October 14, 2021

Are you looking to learn about the different bodybuilding organizations? Or maybe you are interested in competitive bodybuilding. It can be overwhelming because there are so many different organizations and competitions, and each of them has different goals, rules, and regulations. 

If you’re interested to learn about competitive bodybuilding and the following bodybuilding organizations, WBFF, NPC, ICN, NABBA, IFBB, and ANB, which are the major bodybuilding organizations, you’ve come to the right place. We are going to break everything down for you, nice and neatly. 

Without further ado, let’s go over the different bodybuilding and physique competitions and divisions.

Understanding The Different Bodybuilding Divisions and Competitions for Men & Women

We will first go over the main divisions in bodybuilding for men and women. Then, we will get into the different organizations and competitions for these divisions. 

MEN’S DIVISIONS

The are three main divisions in bodybuilding for men: Men’s Physique, Classic Physique, and Bodybuilding. 

1. MEN’S PHYSIQUE:

The Men’s Physique division is actually relatively new. It was created back in 2013 for those who thought the bodybuilding divisions were “too big”. And while it is new, it has exploded and is one of the most popular divisions. It makes sense considering you don’t need nearly as much muscle mass to be in the Men’s Physique division. Nevertheless, it is far from easy to do well in. In Men’s Physique, you need to be muscular, very well-toned, and have great proportions. 

Within the division, there are different classes based on height.

Note: Posing is done in board shorts.

2. CLASSIC PHYSIQUE:

Classic Physique is the middle ground between the Bodybuilding division and the Men’s Physique division. They are not as big as those in the Bodybuilding division, but they are considerably bigger than the men in the Men’s Physique division. The men pose in boxer briefs so they can show off the legs better. 

Within the division, there are different classes based on height and weight.

3. BODYBUILDING:

The Bodybuilding division is the most muscular division. There is no weight limit. Within the division are different classes based on weight. It doesn’t matter how tall you are, it’s all about weight. Bodybuilding divisions use a specific kind of posing trunk that allows the entire legs and glutes to be seen (it’s almost like a male g-string, but the butt area is more covered). 

Depending on the bodybuilding organization, there may be different classes, but the above are the general divisions. 

WOMEN’S DIVISIONS

women's bodybuilding

There are five main divisions in bodybuilding for women: Bikini, Figure, Physique, Bodybuilding and Fitness. Trying to decide which division you should enter will depend on your physique, development and goals. Each division emphasizes different levels of conditioning, sizes and styles. 

Let’s look at each of the main women’s divisions closer to determine which is best for you:

1. BIKINI

The bikini division is by far one of the most popular women’s divisions. Because this bodybuilding division requires less muscular development it appeals to a wider variety of women. It’s perfect for those with the following genetics – small waist, curvy structure and long, shapely legs. 

And the judges are looking for curvy, balanced physiques that have some muscle tone. But also an overall physical appearance and charisma.

Note: Obviously this division applies only to women.

2. FIGURE

The focus of this division is on a developed physique. The goal is to achieve muscular symmetry and proportion. Competitors should have good muscularity, with separation but not excessively lean. This division is best for those with the following genetics – wide shoulders and a small waist. For women if you carry more muscle naturally this is likely the best choice. 

3. PHYSIQUE

The women’s physique division is perfect for those who find it easy to pack on muscle and achieve a higher level of muscle development. Judges look for symmetry, shape, proportion, muscle tone, and poise. 

Competitors will perform a 90-second individual posing routine to music as part of the final judging.

4. BODYBUILDING

This division is for those that love building serious muscle mass. Competitors will be somewhat of a total package with a balance in size, symmetry, and muscularity. This is by far the most difficult division, and it takes a tremendous amount of dedication to build, maintain and perfect your physique and routine. It’s arguably the least popular for women as well due to the perception of the looks the women achieve to enter into this class. 

Only some organizations will include this division.

