Determine When You Go On Stage

You won’t get a time that you go on, only an order of events. The show may go fast or slow depending on the number of competitors so the promoter cannot promise a time. What you need to do is look at the order of events and listen for the class that is five classes before yours. You also need to pay attention to the pace of the show. In some cases 5 classes can mean an hour in others, it can be 10 minutes. Figure out what class that is and listen for it. For example, if you are Bikini F, listen for Bikini A.

Get Ready

When you hear that class called, about 20-30 minutes before you anticipate going on stage, make your final stage preparations. This will include:

  • Eat the food you planned for. This is usually a carb like rice cakes, donuts, dried fruit, candy, Raisinets, etc
  • Stay warm but don’t get hot. When you get cold, you will go flat. Too hot and you will drip and streak your tanning. Wear flip flops, sweat pants and have a hand towel ready in case you sweat.
  • Pump up. Use the pump up equipment provided and always bring your own resistance bands. Do not pump up your legs; this will cause them to lose separation.  Focus most on your weak parts to create balance. Don’t work so hard that you sweat. If you work too hard, you risk training through your pump and smoothing out.


The stage expediters are calling numbers and names. DO NOT COUNT ON THIS! Listen for every class. Pay attention to what is happening around you. Do not leave the backstage area. YOUR NAME AND NUMBER MAY NEVER BE CALLED. Listen for your class. If you miss your class, there is no going back, no re-judging, no going with a different class. Just 12 weeks of training wasted.

Be prepared for a mishap. Many shows have over 300 competitors and occasionally there can be a mistake. It is not unheard of to have someone end up missing or in the wrong class. This is again why it is so important for you to listen for your class and be aware of what is going on. You are a competitive athlete now and must make sure you make every effort to prepare as such.


NPC Bikini posingCenter Podium Competitor Stage Blocking

Stage blocking will vary from show to show. However, Center Podium shows use the blocking found at top events like the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic, and Legion Sports Fest.

Stage Entrance by Show

  • NPC Mother Lode – Stage Left
  • NPC Oksana Grishina International Classic – Stage Left
  • NPC West Coast Classic – Stage Right
  • NPC Dexter Jackson Classic – Stage Right
  • NPC Tahoe Show – Stage Left
  • NPC New Mexico State – Stage Right
  • IFBB Legion Sports Fest – TBA
  • IFBB Pro League Russia International Championship – TBA

Example: Competitor Entrance STAGE LEFT

Some events will be a stage left entrance and some will be a stage right entrance. This example is for the stage right entrance. Note that “stage right” is “competitors right”.

NPC Pre-Judging

Pre-Judging is when the judges decide placing for all classes except the overall. The judges may choose to re-judge at finals, but it is rare.

Sandy Williamson IFBB Pro League Mr Olympia head judge

Bikini, Figure & Men’s Physique

  1. Athletes line up in numerical order Backstage.
  2. Athletes enter from the STAGE LEFT  and will line up on the diagonal line as directed by our onstage expediter.
  3. Each athlete will be called by the head judge to present for 10-15 seconds.
  4. Walk to the front and center of the stage, directly in front of the head judge. You will see a number “1” on the floor in that position. Perform 2-3 of your best poses. Keep it brief, “The more time you spend on your presentation, the more time you give the judges to find your flaws.”, Olympia Judge Sandy Williamson.
  5. If you stay too long, the head judge will nod once your time is up. (That’s not a good thing.)
  6. You will follow the stage expediters instructions to walk to the diagonal line on stage right. (this is your right when on stage)
  7. The first FIVE athletes will be instructed to walk to the center judging line where the judge will call quarter turns
  8. Initial comparisons take place.
  9. After Initial comparisons, competitors wi