North Carolina IFBB Pros GalNC IFBB Proslery (click here) South Carolina IFBB Pros Gallery (click here)
In 1946, Joe Weider and Ben Weider created the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB). Later on in 1965, Joe Weider went on to start the first IFBB professional competition – the Mr. Olympia. Originally, the Mr. Universe was known as the most prestigious and elite of competitions, however an individual could only win this contest twice, whereas the Olympia was created to be won as many times as possible.
In order to become an "IFBB Pro" a bodybuilder must first earn an IFBB Pro Card. A bodybuilder must first win a regional contest weight class. When a bodybuilder wins or places highly they earn an invite to compete at their country's National Championships contest for that year.
The winners of each weight class at the National Championships will then go head to head in a separate contest to see who is the overall Champion for the year. Depending on the federation, the overall Champion will be offered a pro card. Some federations offer Pro Cards to winners of individual weight class champions. This can mean that each year more than one bodybuilder may earn a Pro Card.
Here in the United States, in order to become an IFBB professional bodybuilder a class must first be won at the NPC Nationals Championship or be the overall winner at the NPC USA Championship. However, there are other organizations and federations in the US that also promote amateur athletics and have a professional extension.
While the NPC and the IFBB are the largest and most well known, there are other amateur and professional bodybuilding organizations and federations. The NPC also sanctions bodybuilding fitness and figure competitions across the United States. (wikipedia)
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