5. FITNESS

You’ll often find gymnasts, cheerleaders, and dancers within this division – they have the muscle definition strength and have a routine to show off both. Unlike the Figure and Physique division, where your muscles are more for show, the Fitness division is about strength. You’ll perform a unique fitness routine, whether it’s dance, strength moves, or gymnastics to the music of your choice. 

We placed this division as number 5 because it is more than just about physique. 

Related: Top 25 Female Fitness Models to Follow

Like with men, some organizations will have different classes, such as the somewhat newly introduced Wellness division in the IFBB and NPC. More on this below in the respective organizations. 

The 6 Bodybuilding Competitions 

There are six major competitions that we will cover:

  • NPC
  • IFBB
  • WBFF
  • ICN
  • NABBA
  • ANB

Every organization has different goals with different opportunities that will give you an outlet to achieve these goals. When you’re looking to participate in any competitions, you’ll want to learn about their processes, opportunities and choose the best division for your body type and commitment. 

Let’s go over each in-depth…

National Physique Committee, NPC

bodybuilding competitions

The NPC, or the National Physique Committee, is the most well-known amateur bodybuilding organization in the United States. As long as you are a member, you can participate in the competition for bodybuilding, fitness, figure, bikini, and physique.

Many of the athletes will move on to attend a professional IFBB event later in their careers if they’ve been successful in this competition. The NPC’s athletes often appear in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness and Muscular Development, to name a few.

The most popular divisions within the NPC are the Men’s physique and Women’s bikini fitness. Competitors in these two categories often appear in various magazines and marketing campaigns. While the NPC competitions are not for hardcore bodybuilding contests, they celebrate the amateur competitors’ achievements and host many events.

THE NPC MALE CATEGORIES:

Men’s Physique

This is not a bodybuilding competition, but you’ll need proper shape and symmetry with excellent musculature and overall condition. Judges look for personality, confidence, and creativity with posing. 

The following are the weight classes for male competitors:

  • Bantamweight: up to 143 ¼ lbs.
  • Lightweight: over 143 ¼ lbs up to 154 ¼ lbs.
  • Middleweight: over 154 ¼ lbs up to 176 ¼ lbs.
  • Light-Heavyweight: over 176 ¼ lbs up to 198 ¼ lbs.
  • Heavyweight: over 198 ¼ lbs up to 225 ¼ lbs.
  • Super Heavyweight: over 225 ¼ lbs.

Men’s Classic Physique

The Classic Physique is for competitors who have an excellent muscular physique and symmetry. In other words, they should have strong muscle development but not bulky. The judges are looking for marketability and personality, and stage presence is important. 

THE NPC FEMALE CATEGORIES:

Wellness

The Wellness competition is for athletes with more body mass in the hips, glutes, and thigh areas. The upper body is developed but not as developed as the lower body. This competition is about showing off the beauty of the female body and to show more body mass in their hips, glutes, and thighs. 

These are the different weight classes for female competitors:

  • Lightweight: up to 115 lbs.
  • Middleweight: over 115 lbs up to 125 lbs.
  • Light-Heavyweight: over 125 lbs up to 140 lbs.
  • Heavyweight: over 140 lbs.

Figure

The competitors in Figure should have a V shape figure with a small degree of muscle definition. The judges look for symmetry and balance that shows the beauty of each contestant.

Bikini

The Bikini competition is a foundation of muscles that gives shape to the female body – round full glutes, a slight separation between the hamstrings and glutes, and a small amount of roundness in the glutes. The judges are looking for muscularity, condition, symmetry, and balance, as well as presentation.

Women’s Physique

In the Women’s Physique category, women are lean and muscular, with a balance of the upper and lower body in a feminine way. Judges look for symmetry, shape, proportion, muscle tone, marketability, stage presence, and confidence. They’ll wear two-piece suits with V-shaped bottoms, and posing is similar to traditional bodybuilding such as quarter turns.

