The International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) was founded in 1946 by Canadian brothers Joe and Ben Weider. It is an international non-profit organization that promotes a healthy lifestyle through bodybuilding and fitness. In 2004, the group voted to change its name to International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness, keeping the IFBB acronym. Participants generally focus on maximizing muscle mass through diet and exercise; they compete in IFBB organization contests as well as worldwide contests such as the Olympics.
IFBB Bodybuilding is a specialized discipline. Athletes train all body parts to reach maximum size while still in balance and harmony. Athletes typically perform a specialized training and diet program to minimize the percentage of body fat and water, which helps emphasize muscle definition and overall size. The overall physique goals typically include a narrow waist and broad shoulders. There are eight body weight divisions: 143 pounds (65 kg), 154 pounds (70 kg), 165 pounds (75 kg), 176 pounds (80 kg), 187 pounds (85 kg), 198 pounds (90 kg), 220 pounds (100 kg) and over 220 pounds (100 kg). Athletes present their qualities during two rounds of physique assessments, typically consisting of seven compulsory exercises.
The IFBB Bodybuilding division for women adheres to slightly different rules. Less attention is paid to muscle size and hardness, focusing more on overall muscle shape and body fat levels. There is also usually a routine round that gives female athletes 60 seconds in which to show their skills to the music of their choice. These movements include both compulsory and non-compulsory moves.
The Classic Bodybuilding division is typically for male athletes who do not want to develop their muscles to the extreme, but rather retain a classic look. Following a specific formula, the athletes' body weight is limited by their height and there are four categories: 5.5 feet (170 cm), 5.75 feet (175 cm), 5.9 feet (180 cm) and over 5.9 feet (180 cm). Emphasis is typically placed on the overall look of the athlete's body and the definition of muscles.
For both male and female athletes that prefer a less muscular, more athletic look there are two divisions: Women's Fitness and Men's Fitness. The emphasis is generally placed on athletic looking figures and it normally includes an energetic fitness routine. Competitors may also use small props as part of their routine.
IFBB Bodybuilding is a worldwide organization and many bodybuilders and fitness athletes aspire to become an IFBB Pro. To achieve this prestigious title, an IFBB bodybuilding athlete typically needs to win a regional contest and advance to a national competition. By winning this championship an athlete may be offered a pro card.