11 Things You Shouldn’t Do On Stage (Unless You’re Huge)

TAGS: bodybuilding contest, stage presentation, bodybuilder stage presence, contest stage, bodybuilding show, ken skip hill, Skip Hill, bodybuilding

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I’ve competed since 1989, and I have been to so many shows since then that I couldn’t possibly count them all. I have mentally logged some of the most redundant and irritating things that I’ve seen competitors do, and I will admit, embarrassed, that I have done a few of them, myself, as well.

Some of the things that are done on stage can look cool if they are done by someone who can pull them off — note that I said someone who can pull them off because this is the part that most people miss. They see someone do something on stage and think, “Oh, I am sooo going to do that when I get on stage.” Yeah, BAD idea.


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PENZA, RUSSIA - APRIL 29, 2017:Champion bodybuilders participating at the championship on stage at the open Cup of the cities of Russia on Fitness and Bodybuilding

Aleksei Deviatov © 123rf.com

So, from the world headquarters of elitefts in London, Ohio, here is the Top-11 list of things you shouldn’t do on stage (unless you’re huge):

11. Pointing at Your Glutes or Hamstrings When You Have No Glutes or Hamstrings

Seems pretty self-explanatory and obvious, but it happens several times at every bodybuilding show that I have seen in the last 35 years. At check-ins/weigh-ins, if you have what appears to be the best glutes and hamstrings in the show, you can point at your glutes and hamstrings on stage.

10. Cupping Your Hand to Your Ear

Here’s a secret: If you’re good enough, they will cheer for you. Implying that the crowd is not cheering loud enough for you makes you look desperate. Any cheering you get after you cup your hand to your ear is obligatory. It’s kinda like asking for sex; she’ll do it but… she’d probably rather not.

9. Stopping Your Pose Just Long Enough to Gesture With Both Hands As If to Say, “Come On, Give Me Some Props”

This one is hard to explain without a visual. Basically, both of the back of the competitor’s hands are pointed at the crowd and then all of the fingers bend at the same time, very quickly. This would be much like motioning someone to come over to you.

Read #10 over again. This one is a little more pathetic than #10 because at least #10 doesn’t have that arrogant, sexy, flirty connotation saying, “Why don’t you come on over here and get some of this?”

8. Stomping Your Leg on the Stage Loudly

If you go into a leg shot by slamming your leg onto the stage, no one wants the theatrics. It’s over the top, and unless you have a massive quad to show off, we’re giggling at you. Even if you have a monstrous quad, we are still giggling at you. Yes, I said giggling.

7. Walking to Both Sides of the Stage to Pose During Your Free Routine

I get it, you want to make sure that everyone who might not have premium seats can see your incredible physique. We can see it. However, no one is going to think, “Damn, I’m sure glad he came over here to pose directly to this side of the auditorium because until he did, I had no idea he was that good.”

The exception: If you can’t afford professional photos and your spouse couldn’t afford front-center tickets because all of the household income over the last six months went into your prep, feel free to pose for her so she can get a few quality photos of you with her flip-phone.

6. Dusting Off Your Quad With Your Hand

At some point, there was one person who had a really cool idea IF he had great quads. I’m just going to dust off the quad to show all of these cuts and the detail in my quad. The problem is that if I see this done 20 times, 19 of them are done by people who should have spent more time during their prep dusting off their quads with more cardio and fewer calories.

5. Doing "The Robot" Posing Routine

You’re not Vince Taylor; 1992 called, and it wants its posing routine back. It’s been done already more times than “The Final Countdown” was used as a posing song in 1986. Be unique and come up with something new.

4. The Quad Shake and/or Smack

See #6 above. Again, someone with a huge quad had a great idea. That’s not you.

3. Going Down into the Audience to Pose

This is rarely allowed to happen, but I have seen it as recently as last year. You aren’t guest posing; this is a bodybuilding show. If you were good enough to pose in the audience, you would be getting paid to do so. You aren’t. Stay on the stage like the rest of us.

2. The Titty Bounce

At least this one is funny. Still, making your pecs bounce to the rhythm of your posing song is juvenile, at best. However, if you do it, I assure you I will be entertained and I will laugh.

1. Collapsing After Being Announced the Winner

Bodybuilding is anti-climactic. It isn’t like someone hits a home run in the bottom of the ninth or someone hits a buzzer-beater with no time left on the clock to pull out a last-minute victory. You came out of prejudging having a damn good idea that you were going to win the class or at least go top 2. To act as if this is such a huge shock is like nails on a chalkboard.

I love bodybuilding and I have competed for decades, but it’s a beauty pageant. Keep it in perspective, accept your proverbial tiara for your win, and get off the stage so you can go eat with your family and friends. There’s no crying in bodybuilding. Just Sayin’.

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