Competitive bodybuilding continues to generate a following. Every year, thousands embark upon the journey towards physical and mental improvement, chalking hands and hours in gyms worldwide. Some progress to better health and confidence. Others take their physical development to the next level, gracing some of the IFBB’s prestigious events.
Over the years, the bikini division has gained a following amongst women looking to compete on a grander stage. An alternative to women’s open bodybuilding, the bikini division has grown in popularity for both spectators and female athletes looking for a chance at an IFBB Pro Card.
Many of these competitions take place year-round. With so many taking place, it may be tough to see which one is worth checking out or preparing for.
This year, the IFBB and the NPC have organized these six bikini competition events. These competitions are the ones to watch for any women’s physique enthusiast. For the athletes, trophies, cash prizes, and the experience of top-tier competition are up for grabs.
What Does “IFBB” Stand For?
Bodybuilding and physique are sports that have grown internationally. Since they’re international sports, there needs to be a committee or overseeing body. This international body has to decide on the rules and regulations under which athletes will be competing. This international body is the IFBB.
IFBB stands for the International Federation of Bodybuilding. The IFBB has been the world authority on bodybuilding, physique, and bikini competitions. The IFBB is the brainchild of Ben and Joe Weider. Together, the two brothers founded the IFBB in Canada and since then have been the honored Founding Fathers of the federation.
The IFBB — sometimes in tandem with the National Physique Committee (NPC) — has several responsibilities. Of course, one is to promote the sport of bodybuilding to a wider audience. The other responsibilities include organizing events (like the six IFBB bikini competition events in this list). The IFBB also ensures that every athlete taking part in its events plays by the rules.
The IFBB also has non-competition-related responsibilities. One of them is research. The IFBB has a library of research accessible to all who visit the main site. The IFBB compiles research on muscle building, health, fitness, and weight training.
All in all, the IFBB exists to promote bodybuilding through its events. Moreover, the international governing body of the sport does this alongside fulfilling other responsibilities that allow bodybuilding and its disciplines to progress.
What Are the IFBB and NPC’s Rules for Bikini Competition Events?
Usually, both the IFBB and NPC have similar rules for judging the winners of bikini competition events — or any bodybuilding or physique competition for that matter.
Before the details, it has to be clear that the rules in this section will be specifically for the bikini category. Also, the rules will apply to pro-level NPC and IFBB bikini competition events.
Judges will appraise the physiques of competitors based on the following criteria: muscularity, symmetry, conditioning, and performance.
Here’s a more detailed discussion of what these four criteria mean in the bikini event:
There’s a difference between the women’s physique and bikini categories or disciplines. The former necessitates muscular size and density whereas the latter places more importance on shape.
In other words, yes, athletes need to be muscular in this category. However, athletes need to be muscular, but only to the point where it gives shape to the female body. To score points for muscularity, there should be sufficient muscle tone to accentuate the chest, glutes, and hips.
If the muscles are seen to be too large or dense, a contestant will have a lower chance of winning — at least for muscularity in bikini.
Other than toned muscles, bikini athletes also need to be balanced in terms of their musculature. By balance, we mean bilateral symmetry. This means that the arms and legs need to be proportioned as regards the visibility of muscles.
Another part of the body that needs to be well-balanced is the abdominal region. The abdominal muscles should be visible but not to the point of graininess or having excessive striations.
The definition, size, and shape of the abdominal region relative to other parts of the body are crucial to this next judging criterion.
An easy way to think of conditioning is that it’s leanness. In particular, it’s the contour and definition of the abdominal region. A well-conditioned core presents itself as being visibly smaller than the breast area, the glutes, and the waist, thereby giving that “hourglass” figure.
The performance of a bikini competitor comes under the judge’s eyes during posing routines. The posing includes the model walk and the posing proper. The NPC has rules about the correct poses for the bikini event. The correct poses include the front pose, side pose, and back pose.
Competitors may not use poses from other disciplines or categories like physique. These prohibited poses include any pose where one hand is on the sides with the opposite arm’s elbow bent.
Instead, one hand may be on the side with the other hand straight down.
According to the NPC and IFBB”s rules, any two-piece swimsuit is acceptable for events. These need to be tasteful and pass the inspection of IFBB or NPC officials before the start of an event.
Competitors also need to wear high heels on stage. These must also pass the check-in inspection of IFBB and NPC officials.
Any attire found different on stage from the check-in inspection will result in an instant disqualification. In such a situation, an official will direct an erring competitor off the stage.
