Category Archives: posing

Great Posing at IDFA World Championships

Being a dude, people (myself included) find it funny that I’m a pretty good figure poser – but I told myself that to become a great coach, I needed to learn every aspect of figure competition prep especially posing… because some of the ‘posing’  I saw years ago when figure first became popular still gives me nightmares, I became determined to give my athletes all the tools they needed to pose correctly.

Anyway, we (Stokes Crew) recently came back from the IDFA Word Championship In Toronto and I was really impressed with the figure posing. In this show If you didn’t pose correctly you really stood out like a sore thumb. So I decided this would be a good time to write an article about posing. In this post I’m going to analyze my favorite pose… the side pose (prejudging),  If done correctly, it can really set you apart from the competition (Brittany, on the right {a Stokes Crew competitor… woot woot!}, was awarded her pro card at this show).

The key to the side pose is to stay relaxed and focus on the look you want to present to the judges.

  1. Legs locked
  2. Back arched
  3. Stomach pulled in
  4. Slight lean forward
  5. Shoulders relaxed and even
  6. Arms relaxed and not too far away from your body

Repeat the 6 points above to yourself repeatedly as you practice this pose to remind yourself of what you should be focusing on.

Take pride in your posing… the audience pays to see you and all the other competitors perform. Put many hours into posing practice and you will never have to wonder whether or not your posing (…or lack of) hurt your placings.

Back to the competition… we took an awesome team up to Canada: Saxonny, Denise, Erika, Karen, Brittany – Everyone looked great… and it’s a good thing because the competition was the toughest we had seen all season.

  • (of course I gotta throw a dose of reality in)  Looking at the smiling faces in the picture to the left, I think back on what it took to get to this point for each competitor… whether it was getting over self-doubt, tears, fighting injuries, motivational ups and downs, eating ‘mishaps’… or any number of things that can make it so difficult to diet and train hard enough to step onstage – the end result is that everyone made it, looked great and had an awesome time.

So many times I have to explain to new competitors that the smiles you see onstage come after much hard work and sacrifice. The shiny suits, bling, nice shoes, perfect hair and makeup… oftentimes mask the journey for women thinking about competiting… The early morning workouts and the late night running. The eating of 5, 6 or 7 meals a day… of stuff you’re sick of eating – the tug-of-war between training and family. Yes, those smiles are well deserved because they came the hard way… the were earned!


Shut Up And Let Them Train!

1) I train girls for figure competition.

2) They train hard.

3) Very hard!

Getting ready for a show most of the girls I train workout at other gyms closer to their homes to get in extra workouts. They do high intensity resistance training, plyometrics, Olympic lifting etc. Their training is fast, explosive and the exercises are unique… No single arm db curls or seated shoulder presses with 5lb weights! They train for maximum muscle retention and maximum fat loss…. they need to get lean! They follow competition diets that very few people could stick to. They don’t need advice… they need to get lean! BUT… Every time they go to another gym the local guru comes over to give them ‘advice’:

“You’re training too hard”

“You’re doing that all wrong”

“I think you are overtraining”

“That’s too heavy for you”

“You should carb load, fat load, sodium load, diuretics, fat burners BLAH BLAH BLAH etc etc etc…”

And then you have the GAWKERS…
Gawkers are defined as: Gym goers who completely stop their workout to stare at women who are training with intensity. I think a 3-legged unicorn would get less attention than a woman doing a set of one-are db snatches followed by a set of jump squats. This often makes the woman so uncomfortable that she decides to train alone in a more secluded area of the gym. It’s a shame that women that are training the right way, performing demanding exercises are looked at like some type of side show freak (like that guy wearing the green knee-high socks on the elliptical)

If a women is in the gym at 12% body fat… looking healthy and strong – SHE PROBABLY KNOWS WHAT SHE IS DOING! Just because she is training hard and it makes you uncomfortable, because you are unfamiliar with the exercises (so therefore they must be wrong), because she is pouring sweat from 35 lb db snatches, because she collapses on the floor after a difficult circuit of pullups and jump squats – Don’t underestimate her ability to train hard and push herself, don’t underestimate her knowledge and don’t bother her – just “Shut up and let her train” – I promise she won’t hurt herself! Promise!