T Nation

What Federation Do You Compete In and Why?


I'm sure this has probably been debated a thousand times on here, but I thought I'd post at the risk of reading dated information.

so, What Bodybuilding Federation Do You Compete in and Why?


NPC, they don't drug test.


NANBF, drug tested and has lots of shows in the Midwest


The WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation). It's the Professional league of the INBF. I had previously competed in the USBF where I was a Pro as well. While the USBF is indeed a well respected federation on the East coast, the WNBF is undoubtedly the largest, most well known, and most stringent in terms of drug testing federation in the world. It is not uncommon to find competitors who fail drug tests in the WNBF or INBF and then simply change federations to one with less (if any) stringent rules regarding their testing, simply pretending that their violation had never occurred.

In terms of respectability, and having truly 'earned it', in my book if you choose to go the tested route, the WNBF is the goal. Anyone on Facebook can see countless "natural pros' with all sorts of different federation acronyms in their profile, but if you were to look at people's lists of the 'best of the best' in the sport, the majority will all be from the WNBF. To me, that's why it means so much. It's like having a degree from a University that produced some great minds. It means something to me to be in the company of those names.



Hey Stu - out of curiousity since you do drug tested shows, have you ever done Team Universe? I know they don't test their masters but everything else they do. Also, since turning Pro, do you have any sponsorships.. just wondering as the drug tested guys never seem to land the deals that the open guys do..


Also curious if you have done Team Universe and have ever heard of Ron Nurse?


also, do you add the federation name + pro to your name on facebook


Are you doing that show in Omaha in November? Pretty sure it's an IFPA pro qualifier...


Stu: What is the difference between the OCB and the WNBF?

I'd be interested in either, but will be doing NPC ~ because they are the only organization that has competitions in my state (at least competitions that I know of).


That show, the Bluffs Classic/USA Super Pro Qualifier, was actually the first show I competed in! I competed in men's physique this past fall. I'm taking a long offseason and focusing on packing on as much size as possible while staying relatively lean, my goal is actually to win my IFPA pro card in men's physique at that same show in 2014! Are you thinking about competing in Omaha?


I'm not sure. I'm on the fence about it. Right now I'm prepping for the KC Classic (men's physique). It's 7 1/2 weeks out and I'm not sure if that's going to be enough time. My gf is doing bikini and going for her pro-card. She won her class in her first show back in June and just narrowly missed out on her pro card. In fact if there would've been just one more girl (30 total) they would've given out two and she would've gotten hers.

The KC show is going to be huge so we've kinda planned on doing St. Louis in October as a 'safety' where she can easily get her procard, but if she gets it in KC then I don't want to do that show just for me and would prefer Omaha because again, I'd have a little more time. I didn't even know about the Omaha show until a little over a week ago.
KC will be my first show and I'd love to place ( I have no delusions of winning) but more than anything I just do not want to get last. That would be traumatic, lol.


Haha I hear ya man, that's awesome that you and your gf share the passion, makes training/prep a whole lot easier I'm sure. Maybe this is just me, if so totally disregard: one thing I felt deadset on towards the end of prepping for the show last November was that the next time I competed would be during summer or fall, not that close to winter again. The last few weeks of contest prep were just miserable in late October/early November, I was so damn cold all the time, my hair started getting brittle, dry irritated skin, etc. So the cold weather made it rough, and prepping throughout the whole football season made it rough going to football parties/tailgates and never being able to fit any treats into my macros haha. Plus, it's a lot more fun to be looking your all time best in the summer time, not when you're wearing a winter coat every day!
Unfortunately, I'm thinking that October/November will be the months that work for me to compete again next year. I play baseball at a D3 school in Nebraska, and contest prep during the spring would be next to impossible with road trips, where we live off of Golden Corral, Subway, and McDonalds lol. So I'm planning on starting prep immediately after the season ends in late May.

Sorry for that long post, just something I hadn't ever thought of until I experienced it. I guess what I'm getting at is that if you've got a few shows you could compete in, I feel like the earlier the better when it comes to the weather getting colder. You should toss up a prep log in the BB'ing section, I'd definitely follow in and chime in if I have anything to contribute!



I want to be Mr. Olympia.


The OCB is an amateur federation. To win a pro qualifying OCB event would secure you IFPA (Pro) status I believe.

The WNBF is a professional federation. To win a pro qualifying INBF event would secure you WNBF (Pro) status.

While most federations, tested and untested, tend to categorize their competitors by weight ranges, the OCB breaks their shows down by height. This is usually the way women's figure and bikini classes go in other federations, but not with the men's bodybuilding.

The NPC is typically known for not testing its athletes. Still, there are a small number of NPC shows that advertise themselves as 'natural' or tested. As to how stringent their guidelines are, that's usually a case by case basis and you can contact the specific show's promoter ahead of time with any questions.



