ANBF Classic Physique Guidelines

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Competitor Rules

Classic Physique competitors will be judged in solid color spandex shorts or trunks of any color. Classic Physique posing trunks that are worn in competition must be no less than 4-1/2 Inches on the sides/hips.  When considering whether to wear shorts or trunks, competitors are advised to choose the style that best displays their physique’s strengths per the judging criteria below.

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate competitors on the following criteria:

Posing/Presentation – Posing/Presentation score is a measurement of how well the competitor presents herself and displays their physique on stage as well as adherence to ANBF posing guidelines. Competitors should present themselves with poise, good posture and confidence and should utilize posing that enhances their physique (i.e. no overly pointed elbows, arms too far from midline of body, or inability to display symmetry (lats flared except in bikini). Competitors should be able to quickly and smoothly transition between poses.


Symmetry – Symmetry score is a measurement of the evenness of development of the competitor’s physique and how well the parts of the physique flow together. It includes the balance and proportion of the competitor from side to side, top to bottom and front to back. Symmetry is a measurement of evenness of development between all muscle groups and proportion when viewed from all sides. No body part or muscle group should stand out from the rest.


Muscularity – Muscularity refers to muscle size and development relative to the competitor’s frame, including shape and size. The level of muscularity is determined by the extent of development in relation to the size of the competitor’s skeletal structure. Also to be considered is the shape and contour of the developed muscle and muscle groups. Classic Physique competitors should display:


  • A slightly more muscular look than men’s physique but less than bodybuilding especially in the lower body;
  • A physique that has good structure but is not overwhelming in any areas and flows from muscle group to muscle group;
  • Shoulders and lats that create an X-frame look and create a balance with the waist and lower body.  Biceps and triceps should be comparable in size in relation to the rest of the physique.
  • A V-taper created by the lats visible from front and back to create an X-frame that flows into the abs and oblique area from the front and the lower back from the rear.


 Conditioning – Conditioning refers to the level of differentiation between adjacent muscles delineating sections or fibers within the same muscle group and the degree of firmness (hardness) of muscle tone.  Leanness is important but an overly dieted appearance is neither advantageous nor desirable. Classic Physique competitors should display:


  • Visible abdominal separation;
  • Visible separation between delts, biceps and triceps;
  • Visible quad/hamstring separation;
  • Full, round detailed muscles;
  • These words can be helpful to assess what should NOT descriptive to the physiques being judged in this division: Ripped, shredded, peeled, striated, dry, diced, hard, vascular, grainy, massive, thick, dense, etc.
  • Should NOT display stringy-looking muscularity (an emaciated look).


ANBF Desired Classic Physique Look


Group Comparisons

After the individual presentations for each competitor are complete, the class is brought to front center stage and is guided through quarter turns and sculpted poses to display physiques from the front, left, back, and right.


  • Front/Rear Relaxed Stance – Head and eyes should face the same direction as the body with heels and toes together. Knees can be soft, but should not be overly bent. Arms should be no more than 2 inches from the competitor’s hip (front or side). Lats should be spread wide as to accentuate the v-taper. Shoulders and chest should be held high, but not hunched toward the ears.
  • Side Relaxed Stance – Head and eyes should face the same direction as the body, heels together or front foot may be shifted slightly forward of the rear foot (no visible space between the feet). Both legs should be straight or competitor can have a slightly soft knee. Competitors may twist slightly but keeping in mind that the twist cannot be overly done. Twist only enough so that that the rear shoulder (facing away from the judges) can be displayed. The front arm (facing the judges) must not be moved any further than the middle of the hip.
  • Front Double Biceps – This should be performed in a way that accentuates your physique best. The vacuum pose was popular in the era that inspired this division, but it is not expected. Use your judgment to present your hard work best.  
  • Side Chest – Foot closest to the judges should have a spiked calf about the midline of a planted rear foot. The back leg should press against the front leg to present the hamstring. Back arm should be pressing against the chest to present fullness with hand placement near the wrist on your lead arm. A slight turn of the back shoulder can create a fuller appearance, but not over dramatized.
  • Rear Double Biceps – Right calf should be spiked to show definition. Tighten hamstrings to show definition. Be sure to open up nice and wide with the lats to not cause pinching. Glutes will be covered with the required posing trunks.
  • Abs and Thigh – One quad should spiked, vacuum optional (use your judgment if it fits your physique), abs flexed, and arms behind the head.
  • Classic Pose of Choice – Victory pose, archer, single bicep with other arm raised, twisting double bicep, one arm flexed and one behind head


NOTE: Competitors who are overly twisted or not following other ANBF posing guidelines may, at the discretion of the head judge, be corrected. Failure to comply with ANBF posing guidelines could result in a deduction of points from overall score.


ANBF Desired Classic Physique Posing



Classic Pose Examples 3


Individual Presentation Routine

The presentation portion will immediately follow group comparisons for the class. After a class files off, the first person in the class will return to the stage to perform their routine. Routines should be no more than 60-90 seconds in length (check with the individual promoter for time restrictions) and should be used to show the competitors individuality using posing, dance moves, etc. Routines should be done tastefully and be conducive to a family atmosphere. Props or costumes are permitted.


NOTE: If a competitor has already performed a routine in a previous class, they will not do the routine a second time. If the competitor has crossed over to another category (physique to bodybuilding) the competitor may perform their walk/routine in subsequent class.