Photos By: J.M. Manion
Reprinted With Permission From: .
In answer to the questions probably asked the most - what are the NPC women's fitness rules and scoring procedures and how one can qualify to be an IFBB professional fitness competitor?
In answer to those questions, for NPC Fitness, there is a qualifying system which will be similar to the system currently used for NPC bodybuilding competitions. To qualify for the NPC GB Fitness Championships, NPC Team Universe Fitness Championships and NPC National Fitness Championships (all IFBB pro qualifiers), a competitor must place in the top 5 of her state contest or a contest designated as an NPC national qualifier.
AMATEUR OR PRO STATUS?
In an effort to eliminate confusion among NPC fitness competitors concerning their amateur status, the NPC Fitness Division will follow the bodybuilding division rules for status as an amateur:
- Once a fitness athlete competes in an NPC sanctioned fitness contest, you have declared yourself an amateur. If you then go and compete in another fitness contest for cash or cash prizes (i.e. car, vacations, trips, etc.) you are no longer considered an amateur by the NPC. But that does not make you a professional in the IFBB either. This must be done by qualifying through our NPC sanctioned fitness contests.
To answer how we score NPC Fitness, recently there have been a few changes to our original criteria that brings us more in line with the IFBB Fitness Division so that NPC fitness competitors can make a smooth transition to the IFBB Professional Fitness Division. It will also help our local, state and regional NPC fitness competitors prepare for our national fitness contests, particularly the NPC pro fitness qualifiers.
The judging criteria for NPC fitness contests will be based on the 2 Physique/Swimsuit rounds being worth 2/3 of the total score, while the Fitness Routine round is worth 1/3 of the total score. Instead of the judges handing in one total score, each round will be judged separately, with the judges handing in a score for each round. That means there will be a total of three scores handed in per judge for each competitor.
All IFBB Pro qualifier National NPC contests, (GB, Team Universe and Nationals), will have three height classes. The height classes shall be; 5' 2" and under; Over 5' 2" and up to and including 5' 4-1/2", and over 5' 4-1/2".
The height structure is optional at all other NPC contests. The height classes for all contests with two height classes shall be; 5-foot-3; and under, and over 5-foot-3.
For the NPC GB Fitness Championships and NPC National Fitness Championships, the top 2 in each height class will receive professional status in the IFBB. For the NPC Team Universe Fitness Championships, each height class winner will receive professional status in the IFBB. That means 15 women from the NPC will be eligible to earn their IFBB pro cards.
The overall winner of the NPC Team Universe Fitness Championships will also be part of the NPC GB women's team that will travel to and compete in the IFBB Women's World Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships.
The NPC Junior GB Championships, NPC Junior National Championships and NPC Teenage/Collegiate/Masters National Championships will also hold fitness contests in conjunction with each event. These contests can be used as a qualifier to enter the Team Universe, GB or Nationals if you finish in the top 5 of your height class.
Following is a breakdown of each round in NPC Fitness:
PRE-JUDGING ROUND 1
All contestants will be brought out in a line-up in their 2-piece swimsuits with heels. Quarter turns will be directed by the head judge. At this time, judges are assessing the overall physique for degree of athleticism, proportion and skin tone. The judges will score the degree of athleticism by assessing the degree of firmness, symmetry, proportion and the overall physical appearance including complexion, poise and overall presentation. For regulation swimsuits, thong or T-back swimsuits cannot be worn.
PRE-JUDGING ROUND 2
Every competitor will get the opportunity to perform a maximum 2-minute routine during the pre-judging. Judges will look for style, personality, athletic coordination, strength moves, endurance and overall performance. Contestants should give special attention to their apparel since it too will be judged. Routines may include aerobics, dance, gymnastics or other demonstrations of athletic talent, but there are no required movements. Props are allowed, but must be approved by the promoter in advance.
The fitness round is your choice. Contrary to popular opinion, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A GYMNAST to do well in this round. Perform your best dance or aerobics routine. It may include gymnastics if you choose. More important is the inclusion of strength and flexibility movements. This round is similar to the bodybuilder's posing routine. It is your time to show the judges your best routine.
