Fitness & Figure Secrets To Completing Your First Show!

The critical placement judging takes place during the prejudging. Here are the secrets you have to know, win or lose, in your first show! Find out more.

Article Summary:
  • When you are handed your trophy, graciously accept it no matter what your placing was.
  • All of the placement judging takes place during the prejudging portion of your contest.
  • It's a good idea to speak with the judges after your contest to get any advice they offer.

All of the critical placement judging takes place during the prejudging portion of your contest. From first to last place (DNP), all athletes are judged and scores are tabulated. When you arrive for the evening show, placings have been confirmed, logged and certified. The evening show is a time to have fun and entertain the crowd!

At most NPC regional evening shows, all fitness and figure athletes are invited individually to center stage. The Master of Ceremonies reads your introduction that includes your name, age, gym and trainer, and the hobbies you listed on your contest registration and entry form.

Some shows allow you the opportunity to do a full set of quarter turns at the center point of the stage, while others will restrict you to a single "best" pose at center stage. Either way, hit your best pose! A full rotation of quarter turns; hold each pose for no more than 3 seconds, transition into the next one, and so forth.

Practicing this introduction presentation will really aid you in your confidence levels. From there, you then line up at the back of the stage in a long single line against the curtain.

This is the time where you will get the majority of your picture taken, as there are twice the amount of cameras and photographers at the night show. How do you want to look for your on-stage photos?

Making sure that your contest prep includes 30 minutes of posing every other day is a great way to make sure that you are well versed in your sport! Top IFBB fitness and figure professionals pose daily.

Hit Your Best Pose!
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Hit Your Best Pose!

The Top 5 Callouts

After all athletes are introduced and lined up, most shows will have an additional comparison round with everyone so the audience can see the lineup.

As you exit, the show expeditors backstage will then announce who the top 5 competitors in random order. The top 5 of each height class will come back out, and the Master of Ceremonies will instruct the trophy presenter to, "take the 5th place trophy to Jane Doe"...and so on.

There should be an "X" or some kind of tape or marking on the stage to show where the lighting is best for the athletes to stand. It's great when you get to a stage that actually has numbers taped onto the stage floor. If not, here is a cheat sheet of what placings people see from the audience:

5th 3rd 1st 2nd 4th

Now What?

When you are handed your trophy, graciously accept it (no matter your placing, now is not the time to show any discontent); give a handshake, a hug or happy gratitude to the trophy presenter, and flash a great big smile!

Move to your appropriate position on your "X" and place your trophy directly in front of you on the floor. As you wait for the rest of the girls to be awarded, hit your best "fancy side" pose.

Now it's time to capture the moment forever! Grab the athlete's hands next to you and raise the entire lines' arms up in a High "V" while your body is turned slightly.

This is the best way to showcase your small waist and rounded glutes! Make sure to get really close to everyone as well. You don't want to be cut out of the picture because you are standing too far away from the rest of the girls.

Now It's Time To Capture The Moment Forever.
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Now It's Time To Capture
The Moment Forever.

You Won First Place:

But wait! There's more! All height class winners and masters respectively, have the opportunity to now battle for the coveted "Overall" win.

If you placed first in your height class, don't run off to eat quite yet! Stick around backstage. They will bring you back out with all the other height class winners for an overall comparison round!

This overall comparison round is the same as your height class comparison round, except I like to say, "You really got to fight for this one. Bring everything you have." You just won over all the other athletes in your class. And so did all the other girls.

Now, comparing the best of the best is one tough job for the judges. You will most likely go through several rounds of turns, be moved around from side to side of the line up so all the judges get to have adequate time viewing the line. Be prepared to stay up there a while.

If You Placed First In Your Height Class, Don't Run Off To Eat Quite Yet.
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If You Placed First In Your Height Class,
Don't Run Off To Eat Quite Yet.

Awesome! You Just Won Overall:

For the overall winner, the sponsors of the show will hand out a gift certificate, flowers, tiaras, protein powder jugs, workout bags... you name it.

