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List Of All Major Contests

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Many bodybuilding competitions take place in different regions around the world and you can never keep track of all of them. To ease your problem, we have a bodybuilding competitions list that’ll help you stay updated with every major contest that is scheduled to take place in 2024.

There are various bodybuilding organizations such as the IFBB Pro League, NPC, NABBA, and others. They organize exciting contests and fests every year. As a bodybuilding fan, especially if you’ve recently developed a liking for this sport, it could be exhausting to know about every key contest that is taking place.

We have simplified everything in this post. Just go through it and you’ll know about all the important bodybuilding competitions for both men and women.

Bodybuilding Competitions List by Organizers:

There are several major organizations in bodybuilding with the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB Pro League) leading the global events chart. It’s the key organization that takes care of two of the biggest bodybuilding fests every year, Mr. Olympia and the Arnold Classic.

After IFBB, there is the National Physique Committee (NPC). It is the most renowned bodybuilding organization for amateurs and rookies. Participants in NPC competitions are often seen at the IFBB stages later in their careers. NABBA (National Amateur Body-Builders Association) is another organization for amateurs. It organizes the competitions for Mr. and Ms. Universe.

World Beauty Fitness and Fashion (WBFF) is another major organization that holds global events every year. Finally, there is the International/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA/PNBA) which is the IFBB equivalent for natural bodybuilders. It organizes events only for natty builders.

Most of these organizations offer similar divisions for both men and women. Men have divisions like the Men’s Physique, Classic Physique, and Bodybuilding. Meanwhile, women have divisions such as the Bikini, Figure, Physique, Bodybuilding, and Fitness/ Wellness.

Let’s move further and take a look at the bodybuilding competitions listed by these organizations.

International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB):

The International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, or IFBB Pro League was established in 1946 in Montreal by Ben and Joe Weider. It holds over 2500 events across the globe every year managed by its more than 170 national federations. Here are the key global events organized by the IFBB Pro League:

Mr. Olympia: It is the world’s most prestigious professional bodybuilding competition which features the biggest professional bodybuilders from around the world. The contest is held annually and grants the world champion of the sport. There are different categories for both men and women at Olympia.

Arnold Classic: It is the second biggest competition in professional bodybuilding. The winner of the Arnold Classic is given direct entry to compete at the following Olympia.

Masters Olympia: It is the biggest bodybuilding competition for the legends of the sport who want to compete in the later stages of their careers. Retired and aged bodybuilders compete for the coveted trophy at this event. Only the competitors aged 40 or above participate in it.

Mr. Big Evolution Pro: It is the biggest IFBB Pro League bodybuilding competition in Europe.

Arnold Classic UK: It is the second biggest IFBB Pro League bodybuilding event in Europe.

Masters Pro World Championship: This competition features the world’s top IFBB Pro Masters competitors.

IFBB National Championship: The IFBB Pro League has 203 nationally affiliated members and organizes a regional event for them every year.

Finally, there is the IFBB Hall of Fame, which is for the legends of the sport and the most successful competitors in bodybuilding.

National Physique Committee (NPC):

The National Physique Committee, or NPC, is the amateur division of the IFBB. It’s the biggest amateur bodybuilding organization in the United States. It holds annual events for amateurs to showcase their physique and make it to the big stage later. Here are the key events that NPC organizes:

NPC National Championship: The NPC National Championship, also known as the National Qualifier, is the last stepping stone for amateurs before they turn professional. The NPC holds national competitions in various countries to allow rookie bodybuilders a chance to turn pro and compete at the Olympia.

Amateur Olympia: The NPC also organizes Amateur Olympia, which is the equivalent of Mr. Olympia for amateurs. The winner of the Amateur Olympia gets a direct entry at the following Olympia competition.

Arnold Amateur: The Arnold Amateur is the equivalent of the Arnold Classic but for amateurs. The winner of the event is granted a direct entry to compete at the Arnold Classic.

World Amateur Bodybuilding Championship: The IFBB replaced the Mr. Universe with the World Amateur Bodybuilding Championship. NPC organizes the event every year.

Some other key contests organized by the NPC include:

  • NPC MuscleContest
  • NPC Iron City Classic
  • NPC Southern Muscle

National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association (NABBA):

The National Amateur Body-Builders’ Association, or NABBA, was established in 1948. It is one of the oldest bodybuilding associations which are still active. Here are the key competitions organized by the NABBA every year:

  • NABBA Universe
  • NABBA World
  • NABBA UK (Britain)
  • NABBA Area Shows
  • NABBA US National Championship

World Beauty Fitness and Fashion (WBFF):

World Beauty Fitness and Fashion, famous as the WBFF, was founded in 2007 by Paul Dillett a.k.a “Freak-Einstein.” The organization is known to combine the glamour of a beauty pageant with the thrill of a bodybuilding event. Here are the key bodybuilding events organized by the WBFF for both men and women:

  • WBFF World Championship (WBFF Worlds)
  • WBFF Universe
  • WBFF Regional Championship
  • WBFF Amateur Worlds
  • WBFF Fashion and Model Spectacular

International/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA/PNBA):

The International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) or the Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) is the equivalent of IFBB Pro League/NPC for natural bodybuilders. This federation organizes annual bodybuilding events only for natural athletes with strict drug testing.

Here is the bodybuilding competitions list of the INBA/PNBA held annually:

Natural Olympia: It is the biggest natural bodybuilding competition in the world. As the name suggests, it’s the equivalent of Mr. Olympia for drug-free competitors.

INBA/PNBA World Cup: It is the World Championship for natural bodybuilders that allows them a spot to compete at the Natural Olympia. The federation promotes shows across the globe in 67 countries.

INBA/PNBA Classic: It is the equivalent of the Arnold Classic for natural bodybuilders.

National Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship: It is a regional/national tournament for aspiring natural bodybuilders. The federation organizes Pro Qualifiers before the main card.

Similar to the IFBB Pro League, INBA and PNBA also have a Hall of Fame for the natural legends.

Final Thoughts:

These are all the major bodybuilding contests that take place regularly. We have covered all the major organizations including professional, amateur, and natural ones. This is the only bodybuilding competition list that you need to keep track of if you’re an enthusiastic fan or an aspiring contestant.

Almost every bodybuilding competition mentioned in this list has various categories for both men and women. Some of them also have specialized categories for teenagers and disabled competitors. You will always find the biggest names and your favorites performing at these competitions.

That’s all for this guide. Stay tuned for more such posts. Let us know if you have any doubts or queries.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many bodybuilding competitions are there?:

There are thousands of bodybuilding competitions taking place annually around the world. The IFBB itself organizes over 2,500 contests every year in more than 170 countries. It’s nearly impossible to stay updated with every bodybuilding competition taking place in every corner of the planet.

What is the highest competition in bodybuilding?:

Mr. Olympia, organized by the IFBB Pro League, is the biggest bodybuilding competition in the world. First held in 1965, the contest has been running for nearly 60 years but there are only 18 winners. The greatest bodybuilding legends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman, Phil Heath, Dorian Yates, etc, have competed at the Olympia.

How many types of bodybuilding competitions are there?:

There are six major types of bodybuilding competitions including Men’s Physique, Classic Physique, Open Bodybuilding, Women’s Physique, Fitness, and Figure. These are the key categories that are available at almost every credible bodybuilding event.

Is there a bodybuilding competition for kids?:

Yes, the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) organizes the World Children’s Fitness Competition every year. It has seven divisions including Fitness Boys (up to 12 years), Fitness Boys (13-15 years), Fitness Girls (up to 7 years), and more.