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NANBF Classic Physique Guidelines



Classic Physique consists of group comparisons (quarter turns, mandatory poses) and Individual presentations.

The Classic Physique category is for men who have more muscle than Men’s Physique, but less than Men’s Bodybuilding. The emphasis is on symmetry and this will take priority in judging rather than size or extreme conditioning.


Competitors will compete in posing shorts that cover the glutes. Shorts can be of any color, however black is traditional. NO board shorts or Bodybuilding posing trunks allowed. Athletes will be warned about improper suits and are advised to contact show promoter if you are concerned your suit does not meet specifications. No jewelry or body accessories are permitted (except wedding rings which are allowed).

Each competitor must be a member of the NANBF. 

Classic Physique divisions are height based and split according to competitor numbers.

Classic Physique competitors are permitted to crossover to Men's Physique or Men’s Bodybuilding.

Competitors must be 13 years of age. Competitors under 18 must have parental consent.

The use of performance-enhancing substances is never permitted. All competitors must successfully pass a polygraph screen prior to competition.

Judging criteria

Symmetry refers to the structural harmony and overall balance of a physique.

Muscularity proportion.

Conditioning is not a priority to have extreme conditioning. The competitor should show symmetrical leanness top to bottom with muscle separation without an overly dieted appearance.

Presentation is the effectiveness to display the competitor’s most favorable development, including posing and stage presence. Skin quality, evenness of tone, suit choice, and grooming are also considered. Posing technique used in quarter turns and mandatory poses, along with the smoothness of transition between these are factors included in the judgment of presentation.

New Pre Judging Criteria for Open Classes

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Group comparisons

Each Open class competitor, individually, will be required to hit 3 poses (and no more) of their choice, center stage, prior to group comparisons.​​​​​​​  

These poses should be specific to the category and designed to highlight the competitor's physique and presentation/posing ability for the judges.  

The head judge will then direct the competitor to line up in the back of the stage to be ready for group comparisons.  

Each class is then brought to front center stage and is guided through quarter turns as a group by the head judge, to display their physique from front, side and back to determine the most balanced physique. .

The 3 required poses prior to group comparisons is not required for Novice, Masters, teen or collegiate classes. 

Mandatory Poses

The head judge will instruct you to complete mandatory (muscularity) poses. You may be asked to do these several times and out of order later in the round.


  • Asymmetrical front double bicep: Opposite arm extended.

  • Left Mantis Pose: Left side chest, arms extended, leg extended back.

  • Back Archer Pose: Arm and leg of the same side extended.

  • Rear double arm bicep twisted: Front leg extended slightly back.

  • Right Mantis Pose: Right side chest, arms extended, leg extended back.

  • Abdominal Pose: Regular or vacuum.

  • Front Victory Pose

  • Front and Rear double bicep

  • Right and Left side chest

  • Favorite Classic Pose -Exception Most Muscular.


Individual presentation/routine.

Competitors individually perform a 60-second posing routine to music. This portion of the show is for the crowd and gives the competitor a chance to win a "Best Presenter" or "Best Poser" award. Individual presentations should be done tastefully and be conducive to a family atmosphere.


Remember, you are not alone on stage. Good sportsmanship is important. It makes competitions more enjoyable for everyone. While winning might feel like the most important thing during competitions, good sportsmanship teaches competitors how to be gracious and respectful towards others. If you're disappointed with a placement, show good sportsmanship. Consider asking the judges for feedback after the show. Everyone worked hard. Don't allow poor sportsmanship to ruin the event for others. Sportsmanship also applies to an audience, including viewers and coaches. Competitors or coaches who exhibit what IPE/NANBF deems as poor sportsmanship at the event or on social media are subject to disqualification and may be banned from future IPE/NANBF events...

Coach Code of Conduct

  • Coaches are to refrain from using threatening or foul language while at IPE/NANBF events.

  • Coaches are not permitted to sit in the row of seats located directly behind the judging table.

  • Coaches cannot approach the judging table at any point before or during prejudging.

  • Coaches are responsible for reading and understanding IPE/NANBF Guidelines & Criteria before registering a client in an IPE/NANBF show.

  • Coaches are not to poach or solicit the clients of other coaches while attending IPE/NANBF events. 

  • Marketing of other organizations' events is strictly prohibited. 

  • Coaches who are caught doing any of the above will be escorted out of the venue without a refund. Coaches are to model professionalism and sportsmanship.

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