Just put everything on the floor in front of you (besides a tiara) and grab a hold of the presenters hand, twist your torso, and smile big. The presenter will exit the stage, and you have the opportunity to get pictures by yourself.

You will also have an opportunity to speak after you are awarded. This is a great moment for you. Do you remember who to thank? Family? Trainer? Nutritionist? The promoters!

For all other height class winners, you did a wonderful job, congrats on your win, but now's the time for you to exit the stage quickly, allowing time to the winner to get her photo taken with the trophy presenter by herself. You've done a great job, and now you're done, go have fun!

How Did You Place At Your First Show?
1st In Class And Overall
1st In Class
2nd In Class
3rd In Class
4th In Class
5th Or Lower

You'll Get It Next Time:

Bummer! You didn't get a trophy. Not to worry, you'll get it next time! If you would like to get feedback from the judges in regards to your performance at the show, make sure to seek out those judges you see taking notes.

I write at least one positive thing and one constructive critique about everyone who walks onstage in case I do get inquiries from athletes.

A single judge might have preferred your look, while some of the judges might have chosen to award a different physique. Emotions run high the night of the show, and the judges are usually swamped with athletes.

If you are unable to wait in line to get feedback, contact the judges via email. You can contact your NPC Chairman for contact information for the judges, and even the promoters may have a way to get you that information. Your trainer is another great resource to get the feedback for you as well.

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Judges Feedback

Be sure to wait until the end of the show (as the judges still have to work choosing the overall winners). Bring something to write with and a notebook or piece of paper to take down either contact information or actual feedback from the judges. It's a better way than trying to memorize what they say because things can get lost in translation.

Be sure to include your height class, your competitor number, your suit color, and if you have one, a digital image from the show. If you don't have one, you might include a link from a photography site that has pictures of you.

Most judges are able to help articulate areas you should look to improve. Just remember though that these are just one judges' opinion. Talk to a few judges to get a broader range of feedback.

Take those suggestions and talk with your trainer/nutritionist. Working together as a team can help bring a great competitive package to your next show.

How Does Judging Scores Work?

The judging panel consists of 7 to 8 regional or national judges. The highest and the lowest scores are scratched and your score is tabulated with the sum of those numbers left (your placings). One judge may have awarded you first, while another awarded you with 3rd.

There are 5 or 6 more scores that are left, and those are used to determine your placing. This way, scores are evened out and you are left with what the sum of the judges placed you. Sound complicated? Ask your local NPC chairman or the judges at the show for further explanation.

Most Judges Are Able To Help Articulate Areas You Should Look To Improve.
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Most Judges Are Able To Help Articulate
Areas You Should Look To Improve.

Practice Makes Perfect

My coach and trainer, Mike Davies, always says, "Perfect practice makes perfect." So make sure to include plenty of practice time in your contest preparation. has great video references for posing, how to practice posing, and all other aspects of the actual shows! View past NPC and IFBB shows.

Refer to YouTube videos on NPC fitness and figure shows. Order the videos or DVD's from your show. Watch how the IFBB professional athletes accept their trophies. How do you want to win?

Slightly Turned: Very Streamlined And Polished

Small waist, lats are presented, great "S" curves and glutes. Notice the girls on the ends. You can either have your arm down, or on your hip to "close the line up". Great job to these ladies, perfectly executed.

Keep Your Waist Slightly Turned To Appear Very Streamlined And Polished.
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Keep Your Waist Slightly Turned To Appear
Very Streamlined And Polished.

Face Forward: Not Great For The Physique

If you stand face forward with hips square to the crowd, it's not the most flattering pose, and your physique can look square in photos. There is a certain professionalism that is shown with a fancy side pose.

If You Stand Face Forward With Hips Square To The Crowd, It's Not The Most Flattering Pose.
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If You Stand Face Forward With Hips Square To
The Crowd, It's Not The Most Flattering Pose.

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