NPC RULES:

  • Male competitors must wear plain colored suits without fringe or wording.
  • Female competitors must wear two-piece posing suits. Printed designs, fringes, lace, sparkle, and fluorescents are permitted.
  • Posing suits must be V-shaped but not thongs.
  • Competitors can bring their own music. Vulgar lyrics are not accepted.
  • The only jewelry allows wedding bands and earrings. 
  • You must be an American citizen to compete in a US-based NPC contest or at least have a green card.
  • Canadian competitors must be a member of the CPA to participate in a competition.

International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, IFBB

bodybuilding divisions

The International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, or IFBB, was founded in 1946 in Montreal by Ben and Joe Weider. The two brothers wanted to take the sport to the next level. Today IFBB has more than 170 national federations worldwide and holds over 2500 events globally. The competitors with the most success go to the IFBB Hall of Fame. 

This is the professional division. 

Note: The NPC is the amateur division of the IFBB.

IFBB MALE CATEGORIES:

Men’s Physique

This competition is for athletes who prefer a lighter physique through eating clean and weight training. Their physique will be less muscular but be well developed and aesthetically pleasing. They are in excellent condition. The judges are looking for the proper shape and symmetry, with musculature as well as personality and confidence. 

The classes are based solely on height:

  • Class A: up to and including 170 cm
  • Class B: up to and including 173 cm
  • Class C: up to and including 176 cm
  • Class D: up to and including 179 cm
  • Class E: up to and including 182 cm
  • Class F: over 182 cm

Classic Physique

Classic Physique is for men who have taken muscularity and size beyond the level of Men’s Physique, yet not to the extremes of Bodybuilding. Classic Physique will emphasize good size, proportion, symmetry, pleasing lines, and a small waist. Essentially, the focus is on aesthetic qualities with great muscularity and definition.

Here are the different classes based on heigh and weight:

  • Up to and including 168 cm, Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 4 [kg]
  • Up to and including 171 cm, Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 6 [kg]
  • Up to and including 175 cm, Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] -100) + 8 [kg]
  • Up to and including 180 cm, Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] -100) + 11 [kg]
  • Over 180 cm: a) over 180 cm up to & incl. 190 cm: Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] -100) + 13 [kg] ; b) over 190 cm up to & incl. 198 cm: Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 15 [kg] ; c) over 198 cm:  Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 17 [kg]

Bodybuilding

The competitors in this division will train their bodies and muscles for maximum size while maintaining symmetry and balance. The athletes who have mass, muscle details and an excellent balance of physique will be the winners of this competition. The judges are looking for athletes without any weak points.

Here are the classes, which are based solely on weight:

  • Bantamweight: Up to and including 65 kg.
  • Lightweight: Up to and including 70 kg
  • Welterweight: Up to and including 75 kg
  • Middleweight: Up to and including 80 kg
  • Light-Heavyweight: Up to and including 90 kg
  • Heavyweight: Up to and including100 kg
  • Super-Heavyweight: Over 100 kg

Other Divisions:

Classic Bodybuilding

This is for competitors who don’t want to be overdeveloped. These competitors will have a lighter look of a “classic physique”. The judges are looking for physique, body proportions and lines, muscle shape, balance, and routine. You must have excellent muscle shape and definition.

There are five different height categories for this contest:

  • 168 cm
  • 171 cm
  • 175 cm
  • 180 cm
  • over 180 cm

Games Classic Bodybuilding

This contest is for men who are less muscular compared to the Classic Bodybuilding category. Because muscle mass is limited, the judges are paying attention to overall physique and symmetry, and they look for muscle shape and condition, stage presence, and marketability.

Men’s Fitness

In this competition, the competitors will need to show both strength and muscle definition as well as flexibility and confidence. Judges look for an overall balance and strong, well-developed physique with excellent presentation.

This category has four height categories:

  • 170cm
  • 175cm
  • 180cm
  • Over 180cm

BONUS: OLYMPIA

The IFBB selects Olympia contestants based on the highest-placed competitors at various qualifying competitions, which are known as the Olympia Qualifying Season.

As you probably know, the Olympia is for the best of the best in bodybuilding.

The qualifying season for each Olympia runs for a year. It ceases a few months before the competition, which is an annual event.

