All Male Classes

Class 1 178cm and over

Class 2 Under 178cm

Class 3 Under 170cm

You will be judged on the following criteria. Judging will be conducted by assessing ¼ turns and the following compulsory poses

  1. Front Double Biceps
  2. Lat Spread from the front
  3. Side Chest
  4. Side Triceps
  5. Rear Double Biceps
  6. Rear Lat Spread showing hamstring and calf
  7. Abdominal and thighs
  8. Most Muscular

Each athlete in the bodybuilding classes will be given a 60 second free posing round to music to further display their physique.

Muscularity (Muscle Mass). The judges will be looking for size and development of the muscles. Or the level of muscular hypertrophy achieved from athletic endeavors. This will include the hardness of the muscle, this is where the muscle has a firm and tight appearance which shows a certain amount of muscle striation, and must not display excess water retention, high subcutaneous fat or loose skin. An athlete displaying all these elements would be considered lean and muscular.

Definition. This is closely related to muscularity, and can be described as the detail of the muscle. A defined athlete will display good muscle separation and detail. There will be very clear lines of separation in each muscle group to the adjourning muscle groups with some lines of fiber separation.

Symmetry. This is an even display of muscularity across both sides of the body. The judges will be looking at the size and separation of the athlete to be matching on both sides. Without symmetry the physique will look ‘off’ and detract from the perfectness of the whole package.

Proportions. The judges will expect an athlete to proportioned. This means that no muscle group is over powering against the other groups, or under developed. Although ‘freaky’ body parts attract attention, it is not desirable if an athlete is to achieve the total package.

Stage Presence. The judges are looking at how each athlete displays their physique and poses. This is often an overlooked criteria, but is considered in the judging. Athletes should be able to make shapes and lines that accentuate their physique. They should look confident proud. So often athletes spend hours and hours, day after day, month after month sculpting their physique to let themselves down by lack of attention to the art of bodybuilding. You are on stage to show the judges and the audience what you have created, don’t let your lack of posing ability lose you valuable places.

Summary. The athlete that can display strength in ALL of the above criteria will be considered the best overall package, and will place higher than their peers who have elements missing from their physique. However, it is necessary to consider that you are judged by a panel of judges who will have some personal preference. When judging incomplete physiques one judge may prefer they athlete with definition over muscularity and another muscularity over definition. This is to be expected and actually desired so you get a fair judging across a wide panel of judges. Therefore, it is necessary to objectively look at each aspect of your physique and work to achieve all criteria, maybe get the opinion of an expert who knows what they’re looking for. The IBFA represents old school bodybuilding values, and favours the complete package.

First Timers

Must be first time ever competing. This does not mean first time competing with the IBFA. It means first time you’ve ever stepped on a bodybuilding stage to compete. If you are found to be flouting the rules you will disqualified from competing or stripped of any placing and award you are presented with. The IBFA takes this very seriously. You have been warned.

Male Classic Athletic

The IBFA encourages competing at all levels and appreciates some athletes prefer to build a more classic physique. To combat this we have the Classic Athletic classes. These hold a maximum height to weight ratio to ensure a level field. The class or classes will be judged on same criteria as all male classes ( please see above for clarification if needed).

Classic Athletic and Classic Athletic over 45yrs + 6kg

Height in cm minus 100 plus 6 is maximum weight.

Eg, 176cm Tall, minus 100 is 76. 76 + 6 = 82. Max weight 82kg. ( you will be weighed and measure at registration for this class to be verified eligible).

**Please note some individual promoters may have a short and tall class of Classic Athletic, should you qualify for the British finals there is only one class for all heights (weight limit still applies of +6kg).


This class is for athletes who have previously competed but not placed in top 3 of any show or class, not only IBFA. If you have placed top 3 on any stage you are not eligible for this class.

Men’s physique

Judging Criteria All athletes should display an athletic appearance, with muscularity, symmetry, balance, proportions, conditioning and presentation as described in the Mens Classes section above.

Athletes walk on stage in numerical order and stand at the rear of the stage. Athletes will perform quarter turns, then compulsory poses, see below, followed by the “I” walk, see below.

The judges will assess scores and athletes will then be presented medals and placings and then exit the stage.

Compulsory Poses

1. Front facing pose of your choice with hands above the head. Hands can be open or closed.

2. ¼ turn to the right showing left side. Pose of your choice with abs and obliques visible and left arm above the head, open or closed.

3. Another ¼ turn to right showing the rear of the physique. Pose with hands above the head. Hands can be open or closed.

4. ¼ turn to the right, showing the right side of the body. Pose of your your choice showing abs and obliques, with right hand above the head

5. Final ¼ turn to the right showing the front of the physique. Pose of your choice displaying the best of your mid section.

