what Category Should you be competing in?
This is part 2 of my beginners guide to fitness competitions. Here we will covering in more depth the expectations you will need to meet to compete in the sport end of the competition spectrum and explain the categories in each federation. This will include the more traditional federations such as UKBFF, NABBA, BNBF, PCA as well as some of the new kids on the block like 2BROS PRO.
In part 1 you found out how you pick the right federation for you. Go and read that first if you haven't already.
So...you've been to some shows, watched some video's and selected your federation, now it's time to see which category you fit into.
If you have selected one of the Sport style federations such as UKBFF, PCA, 2BROS PRO, NABBA, WABBA, BNBF or similar you can use the following as a guide but I strongly advise you to go and read the rules carefully for specifics on bikini style and glute coverage because they can vary. I have just written a handy guide on which bikini bum shape you need for each federation, to read up on that follow my link to What's the Crack?...
So lets have a look at these shows and breakdown the styles and categories for you...
It is important to note that across the federations the overall categories have maintained their core attributes, but some federations like to keep us on our toes and bang up-to-date by introducing new ones, getting rid of unpopular ones or tweaking ones away from their established attributes.
The first thing to recognise that in the larger federations in bikini categories is that they will be sub-divided by level of condition, height and age.
Bikini (UKBFF) and Bikini toned (PCA)is the 'softest' of the fitness looks. Since the explosion of popularity which the fitness shows are currently within, the bikini division has since been further divided in terms of condition to cope with the sheer amount of competitors. Bikini girls are expected to look fit and healthy with good muscle tone ( but not defined muscle tone) and balance across the body.
Bikini trained (PCA) is a step up from bikini toned, for women with a more toned muscle structure and lower body fat. Symmetry, balance and proportion are also very important.
Most of these federations separate out height classes for bikini categories. The idea being that like is being judged by like....to make it fairer in comparison. Expect at the minimum to have a short and tall bikini class, 2BROS PRO are the exception and go further with 8 height classes (published on their website). If particular height classes are undersubscribed they will probably be grouped together with another height class.
Junior is aimed at women under 23, open is open to all ages and masters is generally for women aged 35 and over.
For most of the shows the bikini style is fairly flexible in terms of design, and you can really make it your own as much as you would like to. However, if you are competing in a 2Bros Pro show they have bikini 'preferences' which I strongly advise you to follow if your aim is to place high.
wellness (UKBFF/2BROS PRO)
This is a relatively new catagory and sits between the traditional bikini and body fitness. It is for women with less body fat, more muscle definition and that have more development on the hips and upper leg than the upper body. PCA equivalent would be the aforementioned Bikini trained.
Bikini style for all bikini divisions is a 2 piece bikini, the colour, style and material is of course your own personal choice.
Figure (BNBF) and Body Fitness (UKBFF) categories are for women who have defined muscle on their upper and lower bodies and low body fat but by no means are as heavily muscled as physique. It is also very useful to note here that the posing for bodyfitness and physique differs greatly from that of bikini and wellness and a different bikini style is worn...more on this in another blog. Body Fitness and Physique traditionally wear a 2 piece bikini that crosses over at the back and attaches to the bikini bottoms.
Physique (UKBFF), Trained figure (PCA), BODYBUILDING (BNBF) are the most muscular women's categories and are designed for those women who display clear definition and striations in their muscle tone and have a heavy over-all muscle tone and very little body fat. Physique is one of the categories with the least competitors but has it's roots deep in the old school bodybuilding federations.
In part 3 I will go into the categories for the pageant shows as they are a wholly different beast!
links to federation rules: