After working hard to develop your muscles, you may wonder how you stack up against other bodybuilders that are about your same age, height, and weight. Competing against other bodybuilders will allow you to better measure your success and can also help you with setting goals. Here are a few bodybuilding competitions you should consider entering.
National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA)
Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association hosts competitions around the country, providing a number of categories for men, women, and couples. You may register as an amateur contestant so long as you have not previously competed for prize money in any other sanctioned bodybuilding competition. If you place fifth or better in a state or regional competition, you will then be eligible to compete at the national level. Athletes are tested for illegal substances, and those found in violation will be banned from competing for three years.
National Gym Association (NGA)
The National Gym Association is actually a non-profit organization that is dedicated to natural, drug-free athletes. Proceeds raised from their bodybuilding competitions go toward developing certified personal trainers who will carry on their drug-free tradition. They offer amateur and professional competitions in a variety of categories, including natural bodybuilding, men’s physique, and women’s figure and bikini. NGA promoters also host seminars designed to help you develop your stage presence, something that is especially helpful before your first competition.
International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB)
According to its website, the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness is looking for athletes who have well-developed body parts that are in balance and harmony with one another. They also desire bodybuilders with as little fat as possible. There are ten bodybuilding categories for men based upon weight, in addition to a “classic bodybuilding” category for men who do not want to develop extreme muscles. There is also a women’s fitness category where females are judged on strength, flexibility, poise, and grace in addition to their physical attributes. Couples may enter the mixed pairs event, where they will perform choreographed routines that include the usual bodybuilding poses.
Naturally Fit contestants must undergo a rigorous screening process that includes a polygraph exam. Individuals must also be able to prove they have been drug free for at least seven years. The organization provides an extensive list of legal and illegal substances that are prohibited, including growth hormones, anabolic steroids, stimulants, and marijuana. Categories include men and women’s physique, bikini, figure, open bodybuilding, and novice bodybuilding. Masters classes for those 40 and over and 50 and over are included, as is a teen class for those age 19 and under.
Competing in bodybuilding competitions can be fun, and will also give you a definite goal to strive for. Make plans now to enter one or more of the above contests so that you can begin adjusting your training regimen accordingly. With the right combination of hard work and luck, you too could become a bodybuilding champion.