To qualify for most divisions at the Olympia an IFBB athlete must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Place in the top five in their division at the previous Olympia.
  • Win any of the IFBB qualifying contests.
  • Rank among the top three in total points awarded for second through fifth place at qualifying competitions.

“For certain divisions with more than 25 qualifying competitions, slightly different rules are used: The previous Olympia winner is automatically qualified, plus the winner of each qualifying competition and the top five in total points.

The IFBB Professional League also has the discretion to extend special invitations to other competitors. ” – Wikipedia. 

This applies for both men and women divisions.  

IFBB FEMALE CATEGORIES:

Women Fitness

The competitors in this division have an overall athletic physique and less musculature. There are only two height categories – up to 163 cm and over 163 cm. Judges look for an athletic physique, strength and condition, confidence, and stage presence. 

Women Body Fitness

The competitors need to have a symmetrical athletic appearance for this competition, with a small amount of body fat. There are four body height categories – 158 cm, 163 cm, 168 cm, and over 168 cm. The judges are looking for a balanced physique, overall muscle development, confidence, and stage presence.

Women’s Bikini-Fitness

The competitors in this category are usually not bulky, however, they will need to have a nice body definition with some musculature. This competition is for women who stay in shape by eating healthy and weight lifting.

There are eight height categories for this competition:

  • 158 cm
  • 160 cm
  • 162 cm
  • 164 cm
  • 166 cm
  • 169 cm
  • 172 cm
  • Over 172 cm

Women’s Physique

The female athletes in this division will have an aesthetically pleasing bodybuilding-style body while still looking feminine. The two categories for this division are – up to 163 cm and over 163 cm. Judges look for a well-balanced and symmetrical athletic physique. As well as stage presence and confidence.

Women’s Wellness Fitness

In this category, women can have a muscular physique that’s bulkier than the other categories and have four different categories:

  • Up to 158 cm
  • Up to 163 cm
  • Up to 168 cm
  • Over 168 cm

Other divisions:

Mixed Pairs

In this category, women participating in the female physique or female fitness category can compete with a male partner performing in a male bodybuilder competition. The judges are looking for symmetry, muscle size, definition, and skin tone. And will judge the couples based on how they complement each other’s physiques.

Children Fitness

This is the only sports division for children no older than 16 years old. Judges look for athletic performance, stage confidence, and personality. The more creativity used to display personality, the better the advantage for the competitor.

The age categories are broken down as follows for girls:

  • Up to 7 years
  • Up to 8 years
  • Up to 9 years
  • Up to 10 years
  • Up to 11 years
  • Up to 12
  • Up to 13 years
  • 14-15 years

The age categories are broken down as follows for boys:

  • Up to 7 years
  • 8-9 years
  • 10-11 years
  • 12-13 years
  • 14-15 years old

IFBB RULES:

  • Athletes must have an IFBB international card and be of the country they are representing to participate in an IFBB competition.
  • You cannot represent two countries in the same year.
  • Athletes must obtain approval from their national federation to participate in the competition.
  • No competitor is allowed to contact the organizer directly.
  • All competitors must go to the official athlete registration before the show.
  • All athletes must present a valid IFBB international card, a passport, a citizenship card, and a music CD during registration.
  • You can choose any music, but it cannot contain any vulgar or offensive lyrics.

World Beauty Fitness and Fashion, WBFF

physique competitions

Professional athlete Paul Dillett founded the WBFF, or World Beauty Fitness and Fashion. And because a professional athlete created this bodybuilding organization, it offers competitors the ability to grow through marketing opportunities with music, fashion, beauty, and fitness. 

But that’s not all. They also provide support for their partners to promote health, fashion, and entertainment as well. Because of their connections, athletes get sponsorships and marketing opportunities, and the events are more like fitness shows, with the best muscle models, both males, and females.

The WBFF has been raising the industry’s standards with professionalism and honesty to reach the next level in bodybuilding competitions. They don’t want to be just a fitness organization.

