Ed Corney once said, Posing is the presentation of your physique in all its splendor, showing the results of all your hard training, dieting, dedication and PRACTICE.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please read the previous statement again and if you did not notice the word that is highlighted and in capitol letters, please do when you read it again. Simply put, I believe that most competitive bodybuilders do not spend enough time practicing their posing. However, I also believe that many competitors do not really know how to practice. Please let me be of some help.
My first offer is my video that I produced in 1993. It is titled “Posing The Extra-Ordinary Way!” The focus is on the symmetry, compulsory, and the fee posing round. Detail is given for both men and women for the stance of the quarter turns, position and movement of mandatory and optional poses, highlighting good points while minimizing weak points, and the choreography of the posing routine. By viewing these tips on video, a bodybuilder will be able to better learn and practice correct posing techniques. The cost is $49.95 plus $4.00 for postage.
If your desire is to have a posing routine that does not look like it was put together the night before your show, but is polished and professionally choreographed, then my second offer of individual posing choreography via-videotape is for you.
It is as simple as you sending me the music of your choice. I want it to be your choice because the music should be something that you can relate and be sensitive to. If you are not sure or you have more than one piece of music in mind, I will be glad to help you decide. At the same time I will ask you to send me a few details like your best side for Side Chest and Side Triceps. I will want to know if you have any favorite poses or poses that you dislike or feel you do not look good executing. Also, photos or a video from a previous competition can be sent so I know what your physique is like or your style of posing. However, this is not necessary.
After I receive this information I take it from there. I choreograph your routine communicating with you at the same time because I want to make sure I give you what you want and do not give you something that you dislike or cannot do.
After it is choreographed, my photographer records me teaching you the routine. It is not just me showing the routine once and then leaving you on your own to figure it out. I brake it down, pose-by-pose, transition-by-transition, step-by-step. These tapes average 45 minutes to 1 hour for 60 and 90-second routines. The cost for personal choreography via-videotape is $250.00.
A third option would be personal one-on-one posing instruction and choreography. A competitor would travel to Albany, NY for 2-3 days to learn the finer points on the art of posing covering the quarter turns, the mandatory poses, optional poses, choreography and majoring on any specific area of choice.
Scott “Old Navy” Hults from Birmingham, AL recently came for some posing help and he decided to write about his experience. Please scan down to read what he wrote.
My fourth and final offer is the same as above. However, instead of a competitor traveling to my location for one-on-one personal instruction, I would travel to his or her location.
I Trained With The World’s Best Poser
By Scott “Old Navy” Hults
I recently spent nine hours training one-on-one with the world’s best poser, Russ Testo. Like me, Russ was profiled on this site as the Midwest Christian Bodybuilder of the Month. After reading his profile and visiting his website (www.russtesto.com) I knew I had to travel to Mecca to seek the “Gift.”
In this case, Mecca is Albany, New York, where Russ and his partner (a fitness competitor) operate a personal training service and posing clinic. The “Gift” is the talent this man has for displaying a bodybuilder’s muscles in their most favorable way. Russ is more than a master poser. He is a Physique Artist, who has perfected his skills since his first audition with Arnold in 1981 to become guest poser at the Mr. Olympia. Needless to say, Russ got the gig. He went on to do several Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic and Pro Ironman guest posing stints. His video, “Posing the Extra Ordinary Way” is excellent. I like it much more than Gary Udit’s “Perfect Posing” video.
I contacted Russ and he agreed to coach me for three consecutive days to work on symmetry poses, mandatory poses and on my 90-second individual posing routine. I was already a good poser, having won “Best Male Poser” at my last competition. I wanted to get better. Also, as a Bantam Weight and Super Grand Master (60+) competitor, I am usually up against larger men. So to be really competitive, I need to out-pose my competition. I was hoping Russ could help me.
I arrived in Albany from Birmingham, Alabama on Thursday around noon. Russ met me at my hotel and I followed him to his studio, about 15 minutes away. When I walked into Russ's studio, I said, "Russ, I know nothing. I am a blank slate. Please fill my slate with your knowledge." Russ asked me about my experience (I have competed in six contests) and my goals (I want to compete in at least six next year). We talked about posing, both from the competitor’s point of view and from that of the judges. Then we got down to business. The first thing he did was to make me feel good about my posing up to now. After watching me go through a symmetry round and mandatory round, Russ said, "Very good, Scott. All we are going to do is add and subtract a bit.” And that's what we did. We worked from 1:15 until 4:45. It was one tough session. I enjoyed every minute.
Russ showed me a lot of really cool things that can make a difference in posing. We worked on individual poses and on my 90-second individual routine. Russ's thoughts on the subject are right on and I will benefit greatly by this experience. We agreed to two sessions on Friday and one on Saturday. Then I will return home and, as Russ says, "To practice, practice, and practice." I really believe Russ's teaching will make me a much better poser next year.
On Friday Russ continued to help me perfect my style. We tried several optional poses and chose five to add to my “repertoire,” including a signature Frank Zane pose, both front and back, a front and side single arm bicep pose, a victory pose and a front chest pose. The afternoon session focused on my 90-second individual posing routine. Russ has great ideas and knows how to work with the music to create a story with pictures. The pictures, of course, are poses. We videotaped much of this session and Russ actually performed my routine to my music for me so I would have a study tape to take home. He taped me doing my routine also. I'm really looking forward to performing my new posing routine at the 2006 NPC Northern Kentucky Bodybuilding and Fitness Open Championship on March 18th, my first contest next year.
That evening, Russ and I went to dinner. And guess what we talked about? What else, bodybuilding. He has been training since he was 14. He is 48. That’s a lot of time in the weight room. And, it shows. Russ has a great physique.
We enjoyed our steak dinner. He asked for his broccoli raw…I didn’t.
On Saturday morning, Russ put me through some posing drills, calling the poses with little break between. Contest conditions, he called it. I sweated, but really enjoyed the session. He gave me some posing drills to do once I’m home. I will do them.
A very special highlight of my last hour with Russ on Saturday was when he showed me a live demonstration of the audition posing routine he performed for Arnold and the Mr. Olympia in 1981, Russ's first guest posing stint. He then showed me a live demo of his latest routine, choreographed to Bobby Daren's "Mack The Knife." Both were classic. I watched in awe as he flowed through his routines.
After our final session I headed for the airport for my flight to Birmingham. I can't describe the way I felt after spending nine hours one-on-one with Russ Testo. He is a Master Posing Artist. Russ has the knowledge, the technique, the great moves, the feeling and sensitivity of a man who has a passion and has lived that passion for more than 25 years. Russ has taken the act of contest posing to a level well above everyone else. Yet, he is a humble man, a quiet man and man who is secure enough to be able to share his secrets with a guy like me who is willing to place myself in his hands. I left Albany a much better poser. And I will practice what Russ taught to me and I will get even better by my first contest of the year next March.
Thanks, Russ for a really great learning experience.
I saw A J Riehl compete this past Saturday in Nyack Ny , and although he needs about 6-8 weeks more dieting, his posing routine was stellar!!! and rumour has it, it was your work!! I mean he really nailed it, and it was fun and entertaining to watch, The one bright spot in an otherwise dismal show. Congrats again! You the Man!!!
Promoter INBF New York State Bodybuilding & Figure Championships
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