Entering a Bodybuilding show can be daunting, whether you're a first-time competitor or a seasoned athlete. This set of judging criteria is aimed to help you understand what the judges will be looking for on the day. 


Judging is determined by the following criteria:

  • Mass

  • Definition

  • Proportion

  • Symmetry

  • Stage Presence



The quintessential factor in bodybuilding since it's foundation. The size and density of the muscle of the competitor is the key factor in meriting the other judged factors. 


The magnitude of the lean muscle mass that is presented by a competitor on stage due to the ridding of subcutaneous body fat. Definition is of little use to judges without sufficient mass, and vice versa. 

Proportion and Symmetry:

While similar, there are common misconceptions about symmetry and proportion which could potentially impact a competitors training. Symmetry is the strict denotion of equal muscle development on both sides of the physique. Proportion, on the other hand is the balance of muscular development in comparison to every other body part. A muscle group that dominantes and causes the other groups to pale in comparison is hindering on the aesthetic pleasure of one's physique. 

Stage Presence: 

Often forgone in favour of pure physique, the level of personal grooming, poise, presentation of the physique and routine are all essential in creating a convincing display to exaggerate the presented physique to the highest level. 



IBFA-UK Mr and Mrs Cumbria 2021:

Because of the IBFA's firm belief in bodybuilding being accesible to anyone, and our grassroots belief in giving athletes an opportunity, we have a wide array of classes available to competitors, including

  • Men's first timers
  • Men's over 40
  • Men's over 50
  • Men's Over 60
  • Men's Juniors under 23
  • Men's athletic tall
  • Men's athletic short 
  • Men's mr short
  • Men's Mr Medium
  • Men's Mr Tall
  • Ladies First time 
  • Ladies toned 
  • Ladies Athletic 
  • Ladies trained 
  • Mr and Mrs Cumbria - For Cumbrian postcode residents only. 

When judging classes aside from the traditional set, such as Athletic Men's, there are a few alterations to the rules for entry. 

The Novice classes is for those athletes who have previously competed but not won a show of any class, not only with the IBFA. If you've won a class, you're ineligible for this class.

Men's Athletic:

The judging for this class remains unaltered, however there are entry restrictions; 

For the Tall class: 173cm>, 100Kg weight limit +/ 6Kg

For the Short: 173cm<, 100kg Weight Limit +/4Kg


Ladies Toned:

Ladies Toned falls under the ideals of grace, balance, symmetry and poise. 

Judging will center around the noticeable absence of bodyfat, however excessive muscle-mass or vascularity is considered unsuitable for the class. Any competitor that is too muscular for the toned class will be asked to move to Athletic or Trained, if need be. 

Toned competitors are taken through quarter tones and compulsory poses to demonstrate their lean figures and grace. 


Ladies Athletic:

The Athletic Ladies class serves as a midpoint between the trained and toned classes. Idealised as a display of athletic muscluar development without the excessive striations or seperations that are valued in trained. Lean muscle is appreciated in this class, for example development of the abdominals, however large and 'bulky' muscle groups are not aesthetically suitable for the Athletic class. 






General Information

Women’s Bikini is based in a foundation of health and general fitness, symmetry, and balance. It’s an expression of poise, femininity and self-confidence and this is what desired on stage.

Extreme definition and muscular separation, dryness and leanness from competition dieting is not acceptable for bikini and is suited to the women trained division.

When in the line-up, competitors should not be adopting a tense pose, but a slightly relaxed stance.

Round 1, Quarter Turns: Competitors stand facing front-stage; quarter turn to the right, quarter turn again to face the rear of stage, quarter turn again to the right, and finally quarter turn again to face front-stage again. Again, competitors should demonstrate the hallmarks of the Bikini class with poise and elegance, and refrain from adopting a tense stance throughout the round.

Round 2, Walk: Starting point is the centre of the stage at the rear facing front. The head judge requests the competitor to walk forward to the front of the stage and stop, then rotate to the right and pose, and rotate to the left and pose. Then, a rotation to face the back of the stage for a back pose, and finally a front facing rotation again. The music for this round is the DJ’s Choice.


Round 3, Comparisons: Competitors line up facing front at the back of the stage. The head judge will call groups of 3 to 6 to front and centre. They will judge condition, and then request the competitors’ best front pose, right side pose, back pose and left side pose. Competitors will return to face the front of the stage and back to line up and this is repeated until all judges have completed their critiques.



Tickets will be available for both athletes and spectators soon at: This Link

Check out the IBFA UK Mr and Mrs Cumbria Facebook page for competitor information, hints and advice from IBFA UK President Martyn Yates Brown!