Individuals who plan on entering a natural bodybuilding competition need to be aware of the rules, guidelines and poses that need to be learned as well as how their body needs to be sculpted before a bodybuilding competition is entered. All natural bodybuilding means that the athletes do not use any of the banned substances that are on the lists of the American Bodybuilding Association or the other body building organizations.
All athletes are tested for these banned substances if they are interested in entering into a natural bodybuilding competition. These tests are run within a two month time period before the competition is going to be held in order to be eligible. If an athlete is found to have one of the banned substances in their system, they are suspended from a year up to a lifetime suspension, depending on the offense. If it is a national team member who has failed, they are banned from the team for life. When an athlete is banned from a natural bodybuilding competition their picture, name and test results are posted for public viewing. Included in the banned substances are some weight loss products like ephedrine, DHEA and Andro.
When athletes are ready and qualified to enter a natural bodybuilding competition they must be prepared with the ten mandatory poses and the ninety minute routine of free poses and physical movement. The ten mandatory poses show off the muscles in all parts of the body and are the same for men and women except for the last pose. The last pose shows Most Muscular for men and Most Symmetrical for women. Otherwise the poses cover the biceps, deltoids, lats, and quads and allow the judges to look for the symmetry, size, shape, division and other features that helps them make their decision.
The routines in natural bodybuilding competitions are fun to watch because they are each unique. In the routine, the athlete has ninety seconds to show off their free style poses to music, in addition to any physical talents that they might have. Some athletes are trained in karate or gymnastics which makes for a truly amazing routine, depending on their expertise. The judges look for the poise of the athletes during the routine, as well as the fluidity of movement, endurance and physicality.
Besides the mandatory poses and the routine, natural bodybuilding competitions begin with the athletes in an age class coming out and standing before the judges in a semi-relaxed pose. This allows the judges to see all athletes side by side for comparison, and by turning them a quarter turn at a time until they have seen every side of the body, they have a good overall picture of physique before the rest of the competition commences.