Manage episode 377431041 series 2984992
Welcome back guys! Just me on the mic today addressing the question I get all the time about what the rules are on competing in multiple organizations. Can you? What happens if you do? Tune in to find out.
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*My background on this subject (3:40)
*Why people want to switch between organizations (6:30)
*An overview of the rules on switching organizations (11:10)
*Why some of my virtual posing clinics are official and some aren’t (13:15)
*Why where you hold your Pro card status matters if you want to switch organizations (14:55)
*Virtual posing clinics at learntopose.com (17:33)
Welcome back to the show guys! I hope you have been enjoying listening to the men’s perspective on bodybuilding and fitness with the addition of my new weekly discussion episodes with my husband Vassilios hosting with me. He and I will be back again later this week with another episode. We also record these live every week in the Everything Else in bodybuilding podcast insiders Facebook group in case you want to watch these episodes and participate in the discussion in real time.
But today it’s just me here sharing some of my thoughts on a topic that I think is very important for those who wish to compete in more than one federation. Over the years the bodybuilding industry has changed a lot and more and more federations have popped up giving people new opportunities to compete in their local area. There are also the federations that have grown into empires with a large pool of participants and a large number of shows around the country and world.
With this many organizations and opportunities to compete, I’ve had many people ask me what are the rules on changing federations? I’ve mentioned it before that many coaches will align with a particular federation and only coach athletes for shows within that federation. Some coaches will only coach athletes for drug tested federations because of their strong belief in natural bodybuilding. Some coaches will only coach for NPC because they believe that their federation is the only one of value in the bodybuilding industry. And some don’t care where you compete and will coach you anywhere you wish to go.
This is relevant for posing coaches too. Many stay in their lane and coach for the division they competed in themselves. Some will only coach for the federation they competed with. There is nothing wrong with specializing in one area. For example, when I was searching for an orthopedic for an injury, I had to weed through the orthopedics on the office roster to find a doctor that worked on the area of the body I needed help with. Just like in bodybuilding there are specialists within specialists. This is very common.
I consider what I personally do uncommon because because my speciality is posing for ALL bodybuilding federations and all men and women divisions. I work with hundreds of athletes a year and this year alone I’ve taught posing for athletes in over 10 federations.
My current roster includes men and women bodybuilders, classic physique competitors, wellness competitors, figure competitors, bikini competitors, men’s physique competitors, women’s physique competitors, fit body competitors, glamour, and the list goes on. In any given day I will switch between all the divisions by the hour. And my virtual group classes will include anywhere between 3-5 divisions in one hour.
Yes, in one of my classes, I will manage, teach, and provide value to men and women in 5 divisions at ONCE. Wonder how I provide value to so many? Well you have to come and see. Right now in one of my classes that has 5 divisions, most of these students have been in the classes for 9 months. Those who leave tend to come back. And many tell their friends and teammates about the classes.
So my speciality is very specific in that it’s posing for all of bodybuilding, but it is much broader than what you are going to find anywhere else.
The reason I say all of this, is because my experience means I know all the different nuances among the federations. And today I’m going to share my thoughts on some dos and don’ts and spoken and unspoken rules when switching between federations.
Let me first say that there are two very different paths you can take in bodybuilding. One path is drug tested federations like the OCB, WNBF, INBA/PNBA, Musclemania, Fitness Universe, USBF, and so on.
And the other path is the non drug tested federations like the NPC/IFBB and the WBFF. Some people are surprised to hear that WBFF is not drug tested. It is in fact not.
By the way just because you compete in a drug tested federation doesn’t mean everyone is honest. There have been many people caught using banned substances in drug tested federations. The INBA/PNBA even has a “wall of shame” where they will put your picture on their website to make sure everyone knows you are banned from their federation for lying about drug use.
And just because you compete in non drug tested federations doesn’t mean you are on drugs. I’ve competed and won shows in the NPC and competed on the WBFF pro World stage too. I am 100% natural. You can absolutely compete in these federations if you are drug free. I think the biggest issue today with people coming into the sport is that these non drug tested federations have a different interpretation of acceptable amount of muscle. So it’s not that you can’t compete there, it’s a question on whether you will be COMPETITIVE when you compete there.
