Archive for April, 2015


IFBB Men’s Physique Pro Mark Anthony, r., works with Gary Napierkowski at a recently held posing clinic at City Athletic Club, on West Sahara, attended by several competitors who will compete in Saturday’s Cutler Classic at the Palms Hotel.

By W.G. Ramirez

Said one critic last year, during the filmography for a Jay Cutler Desert Classic promotional spot, it’s like the “circus coming to town.”

Metaphorically speaking, I suppose.

But even I know the annual spectacle featuring international competitors and some of the top amateurs in the nation is far from clowns and elephants. Perhaps lions, as some might consider Cutler the King of the Jungle.

One thing is for sure, if there’s an internal buzz in the city, amongst a certain population of bodybuilding and fitness enthusiasts, it’s because the Classic, which takes place at the Palms throughout Saturday. Prejudging is at 10:30 a.m., while the Finals are at 6:30 p.m.

Two sessions, both pricey, but both worth the admission if you’re into this sort of thing. If not, you still might be surprised at what you’re seeing.

The prejudging gives judges their first look at competitors who strut and flex, showing what they’ve been sculpting the past 16 weeks. If not longer. And once you’re out there, and everyone can see each ripple and vein, most believe it comes down to posing.

“Stage presence is probably just as important as working on your physique,” IFBB Bikini Pro Jessica Chuckran said. “I see a lot of girls come into this, they’re athletic already, and their bodies look fantastic when they’re on stage. But they don’t know how to pose to the advantages of their physique. A lot of them have not walked in heels very much before because they’re always in tennis shoes working out. So when they get up on stage, that awkwardness shows. So you need to work just as much on your stage presence, walking and posing in (your) bikini.”

Chuckran joined IFBB Men’s Physique Pro Mark Anthony in a posing clinic Thursday night at the posh Southwest gym City Athletic Club, as the two covered last-minute details with some competitors entered in Saturday’s Classic, and a few who are still 6 or 12 weeks out from their next show.

Anthony, who was the first-ever Mr. Olympia Physique Champion, is four weeks out from his next competition, so he’s empathetic and supportive toward this weekend’s competitors, and tried to help some of them “keep calm and just pose,” by offering straight-forward advice during his hour session.


IFBB Women’s Bikini Pro Jessica Chuckran, r., watches Ayla Brown perform her walkout routine, during a recently held posing clinic at City Athletic Club on West Sahara.

Be Sexy.

Don’t be in a rush to get back to your front.

Show them your back.

From Chuckran:

Exaggerate your moves.

Walk out with that side pose.

And, oh yeah, BE SEXY!!!

“I feel posing is the thing that’s going to give you your individuality, it’s going to give you that unique kind of look,” Anthony said. “It’ll separate you from the rest. A lot of guys prep for 16 weeks, 12 weeks – whatever it is – and they come in with this amazing physique, but just don’t know how to present it. It’s just a huge element – especially with men’s physique – because we don’t have the ability to raise our arms or hold poses. We’re doing quarter-turns with some swag.”

Fact is, the bikini and physique categories are just as tough as the bodybuilding categories, given the rigorous meal plan they have to follow, especially down the stretch. Whether it’s carb-cycling, peak week, depletion – whatever – the process is grueling, but one that must be trusted. Then after your preparation, you’re asked to strut on stage and show off your physique from different angles. Bodybuilders is about mass and aesthetics, while the physique competitors have to show proportion, aesthetics and make sure they’re not too big, in looking as if they should have competed in a bodybuilding category.

Anthony said confidence is one of the biggest qualities that will catch a judge’s eye, and if you’ve got it when your number is called, you can steal some votes along the way.

“I’ve beaten guys who were two, three percent sharper in the body because I was confident without being boastful or cocky,” Anthony said. “I just showed that I know who I am, I know my position on the stage, I know the strengths and weaknesses in my posing on my body, and everyone should be looking at me and I should be the champion.

“You must have confidence. Not only do judges see it, they feel it.”

Chuckran agreed, saying bikini competitors have a lot of work cut out for them, if they want to walk away with a trophy.

“From a bikini perspective, a lot of people give it slight hand and think all you have to do is ‘look sexy’ and don’t have to do any work,” Chuckran said. “As a bikini competitor, I can tell you that you have to train probably harder than some of the guys that I even know, just because you’re spending just as much time in your cardio, or more time perhaps, as you are in your actual lifting routine.”

Plus, as the competition gets closer, and your meal plan can be gut-wrenching, the lifting routines intensify while your cardio may increase.

The result is a body glamour models dream about having.

After all, muscles are the new sexy.

And they’ll be on full display at the Palms for another edition of the Cutler Classic. Cutler, a four-time Mr. Olympia, says the community support is outstanding and that he’s pleased with the turnout of competitors, because the quality is what the jam-packed crowd appreciates. This, along with other events bearing the name of certain bodybuilding icons, has grown thanks to Cutler’s ambassadorship toward the industry, traveling worldwide to promote his brand.