The Top 6 IFBB Bikini Competition Events for 2022
The IFBB along with the NPC has organized these six bikini competition events. These events will showcase the hard work put in by the events’ competitors on their way to getting an IFBB Pro Card.
All events in this list are pro events meaning that winners take home cash prizes. Most importantly, several of these competitions are invitation-only. In other words, competitors need a competition contract from the IFBB to compete. Luckily, there are events on this list that aspiring athletes will be able to register for.
Here are the best IFBB-organized events worth checking out or competing in this 2022:
The IFBB kicks off April with an event featuring the bodybuilding world’s most recognized bikini competitors. The city of Orlando, Florida will play host to the 2022 IFBB Pro League World Klash Pro Bikini competition.
This prestigious IFBB competition will take place on April 2, 2022, with up to $12,000 worth of cash prizes and IFBB pride on the line. Cash prizes go to the top six winners of the event. More importantly, on the line is a chance to qualify for this year’s Joe Weidman Olympia.
Both the NPC and IFBB are at the helm of this highly-awaited event. For anyone looking to get a taste of pro-grade competition in the bikini division, this is the event to be at.
This year, the IFBB continues the second competitive quarter of 2022 with the IFBB Pro League Charlotte Pro Open Bikini Competition. This is a two-day event, starting on April 15, 2022, with the final half of the competition taking place the day after.
The IFBB Pro League Charlotte Pro Open Bikini will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, under the organization of IFBB Pro Cardholder, Johnny Stewart. The event will award $10,000 worth of cash prizes.
The event will also include the master’s division. Hence, more seasoned competitors will have a chance to jock for position alongside other pro competitors above 35.
This is an event worth checking out for anyone in this part of North Carolina.
Optimum Classic has been one of the leading bodybuilding and physique event organizers in the country. This year, Optimum Classic brings athletes together for the 2022 IFBB Pro League Optimum Classic Pro Bikini Open.
The 2022 Classic Optimum Pro Bikini Open is IFBB-sanctioned, giving competitors at the event a chance to qualify for the IFBB and NPC Nationals. Also, a total of $4,500 in cash prizes are up for grabs.
The event will be in Shreveport, Louisiana, and will take place on the 21st of May 2022. Unlike many pro-grade events, athletes can register.
July 9, 2022, will be the date of this year’s IFBB Pro League Republic of Texas Pro Bikini competition. Sanctioned by the IFBB and NPC, the event will take place in Austin, Texas. The Fairmont Hotel will be the venue for the event.
$6,000 worth of cash prizes awaits the winners of this pro-level event. The competition will feature many of the Lone Star State’s best talents in bikini and women’s physique.
The level of competition will be high owing to the competition’s place in the IFBB qualifier calendar. Among other competitions for 2022, the Pro League Republic of Texas Pro Bikini Championship will be a qualifying event for the Olympia.
In other words, the top contestants at the event will battle it out for a chance to compete at the 2022 Joe Weider’s Olympia.
The 2022 IFBB Pro League Wings of Strength Chicago Open will take place at Tinley Park in Illinois. It’s a two-day event that starts on the 22nd of July, 2022. The event is part of the Pro League’s Wings of Strength Series, one of several competitive qualifiers sanctioned by the IFBB and NPC Worldwide.
$3,500 worth of cash prizes is on the line plus a chance for pros to compete at three national NPC and IFBB events in 2022. Also, the 2022 IFBB Pro League Wings of Strength Chicago Open is a pro qualifier event. This means bikini competitors looking to break into the Pro League and earn IFBB Pro Card status will now have the opportunity of a lifetime to do just that.
Who said bikini is a division for the young? One event flies in the face of this statement — the 2022 IFBB Pro Master Legion.
The Pro Master Legion features the master’s bikini division. The master’s division consists of stacked brackets, open to competitors aged 35 and older — yes, older.
The IFBB Pro Master Legion gives masters competitors a chance to win up to $2,700 in prize money. Competitors can also crossover to different divisions. Bikini athletes can cross over to women’s physique and vice-versa.
The IFBB Pro Master Legion will be in Reno, Nevada. It’ll take place on October 7, 2022, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.
Get Your IFBB Pro Card by Working Towards It
Whichever one of these shows you check out, one thing is for sure; the bikini competitors you see will be performing at the highest level, and they definitely deserve their IFBB Pro Cards. They’ve earned their status in the sport through hard work in the gym and discipline in every other aspect of life.
Whether you’ve got an IFBB Pro Card in your sights or a better quality of life, the right training is key. For the right training methodology and environment, visit us at Iron Bodies and Minds and take the first steps towards your stage-worthy physique.