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Bodybuilding Categories Explained: What You Need to Know Before You Compete

Bodybuilding categories are the different groups or types that bodybuilders can join in based on their body, size, shape, and level of muscle. There are many bodybuilding groups that have their own rules and ways to judge each category, but some of the most common ones are:

  • Bodybuilding: This is the first and most muscle category, where bodybuilders are judged on their total mass, balance, ratio, and sharpness. Bodybuilders wear small shorts and show their muscles from different sides. There are usually weight groups within this category, such as light, medium, heavy, etc.
  • Men’s Physique: This is a new category that focuses on the beauty and sporty aspects of bodybuilding, rather than extreme muscle. Men’s physique competitors wear long shorts and are judged on their upper body, stomach, and overall harmony and look. They do not pose like bodybuilders, but rather stand in a calm way.
  • Classic Physique: This category is a mix between bodybuilding and men’s physique, where bodybuilders try to achieve a classic and old-fashioned look, inspired by the golden time of bodybuilding. Classic physique competitors wear smaller shorts than bodybuilders and are judged on their muscle size, shape, and fitness, as well as their posing skills. They have to meet a certain weight limit based on their height, to make sure they have a balanced and equal body.
  • Women’s Bodybuilding: This category is similar to men’s bodybuilding, but for female competitors. Women’s bodybuilding is the most muscle and developed category for women, where they are judged on their mass, balance, sharpness, and womanliness. Women’s bodybuilding has become less popular in recent years, because of the appearance of other categories for women.
  • Women’s Physique: This category is a middle ground between women’s bodybuilding and women’s fitness, where female competitors show their muscle, shape, and fitness, but with more grace and style than bodybuilders. Women’s physique competitors wear a two-piece suit and heels, and do a posing routine as well as required poses.
  • Fitness: This category is for female competitors who have a fit and sporty body, but not as muscle as women’s physique or bodybuilding. Fitness competitors wear a two-piece suit and heels, and are judged on their balance, ratio, and look. They also have to do a fitness routine that shows their strength, flexibility, speed, and creativity.

These are some of the main bodybuilding categories, but there are also others, such as bikini, figure, wellness, etc. Each category has its own standards and goals, and bodybuilders have to choose the one that fits their aims and likes. You can learn more about each category by visiting the websites of the big bodybuilding groups, such as [WBFF], [NPC], [ICN], [NABBA], [IFBB], and [ANB]. I hope this helps you understand the different bodybuilding categories.

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