THE WBFF MALE CATEGORIES: 

Muscle Model

The Male Muscle Model category judges athletes who are too muscular to be in the Fitness Model category but don’t have the muscle mass of a bodybuilder. And there are no weight limitations for this category, and they are judged on their physique, symmetry, conditioning, and muscle definition. 

When on stage, the muscle models will perform a T-walk for both the preliminary and final shows and will be required to perform quarter turns for the judges. 

Male Fitness Model

The men’s fitness models category is judged on their symmetry, tone, and athletic physique. They’ll need good poise and posture with a masculine appeal. Competitors can wear plain or patterned square-cut shorts.

Transformation Division

The Transformation Division is for those transitioning into a healthier lifestyle and not ready for the advanced division. In order to participate in this division, you’ll need before and after photos and a brief bio about your personal journey to a healthier life. 

THE WBFF FEMALE CATEGORIES:

Diva Wellness

Diva Wellness is for competitors whose lower body physique is more developed. It’s focused on muscle and tone, and judges are looking for overall beauty and marketability. 

Diva Bikini Model

The Diva Bikini Model is a beauty contest for females with exceptional tone definition and slightly muscular looks. There is an over 35 years class. The judges are looking for a lean and firm physique that is scored on proportion, symmetry, balance, shape, and skin tone. Beauty and marketability are looked for as well. 

Diva Fitness Model

The Diva Fitness Model is for female competitors that have more muscle tone and definition than the Diva Bikini Model and less muscle or definition than a Figure competitor. The judges are looking for a classy feminine with athletic physiques, great marketability, and confidence on the stage.

Diva Figure Model

The Diva Figure Model is a blend of fitness and bodybuilding – shoulders, back, quads, and glutes with a small waist. If you have more muscle and definition than fitness models or Diva Bikini, then the Diva Figure Model competition is for you. The judges look for symmetry, presentation, marketability, incredible physique, and excellent stage presence.

Commercial Models

Commercial Models are for competitors between the ages of 17 to 45. This specialized branch of modeling can be especially lucrative. The judges look for beauty and marketability. The winners will pose for well-known magazines.

WBFF RULES:

  • All competitors are required to use the official WBFF Beauty Service and official WBFF tanning service to participate.
  • Models must wear shoes that are in line with the WBFF brand and compliment them. Clear stilettos are not allowed.
  • You must be 18 years or older to compete in any WBFF category.
  • Contestants are not allowed to invite guests backstage.
  • No alcohol is allowed at the shows.
  • First-time competitors will need to attend the WBFF amateur competition.
  • WBFF requires approval of all props and costumes before the competition.

International Competition Network, ICN

types of bodybuilding

The International Competition Network, or ICN, was initially created with a world-class level in mind back in the ’90s. Today they run about 40 competitions each year. However, their focus isn’t just about running events; it’s also about educating young people about being healthy. The goal of the organization is to help athletes naturally develop their physique.  

With eight independent state organizations, ICN is still one of the most critical Australian bodybuilding organizations. 

ICN MALE DIVISIONS:

Fitness Model

Fitness Model competitions are more along the lines of a beauty contest rather than a bodybuilding competition. The competitors need to present themselves professionally as a model. Judges look for symmetry, body competition, stature, poise, and charisma, as well as marketability.

Men’s Physique

The competitors in Men’s Physique should be well developed with a muscular upper body that places emphasis on broad, round shoulders and a small waist. The judges are looking for symmetry, muscularity, stage presence, confidence, tan, and presence. 

Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding competitors in this competition will have large muscle groups, with great definition between the muscle groups. The judges are looking for vascularity, symmetry, and a well-balanced physique with excellent stage presence.

ICN FEMALE DIVISIONS:

Bikini Model

The competitors in this competition will have a softer body but have a nice toned body with enough body fat that there is no clear six-pack and muscle separation. The women will be judged on emphasis on shape, symmetry, toned condition, stage confidence, and presence. 

Ms. Runway

The competitors are fit and healthy and perform in an evening gown. They are being judged on overall appearance, presentation, elegance, beauty, and confidence. 

