Until recently, the vacuum pose was a standard pose in a bodybuilding competition. In the 60s and 70s, just about every bodybuilder who competed included this pose in his posing routine. The pose was a great way to display a small waist, thick lat development, ripped serratus muscles, and a chiseled, well-defined torso. The pose looked deceptively simple. You simply lifted up your arms, put them behind your head, then drew in your abdomen as deeply as possible. But to do the pose properly some pointers needed to be adhered to. Those tips will be discussed later in this article. But first, it's important to understand why you rarely see this formerly ubiquitous pose anymore, and why practicing it can produce some surprising results that can be a potent aid to any bodybuilder's appearance. But it's not just bodybuilders that can profit from practicing the vacuum pose. Anyone who seeks a flatter appearing abdominal area would be wise to also practice this pose, even if they have no intention of ever stepping on a bodybuilding contest stage.
Before discussing the nuances of how to properly execute a vacuum pose, the salient question that needs to be answered is why you rarely see it anymore, particularly in the professional ranks of bodybuilding competitors. It's no secret that pro bodybuilders have gotten bigger and bigger over the past 20 years. The first gargantuan bodybuilder was Dorian Yates, a British bodybuilder who literally came out of the shadows to shock the bodybuilding world with his degree of muscular mass and definition. When I met and first interviewed Yates after he placed second in the 1990 Night of the Champions bodybuilding contest in New York, he told me that his goal was to be the ultimate bodybuilder of the 90s, and he would do that by winning Mr.Olympia throughout the 90s. That he met this goal is a matter of history. Yates set a new standard of muscle mass that was hard to beat, especially since he appeared to improve with each contest appearance. He credited his use of high-intensity, low-volume heavy training. However, that same style of training also proved to be his undoing as injuries began to occur for him in the late 90s. Those injuries forced him to retire from competition since Yates refused to compete unless he was at 100% of his best condition.
Yate's problems included not only his increased rate of serious muscle and joint injuries but also his ever-increasing abdominal protrusion. In short, with each passing year, Yate's abdominal area got thicker and thicker to the point that when he wasn't posing, his midsection didn't look much different than a woman in her 8th month of pregnancy. But it wasn't just Yates who was exhibiting what soon became known as the "Bodybuilder's bloat" appearance. What was odd about this was that the men who showed this macabre . . .