Physique Division of Bodybuilding Competition


Bodybuilder Flexing Muscles Pointing Side Retro
Question: I was considering competing in the Physique division of one of the bodybuilding competitions in the area this year. My job requires that I have above average strength and flexibility so I thought that would be more suitable for me. What should I focus on to train for this?

Answer: Let’s clarify that the Men’s Physique division of a bodybuilding competition is not the massive bodybuilders. It’s the lean looking athletic build guys who appear on stage and compete in board shorts.

What the judges are looking in a top competitor:

  • Broad shoulders capped with chiseled delts.
  • Distinct washboard abdominals are a complete necessity.
  • A broadly tapered V-shaped back with plenty of detail is a must for the judges from the rear view.
  • The arms don’t have to be massive but clearly detailed with veins popping.

Physique Divisions competitors don’t do muscular poses but appear onstage more like they are modeling. Occasionally, for effect, one might hit a pose but it won’t garner any additional points from the judges.

Symmetry is needed as it is for bodybuilding though. The judges look for balance and visually dissect a competitor from side to side, top to bottom and front to back.

While these competitors must be lean they typically aren’t as lean as top level bodybuilders must be.

Women’s Physique used to be Women’s Bodybuilding but due to a decade of extreme use of anabolics the division was nearly eliminated because no one was interested in seeing women who could pass for men due to their extreme size and masculine features. A new class of competition was introduced which required more feminine standards. Basically the judging criteria was returned to what it was during the mid to late eighties. The competitors are muscular but still look like women.

Which ever competition you’re interested in doing, challenge yourself, train hard and stay focused. You have to have balance, size, shape and lean muscle mass.

God bless and keep training,