International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness

International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness
Sport Bodybuilding and Fitness
Category Sports governing body
Jurisdiction International
Abbreviation IFBB
Founded 1946 (1946)
Headquarters Calle Dublín, nº 39
28232 Europolis
Las Rozas
Madrid, Spain[1]
President Dr Rafael Santonja[2]
Vice president(s)
Albert Busek (Europe)
Javier Pollock (Caribbean)
Aquiles De Cesare (South America)
Paul Graham (South Pacific Oceania)
Dr. Eng. Adel Fahim El Sayed (Africa)
Malih Alaywan (Middle East)
Sheikh Abdullah Al Khalifa (Asia)[2]
Director Pamela Kagan[2]
Secretary William Tierney[2]
Official website

The International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (IFBB), headquartered in Madrid, is an international professional sports governing body for bodybuilding and fitness that oversees many of the sport's major international events, notably the World and Continental Championships.[3][4]


In 1946, the IFBB was founded by brothers Ben and Joe Weider in Montreal, Canada under the name "International Federation of Bodybuilders". The two founding countries were Canada and the United States. Mr. Ben Weider of Canada served as the first IFBB President. In 1967 the IFBB Mr. Olympia was held, which was the IFBB's first contest.[5] From 1966 to 1970, the Federation experienced rapid growth as Joe and Ben Weider promoted the organization globally. By 1970, the IFBB had directors in more than 50 countries worldwide and the IFBB had its footprint in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, North America, and South America.[6]

On September 4, 1970, the IFBB held its 1st International Congress in Belgrade, Yugoslavia where a Constitution was adopted and an Executive Council.[6] In 1971, the IFBB became a member of the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), now SportAccord. Upon receiving membership, the IFBB became the only official representative of bodybuilding to be recognized by world sport authorities. From the 1980s to his death in 2008, IFBB president Ben Weider petitioned the IOC for inclusion of bodybuilding in the Olympic Games.[7] Although bodybuilding had never been on the Olympic Program,[8] in 1998, the IOC granted the IFBB provisional recognition, which lasted nearly four years, but was withdrawn in 2001.[9][10]

In 2004, the IFBB was renamed the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, and maintained the "IFBB" abbreviation. The following year, the IFBB adopted new IFBB Anti-Doping Rules following the World Anti-Doping Code. The IFBB Professional Section was legally split from the IFBB to form the IFBB Professional League, its own legal entity with its own rules and regulations. In turn, the IFBB Constitution became a governing document for the amateur sport only.[6] In 2006, after 60 years, Ben Weider resigned from his role as president and Dr. Rafael Santonja from Spain was elected as the new president. The IFBB headquarters were moved to Madrid, Spain. In 2010, Santonja was reelected for a second term, and in 2014, he was reelected for a third time at the IFBB World Congress in Brasilia.[3]


The IFBB is registered under Spanish law as a nonprofit legal entity. The IFBB has a constitution, technical rules, anti-doping rules, and democratically elected executive council with four-year terms. The IFBB meets annually at its International Congress, held in conjunction with the Men’s World Bodybuilding Championships.[4] The IFBB is a founding member of the International World Games Association (IWGA) and also a member of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee, and the International Council of Coach Education (ICCE). The IFBB is recognized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa, the Association of Pan-American Sport Federations (ACODEPA).[7] The IFBB is also recognized by some 90 National Olympic Committees.[3] The IFBB participates in several Regional Games recognized by the IOC including the Southeast Asian Games, the Asian Games, the South American Games, the Asian Beach Games, the Arab Games, the Pacific Games, the African Games, and the World Games.[7] The IFBB has also participated at the Central American Games.[3]


The IFBB affiliates over 190 National Federations which may also form Continental/Regional Federations.[3]


The IFBB annually holds more than 2,500 competitions at the local, national, regional, continental, and World Championships levels.[11] Competitions are held for the various sports disciplines the IFBB has recognized, many of which are organized with juniors, seniors, and masters divisions.[12] Some notable IFBB contests include the IFBB Men’s World Bodybuilding Championships, the IFBB Men's World Classic Bodybuilding Championships, the IFBB World Fitness Championships, and the Arnold Classic.

IFBB World Bodybuilding Championships

71st Classic Bodybuilding and 12th Bodyclassic was held in 2017.

Edition Year Host City Country Events
652011Tallinn Estonia
662012Sofia Bulgaria
672013Marrakech Morocco
682014La Nucía Spain
692015Benidorm Spain
702016Benidorm Spain
712017Benidorm Spain

WBPF World Bodybuilding Championships

Edition Year Host City Country Events
12009DubaiUnited Arab Emirates
22010Uttar PradeshIndia
92017Ulaanbaatar Mongolia

AFBF Asian Bodybuilding Championships (IFBB Rules)

from 1957 to 2008 + 2009 to now

Edition Year Host City Country Events
482014Colombo Sri Lanka
492015Kitakyushu Japan26
502016Beijing China27
512017Ulaanbataar Mongolia38

ABBF Asian Bodybuilding Championships (WBPF Rules)

from 2009 to now

Edition Year Host City Country Events
512017Seoul South Korea

See also


  1. Contact the IFBB, "Contact the IFBB" Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Executive Council, "Executive Council" Retrieved on 21 November 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 About The IFBB, "About The IFBB" Retrieved on 20 November 2015.
  4. 1 2 IFBB Constitution , "IFBB Constitution March 2015" Archived 2015-11-21 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 20 November 2015.
  5. "History of Bodybuilding". History of Bodybuilding. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 "Congress History" Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  7. 1 2 3 "Anti-Doping History" Archived 2015-09-06 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 24 November 2015.
  8. Grasso, John; Mallon, Bill; Heijmans, Jeroen (14 May 2015). Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement (Fifth ed.). London: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 81. ISBN 978-1-4422-4860-1. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  9. "Bodybuilding as an Olympic Sport?" Retrieved on 27 November 2015.
  10. Rbimba.It [ "2001 Congress"] Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  11. Locks, Adam; Richardson, Niall (2012). Critical Readings in Bodybuilding. New York, NY: Rutledge. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-0-203-80945-7. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  12. "General Rules 2014" Archived 2015-12-08 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
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