Competition Federations Explained?

NPF, IFBB, WBFF, OPA, NPC, NANBF, IFPA….All of these letters in the world of competition can be overwhelming and down right confusing! What do they mean, and how do I know which one to choose?

Each federation has their own set of rules and requirements regarding what they expect from their competitors. This includes but is not limited to competition suits, suit style and cut, shoes, body composition, drug testing/no testing and much more. Each federation tends to sanction their own competition events as well. 

With all of these factors, this can make finding the right show for you in your area really frustrating. And unfortunately there isn't any one website source that lists all the shows and their rules. If you want to find out more about each federation and their requirements, you will have to go to each federations’ website and research.

So, if you didn't already feel like you had a lot on your plate with prepping, now you have to make sure you understand which show to enter. Also, you are going to have to consider what you want your road to becoming a "Pro" to look like. You will need to qualify and/or compete in shows that are awarding pro cards. The road to getting that "Pro" card and becoming a Pro is going to be a little different from one federation to another federation. Once you do obtain your "Pro" card,  you are only going to be considered a pro in that federation you competed in and can compete in shows that accept that particular federation you are a pro in.

Professional and Amateur Federations

Below is a list of a just a few well known amateur and pro competition federations. Information on the federation, schedules of shows, memberships and rules will be provided on their websites. 

NPC –  National Physique Committee (Amateur)
IFBB –  International Federation of Bodybuilding  (Pro)
WBFF –  World Beauty Fitness and Fashion (Amateur & Pro)
NANBF –  North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation  (Amateur)
IPE-  Internation Pro Elite (Pro)
OCB –  Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders (Amateur & Pro)
INBF –  International Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness  (Amateur)
WNBF –  World Natural Bodybuilding Federation (Pro)
ANBF –  American Natural Bodybuilding Federation  (Amateur & Pro)
SNBF –  Super Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness  (Amateur & Pro)
USBF –  United States Bodybuilding Federation  (Amateur & Pro)
UFE – Ultimate Fitness Events (Amateur & Pro)
NGA –  National Gym Association (Amateur & Pro)
ABA/INBA/PNBA  - Presents Natural Olympia

  • ABA –   Amateur Bodybuilding Association
  • INBA –  International Natural Bodybuilding Association
  • PNBA –  Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (Pro)

WPA - World Physique Alliance (Pro)
DFAC –  Drug Free Athletes Coalition  (Amateur & Pro)
WBFF –  World Beauty Fitness and Fashion (Amateur & Pro)
NPA –  Natural Physique Association (Amateur & Pro)
NMA – Natural Muscle Association (Amateur & Pro)

 Fitness America Tour (Amateur & Pro)


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