This is one reason people switch between federations. If you look at the amount of muscle on the figure, women’s physique, classic, wellness, and open bodybuilding competitors in the IFBB, which is where you compete when you get your pro card in the NPC, and compare it to the amount of muscle in a federation like the OCB for example, you will see there is a dramatic difference in overall size and hardness of the muscles. I think it’s safe to say that if you are a pro in any of these divisions in the IFBB you are on a completely different path than the OCB. In my opinion, you cannot build the amount of size these people carry without drugs. Unless you are that 1% of the population like 5x Figure Olympian champion Cydney Dillon who claims to be a natural athlete.
Which leads me to the bikini and men’s physique categories. These categories were introduced to bodybuilding as more entry level divisions for those who are new to the sport and don’t have the years of training and muscle building behind them to be competitive in the other categories. Originally the descriptions of these categories even said “beach body.” Adding these categories was the boost bodybuilding promoters needed because it dramatically increased the amount of people capable of competing in shows. Which increased registrants and audience attendance. This goes for all bodybuilding federations.
The beauty of these divisions has made it possible for people from all walks of life, all ages, to have an incredible physical transformation and compete in a show as a way to showcase it. In fact, the largest growing age group reaching out to me for posing assistance are men and women over 50. It’s a beautiful thing to hear their stories and how many of them always wanted to compete but things never aligned in life to do so until now.
So where do they go? Where do they compete? NPC non drug tested? Drug tested? A lot of them compete in BOTH. Because from a physique and acceptable level of muscle standpoint, as an amateur, and let me be clear that this is an an amateur, there are much more people capable of being competitive in either drug tested or not drug tested federations on the local and national level. Once you get to the pro level with the non drug tested federations, it’s a different conversation because the level of muscle and leanness is on another level. But locally as an amateur, you can absolutely do well in either federation if you are a bikini or men’s physique competitor.
Many new to competing look to see what shows are offered in their local area. With NPC being a very large federation they have thousands of shows around the country. Not every drug tested federation has competitions in every state like the NPC does. In fact many drug tested federations have a presence in a specific region of the country. So if you are in a state that doesn’t have shows offered, especially if you are new, you are not likely to want to pay for airfare, car rental, and additional hotel time just because you want to do your first show. So most people compete locally at first.
Which brings me to the rules on switching federations. Many new people to bodybuilding compete and win their pro status very quickly in the non drug tested federations but for various reasons want to compete with other organizations besides the one they are a pro in. These reasons range from: wanting more stage time, not feeling like they are ready to compete with the pros yet, and many competitors who get a master’s pro card (which is a pro card for those in a category over a certain age), are disappointed to see the number of shows offered to master’s only pro competitors is very limited, and they want to compete more.
Can you do this?
Overall as an amateur you can do whatever you want. And I encourage you to get on stage more than once for more experience. Plus you worked really hard to get on stage for your show, why would’t you want to do more than one after all that work? The day goes by so fast.
However, once you get a pro card, the rules as a professional in each organization are different. And you have to read the fine print. Or feel free reach out and ask me or ask in our podcast insiders group.
In general, if you get a pro card in the NPC and become an IFBB pro, you are discouraged from competing elsewhere. You sign contracts when competing too. IFBB is very restrictive.
In fact, I have judged for 4 federations in the bodybuilding industry. A couple years ago I reached out to the NPC district chairman in my region and offered to judge the local NPC shows in my area. I was asked to provide a resume so I did. I described my experience as both a head judge and a panel judge for multiple organizations, a champion competitor in the NPC, my decades of experience, and so on.
The response I received was black or white. I was told that if I wanted to judge for the NPC then I can no longer judge for any other federation. This was just judging you guys. You don’t make a living judging. In fact you get paid pretty much just gas money when you judge a show. You are a judge because you love the sport and want to give back to it. Which was my intent. Needless to say, I decided not to judge for the NPC and to instead give back to NPC competitors by continuing to help with their posing and choreography with the business that I own and operate full time and make my living with.
