Not long ago, bodybuilders with an eye toward competing had to hire a personal posing coach to get schooled on the finer aspects of looking good onstage. Sometimes that meant traveling hundreds of miles, and more often than not putting out a few hundred dollars.
All that changed with the Internet.
Today, you can hire an online coach, but why fork over the cash when you've now got access to another source—free instructional videos—that are worth their weight in gold? Get a head start on your posing skills by learning the basics from one of bodybuilding's all-time best posers, Lee Labrada. His nine-part video coaching clinic is called "Posing Like A Pro."
A pro bodybuilding Hall of Famer who finished in the top four of the Mr. Olympia seven years running, Labrada is considered one of the sport's elite posers and is best known for his classical posing style.
In this "Posing Like a Pro" video series, Labrada will be your posing coach, providing an opportunity to learn from his extensive knowledge and years of experience. He shares his wealth of knowledge through all rounds of a bodybuilding competition, including how to stand "relaxed," quarter turns, mandatory poses, choosing your best freestyle poses, and how to arrange your routine to music.
You'll learn how to hold each mandatory pose from head to toe, and how to avoid common mistakes even advanced competitors make. Labrada also includes plenty of tips on how to best show off your physique to your advantage.
With bodybuilder Ryan Workman serving as the model, Labrada explains the basic posing principles, as well as common mistakes many posers make, and how to present your finished work of art.
Overview of Lee Labrada's Approach to Posing
In this introductory video, Labrada explains the various posing rounds in a bodybuilding competition, and provides an overview of quarter turns and mandatory poses from front, sides, and back, as well as free-style posing. He also explains the difference between static and dynamic posing, and why each is important for the competitive bodybuilder.
How to Do the Quarter Turn
Labrada shows you how to stand relaxed from all sides in the first round of a contest, as well as why you should be mindful of how you look the second you walk onstage.
How to Do Mandatory Poses From the Front
Labrada offers detailed instruction on how to complete the three front poses:
- Front double biceps
- Front lat spread
- Hands over head abdominals with leg extended
How to Do Mandatory Side Poses
Turning to one side or the other offers different challenges for the poser, which Labrada addresses with lessons on side chest and side triceps poses.
How to Do Mandatory Rear Poses
Completing poses in which you can't see what you're doing is one of the more difficult aspects of posing. In this lesson, Labrada covers two poses done from the rear: the back double triceps pose and the back lat-spread pose.
How to Do Freestyle Posing
Freestyle posing gives you the opportunity to showcase your muscular development and symmetry, especially your strong points. In this tutorial, Labrada explains the intricacies of the mandatory round and how to select your poses.
Creating Your Own 60-Second Routine
Labrada shows you how to construct a routine based on a 3/3 method. He teaches the importance of transitions to keep the routine fluid so you look coordinated and graceful, and stresses the importance of facial expressions to enhance the pose.
Creating Your Own 90-Second Routine (With Music)
With the 90-second routine, you can add your own creativity to accompany 15 poses. Labrada advises inserting your most impactful poses into the high points of the music, and filling out your routine from there, still working in a counter-clockwise direction.
Putting It All Together (90-second routine)
In this final session, Labrada recaps the process of creating your routine with music, and offers tips on how to fine-tune it to ensure it matches up with the highs of the audio. He also provides a finished example of how it should look when completed.