So here's the deal, does having a pro card mean you're perfect? No, it does not. What a pro card means, is that on a given day, you nailed it. Your physique was on point, your posing was on point, and you were the best out of the lineup you competed with. That is a HUGE achievement. After all, when you earn your IFBB Pro League pro card, that comes after competing at the local and regional levels, getting nationally qualified, and then earning top honors at an NPC national level pro qualifier. For the few who can achieve that - be proud - be VERY PROUD!!
Now, let's go back in time to 2012, when Mike Pulcinella released his "Kai Greene: A Day in the Life," video. I'm sure you've seen it a MILLION times, but in case you haven't, I've included the part in question, where Kai attended posing clinics regularly. Kai Greene was then, and now, considered to be one of the best and most entertaining bodybuilding posers of all time. By 2012, he'd won the NY Pro, won the Arnold, and placed Top 3 at the Mr. Olympia, yet he continued to attend posing clinics. Why? Because he constantly wanted to sharpen his skills.
I've seen pro's at clinics I've covered standing around, either assessing the amateur lineups and/or looking out of place. I have also seen pro's, folks who've won big titles, humbling themselves, getting in those lineups, shoulder to shoulder with true novices at the NPC level, simply to get the constructive criticism of presenters.
Now, not all posing clinics are created equally. When you can pose in front of a Mr. Olympia judge, like Gary Udit, and when you can get posing tips from an IFBB Pro and National NPC Judge like Linda Andrew - now you're in a different world!! Even Kai wasn't being assessed by judges on this level, but yet he attended his posing classes, consistently.
The fact is, if you've been spent 16 weeks eating out of tupaware, logging every rep of your training down, and taking your supplements at specific times, like clockwork, then you owe it to yourself to present everything you've worked so hard for on stage. Be humble somewhere else, at some other time. On stage, show every last bit of that hard-earned muscle, broadcast your crispness, and put your lines on blast!! Nothing shows off symmetry and balance better, than flawless posing!!
I don't care how great your prep coach and/or posing coach is, you simply cannot cut corners and deny yourself of being critiqued by the best. What's 45 minutes on a Sunday afternoon in the grand scheme of things?
For amateurs, I have to tell you, it's on! Anyone doing the Ohio, had better come ready to battle. No one you come up against, will be there just for fun. The same goes for the Tricky Jackson and the Kentucky Muscle. It's much harder to get nationally qualified now, so everyone is coming ready to battle. Also, the judges want to reward the athletes with the best physiques, but if the athletes can't execute the mandatory poses, how pray tell, can the judges give them the best placings? How can you reward something you can't see?
With regards to Pro athletes, they have pretty darn high stakes, too. Many need to keep their sponsors happy; others will get bonuses for making Top 5, Top 3, and especially for winning! Pro's also want to make a name for themselves, they want to get invited to the Arnold Classic, and they especially want to qualify for the Olympia. Speaking of the Olympia, many pro's will go on points, if need be, but they would much rather qualify for the big dance by winning a contest. I'm sorry, but you're not winning an IFBB Pro League contest if you can't pose - ain't happening!
If Kai Greene went to posing clinics regularly to pose, with NY Pro and Arnold Classic titles under his belt, while being Top 3 at the previous year's Mr. Olympia, then I'd be hard pressed to name even a single pro, anywhere, who shouldn't get in front of judges like Gary and Linda and make sure there isn't anything, even the most minor little detail they couldn't pick up to make their awesome posing skills even more awesome!!
I hope to see everyone - amateurs and pro's - at the NPC Free Seminar on Sunday, September 8th at Powerstation Gym in Middletown, OH. If you'd like to RSVP, please visit the official Event Page.