Men’s Physique

The Men’s Physique division in Bodybuilding awards competitors who are fit and display proper shape and symmetry combined with muscularity and overall condition. Competitors will have a low level of body fat with clear muscle separation and some visible striations and vascularity.  However, since this is not a bodybuilding contest, extreme muscularity, striations, vascularity and graininess is normally marked down.  Since Men’s Physique is still relatively new and based on judges preferences, the optimal level of muscularity, striations and vascularity can differ between organizations. Judges also look for the contestant with the best stage presence and poise who can successfully convey his personality to the audience.  


Contestants will be asked to walk in board shorts without a shirt and barefoot. Shorts must be just above the knee in length and can be one inch below the belly button, no spandex and no logos are permitted on the board shorts, however, a manufacturer’s logo such as Nike symbol or Billabongs are acceptable. No lewd acts allowed, for example the moon pose.

Competitors will be introduced and walk to the center of the stage alone and perform quarter (1/4) turns.  

Many events may have the competitors perform a “T-walk” when they are first introduced.  

They will be brought back out in groups and directed to do quarter turns in unison to give the judges the opportunity to compare competitors against each other.  In most organizations there is no bodybuilding type posing or routine rounds.  However, some Mr. Physique competitions held by the ABA/INBA include some bodybuilding poses during the comparison rounds.

Competitors are often split into height classes.  The number of classes and the height cut-off of each class is normally left to the discretion of the promoter and is based on the number of competitors.  Many competitions will also have Masters classes for competitors who meet a certain age requirement.  These are generally over 35 or 40 and over 45 or 50.  Most competitions won’t have different height classes for Master classes since there normally isn’t enough competitors to split the classes.  Competitors who meet these age restrictions are usually allowed to enter the open class as well.

Since the rules and requirements may vary between the various organizations, it is important to fully understand the rules of the organization you plan to compete in.