National Physique Committee

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National Physique Committee
National Physique Committee logo.png
SportAmateur bodybuilding
CategorySports governing body
Founded1982 (1982)
AffiliationIFBB Professional League
IFBB Amateur International / International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (formerly)
Affiliation dateSince 2005 (IFBB Professional League)
Until September 18, 2017 (IFBB Amateur International / International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness)
HeadquartersPO Box 789, Carnegie 15106, United States of America
PresidentJim Manion
Official website

The National Physique Committee (NPC) is the largest amateur bodybuilding organization in the United States.[1] Amateur bodybuilders compete in competitions from local to national competitions sanctioned by the NPC. While the term "bodybuilding" is commonly used to refer to athletes participating in contests sanctioned by the NPC and IFBB Pro League, nine divisions are represented including men's bodybuilding, women's bodybuilding, bikini, men's physique, classic physique, women's physique, figure, fitness, and wellness.


The Amateur Athletic Union is an organization that governs many amateur level sports. Each sport has a committee that provides direct oversight of that sport. For the sport of bodybuilding Jim Manion was the president of the Physique Committee. Manion decided that in order to better promote the sport of bodybuilding, he would need to break away from the AAU which he did when he founded the National Physique Committee in the early 1980s.[2]

Professional Status[edit]

The NPC is the only amateur organization recognized by the IFBB Professional League.[3] The IFBB Pro League is the professional league for bodybuilding athletes and the sanctioning body for the world's largest professional contests such as the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Sports Festival, and Legion Sports Fest. In order to become an IFBB professional athlete an athlete must compete at an IFBB Pro Qualifier such as the NPC Nationals Championship, NPC USA Championship, or any other pro qualifier. Professional status will be awarded to top placing athletes.


Athletes must possess a valid NPC card to compete in an NPC show. NPC cards are valid for a calendar year.


An athlete must be a citizen to compete in the following national competitions:

  • Masters National Championships
  • USA Championships
  • Team Universe Championships
  • Nationals Championships

Proof of citizenship must be one of the following:

  • A birth certificate
  • A voter’s registration card
  • Military discharge papers
  • Naturalization Papers – Form N560
  • Consular Service Form FS24 for those born outside of the United States to US parents

Residency is four (4) months prior to a contest or must be a full-time student in the area.[4]


  • The only people permitted in the backstage area are competitors, expediters and NPC officials.
  • Coaches or others may be permitted after paying for a backstage pass, along with tickets to the show.

Competitors' Health[edit]

  • Any competitor who appears to be disoriented, light-headed or experiences undue cramping will not be permitted to compete.
  • Any competitor disqualified for health reasons must be checked by the attending EMT and, if it is advised by the EMT, must go to the nearest hospital for evaluation.
  • Competitors who refuse to be evaluated by the EMT or at the hospital will be suspended from competition for a period of one year from the date of the occurrence.


Competitors pose during the open women’s bikini division at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas in 2012
  • Men's Bodybuilding
  • Classic Physique
  • Men's Physique
  • Fitness
  • Women's Bodybuilding
  • Women's Physique
  • Bikini
  • Figure
  • Wellness[5]


  • Open – Competitors of any age or experience
  • Novice – Athletes who have never placed first in any class/age group in an NPC contest
  • True Novice – Athletes who have never competed in an NPC contest
  • Teen – The athlete must be in the age range that the promoter decides. Can range from 13–19
  • Junior – The athlete must be under 23 years old or younger on the day of the event
  • Master – The athlete needs to be the minimum age of the division the day of the event


Posing Suits[edit]

(Dependent on event)

  • All suit bottoms must be V-shaped, no thongs are permitted.
  • Suits worn by male competitors at the prejudging and finals must be plain in color with no fringe, wording, sparkle or fluorescents.
  • Suits worn by female competitors at the Prejudging must be two-piece and plain in color with no fringe, wording, sparkle or fluorescents.
  • Suits worn by female competitors at the Finals must be two-piece but may include a printed design with fringes, lace, sparkle or fluorescents that are in good taste.
  • All Prejudging suits will be checked at the morning check-in.
  • Competitors are not permitted to alter the fit of the posing suit by hiking it up in the back or by pulling up the sides during Front and Rear Lat Spreads.

Posing Music[edit]

  • Posing music will be used at the Finals only with the exception of Mixed Pairs competitors who will use music at both the Prejudging and the Finals.
  • Posing music must be on a cassette tape or CD and must be the only music on the tape or CD.
  • Posing music must be on Side A and should be cued to the start of the music.
  • Posing music must not contain vulgar lyrics. Competitors using music containing vulgar lyrics will be disqualified.
  • During the Prejudging male and female competitors are not permitted to wear any jewelry onstage other than a wedding band. Decorative pieces in the hair are not permitted.
  • During the Finals female competitors are permitted to wear earrings.
  • No glasses, props or gum are permitted onstage.
  • Any competitor doing the “Moon Pose” will be disqualified.
  • Lying on the floor is prohibited.
  • Bumping and shoving is prohibited. First and second persons involved will be disqualified.
  • Competitors numbers will be worn on the left side of the suit bottom.

Prejudging Poses[edit]

Relaxed Round[edit]

  • Keep your feet flat
  • Keep your heels together
  • Hold your arms at your sides
  • No twisting
  • Your head must be facing the same direction as your feet.

Individual Round[edit]

  • Begin when ready – no signal is necessary from the Head Judge.
  • Maximum of 60 seconds with a warning when 10 seconds remain.
  • You are not obligated to use all 60 seconds.
  • Lying on the floor is not permitted.

Mandatory Round[edit]

  • Front Double Bicep
  • Front Lat Spread
  • Side Chest
  • Side Triceps
  • Rear Double Bicep
  • Rear Lat Spread
  • Abdominals and Thigh

Weight Classes[edit]

Tom Terwilliger, light heavyweight 1986 NPC National Champion

(Only relevant to specific events) 2 Classes:

  • Lightweight – up to and including 125 lbs
  • Heavyweight – over 125 lbs

3 Classes:

  • Lightweight – up to and including 125 lbs
  • Middleweight – over 125 lbs up to and including 140 lbs
  • Heavyweight – over 140 lbs

4 Classes:

  • Lightweight – up to and including 115 lbs
  • Middleweight – over 115 lbs up to and including 125 lbs
  • Light-Heavyweight – over 125 lbs up to and including 140 lbs
  • Heavyweight – over 140 lbs
  • Lightweight – up to and including 114.5 lbs
  • Middleweight – over 114.5 lbs up to and including 125.5 lbs
  • Heavyweight – over 125.5 lbs

National Champions[edit]

Men's Overall Bodybuilding Winners[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Melfa, Frank A. (1998). Bodybuilding, a realistic approach : how you can have a great body! (2nd ed.). New Brunswick, N.J.: Power Writings. p. 296. ISBN 0-9641640-7-8. OCLC 40734691.
  2. ^ Gary, Udit. "About the NPC". Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  3. ^ Locks, Adam (2012). Critical readings in bodybuilding. New York: Routledge. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-415-87852-4. OCLC 775862176.
  4. ^ "NPC News Online". NPC News Online. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  5. ^ "FOX13 reporter wins second place in local bodybuilding contest". FOX13 Memphis. FOX. Retrieved 9 August 2022.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]