Bodybuilding can be dated back to the 1890s with Mr. Eugen Sandow, whom the Mr. Olympia statue is modelled after. Sandow bridged the gap between weightlifting and aesthetics and the first bodybuilding show was staged in 1891!
In 1946, the IFBB Professional League (“IFBB Pro League”) was founded by Ben and Joe Weider and now the current President of the IFBB Pro League is Jim Manion and Vice President Tyler Manion.
Bodybuilding competitions today encompass 6 women’s divisions: Bodybuilding, Women’s Physique, Fitness, Figure, Wellness, and Bikini and 3 men’s divisions: Men’s Physique, Classic Physique, and Bodybuilding.
Athletes will train and diet for over 12 weeks to step on stage to be scored by a judging panel. Most shows are broken into two sessions; Pre-judging and Finals. Pre-judging is the morning session where all the judging happens and the judges compare the physiques against each other. Finals is the night show where competitors learn their placing in their division and receive their medals and trophies. If you are the best in the entire division, you will claim the “Overall Title” in that division of the show.
The world’s top bodybuilding federations include the National Physique Committee (NPC) and the International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB) Pro League. The NPC is the amateur federation where there are three types of competitions (Regional, National Qualifier, and Pro Qualifier). An NPC Regional show awards all divisions an Overall Title, but no qualifications. An NPC National Qualifier awards all divisions Top 2 competitors a national qualification to head to a Pro Qualifier where they then can compete to become and IFBB Professional.
Once an NPC Amateur competitor turns into an IFBB Pro, they move into the IFBB Pro League where they compete towards earning a spot on the Olympia Stage. The Olympia is the Superbowl of Bodybuilding where the best professional bodybuilding athletes across the world compete to gain the title of Mr. or Ms. Olympia.
Want to learn on how to choose the best NPC and IFBB Pro Show? Click Here!