Last year I only learned the poses about 5 weeks out and only really started practicing them seriously at the 3 week mark. I thought that my posing on show day was fine. Sidenote: it seemed CRAZY to me how many girls had not only not practiced their poses at all, but didn't even know which poses they were expected to do! Honestly, if you're going to spend 12+ weeks training and dieting, you can spend at least 10 minutes looking up the federation's posing requirements. Sheesh! Anyways, I was happy enough with my posing, but there's always room for improvement, which is why I'm starting to practice 7 weeks out this time.
I'm starting with 2x 10 minute sessions and will increase the time by a few minutes weekly. I go through all of the mandatory poses for both the figure and fitness model class twice, then go back to those poses I felt were weak, paying special attention to my Relaxed pose, as this is the one I'll spend the most time in on-stage. I'll start preparing my T-walk in a few weeks.
Here are the poses I'll be doing (with the exception of the Front pose, which was just too embarrassingly bad to post!). The front, back, and relaxed pose are the same for both categories (although the judges want you to flex a bit less for the fitness model, as they're supposed to be a bit smoother in appearance), so the only really major difference between the two is in the Side pose (notice arms are flared out to make the upper body look bigger!).
|Relaxed: Gotta bring my left shoulder down a bit (that's always a problem for me) and flex my abs some more.|
|Fitness Model Side: looks pretty good, I think :)|
|Back: Could be flexing my calves and flaring my lats a bit more, but overall it's ok.|
|Figure Side: Gotta bring the left shoulder down so that it's a downward slope from right to left.|
I'm meeting with my trainer on Thanksgiving weekend to go over my poses and stage presence, at which point I'm sure he'll make quite a few changes and tweaks (everybody's posing looks a little bit different in order to enhance one's individual strengths and minimize weaknesses), but by starting now I'll at least have built up my stamina.
Honestly, you'd be amazed at how difficult posing is. Try contorting your body into the most uncomfortable position imaginable, flex every single muscle in your body, and hold that for 3 minutes straight. Do that 4-12 more times. Feeling winded yet? I swear, it's a workout in and of itself. And if your body's not used to it, you can have serious cramping and fatigue on-stage (especially when you throw in carb and water depletion). So, the earlier I start the better prepared my muscles will be for the big day :)