Sports Model

The athlete in this division will have excellent muscular development from head to toe. Good tone and condition to show muscle separation and be less lean than a fitness competitor. The judges are looking for an overall model appearance, symmetry, fullness in muscle groups, stage presence, and confidence.

Swimwear Model

The competitors in this category will be in a one-piece outfit to showcase their bodies—a nice toned body without muscle separation or six pack abs. The judges are looking for beauty, symmetry, body composition, stage presence, and confidence. 

Angels

The Angels division is for all female competitors – Bikini, Fitness, and Figure competitors. In this division, competitors are able to express their personalities through creative ways, need to display confidence, and have excellent body composition. They are being judged on a combination of beauty and presentation. 

Fitness Model

Competitors in this category have developed muscularity with balance in the upper and lower body, and they will be less muscular than a figure competitor and lean. The judges are looking for a balance of beauty and musculature, along with six-packs, stage presence, and confidence. 

Classic Figure

This division is open to both Fitness and Figure competitors. The women in this division will be muscular and lean, and they will need to have a creative presentation. The judges are looking for overall symmetry, balance, and excellent stage presentation. 

Figure

This competition is open to both Fitness and Figure competitors and has to show a feminine side with a muscular and lean body. The judges are looking for symmetry, less bulk, good body structure, and stage presentation.

Bodybuilding

In this category, the competitors will have the bulk and muscle definition to showcase their musculature. Judges look for an excellent tone, symmetry, and body structure.

ICN RULES:

  • You can choose any color or design for the dress, and there are no restrictions.
  • All competitors must be Australian citizens or have a residency visa.
  • Any competitor with muscle implants or injections cannot participate.
  • Same-day entries are not allowed. You must enter the day before.
  • You must be a member of the organization to participate in the competition.
  • The minimum age for all competitors, regardless of the category, is 15 years old.
  • Athletes must be in the top 5 of any ICN contest to compete.

National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association, NABBA

bodybuilding classes

The National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association, NABBA, was created in 1948 and is one of the original competitive bodybuilding associations. Competitors come from all around the world to compete for the title Mr. and Ms Universe. Legends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Pearl, and Reg Park competed in the NABBA.

NABBA MALE COMPETITIONS:

Men’s Sports Shorts

Competitors in this category need to be defined with abs but not a bulky physique. This is more like a beauty contest rather than a bodybuilding competition, and the judges are looking for a well toned body composition and symmetry. 

Men’s Bodybuilding

Competitors will have an overall muscular development and weigh a maximum of 80kg to participate. The judges are looking for symmetry of body composition and equal development of body parts.

NABBA FEMALE COMPETITIONS:

Miss Bikini

In this competition, the women competitors will wear a one or two-piece bikini with a natural tan that shows off their physique. The judges are looking for musculature, beauty, and personality.

Miss Toned Figure

Miss Toned Figure is more of a beauty contest, and competitors should not have too much musculature and should allude confidence in their presentation on stage. The judges are looking for an athletic figure, balance, and symmetry. 

Miss Athletic Figure

For this competition, athletic and feminine women compete. Competitors should have muscle definition and low body fat, and the judges are looking for a healthy balance and musculature.

Miss Trained Figure

The competitors must have a trained look with a feminine shape, and they will have low body fat without being too developed or defined that it takes away from their femininity. The judges are looking for musculature, beauty, and well-balanced body definition.

NABBA RULES:

  • You must be a member of the NABBA to compete. 
  • Competitors can only compete in one contest.
  • To qualify as a junior competitor, you must be 20 years old.
  • Senior athletes must be over 45.
  • Competitors are permitted to use tanning color.
  • Unsportsmanlike behavior will lead to disqualification.

The Australian Natural Bodybuilding Federation, ANB

fitness and figure competition

The Australian Natural Bodybuilding Federation, ANB, was created in 1983 by Robert Powel. He had a passion for strength training. The goal of this organization is to raise the standards of bodybuilding, health, and fitness. They offer support to the athletes with sponsorships and marketing opportunities. One of ANBs focuses is giving the athletes the ability to build a legacy of their own by giving them maximum exposure through their shows.