I am proud of being versatile in the bodybuilding industry and love that in the past year alone I judged the Fitness America and Musclemania weekend in Hollywood last November, head judged for the WNBF pro am show in NY, and judged multiple pro am shows for the OCB too. Not one of these three federations ever asked me to not judge anywhere else.
In fact, I have the honor of doing the official OCB virtual posing clinics every month. Marjorie and Sully both thank me for doing them and tell me how much they appreciate what I am doing for their athletes. They tell me they appreciate me. They feel that what I do is a service to their athletes. And they know I teach and judge for other federations.
In addition, I’m about to launch official virtual posing clinics for the Fitness Universe and Musclemania organization too, beginning October 1st. Fitness Universe is nothing like the OCB organization. Competing in OCB and Fitness Universe is nothing like the other. They are completely different so they aren’t competitors if you ask me. Regardless, each owner knows I teach across all federations for my full time job and they both believe that what I provide their athletes is a great service to them.
I do also have NPC virtual posing clinics going on monthly right now, but they are not official, and, as you probably guessed, this is because I teach for other organizations. They provide the athletes in the NPC the exact same in value and education custom to the federation. In fact, one of my previous NPC clinic attendees said she learned more in 15 minutes at my virtual posing clinic than she did at an in person event run by the organization. So if you are thinking of competing in any of these organizations I highly recommend you start with one of my virtual posing clinics. I have them all listed on my website learntopose.com if you scroll down to the services section.
So again, what you can and cannot do once you are a pro or working professionally within an organization depends on the organization.
Many competitors fear they will lose their pro card if they compete elsewhere. If you are an IFBB pro, you will be discouraged from competing elsewhere. As an amateur, no one is going to prevent you from competing at a NPC show if you ran across the street and did an OCB show. Again, it depends on amateur versus pro status.
Now let’s talk pro status in the natural federations. The OCB had a rule that if you were an OCB pro and you competed in a non drug tested federation you would no longer be eligible to compete as an OCB pro. A large number of athletes reached out the OCB and voiced their concerns that they wanted to compete locally so they didn’t need to fly to compete and there were NPC shows in their area. Last year the OCB heard the athletes and removed their rule. So going forward as an OCB pro athlete you can compete where you want and not risk losing your pro status.
A large number of other drug tested federations have actually signed a pact amongst each other that allows you to compete as a pro in their federation no matter where you received your pro status. A pro is a pro to them. So you are not discouraged at all to compete in other federations. They don’t care.
Other federations will discourage you from competing elsewhere but don’t make a big stink out of it and disallow you from coming back. They prefer that you not win a show and take money and to leave, but that’s not a requirement.
The three main pro federations that draw a line in the sand once you become a pro are the IFBB, WBFF, and Muclemania/Fitness Universe. You do risk your pro status when you leave and compete elsewhere. You will have to re-qualify for it. But again this is the pro level where you are now competing on stages and, with the exception of Fitness Universe and Musclemania, you are earning money within that organization. Once you start earning money things change. Up until that point as an amateur you can pretty much do whatever you want. Some coaches will say you can’t cross over but that’s really just their opinion and people being drama.
Alright guys I hope you found this episode helpful. Let me know by commenting, liking, and subscribing to the podcast! Head on over to the everything else in bodybuilding podcast insiders group on Facebook and join the conversation too.
And if you are getting ready for a show and want to learn how to pose and be competitive on stage in your category, I have official virtual posing clinics for the OCB every month, next one October 7th. and, beginning September 30th, I’m starting back up my NPC virtual posing clinics too, and finally one more big announcement, on October 1st I will be hosting my first official Fitness Universe virtual posing clinic. Fitness Universe is great for those interested in trying a federation with production like a tv show and divisions that include male and female model. A list of all clinics can be found on my website learntopose.com in the services section. Alright I’ll be back later this week with my husband for our weekly discussion.
See you later!