There are six mandatory fitness moves, (3 Strength & 3 Flexibility), that are used in the IFBB Professional Fitness Division that will now be mandatory for all NPC national fitness contests including the NPC Junior GB Fitness Championships, NPC Junior National Fitness Championships, NPC GB Fitness Championships, NPC Team Universe Fitness Championships and NPC National Fitness Championships. Fitness competitors in these contests must incorporate the following six moves into their 2 minute fitness routines. They include:
One Arm Push-Up
Leg Extension Hold
These can be done in any order during the 2 minute fitness routine, as long as all of them are included.
PRE-JUDGING ROUND 3
ONE PIECE SWIMSUIT
The top 15 contestants will be brought back out in 2 lines in their 1-piece swimsuits with heels. At this time judges may ask for certain contestants to be placed next to other contestants. Then the quarter turns will be directed so the judges can make any final comparisons they wish. Again the judges will assess the overall physique for degree of athleticism, proportion and skin tone and scoring the degree of athleticism by assessing the degree of firmness, symmetry, proportion and the overall physical appearance including complexion, poise and overall presentation. The swimsuit will have a solid front and will not be allowed to have the abdominal area cut out or showing. For regulation swimsuits, thong or T-back swimsuits cannot be worn. No "V-Shaped" swimsuits will be eligible either. This will apply to ALL NPC FITNESS COMPETITIONS.
During all 3 rounds the judges will place each athlete from 1st-through-15th place in each round depending on the number of athletes competing. After each round, the judges will turn in their scores for that particular round. Once all 3 rounds are completed, the scores will then be added together and averaged as one for each competitor's final score. The judges will be scoring the overall physique and performance during the entire pre-judging. It is important to do your best during the pre-judging because all the scoring is tallied afterward. The only judging of the evening performance is of the height class winners for the overall award. No other scores or placing's will change after the pre-judging.
To decide who the overall champion is, the judges will score the evening performances of the height class winner's again. They will judge their fitness routines again, the height class winners will be brought out in their 1-piece swimsuits and directed through the quarter turns once more.
For local, state and regional contests, all contestants will be introduced at the evening event in their 2-piece swimsuits and heels. The number of athletes who will perform their fitness routines will be designated by the promoter and head judge depending on the number of the total athletes in the event.
For all national level NPC Fitness contests, (NPC Junior GB Fitness Championships, NPC Junior National Fitness Championships, NPC GB Fitness Championships, NPC Team Universe Fitness Championships and NPC National Fitness Championships), the top 15 will be introduced in their 2-piece swimsuits and heels and then the top 5 from all 3 height classes will perform their fitness routine.
The top 5 contestants in each height class will be awarded trophies, medals or other similar awards in their 1-piece swimsuits with heels.
NPC/IFBB FITNESS GUIDELINES - UPDATED 2000
Small degree of muscularity with separation no visible striations
- Overall muscle toneness with shapely lines, overall firmness and no excessive leanness.
- Full general assessment
- Healthy appearance
- Skin tone
- NO EXCESSIVE OVERALL MUSCULARITY
- Number of strength moves
- Degree of difficulty in executing movements
- Creativity in performing strength moves
- Number of Flexibility moves
- Degree of difficulty in executing movements
- Creativity in performing flexibility moves
- Tempo of Routine:
With the growth of NPC Fitness and the new changes that will be ensuing, exciting times are ahead. The NPC has continued its full support of our women's fitness division. We are the best in bodybuilding and your support and participation have made the NPC and IFBB No. 1 in fitness competitions. The NPC and IFBB will be working together to develop more and more fitness championships for the future. We look forward to your participation as either a competitor or spectator.
Suits: For pics of suits that you can use during your 1-piece, 2-piece, and fitness rounds, check out .
To find out the rules for IFBB Amateur Fitness worldwide and IFBB Professional Fitness, please be sure to visit the Official IFBB website at
If you have any questions, call the NPC National Office (412-276-5027), NPC Women's Representative Sandy Ranalli or the district chairperson in your state.
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