ANB MALE CATEGORIES:

Fitness Model

The competitors in this category will have a little muscle definition, and they will not be as bulky as the classic bodybuilders. The judges are looking for a muscular body that has an athletic physique.

There are five different divisions:

  • Novice
  • Under 25
  • Over 25
  • Over 35
  • Open

Physique Model

The competitors in this category will wear European trunks to show off their muscles. This is more about beauty, but the judges are looking for a well-balanced physique. Competitors will have more muscles than within the fitness model category.

There are five different divisions:

  • Novice
  • Under 25
  • Over 25
  • Over 35
  • Open

Bodybuilding

The competitors should have well-defined muscularity and a six pack. The judges are looking for muscle definition, condition, symmetry, shape, and presentation. 

There are ten different divisions to choose from:

  • Novice
  • Teen
  • Junior under 22
  • Masters +40
  • Under 65kg
  • Under 70kg
  • Under 80kg
  • Under 90kg
  •  Over 90kg
  • Open

ANB FEMALE CATEGORIES:

Swimsuit International

This competition is open to all bikini and fitness models, and competitors are required to wear a one-piece swimsuit. Competitors should have muscle definition, tone, and athleticism. The judges are looking for symmetry, excellent stage presentation, and posing. 

Bikini Model

The competitors will need to be in excellent shape, demonstrate symmetry and stable conditions. The judges are looking for beauty, musculature, confidence, and stage presence.

Here are the five divisions:

  • Novice
  • Under 25
  • Over 25
  • Over 35
  • Open

Fitness Model

Competitors will have an athletic appearance with a full six-pack and X-shape physique. The judges are looking for confidence, stage presence, and a more athletic physique compared to the other female categories.

This category has five divisions:

  • Novice
  • Under 25
  • Over 25
  • Over 35
  • Open

Female Figure

The competitors in this category will have good muscle definition but not look like professional bodybuilders. Judges look for symmetry, musculature, condition, excellent stage presence, and body shape.

There are six divisions in this category:

  • Novice
  • Under 25
  • Over 25
  • Over 35
  • Masters +40
  • Open

Theme Wear

Theme Wear is open to all female models; this category is about showing your personality through creativity. The judges are looking for creative costumes and props to show off in a fun way that compliments their physique.

Female Physique

This competition is open to all female competitors and models that have muscularity. This division has the most muscle mass. Competitors can show off how strong they are in this category. The judges are looking for symmetry, shape, condition, and presentation. 

ANB RULES:

  • In order to compete in any category, you must first win either an ANB national/Pro-AM event or a DFAC world event.
  • Pro cards are valid for 12 months and enable you to participate. The renewal of the card is $175.
  • It will cost $350 for an athlete to participate in a show.
  • It will cost $250 for amateurs to compete.
  • Competitors of an ANB Pro may be invited to shows to make a guest appearance.
  • ANB supports natural bodybuilders and has a strong anti-drug policy.

In Conclusion

Deciding to compete in any division or competition is a big decision that comes with a significant amount of commitment. Understanding your goals, level of commitment, and abilities is essential to making the right decision. 

Here are few factors that you’ll want to take into consideration when trying to choose the proper bodybuilding division and competition, 

Your body type.  Your body type is important to take into consideration when choosing a division, especially if you have limited time to prepare. But just because your genetics is better for one division doesn’t mean you can only enter that division. If you have a reasonable amount of time to prepare, you can select any division that you want. 

How much time you’re able to commit? Training, nutrition, posing practice, wardrobe, and appearance require commitment every single day. Each category requires different levels of commitment – training for a bikini competition is easier than physique or fitness. The bodybuilder division requires the most commitment between training and extra practice sessions.

Do you enjoy performing? If you like being in the spotlight, choosing a division that has greater opportunities for posing might be the best option for you. Figure and physique both offer you the opportunity to perform a routine.

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