For those interested in the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB), here is some information that tells about the bodybuilding federation. This information was given to us from the IFBB.

Formation: The IFBB was formed in 1946 in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada by Ben and Joe Weider, in order to unify, control, and coordinate the sport of bodybuilding throughout the world.

In 1969 the IFBB joined the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), of which it is an active member to this day. GAISF coordinates the activities and unifies the recognized international amateur sports federations, those on the Olympic program and those not on the Olympic program, acting as liaison with the International Olympic Committee. Only one international sports federation per recognized sport is permitted to affiliate with GAISF. In the sport of bodybuilding, that one federation is the IFBB.

The IFBB follows the accepted International Sports Federation Charter.

  • To promote and develop the sport of bodybuilding and physical fitness worldwide;
  • To legislate, organize and administer the sport throughout the world;
  • To become better informed, and to inform;
  • To cooperate with the national federations and to coordinate their activities;
  • To combat the use of drugs in sports;
  • To maintain the authority, control, and coordination of the sport of bodybuilding amongst its members;
  • To control all competitions on a level higher than national events;
  • To promote closer links between its members and all other sports federations;
  • To coordinate and protect common interests;
  • To carry out its functions and to ensure that all member federations carry out their functions with no discrimination whatsoever on the basis of race, religion, politics or sexual orientation;
  • To sanction regional, continental and world championships;
  • To conduct research and to supply all the latest training and nutritional advice to national federations;
  • To establish the technical rules for the smooth functioning of competitions in accordance with the Constitution and Judges Guide Book.
The IFBB is the exclusive representative of the sport of bodybuilding, and united 169 affiliated countries which are actively engaged in the sport of bodybuilding and the promotion of fitness.

Recognition: The IFBB is recognized by:

  • The IOC (International Olympic Committee)
  • The Olympic Council of Asia
  • The South East Asia Games
  • The Asian Games
  • The South American Games
  • The Central American Games
  • The Caribbean Games
  • The World Games
  • The Pan American Games
  • The African Games
  • The Arab Games
  • The South Pacific Games
The IFBB is recognized by over 90 national Olympic committees and/or government sport agencies that control amateur sport in their countries.

President of the IFBB:

Ben Weider, CM, PhD, is the President of the IFBB.

  • He is also a member of the Order of Canada.
  • He is a member of the Teaching Faculty of the United States Sports Academy;
  • He is a member of the Athletes Against Drug Abuse situated in Chicago;
  • He is a member of the Advisory Board of the American Longevity Institute for Stress and Aging Control;
  • He is a member of the Anti-Aging Medicine Academy,
  • He has been a member of the Canadian National Advisory Council on Fitness and Amateur Sport.
  • He has received the Queen's Jubilee Silver Medal.
  • He was nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Price in 1984.
  • He received an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Sport Science from the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama, in 1981.
  • He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the United States Sports Academy.
  • In May 1988, Mr. Weider was awarded an Honorary Professorship at the Shanghai Institute of Physical Education (Peoples Republic of China).
  • Mr. Weider has over 40 years of experience in fitness and sport.
  • He was presented with the coveted Silver Medal of Paris in 1988, and has received numerous other awards.
  • He is the author of many books and articles on topics related to bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition.
  • He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Concordia University (Montreal) in 1994

General Secretary of the IFBB:

Eric Weider is the general Secretary of the IFBB, and supervises the organization of most major international bodybuilding competitions. He communicated with the national federations and responds to their inquiries by telephone, fax and letter on a daily basis.

International Congress: The Congress is the supreme organ of the IFBB. It meets once a year during the Men's World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships in order to discuss all matters pertaining to the sport of bodybuilding. Changes to the Constitution and Rules are debated and voted upon by the delegates present. If adopted, they become part of the Constitution of the IFBB.

The Executive Council: The Executive Council administers the IFBB during the year between Congresses and makes decisions on behalf of the Federation. All positions on the Executive Council are open to democratic election procedures, which are carried out every four years.

Financing: The financing of the Federation depends on its membership fees, sanction fees, sponsors and television revenue.


