NANBF Men's Bodybuilding Guidelines


The Men’s Bodybuilding category is for men with more muscle than Classic Physique, with emphasis on symmetry, muscularity, and presentation. It is not the largest, most muscular who wins, but the competitor who has the best symmetry, balance and proportion of both muscularity and conditioning.


Men will compete in bodybuilding posing trunks of any color, with no shirt or shoes. No thongs. All suits must be in good taste. 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 for wedding rings which are allowed).


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


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

Judging criteria

Symmetry: Symmetry refers to the structural harmony of the physique, including the structural size on the muscles, and the relation of each muscle in a group to all other muscles in the group. It shall also include the balance and proportion of components (upper and lower body, and front and back). There should be a degree of separation, definition, and detail in all angles.


Muscularity: Muscularity refers to the size of the muscles, their shape, separation, definition, and hardness or visibility of striations and vascularity. Muscularity is determined by the extent of development in relation to the size of the skeletal structure. The shape and contour of the developed muscle and muscle groups are also considered. Of equal importance is the separation of lines of demarcation between adjacent muscles, and striations delineating sections or fibers within the same muscles, and striations delineating sections or fibers within the same muscle group, and the degree of firmness of muscle tone. Body fat retention and water retention are conditions that should subtract from an athlete’s degree of perfection in this round.


Presentation: Presentation is the effectiveness of display of the competitor’s most favorable development, including posture, carriage, projection, posing ability and stage presence. Skin quality, evenness of tone, choice of suit, and grooming are also considered. The posing technique used in the individual poses and the fitness in assuming them, along with the smoothness of transition between these are factors included in the judgment of presentation.

Group comparisons

Competitors will come on stage by class, to determine the most balanced physique. Competitors will start facing the judges, then they will be instructed to perform quarter turns - turning to the right, turning to the back, turning to the right, and then facing the judges again. Arms are at the sides, slightly bent and legs are also slightly bent, a mild twist on the side poses is permitted.


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.


  • Front Double Biceps

  • Front Lat Spread

  • Left Side Chest

  • Left Side Triceps

  • Rear Double Biceps -heel spiked

  • Rear Lat Spread -heel spiked

  • Right Side Chest

  • Right Side Triceps

  • Abs -Hands behind head, leg extended

  • Single Quadriceps -Hands on hips, flex and rotate right then left leg

  • Crab Most Muscular


Optional Poses

  • Hamstrings 

  • Double Calf Raise 

  • Side Serratus 

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.