" Do I need to join a club to compete in a bodybuilding show?"
" How many organisations are there?" " Which one for me?"

07-NzfWell-Nakiteam1 They're some of the most common questions asked of me when athletes start to prepare for a bodybuilding show, and ultimately compete in one.

So to put a few minds at ease, we'll try and answer a few niggling questions and enlighten you about the very competitive bodybuilding scene in New Zealand. If respective organisations have more to add, please email me with details as I maybe out of touch with what's happening in your organisation.

The organisations include: NABBA (National Amateur Bodybuilders Association),
NZFBB (New Zealand Federation of Bodybuilders)
and INBA (International Natural Bodybuilders Association).

Between them, they organise at least 20 shows throughout the country each year satisfying the number of competitors who are taking up the sport in droves.

07-NzfWell2-Figline2 How many bodybuilding organisations are there in New Zealand?
Although bodybuilding is a minority sport in New Zealand, we sure have a lot of buffed bods who just love to strut their stuff on stage. There is so much interest in the sport that New Zealand has managed to create 3 amateur organisations who regular put on shows to cater for the demand.

left: NZFBB figure

When do I need to join?
Ideally you should join and pay entry fee for the organisation you want to compete in at least a week before the show as this will give you one less stress on competition day. Most contests will hold 'registration' the day before which they will measure you for your weight or height class. Once there, you pay a membership fee (if you left it till last minute), $45 for NZFBB or $40 for NABBA, and usually a $10 - $15 entry fee for the contest in which you are competing.

Can I compete in both organisations?
Yes you can! you want to make the most of your contest shape so yes you can compete in both organisations. Previously NZFBB required you to pay another registration fee if you decided to compete in NABBA but I believe that's been scrapped so now you can chop and change without extra registration fee being paid.

Do they have the same classes?
NABBA, NZFBB and INBA contest figure, physique and fitness at their contests.
NZFBB has a women's bodyfitness class while NABBA has a shape class which emphasises the athletes' shape and structure rather than the hardened muscles of their traditional figure class. NZFBB has recently introduced a new Classic class for men similar to NABBA.

07-nbaBoPjaninemichdb Is the criteria for figure the same for all organisations?
If you've ever been to both the NABBA and NZFBB shows you'll notice marked differences in the two figure classes. Athletes in NABBA tend to display a more hardened figure with defined and striated muscles while judges in the NZFBB look for a more toned and athletic figure. For a more detailed criteria I would suggest you contact the various organizations directly for a thorough explanation of what they are looking for.

left: NABBA figure. Janine and Michelle

Can you wear the same cut bikinis?
If you've got a GREAT behind then you might want to show it off in a NABBA contest because they allow women to wear G strings. This applies to both the figure and physique class. But you don't have to wear a G string and a 3/4 bottom will be fine. However, G strings is an absolute no no with the NZFBB and you must have at least half of your buttocks covered at their shows. Other than that, the bikinis are basically the same and you can use any type of fabrics or adornment on your figure costume. NZFBB Physique bikinis however must be a solid colour. While NABBA physique bikinis can be decorated.

Do they have the same poses?
NABBA and NZFBB do have the same compulsory poses however there are slight
variations in the posing criteria between the organizations. NZFBB are fairly strict in the way they like to see their competitors pose whereas NABBA are more relaxed with their compulsory poses. As long as you can show off your symmetry then almost anything goes with NABBA. The best way to see if you're doing the right thing by the organisations is to contact the secretary of the various organisations and ask them to send a posing criteria to you.

Do any of the organisations implement a drug testing programme?
The NZFBB was the first bodybuilding organisation to drug test its athletes. Competitors in the NZFBB are tested in competition and out of competition. NZFBB competitors have to be in the drug testing pool for 6 months or more before they can represent NZ in an international contest. NABBA don't have a drug testing programme.

Rhonda Bryers
NZFBB Bodyfitness Int'l rep

Teresa Edwards
NABBA Shape Int'l rep

Which organisation for you?
Which organisation you choose to compete is more than likely influenced by the gym you
train at and what organisation they support. Your choice could also be influenced by which competition your friend did, what your trainer recommends or simply what time of year you choose to compete and when your body is ready to compete. The best bet is to go to shows put on by the different organizations and decide which look you like best and aim for that.

Go with a friend or Personal Trainer so you can check out the different classes and see
which class you are best suited. It really depends on what type of figure appeals to you.
If you think you'd like to have a hard and defined figure then NABBA figure could
be for you, however, if the athletic toned look of the NZFBB is more to your liking then
go for that. Also you should consider your body type and how it responds to training and dieting. Some athletes can get quite lean and defined which could make them too 'hard'
if they compete in an NZFBB show. But if they compete in NABBA then they could do quite well.

06-NzfNatsLisaHeidi Put Yourself First !
Which organisation you choose to compete isn't going to be as big a decision as deciding to compete. Remember that you are competing for yourself so make sure you train and diet hard so that you can look your best. Once you have achieved the look you want, then you can choose which organisation gets your support.

left: Lisa and Heidi, one of many supergirls putting themselves first

This has only been a brief overview of the bodybuilding scene in New Zealand, if you
would like more information I'd recommend you check out the various websites
and contact them directly:

NABBA: www.nabba.co.nz NZFBB: www.nzifbb.org.nz

If some of these points made above are incorrect or need to have some changes, would a representative from the bodybuilding organisations mentoined please get back to me. The novices would appreciate it and me!


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