  • The IFBB promulgates regulations governing the practice of the sport of bodybuilding, including competitions, and establishes the lengths of events.
  • The IFBB determines the classification of competitors into weight classes for competitions.
  • The IFBB defines the status (amateur or professional) of competitors.
  • The IFBB establishes medical rules aimed at protecting the health of athletes, while fighting against doping and other dangerous practices.
  • The IFBB adopts measures aimed at the prevention of all unfair and unlawful dealings.

Code of Ethics: As part of its Constitution and Rules, the IFBB has a Code of Ethics for competitors, administrators and officials. IFBB members who contravene the code of Ethics are liable for suspension.

Drug Testing: IFBB competitors are drug tested in accordance with the IOC guidelines. Testing is conducted at accredited IOC laboratories whenever possible. Athletes who test positive are suspended from the Federation, and the athlete's national federation is fined. The IFBB has published an official Position Paper on Steroids which is available from the IFBB head office in Montreal.

Research and Educational Literature: The IFBB makes an essential contribution to the development of health, fitness and sport by doing research and printing educational and informative literature that will enable athletes to improve their health, combat the use of drugs, and reach peak athletic performance. These documents are sent without charge to all member federations and to all national Olympic committees and international sports federation leaders throughout the world. All research is conducted by specialists in their field.

IFBB Publications: Other than the printing of literature dealing with nutrition, health, drug control, bodybuilding and fitness, the official journal of the IFBB is Flex magazine. This magazine is published in many languages and reaches millions of people around the world every month. Flex magazine's goal is to improve and promote the sport of bodybuilding and fitness, and to help inform readers around the world of bodybuilding activities. It plays a critical role in expanding and promoting the sport of bodybuilding.

Television: The IFBB is responsible for all television negotiations with reference to the coverage of competitions above the national level. Contracts are signed with various television companies in order to give bodybuilding competitions the maximum possible exposure worldwide.

Judging: The IFBB has strict judging guidelines and rules, published in the IFBB Judges' Guide Book.

How a Bodybuilding Contest is Judged: A bodybuilding contest is conducted in two sessions, the Prejudging and the Final Presentation. Male competitors are graded into six weight classes. They are:

  • Bantamweight (up to and including 65 kg)
  • Lightweight (up to and including 70 kg)
  • Light-middleweight (up to and including 75 kg)
  • Middleweight (up to and including 80 kg)
  • Light-Heavyweight (up to and including 90 kg)
  • Heavyweight (over 90 kg).
Female competitors are graded into three weight categories. They are:
  • Lightweight (up to and including 52 kg)
  • Middleweight (up to and including 57 kg)
  • Heavyweight (over 57 kg).

Competitors are then assessed by a panel of nine judges, who must be qualified by passing examinations, and duly certified. As much as possible, judges are drawn from different countries for international competitions.

Prejudging: Elimination: All competitors come into the stage together and five at a time are required to strike the seven mandatory poses. The 15 best competitors are selected by the judges and the other are eliminated from competition.

Prejudging: Semifinals: The 15 competitors are then called back on stage as a group, in a relaxed stance in frontal and back positions for comparison. They will then strike the seven mandatory poses, five or six athletes at a time. After this, the six best competitors are selected by the judges as finalists.

Final Presentation: Finals: The six finalists perform their free posing routines individually with music and then collectively strike the seen compulsory poses for comparison, as in the Semifinals. The competitor with the best score is declared the winner.

During the entire process, judges are guided by rules and criteria laid down by the IFBB. Their assessment of the competitor's physique is based on muscle size, overall body shape, symmetry (the balance between the upper and lower body, and the left and right sides of the body), proportion (balance between various body parts), muscle definition (percentage of body fat), and finally, the artistic posing presentation with music.

World Bodybuilding Championships

The World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships (men's and women's) are sanctioned by the IFBB, and have been held in different countries each year since 1946 when the IFBB was founded. The host federation invites the IFBB-affiliated national federations to send their best competitive amateur bodybuilders to compete in the various weight categories. At the men's World Championships, each federation may enter up to five competitors, of which a maximum of three may compete in one weight class. At the Women's World Championships, each federation may enter up to a maximum of two competitors in any one weight category. All athletes are subject to drug testing before leaving their country and are tested again at the Championships. The first, second and third place winners in each weight class receive medals.

The IFBB World Championships are the most important bodybuilding competitions on the amateur agenda. The International Congress is held in conjunction with the Men's World Championships each year.