Bodybuilding Competitions 101: A Guide to the Different Types of Contests

Bodybuilding competitions showcase the physical aesthetics, muscular development, and overall physique of athletes. These competitions provide a platform for bodybuilders to display their hard work, dedication, and disciplined training. Here are some common types of bodybuilding competitions:

1. Bodybuilding (Open Class)

Bodybuilding is the most well-known and traditional category in bodybuilding competitions. In the open class category, competitors are judged on their overall muscle size, symmetry, definition, and stage presence. Men and women compete separately, and they perform a series of mandatory poses to showcase their physique to the judges.

2. Classic Physique

Classic Physique is a category that blends elements of traditional bodybuilding with a focus on a more proportionate and aesthetic physique. Competitors in the Classic Physique category are required to have a smaller overall size compared to open bodybuilding, with a specific emphasis on achieving a classic and timeless look inspired by the golden era of bodybuilding.

3. Men’s Physique

Men’s Physique is a category that emphasizes muscle definition, aesthetics, and overall conditioning. Competitors in this category have a more beach-body appearance, with less emphasis on muscle size and extreme conditioning. Men’s Physique competitors wear board shorts and perform a series of poses that showcase their upper body, lower body, and overall stage presence.

4. Women’s Physique

Women’s Physique is a category that combines muscularity, symmetry, and femininity. Competitors in this category showcase well-defined muscularity, but not to the extreme level seen in bodybuilding. Women’s Physique competitors perform a series of mandatory poses that highlight their muscle development, overall physique, and stage presence.

5. Bikini

Bikini is a category that focuses on a fit and toned physique with an emphasis on overall body shape, symmetry, and stage presence. Competitors in the Bikini category have a softer appearance compared to other categories, with less muscle definition and size. They wear two-piece swimsuits and perform a series of poses that highlight their physique, confidence, and presentation.

6. Figure

Figure is a category that combines muscularity, symmetry, and overall body conditioning. Competitors in the Figure category have more muscle definition and size compared to Bikini competitors. They showcase a balanced and proportionate physique with well-developed shoulders, back, arms, and legs. Figure competitors perform a series of mandatory poses that highlight their physique, stage presence, and overall presentation.

It’s important to note that the specific categories and divisions in bodybuilding competitions may vary depending on the organization or federation hosting the event. Each category has its own criteria and guidelines for judging, and competitors must adhere to the specific rules and regulations of the competition they participate in.