“I” Walk. Athletes will be called in numerical order, they will perform a front pose of their choice at the rear of the stage, they will then proceed to the front centre of the stage and display another front pose of their choosing, followed by poses to display both sides and the rear of the physique with the aim to display the completeness with regards to balance, symmetry, definition and proportion. This will not take longer than 60 seconds, when the athlete must return to the line up at the rear of the stage.

Female Classes

Ladies Toned Figure

To be considered the complete physique in this category you should show an athletic shape that has clearly been created with athletic activity. The judges will be looking for a symmetrical and balanced feminine physique with consideration to skin tone, poise and grace. Confidence and stage presence are important in this class. The physique should have no over powering or under developed body parts, and tone and condition should be even throughout the body. The judges are not looking for hard definition, vascularity or striated muscle in this category. The physique should be firm, with relatively low levels of bodyfat. If the judges believe your physique to be ‘too hard’ for the category they may offer you the opportunity to move up a category to athletic. However, this will be the choice of athlete, but the judges will mark this down as it is out of the class criteria. Your stage presence and over all presentation (hair, costume, makeup are all considered) See image below

Posing Rounds

  • ¼ Turns
  • Favourite Front Pose Hands above the head
  • Favourite Side Pose
  • Favourite Rear Pose
  • 60 Seconds Individual Free Posing to music of choice.

Ladies Athletic Figure

This category requires the athlete to show a harder physique to the toned figure category. Muscularity with feminine lines are desirable. This means freaky muscles such as huge deltoids or sweeping quads will be marked down as out of criteria. The judges are looking for low levels of bodyfat, with a dry look, but not hard striated and vascular looking. Athletes who look flat and over dieted are not encouraged, you should show a healthy, muscular defined physique from top to bottom. Presentation and presence will be considered this includes costume, hair and makeup.
If the judges believe your physique to be ‘too hard’ for the category they may offer you the opportunity to move up a category to trained. However, this will be the choice of athlete, but the judges will mark this down as it is out of the class criteria. See Image below

Posing Rounds

  • ¼ Turns
  • Double Biceps
  • Side Triceps
  • Rear Double Bicep
  • Abs and Thighs
  • 60 Seconds Individual Free Posing to music of choice.

Ladies Trained Figure

The most important aspect of the trained figure class on maintaining feminine shape and lines whilst displaying a very low body fat levels, a good level of balanced, symmetrical muscle with separation. Although extremes that detract from the feminine lines are not desirable. As with all female classes the overall presentation is considered including stage presence, hair and makeup. See image below

Posing Rounds

  • ¼ Turns
  • Double Biceps
  • Side Triceps
  • Rear Double Bicep
  • Abs and Thighs
  • 60 Seconds Individual Free Posing to music of choice.

Ladies Bodybuilding

Feminine muscle, displaying muscle size, symmetry, proportion and conditioning. The judges will be looking for a greater amount of muscle size, definition, separation and vascularity than that of the trained figure category.

Competitors will be judged on overall shape, structure and proportion of their physique. We are looking for even balance and proportion from all angles, the back, the front, the upper and the lower part of the physique.

Shoes are not worn for this category.

Competitors will be put through a series of ¼ turns to show all sides of the body followed by the following 7 compulsory poses.

  • Front Double Biceps
  • Lat Spread from the Front
  • Side Chest
  • Side Triceps
  • Rear Double Biceps
  • Rear Lat Spread
  • Abdominal and Thigh

Competitors will then given an individual free posing routine to music of their choice. This is typically 60 seconds, but some promoters may offer up to 90 seconds. Please confirm with your show promoter before competing. The finals will be 60 seconds.

Bikini Class.

Women’s Bikini Must have a foundation of health and fitness. Symmetry and balance. Demonstrating poise, femininity and self confidence. Extreme definition and separation, dryness and dieted leanness will NOT be considered acceptable. Judges will be looking at overall presence, skin tone, presentation including hair, makeup and costume.

When standing in the line up competitors should not adopt a tense pose but a more relaxed stance.

Round 1

Quarter Turns Competitors stand facing front.

Quarter turn the right Quarter turn the right facing rear of the stage.

Quarter turn to the right Quarter turn to the front.

Competitors should present themselves with poise, confidence and posture not adopting a tense pose but a more relaxed stance.

Round 2

I walk Starting point centre back of stage facing front Head judge will request competitor to walk forward to the front of the stage and stop Then rotate to the right pose and then the left pose then face rear of stage for back pose then turn and finally face front again.

Music is DJ choice

Round 3 comparisons.

Competitors line up facing front at the back of the stage. The head judge will call groups of 3 to 6 front and centre. Then judge request best front pose, best right side pose, best back pose, and best left side pose. Face front and back to line up and repeat until all judges happy.

See Images below for guide.