to go home and get ready for tomorrow.
Saturday morning I needed to get my 2nd and 3rd coats of spray tan at 6:30a. Then the athlete meeting begins at 8:30a. Pre-Judging begins at 10a.
The first part of the process is the Pre-Judging. This is where you line up and go through all of the mandatory poses. This is typically where all the decisions are made for who wins, and what places each athlete gets. They start facing forward and go through front, side, back, and side “relaxed” poses (which are technically also mandatory). Then front, side, back, side, and more front “mandatory” poses. These are called out by the judges and then you take a “quarter turn to the right” and on to the next pose. Before pre-judging athletes will "Pump-Up" backstage with bands, dumbbells, push-ups, and other bodyweight exercises to get blood to flow to the muscle and "pump" the muscle. The trick is to pump just in time to look perfect when you are on-stage. this can get tricky when waiting in the line backstage to go out, sometimes you wait 5 minutes, sometimes you can wait 20 minutes, the whole time trying to keep a pump in line!
So, stage time for me looked like this at pre-judging: Novice Bodybuilding, wait 5 min for Masters athletes, Open Bodybuilding, change into Classic Physique posing trunks, line back up for Novice Classic Physique, wait 5 min for Masters athletes, then back up for Open Classic Physique. After that I’m done!
After pre-judging you are off until the night show around 5p. The night show is where you do a 1-minute posing routine that you come up with, to music you choose, to highlight your best features. After each routine for the class is done, awards are presented. After each winner for each class is chosen, there is typically an “overall” pose down between the winners of the classes, and an “overall” winner is chosen for the category, which for me would be Overall Open Bodybuilding Champion or Overall Open Classic Physique Champion. I ended up getting 1st place in all four of my divisions, but did not win either overall of the opens. Getting top 2 in each division means: I qualified for NATIONALS! I will likely compete next year at Nationals, as the bid is good for all of the next year.
After this the athlete is done. For me, after bodybuilding I had to change posing trunks for Classic Physique and repeat the process. Classic Physique has similar mandatory poses but less of them, usually 5. Now go have whatever you want for dinner! But don’t over-do it because you’ll regret having a giant food baby belly afterwards! And tomorrow, after a photo shoot (usually bodybuilders do this the next day because eating a lot of carbs and fat for dinner the night before makes the muscles and veins really pop!), I continue my prep for 2 more weeks and my next show Indiana State Championships on August 18th, 2018.