Larry Cloos - NPC Judge

Author: Jonathan. L, Models Observer
April 2017

1. Hello Larry, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Can you start by telling me about your background, and how long you have been involved in the sport? When did you start judging for the NPC?

Larry: 1996 following following my Colorado State win as heavyweight bb and becoming national level. No desire to compete nationally I turned to judging which is my passion.

2. What are some of the competitions you have been able to judge throughout the years?

Larry: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah - Women-Bikini, Figure, WP, Fitness. Men-BB, MP, MCP.

Larry Cloos

Larry Cloos. NPC Judge since 1996.

3. How have the judging criteria in Bikini, Figure and women's Physique changed over the years, what have been the main milestones?

Larry: The women's classes "bar" set higher over yrs. bikini is increasingly closer to figure, figure to WP, WP back to bodybuilding. WP originally replaced bodybuilding to lessen the bodybuilder look. WBB was a hard core look, too much for some and was fading out the look was bigger and bigger too much like men. WP toned that look down to just beyond figure look with elegant posing. None of the most muscular etc. actually is pretty with routine.

4. Over the years that you have judged, who are your favorite female competitors?

Larry: Really too many to list. They are near and dear to my heart. Some have gone Olympia, Arnold.

5. How can one become a NPC judge? What is the process?

Larry: Contact local chairman to become a test judge. Show consistency over a summer of judging on test panel. Then pass written and oral tests.

6. What is your ideal look for a winning figure or physique?

Larry: Conditioning is key for me, of course symmetry, balance, poise, stage presence. I feel conditioning trumps size.

7. What precludes most competitors from getting the Pro Card? Why?

Larry: Lack of solid coaching, finances, false expectations of just how hard it is.

8. Increasing Competency depends on several factors, one of them is Feedback. How often do you advise a competitor to tighten up body parts such as the glute ham tie in, and how often do you advise to reconsider which category to enter due to her body shape being too muscular or too soft? What do you weigh when making decisions?

Larry: My style feedback is different than most. It takes me several days after a show. Instead of taking notes on the spot (extremely difficult to do in the minute ladies on stage). I sit and look at pictures from show of comparisons to pick apart good and bad. Explain what to focus on going forward, and show differences as to placement among the ladies.

Feedback is based on balance, conditioning. Yes glute-ham tie in the hardest. Seeing that right off separates top 5. Shoulder caps, quad separation, smooth, holding water vs. not. You can see underdeveloped parts easily once eye is trained. Having top 5 picture and helping 3rd place finisher to improve. I point out what worked best that got 2 and 1 their spots, why 4 and 5 got theirs. I point out what rocked and how to keep that while bringing up areas of concern. Always great parts and areas to work on all. I point them out. Ask questions about training etc. Most often it's a bikini girl that looks amazing, only too hard for bikini for example. Let her know figure would be best fit. Some looking much improved possibly should have waited to do a show later in season to be on spot. So many look best ever!! They are upset not winning, I explain and have her compare herself to the other 40 or so that showed up. In the end just too hard for that class that day. Prep coach should have done more research.

Larry Cloos

9. Do you have an advice for a first-time competitor?

Larry: Huge advice, get a seasoned prep coach. Different animal from certified trainer in the gym. It's so scientific now as far as diet, the process needs an experienced prep coach. So expensive from head to toe for ladies. Avoid any coach who provides "cookie cutter" diets. No 2 people should have same diet. Interview potential trainers/coaches for credentials as you are the employer hiring this person to be your GPS on this detailed tough journey. Most of all - TRUST THE PROCESS!! The diets, workouts, all a GPS that will get you to the spot you need to be in come check in 8 to 16, even 24 weeks later. Don't rush be prepared do homework, pose, pose, pose practice. Do research for the journey, our sport nickel and dimes us a lot. Trainers don't fail you, you fail trainers.

10. What motivates you?

Larry: I bleed purple with passion for the NPC and its athletes. Been my world since 13, now 54. I love recruiting someone off the street who I see potential in. Then seeing the changes and getting big thank you. I love to say "I told ya so!" street to stage transformation is awesome.

* Do you remember a successful female competitor you've discovered? Please tell about her, her competitive history, how you've been involved?

A few actually. Most recent is Karen Spivey WP IFBB Pro, and Mandi Lohman (future pro). I see and saw in them what they will look like with proper guidance. At times they were going to quit. I get them with right coach, or tell them to be patient and trust the process. I'd never approach someone in the gym that had no chance. Karen got pro card last season. Personally called to tell me thank you and on social media as well by encouraging her to stay the course. I said in that conversation, remember the first time on stage you didn't do so hot you wanted to quit I said no. I said what you see in the mirror now with your trophy is what I saw 3 yrs ago in you that first time. I have no stake in the game. Only motivation and putting the right people together. In Karen's case it was an obscure trainer in Woodland Park Colorado who is a Pro WP Shannan Roskam who went through same frustrations. They were magic together. I watched Shannan her first show, my feedback was you are a Mercedes in the making.. lol. Feel free to reach out to any of them all on Facebook and Instagram.

11. What most people don't know about you?

Larry: Before bodybuilding I was a sprinter for a decade on AT&Ts corporate track team. I've been in 3 wars- desert storm, desert shield, operation Iraqi Freedom 2 and 3.

12. Future plans?

Larry: I plan on being involved, mentoring, recruiting, judging for the greatest community on earth, the NPC, my family.

Contact info:

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