ANBF Men’s Physique Guidelines

Competitor Rules

Men’s Physique competitors will be judged in board shorts and bare feet. Shorts may be of any color or pattern, but may not contain words or advertising. Shorts must be just above the knee in length and may only one inch below the belly button. No spandex.

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 (i.e. flaring the lats). Competitors should be able to quickly and smoothly transition between poses. Other factors that can affect overall presentation score are skin tone, complexion and suit fit.

 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. Men’s Physique competitors should display:

  • A significant level of muscularity; however excessive muscularity that would qualify as bodybuilding will be scored down accordingly.
  • Well-defined muscles that flow evenly throughout the physique.
  • Rounded delts that flow into the biceps and triceps.
  • A taper in the lats flowing into the oblique with lines that flow evenly to the upper thigh.

 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. Men’s Physique competitors should display: 

  • In general, the men’s physique competitor should demonstrate visible muscle separation and conditioning without striations.
  • Visible ab separation.
  • Visible separation between delts, biceps and triceps
  • These words can be helpful to assess what should not be descriptive to the physiques being judged in this division: Ripped, shredded, peeled, striated, dry, diced, hard, vascular, grainy, massive, thick, dense, etc.

ANBF Desired Men’s Physique Look

Men's Physique Desired Look
Men’s Physique Desired 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 to display physiques from the front, left, back, and right.  Quarter turn transitions should be fluid with no stiff, jerky, military-style or overly suggestive movements.

  • Front/Rear Stance -The front and rear stances are to be performed with one hand on the hip with the opposite leg extend outward.
  • Side Stance – The side poses are flexible. Competitors should use the stances they feel display their physiques in the most favorable manner. Feet may be together or one may be slightly in front of the other, hands may be at the side or one or both may be on the hip. Competitors may twist at the waist to turn their upper torso toward the judges.

Note: Competitors not following other ANBF posing guidelines may, at the discretion of the head judge, be corrected. If the competitor fails to adjust when corrected, then judges are instructed to address this in their scoring. Failure to comply with ANBF posing guidelines will result in a lower placement in the presentation/posing round.


ANBF Desired Men’s Physique Posing

Men's Physique Poses
Men’s Physique Poses


Individual Presentation Stage Walk

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 individual stage walk. The competitor will walk out to music of their choice. The stage walk will consist of the following: walk to center stage and perform two poses of the competitor’s choice, then proceed to the same side of the stage they entered from and display two poses of their choice, then proceed to the opposite side of the stage where they will perform two poses of their choice. To complete the walk, the competitor will return to center stage and perform a final pose and wave before exiting the stage.

Individual presentations should be done tastefully and be conducive to a family atmosphere.  Bodybuilding-type poses are permitted, but should not be presented as the majority of the routine. Props or costumes are permitted.