The Elite Physique

Pre-Judging vs Finals

Pre-Judging vs Finals – What’s the Difference?

women on stage pre-judging vs finals

Pre-judging vs finals.  Which is more important?  Mastering pre-judging is your ticket to a win.  This is when the judges decide on the winner of each class.  Pre-judging typically occurs the morning of your contest.  Each competitor will step onto the stage one at a time.  This is when you get to make your first impression, and impress the judges you MUST.

Introduction – Giving Your First Impression

At the beginning of pre-judging you will enter onto the stage from the side, near the back curtain.  Don’t worry.  Expeditors will be backstage to tell you what to do and when to do it. They will personally guide you through the entire process until you step on stage, then it’s ALL YOU.

When you walk out onto the stage, walk to the center of the stage and hit the casual pose.  There will usually be X on the stage floor to guide and direct you.  Make eye contact with the judges and smile.

From there, walk towards the judges, stop and do another casual pose.  Smile while you look at each of the judges.  Turn and face the back of the stage and do a back pose.  Turn and face the judges and do another casual pose, then give a wave to the judges and audience.

You’ve made your first impression, now walk to the side of the stage and start the line-up if you are first on stage or enter the line-up if you are following other competitors.  While you are in the line-up on stage remain in your casual pose.

The Call Outs

Once the emcee introduces each competitor, the head judge will start the call outs. Each call out will call at least 5 competitors for comparisons.  However, the total number of call outs really depends on the number of athletes in the class.   When you hear your number “competitor #4” (know your number), step to the front of the stage.  You and the other ladies will form a line so the judges can compare you with one another.

The first call out is usually placing competitors 1st place to 5th place.  So, if you made the first call out, you pretty much know you have made it in the top 5.  The second call out will be to place competitors in 6th through 10th place, and so on.

During the call outs, the line-up that is in front will go through the quarter turns to display their physique for comparison.  In the first call out, competitors 1-5 will be placed from 1st to 5th place.  Be sure to be on your game during this time.  Smile, look like you are having fun.  Do all the little things you can do to make that lasting impression and snag first place.  This is the time when you are being judged, the real judging part!

The quarter turn rounds can last anywhere from 5-10 minutes, more or less.  It all depends on the number and quality of the competitors, as well as the size of the show.


For each round, each contestant will be placed in order from first to last place.  Each round score sheet is turned in to the head judge and each round will be totaled to determine the winner.  Selecting the winner during pre-judging allows for a smooth flowing night show.   The only actual judging that happens during the night show is of the height class winners for the overall award.

No Room For Error in Pre-Judging red arrow pointing down

There is no room for error if you want to place well and even win. While you see all types of personalities and posing on the competitive stage, it takes knowing how to impress the judges to get a top placement and even win.

Now, join over 73,ooo other athletes and get the inside scoop on how to get super cut and even compete.  Get my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course and start changing your body as soon as this week.  See below…


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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

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My name is Karen Sessions and I am a life-time natural female bodybuilder, multi-certified fitness instructor, author, specialist in performance nutrition, and a success coach. I've been in the fitness industry since 1988! I teach people Just Like You how to transform their bodies, get in shape, build muscle, lose fat and compete in Bodybuilding, Physique, and Figure Competitions. When you have the CORRECT information you can have total confidence and turn your dreams into reality... and I can help transform YOUR body. I have helped THOUSANDS of clients reach their goals and I can help you, too. Be sure to grab my free gift above so you can start moving toward your goal.

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