International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness

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For other meanings of IFBB, see IFBB.
International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness
IFBBlogo official.png
Sport bodybuilding, classic bodybuilding, men's physique, women's physique, fitness, bodyfitness, bikini fitness, children fitness, wheelchair bodybuilding
Category Sports governing body
Jurisdiction International
Founded 1946

Calle Dublín, nº 39
28232 Europolis
Las Rozas

Madrid, Spain [1]
President Dr Rafael Santonja [2]
Vice president Jim Manion (North America)
Albert Busek (Europe)
Javier Pollock (Caribbean)
Aquiles De Cesare (South America)
Paul Graham (South Pacific Oceania)
Dr. Eng. Adel Fahim El Sayed (Africa)
Malih Alaywan (Middle East)
Sheikh Abdullah Al Khalifa (Asia)[2]
Director Pamela Kagan[2]
Secretary William Tierney[2]
Official website

The International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (IFBB), headquartered in Madrid, Spain, is an international amateur governing body for the sport of bodybuilding and fitness that oversees many of the sport's major international events, notably the World and Continental Championships.[3][4] The IFBB is one of the largest and most active sports federations in the world and is recognized by 90 National Olympic Committees and participates in the World Games and several Regional Games recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) program. Some of the Federation's main objectives are "to develop, promote and control the sport of bodybuilding and fitness on an international scale," and "to promote an interest in, and a dedication to, better health and fitness through physical culture, proper nutrition, and weight training." [4]

The IFBB is a member of SportAccord. The IFBB is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code.[3]


In 1946, the IFBB was founded by brothers Ben and Joe Weider in Montreal, Canada under the name "International Federation of Bodybuilders". The two founding countries were Canada and the United States. Mr. Ben Weider of Canada served as the first IFBB President. In 1965, the IFBB held its first professional bodybuilding competition, the Mr. Olympia.[5] From 1946 to 1969, the Federation experienced rapid growth as the number of member countries increased to 90. On December 30, 1969, Ben Weider founded the International Federation of Bodybuilders Incorporated - Fédération Internationale des Culturistes Incorporate. In 1971, the IFBB became a member of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), now SportAccord. Upon receiving membership, the IFBB became the only official representative of bodybuilding to be recognized by world sport authorities. From the 1980s to his death in 2008, IFBB president Ben Weider petitioned the IOC for inclusion of bodybuilding in the Olympic Games. In 1998, the IOC granted the IFBB temporary recognition, but in 2001, a new IOC Board was elected and introduced a new system of granting recognitions. All temporary recognitions were canceled, thus ending the IFBB's recognition. The IFBB unsuccessfully petitioned the summer Olympic Games organising committee to demonstrate the sport at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

In 2004, the IFBB Professional Section was legally separated from the IFBB to form the IFBB Professional League, an independent league which governs all physique sports at the professional level. That same year, the IFBB was renamed the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, and maintained the "IFBB" abbreviation. In 2006, after 60 years, Ben Weider resigned from his role as president and Dr. Rafael Santonja from Spain was elected as the new president. The IFBB headquarters were moved to Madrid, Spain. In 2010, Santonja was reelected for a second term, and in 2014, he was reelected for a third time at the IFBB World Congress in Brasilia. [3]


The IFBB is registered under Spanish law as a nonprofit legal entity. The IFBB has a Constitution, Technical Rules, Anti-Doping Rules and democratically elected Executive Council for four-year terms. The IFBB meets annually at its International Congress, held in conjunction with the Men’s World Bodybuilding Championships. It affiliates 191 National Federations which may also form Continental/Regional Federations. The IFBB affiliated Continental Federations include the following:

  • European Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (EBFF)
  • Asian Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (AFBF)
  • Confederación Sudamericana de Fisiculturismo, Fitness e Bodyfitness (CSFF)
  • Central American & Caribbean Bodybuilding Federation (CACBBF)

The IFBB is a founding member of the International World Games Association (IWGA) and also a member of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee, and the International Council of Coach Education (ICCE). The IFBB is recognized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa, the Association of Pan-American Sport Federations (ACODEPA). The IFBB is also recognized by some 90 National Olympic Committees. The IFBB participates in several Regional Games that are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC): Central American Games, South American Games, Asian Beach Games, Arab Games, Bolivarian Games and will be present at the 1st European Games in 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The IFBB is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code and its anti-doping rules are in compliance with the 2013 WADA Code. The IFBB promotes a fit healthy lifestyle and actively discourages the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.


The IFBB holds competition at the World Championships level for juniors, seniors and masters in various physique sport disciplines: men’s bodybuilding, men’s classic bodybuilding, men’s and women’s fitness, men’s and women’s physique, women’s bodyfitness, women’s bikini fitness, mixed pairs, children fitness, mixed pairs, men’s wheelchair bodybuilding. Rules for all types of sanctioned competitions are established in bylaws and published. [6]

The IFBB holds the annual Mr. Olympia competition which is widely considered the Super Bowl of bodybuilding.[7]

Men's Physique[edit]

In 2011 the NPC/IFBB added a new category to their competitions known as the men's Physique division. Unlike men's bodybuilding, the men's physique division looks for a more athletic, aesthetic physique rather than the mass monsters of the bodybuilding category. With the addition to this category, the NPC/IFBB have increased the number of competitors every year since the addition of the new category. In the men's physique division, competitors take to the stage in board shorts rather than the tiny posing trunks worn by bodybuilders. The competitors usually have about 15 seconds to hit 3-5 poses while on the stage. They are judged on proportions, aesthetics and conditioning. In 2013 the men's physique division was added to the Olympia competition and Mark Anthony was crowned as the very first men's physique Mr. Olympia champion.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Contact the IFBB, "Contact the IFBB" Retrieved 21 November, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Executive Council, "Executive Council" Retrieved on 21 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b c About The IFBB, "About The IFBB" Retrieved on 20 November 2015.
  4. ^ a b IFBB Constitution , "IFBB Constitution March 2015" Retrieved on 20 November 2015.
  5. ^ IFBB Professional League Website "About Us" Retrieved on 22 November 2015.
  6. ^ IFBB Pro Rules
  7. ^ New York Times "Larry Scott, Bodybuilding Champion Who Inspired Schwarzenegger, Dies at 75" Published on 16 March 2014. Retrieved on 22 November 2015.

External links[edit]