I haven't competed in the Team Universe. As the story of the show goes, the NPC needed a "tested" show so that they could take the winners to compete outside of the country, possibly securing the acknowledgement of the powers that be for the Olympics (Ben Weider had a real thing for getting bodybuilding into the Olympics and the obvious drug issue was the constant issue always given as to why it would never happen).

The problem with that was quickly seen at an early 1980's Olympia when the Weiders decided to drug test. Haney still won, but everyone came in much much smaller and not in the expected condition. I forget which year it was, but you won't find many photos from it. Anyway, long story short, the Team Universe's PED requirement is that you be a full year drug free. How well that's truly enforced if at all is open to debate.

You will no doubt find plenty of great physiques on the Team-U stage, and maybe NPC competitors regard them as being 'clean', but if you ask any tested federation athlete (WNBF, INBF, IFPA, USBF, OCB, NGA,...) you can't ignore years of assistance building a foundation simply because an individual doesn't rely on PEDs during a prep.

I kept in touch with a really great bodybuilder I competed against back in '09 in a natural federation. I kept competing year after year as a Middleweight (except for one show where I 'accidentally' came in as a light-heavy) while he took a few years off. About a year or so ago I ran into him in Jersey. He was now solely competing in the Team Universe.

Let me tell you, no way in hell was this guy still making Middleweight in any honest drug tested federation. I certainly don't hold it against him as anything negative, people make their own decisions, simple as that, but you can see what happened here without my really spelling it out.

@Bauber: I had never heard of Ron Nurse, but upon checking a few Google Images, as an obviously older athlete I gotta give the man props. Assuming this is the guy you're referring to?

@BrownDisaster: There's no requirement to adding that, it just seems to have become the standard thing to do. When you earn something that means something to you it's nice to be associated with it. I always just picture it like putting your college degrees or titles after your name.

@Mr FreshNuts: There's really not much money in the sport, on the tested, or even the untested side unless you're seriously one of the very very top guys plus possessing a good amount of marketability. Heck, you've got guys like Cordova, and Whitacre, undoubtedly two of the top natural pros of all time IMO, and they both work day jobs to pay the bills. Heck, Cordova didn't compete for a while citing that he loses money when he has to dedicate time getting ready for a contest. This is despite his being the face on almost every as for one of the largest (but arguably lowest quality -lol) supplement brands out there.

If you ask me, all a natural competitor can ask for is anything that allows them to continue pursuing their love. Usually it's free supplements, apparel, even write ups and articles that stir up publicity that can lead to new clients. Since I've been in the sport, I've received all of these perks.

Heck, I had one company that offered to fly me to the Olympia to work their booth because people would know who I am, and I'm quite knowledgeable on nutrition and supplements and could talk up their product to potential customers. The problem was that I didn't use their stuff, and I like to think that the small bit of a following I seem to have is based upon my honesty.



Yes sir, I had him as a trainer for about 8 months and learned a TON from him. He really taught me how to eat. We have since split ways due to his lack of knowledge of AA's and dislike of them. Stand up guy and we still talk.



Hey I was just on the INBF's website, and there is a contest on the same date as the NPC show I was planning to compete in (August 10). It's about a 3 hour drive from my house (as opposed to a 2 hour drive to get to the NPC event), but I'm thinking about changing my plans. Do you have an feelings on it ~~~ encouragement etc.?

BTW, one thing I didn't see on the INBF website was a working link to their magazine. Do you get a magazine with your Membership dues?



It's nice having someone to go through it with you. She's the one who actually got me to start prepping my food which I've now found out is EVERYTHING. She makes me do cardio when I don't want to and has some awesome low-carb recipes.

I'll try to throw up a log tonight or tomorrow. Good call.


Well, if it were me, I wouldn't let a longer ride be the deciding factor. I spent many nights in hotels when I first started competing. Gave me a lot of fond memories (destroying hotel bed sheets with my horrific fake tans -lol).

The thing you need to understand is that with an NPC show, you can't guarantee what type of athletes will show up. Now you can say the same thing about the INBF or any other tested federation. The old saying is that "You can't control who is going to show up on game day." However, with an NPC show it's usually a safe bet that a good number of contestants will be assisted somewhat. That's certainly not the be all deterrent to not do a show, but it certainly something to have in mind when you go into a contest, especially if you don't use PEDs yourself.

They do still have a magazine, although it's not the same thick, containing advertisements, sold on news stands one that had been around for so many years (Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness). Now they produce "Pro Natural Muscle" and it's only sent to members of the federation (WNBF or INBF). Usually it's only about 20 pgs long (nice and glossy! -lol), but it contains very good articles, athletes profiles, contest coverage, and always on the back cover a schedule of upcoming events, both amateur and pro levels.



I personally don't know a single person even at amateur NPC shows that step on stage without PEDs and ever place. Unless they are the only ones in their class.