The following article was written by oldschool bodybuilding legend Boyer Coe (published 1970)! – Berg
“Just how important is physical display? I believe that good posing can make the difference between winning and placing second.
Whenever you have training long and hard for a perfect physique and feel the time has come to start cleaning up on the awards you should realize this fact: even the greatest set of muscles will never win so much as a secondary awards if you do not know how to display the muscles to their best advantage. There are a number of tips to remember when it comes to posing.
It is of utmost importance that you know exactly what you plan to do once you step up on the posing dais. At a number of contests I’ve seen fellows go out on stage with not the slightest idea of what they intend to do. These fellows just strike a pose as it comes into their minds. I’ve actually observed one fellow stop in the middle of his routine and think of a pose then try to do it. This lack of preparation not only made the contestant look awkward but actually made the audience nervous and embarrassed for the fellow. The only way to perfect a flawless routine is through practice. When you step out on the podium to pose you should not even have to think of each pose, it should come natural to you, flowing from one pose to another.
One of the best ways to start posing right is to practice in front of a full length mirror. This method will allow you to check the position of various parts of the body while assuming a particular pose. Many times you will think you are “hitting” a pose perfectly until you check your stance in a mirror and see how really awkward you look. After you feel you are doing the poses correctly discontinue the se of the mirror, otherwise you will become so dependant on the mirror you won’t be able to adjust to posing without it.
Next it would be advisable to practice your posing in front of someone who is capable of giving you constructive criticism. Very few people have the ability of seeing themselves as others see them. A pose you feel looks great may have no appeal to others at all. It is important that you use only poses that highlight your physique. This is where an interested friend is a big help.
When I first began entering contests Red Lerille was a big help to me in this respect. After each workout he would watch me practice my posing and of course make the necessary criticism. There seemed a time when I thought I would never get his final approval.
This posing sessions seemed harder than the workouts with the iron. But practice makes perfect and I was finally able to move from one pose to another in a smooth flowing manner. I actually feel that constant practice also aids in increasing muscularity. Because of the tension created you are able to contract the muscle more making them stand out to a greater degree.
As I mentioned before you should use poses suited for your physique. Therefore it is never advisable to copy someone else’s routine. Your bone structure and development may be completely different from his thus his routine would do nothing to enhance your physique.
I’ve observed some contests where every contestant did exactly the same routine. This adds nothing to the individuality on the contestant and also causes boredom and disinterest on the part of the audience. This is especially true when there are a great number of contestants in the meet. It is not necessary that you assume some outlandish and ridiculous poses just for the sake of being different but you should strive for some form of individuality.
Everyone should strive for the “perfect pose.”, one that he has perfected and that no one else can do quite as good as he can.
The last point I would like to make is concerning the length of time for a posing routine. This is a delicate subject because it is hard to say just how long a routine should be.
This is also true of how long you should hold each pose. However you can be sure of this, you should never assume a pose and holt it so long that the judges and the audience are waiting for you to move into another pose.
You should give them just enough of each pose to keep them begging for more. The best example I can give you of this is an incident I was fortunate enough to witness a couple of years ago down in Florida.
At this particular contest Bill Pearl was to be guest poser. I had met Bill before but never had the opportunity to see the Pearl Physique” in action, so I didn’t know what to expect. I waited with eager anticipation of his routine. Needless to say he is a master poser and the best I’ve seen to date. Each pose was perfection and each stance held just long enough to keep the audience begging for more.
He had the audience eating out of his hand. He was in complete control of the audience’s emotions. I will never forget the effect he had on everyone there.
This year I was fortunate enough to win the best poser award at the Mr. Universe Contest. This was due to a combination of things I’ve mentioned, but especially the timing, achieving and impact on the audience, giving just enough to keep them yelling for more.
Remember, strive for perfection in all aspect of posing and see the difference it will make at your next physique contest.”