Generation Iron Scoring Posing Rounds IFBB

Is the new attempt to score posing rounds at the Arnold’s the right next step?

If you haven’t realized by now, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t have, then you should know that some big changes have come to all the Arnold Classic events for the men’s open weight and 212 divisions in 2016. With many fans seeking a return to form for bodybuilding like the days of old, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bob Lorimer have gone on record to state that posing routines will now be scored for the 212 and open weight divisions. To some it may be viewed as innovation. To others it’s a return to form for bodybuilding… as posing was once given great weight in the earlier days of the sport.


Why the big change? Apparently Arnold hasn’t been all that impressed with many of the bodybuilders of this era and has made his displeasure known on several occasions. He believes that posing is what made bodybuilding a true sport, an art form to be appreciated. Where posing routines were strategically planned out and performed like a choreographed dance in the old days, the current breed of bodybuilders have shown an inability to pose with the same grace and form in the way of the classic competitors. Arnold also point to the fact that the athletes of today have less muscle control and shake considerably when they have to hold their poses.

All that being said, you have to wonder whether or not this move by Schwarzenegger and Lorimer is innovative or a burden on the competitors. Though it adds an extra layer to the way competitions will be judged, it gives athletes something else to worry about besides the arduous training and strict dieting that they endure all year round. The thing is, if bodybuilders truly want to consider themselves professional then they’ll have to adhere to this new rule and conquer any deficiencies they may have when it comes to posing.

Generation Iron Arnold Sports Festival 2016

It’s very true that bodybuilding isn’t the same as it was during the “Golden Era” but that’s not the real issue at hand. The better question we should be asking is: has this change made the sport better or worse? Are the bigger mass monsters and lack of emphasis on posing routines a decline… or an evolution? Ultimately this is up to the individual. But there is one major fact that can’t be ignored – bodybuilding is bigger than it ever has been. Is this because of the “bigger is better” direction the sport has taken? Perhaps. Perhaps an added scoring system to posing will make the sport even bigger.

It’s hard to say at this point in time but the way this new scoring system is being rolled out is probably the best way to handle it. They aren’t outright upending the way the sport works. They are testing it at (admittedly) big competitions but not the THE most important competitions. If the fans and competitors seem to thrive with this new addition – then perhaps it’s a better direction for the sport.

So if the fans do indeed find more enjoyment from this new addition to the points system, and if the judges themselves find this rule to be even more helpful in deciding a winner, then it’s likely that we could be seeing more and more events emphasizing this method of scoring. If that is taken under consideration then it could change the entire playing field and give bodybuilders with superior posing routines an even bigger chance at defeating the men in the upper tier of the sport. Maybe this will make the sport even bigger.

So far we’ve had three big Arnold Classic events… and to be honest – as whole things don’t feel very different. Many believe that Kai Greene won the Arnold Classic Ohio majorly on his epic posing routine on the final night. But we must remember that the scoring of posing only counts for one third of the judging process. So to say Kai won “solely on his posing routine” isn’t true at all. Cedric was a huge threat… but in the end Kai Greene is the true People’ Champ. A true master contender. And a hard one to beat.

The posing routines have certain shifted in tone – but it’s all pretty slight. We’ll have to wait and see how the IFBB responds by the end of 2016. Will this switch over to other competitions? Will the Olympia of 2017 start scoring posing as well? In the end, we don’t think this will make a whole lot of difference beyond making certain fans happy. The sport overall feels the same with some minor tweaks. And maybe that’s the best thing we could ask for.

Do you think this new scoring criteria will be beneficial or damaging to bodybuilding? Let us know in the comments and forums. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

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GI Team
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