22 November 2021, by Starmühler
Bodybuilding: A Guide to Successful Posing
Those who have ever stood on a bodybuilding stage know that even small details can make a big difference in posing. On top of this, poses must be mastered 100% so they also work well when posers are nervous or under pressure to perform. This means practice, practice, practise. But how does this work exactly?
Natural bodybuilding and posing professionals Sophie Diemann and Alexander Krump have successfully performed on international stages for years. At DasGym in Vienna as well as online they coach other bodybuilders. In an interview with FIBO the duo share what successful posing is all about and how to show off your body to its best advantage on stage.
FIBO: How long have you been training for competitive bodybuilding?
Alexander Krump: I started training around 2012 and watched my first bodybuilding competition live in 2013. From that time I knew that I also wanted to perform on stage.
Sophie Diemann: I have been a registered fitness club member since 2013 – but only trained with competition ambitions since late 2018, basically when I started my first preparations.
How did you start training specifically for posing? Where did you get information and inspiration from?
Alex: My first coach was an active competition bodybuilder himself and placed a lot of emphasis on posing and stage presentation. That’s how I got to see it from the beginning.
Sophie: The same for me: My coach also made it perfectly clear to me how important posing is when we met for the first time. I then visited one of his seminars where I fell in love with posing.
Alex: We are primarily inspired by Instagram, current bodybuilders and by icons of the 80s and 90s – briefly: by the athletes with the best stage presence and the best posing. We analyse each individual pose and the transitions so as to widen our knowledge and offer an even better stage performance for our clients.
Sophie: Official information is not that easy to find – but the best sources are, of course, the websites of the associations.
So how do you go about posing as a newcomer?
Alex: The key thing is to get started. Perfect posing requires plenty of body feeling, which can only be acquired by exercising. Ideally, you enlist a posing coach so that the poses are learnt correctly from the outset and basic know-how is imparted. Here physical or online 1:1 sessions are the method of choice. Alternatively, there are some good online tutorials available now. We work with the training platform “Lift the Standard”, for example, where you can watch posing tutorials where the poses required for the individual classes are explained step by step.
How many athletes now use your services as posing coaches?
Sophie: Fortunately demand is growing! Most people have understood by now how essential presentation is for stage appearances. Just before competitions, obviously, is when demand is at its height. On the one hand, many coaches send their athletes to us to get the finishing touches for their poses – on the other, there are also always a few last-minute candidates who use our support for both basic poses and their freestyle exercise.
What fascinates you personally about posing?
Sophie: Posing is above all one thing: creating an illusion. How do I make my waist look as slim as possible, my arms as muscular as possible and my shoulders as broad as possible? Good posing can conceal weaknesses and highlight strengths.
Alex: Posing is the biggest control possible and the art of presenting one’s body precisely the way you picture it in your head.
Are there any tips and tricks that have helped you with posing?
Sophie: What has really helped me a lot is that posing not only means flexing muscles as much as possible but flexing muscles to the right extent.
Alex: Apart from that: for most poses there is no clear right or wrong. There are – within the rulebook, of course – many variations and deviations some of which suit me and my body better and others worse.
Did you have a wow moment in terms of posing at one point in your career?
Alex: We have experienced moments like this time and again. The way your body changes over time means that the way you pose also change. Through a better body feeling, more muscle mass etc. your poses keep adapting, helping you stage each individual pose the best way possible.
Sophie: At some point I suddenly realised that posing is not just a tool in but an integral part of this sport. On the day of the competition the person who wins is the one who presents the total package best rather than the one who trains the hardest or diets for the longest time.
Speaking of competition day: What tricks do you use to show off your muscles to their best advantage?
Alex: The trick is to focus a little less on individual muscles and more on the overall look. Needless to say, all muscles should be flexed to a certain degree to present all details. But it is a lot more important to make sure that the overall shape and line of the body does not suffer from straining to emphasize one muscle group in particular.
How do you choose a choreography and/or the right moves for your freestyle routine? What should be considered here?
Sophie: Having the chance to display a posing routine means you have this minute on stage all to yourself. The individual posing routine is designed for posers to present themselves the way they want. There is no right or wrong here. This freedom should be used to present all the poses you consider especially good, powerful and aesthetically pleasing. Once you have decided on a handful of poses for yourself, you can start finding transitions from one to the next pose, thereby creating a choreography step by step in tune with a song you have selected.
What other tips do you have for bodybuilders to improve their posing?
Alex: Start early and exercise regularly. Time and again people underestimate how much exercise is needed to master the individual poses. Transitions as well as posing endurance should also fit. To start posing ten weeks before the competition is far too late in most cases.
Sophie: To improve you first need to try and identify your mistakes and then actively eliminate them. So, film yourself and analyse and improve your performance, film yourself again and analyse and so on and so forth. Getting a little better every time.
Alongside Instagram Sophie Diemann and Alexander Krump are also active on the following accounts sharing their knowledge on training, bodybuilding and posing: