Judging Part 2

How To Judge Mission Eclipse

Some readers have expressed that they may not have the seasoned eye of a physique judge and perhaps they would not be very good at judging.

I am going to show you how you can look at any picture with the trained eye of a physique judge so that you will have a good idea of what you are looking at.

After reading this blog I believe you will know how to look at the comparison pictures and determine just from using the proper scrutiny whether or not I have eclipsed.

How can one just look at  pictures and  distinguish the differences- albeit sometimes subtle differences? In November I will post a new picture and have it side by side with the picture taken in 1980. I am attempting to have it taken from the same angle and keep it the same size- both very important elements in judging comparisons. Now with these pictures in front of you,take a ruler and a pen and draw lines horizontally every ½ inch from the neck down.

Then begin looking at the pictures, following the lines accross from one picture to the other. Look at the neck. First one picture then the other, especially the most recent picture.

From the neck look at the traps (the muscles that come up to the neck). Compare one picture then the other.

Any differences?

Look at each picture in half inch increments. Look at the shoulders on both pictures.

How do they compare?

Look at the arms, look at the shape and size of the arm.

Any differences?

Look at the chest of both pictures how do they compare?

Look at the waist line

Which one looks better? (more muscular- defined)

Look at each body part within the lines in the same way.
Remember the cartoon in the Sunday paper where it shows you two pictures and asks the question,
“What’s the difference? Can you see all 8 of the differences?”

That’s how subtle it can be. Each half inch look straight across at both of the pictures, draw lines and follow one line all the way across and look for any differences but just focusing on one area at a time. Go down between the next lines  and look at both. Go down between the next set of lines and look at the body part there, and look at both, all the way down the entire picture.

That’s going to give you a real critical eye because you will be able to focus on one area at a time until you have seen the entire body. And based on those observations you can judge whether or not I succeeded with the eclipse!

You can use a  ruler and just slide it down, and look straight across comparing both pictures, because everything else can distract you. So if you take something and cover up the rest and just look only at what you see between the lines, you will be able to see what a seasoned judge sees while judging contestantants on stage. You are now beginning to scrutenize the physique, the body, and all the parts the way a judge would.

To illustrate what I mean here’s a “Real Time” evaluation using a photo of  my good friend Meri as our model.
Meri has been kind enough to volunteer her pictures with the built in graph. As you can see Meri has already followed a cardinal rule in physique comparison by keeping integrity in her photos because she is showing the  images the same size. This is the type of photo integrity that is needed to make an accurate visual assessment.

Comparison Pic
As you can see we have a very good picture comparison of Meri. Beginning with your focus on the space between lines 1 and 2 compare from left to right just by looking at that section. You are going to see some things you didn’t think were there! The collar bone on day 28 is more pronounced than on day 1, meaning that there is probably a loss of fat or water or both. The neck muscles are also more visible on day 28 than on day 1. You are going to see that the shoulders themselves are looking a little tighter and the pec line is different.

In the space between 2 and 3 what I see is in the abdominal area the day 1 is wider than day 28 take a look. As you go down further look at the space between lines 3 and 4 and what you are going to see again is that the tummy is getting closer to the abdominal wall, that is very obvious to me. As we look between 4 and 5 we see that Meri’s thighs are actually getting tighter than they were on day 1. Now take a look at just the knees. Very interesting comparison here. Meri’s knees are totally different now.

Look at both pictures. Now the reason they look different is because fat from that area is leaving on both knees, and you can actually see the visible progress there. Look down further and it does look a little tighter on the calf muscles, they are slightly smaller. What is even more interesting is that the ankles themselves are different in size, that means that there is probably fat loss there as well.
Overall Meri has changed a lot more than we first thought, but if you were just to look at her waist without the lines there you really wouldn’t see as much. So if you follow my eyes you can see it for yourself.

Now you can see how subtle the differences can be, and how easy it is to compare one picture with another.

I think you are now ready to practice- so that by November all of you will be very competant with your judging.


Judging Part 1

Judging Part 1 will familiarize you with the judging standards that the IPC developed in 1981specifically for natural or non-drug users. Although prior to this the AAU did have judging standards for the “Sport of Physique” we felt that drug-free competitors deserved standards befitting their unique status. The following is an edited excerpt from the handbook and an introduction to judging the physique.



This Handbook will introduce you to the art/sport of Natural Physique competition and the CBA Inc. The mission of the CBA is to promote Natural bodybuilding and restore the dignity and respect that the sport of  bodybuilding deserves and once had when it was considered Physical Culture.

Physique competition is not a new sport, but since some in bodybuilding have become involved with the use of chemicals and drugs to enhance the physical performance and/or appearance the CBA was formed and has become a forerunner in promoting Natural bodybuilding competitions. Since there were no enforced guidelines or rules for Natural contests, the CBA now offers its own official handbook of regulations, with a complete set of rules for competition and judging. This Handbook is intended to be a ready reference manual for natural athletes, judges, promoters, administrators and spectators.

The CBA was formed in November of 1979 and has since advocated and promoted Natural bodybuilding and Natural bodybuilding competitions through its outreach magazine, POWER. Yet, because of untested competitions it became apparent that Natural bodybuilding would be in a class of its own, and in October of 1981 the Executive Board of Directors formed the International Physique Council whose first task was to develop guidelines and rules for Natural competition and judging.

The Council’s mission is to encourage drug-free competition at all levels and in all classes, therefore we trust that this Handbook will aid the interested promoter and natural athlete in presenting better caliber contests and at the same time enable the spectator to understand and gain a better appreciation of this art/sport.

Copyright 1982 Carlos DeJesus Chairman, CBA International Physique Council



The catagories to be considered in judging men are:

1. Muscle Balance (Symmetry)

2. Size and Shape

3. Separation and Definition

4. Presentation

A. Muscle Balance (Symmetry)

1. Includes the overall balance of body parts and muscle groups. (Comparing right and left sides)

2. Muscle groups should show equal development and harmony both within the groups and among the parts of the body.

3. Upper body muscularity in proportion, lower body muscularity proportionate, and a balance in upper and lower body development.

B. Shape and Size

1. Skeletal structure is usually a factor in size, as development has to be related to the potential for development.

2. Size and shape would be the best possible combination of muscular mass or volume and muscle form or contour.

C. Separation and Definition

1. Seperation would constitute the clear border line between adjoining muscles.

2. A distinct visible separation between muscles or what is commonly known as “cuts”.

3. Definition would refer to the distinct muscular detail within each muscle group which would appear in strands, fibers and striations, or what is referred to as the “ripped” look.

D. Presentation

1. Presentation would encompass all other physical charecteristics not included in the other catagories; grooming, posture, projection, and above all-display,which includes the choice of poses, (are they fitting for the athlete?) their sequence, execution, transition (or the flow from one pose to the next)

2. The ability of the athlete to display and project his physique to its best advantage.

Does the judging panel have any questions?