Q: How do I affiliate to the IFBB?
A: There are two ways you can affiliate to the IFBB. First – you can affiliate on our website (www.ifbbsa.co.za) or SECOND - you can affiliate at the show where you are going to compete.
When you affiliate on the website, you will receive a confirmation email. Make sure you have a copy of the email available when you enter a show for that year (printed or on your phone).
When you affiliate at the show, you will receive an affiliation card. Please fill in your personal detail on the card and make sure that the YEAR in which you affiliate is written on the card by an IFBB official.
Q: For how long is my affiliation valid?
A: Your affiliation is valid for ONE CALENDAR YEAR. If you affiliate in the beginning of the year, you must take your proof of affiliation WITH YOU to each show you enter during that year – otherwise you will have to pay again.
Q: Why do I have to affiliate?
What does the word ‘affiliation’ means? The word ‘affiliation’ means to have an official connection to something.
International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, IFBB, the governing body of the sport of bodybuilding and fitness, was founded by brothers Joe and Ben Weider in 1946 in Montreal, Canada and its current President is Dr Rafael Santonja. IFBB headquarters are located in Madrid, Spain. IFBB is a member of SportAccord, International World Games Association, UNESCO, ICSSPE, amongst many other prestigious international bodies, being recognized as the sole International Sport Federation for the sport of Bodybuilding and Fitness in full compliance with the WADA (World Anti-Doping Association) Code.
To be affiliated to the IFBB South Africa, means that you have an official connection to the above. The IFBB is an International Bodybuilding and Fitness organization and when you are affiliated to the organization, you have access to all the opportunities created by the IFBB for their athletes.
Q: This is my first time competing. What must I do to be able to compete in an IFBB competition?
A: To be able to compete, you must affiliate to the IFBB. You can either affiliate online on the website (www.ifbbsa.co.za) prior to the competition you want to enter or you can affiliate at the competition itself. You must just get the detail of the competition you want to enter (date/time/venue/categories), then you go to the venue, take with your proof of affiliation/affiliate at the competition, and compete. The detail of all the competitions will be available on our website or on our Facebook page (BBSA Bodybuilding South Africa IFBB South Africa). You can search for us on Facebook and like/follow our page.
Q: Can I compete at another federation’s competition if I am affiliated to the IFBB?
A: You can, however if you choose to do this, you will not be selected to compete (even if you qualify) at the IFBB Worlds Championships, Arnold Classic Africa or any other IFBB International competitions (local or overseas). This is a standard rule that was set by the IFBB International Executive Council. Only athletes who are loyal to the IFBB will be selected for the said competitions.
Q: How do I qualify to compete at the Arnold Classic Africa?
A: During each year, the IFBB South Africa host a variety of Sanctioned shows, which qualifier shows are for the Arnold Classic. Wherever a show poster is advertised, it will be indicated if the show is an Arnolds qualifying show. You can also visit our website to see which shows are qualifying shows, or our Facebook page.
Q: Who can compete at the Arnold Classic Africa each year?
A: If you participate at an Arnold Classic qualifying show, you stand a chance to be selected to represent IFBB South Africa at the Arnold Classic. HOWEVER it is NOT a given that, even though you might win your line-up, that you will be selected. Or sometimes even if you don’t win your line-up, you might still be selected. It purely depends on the quality of the athletes competing at the qualifying show. You will receive an email with your invitation to the Arnolds within a short time after the qualifying show. Therefore please make sure that you fill in the correct email address on your entry form in readable handwriting.
Q: Why can’t I compete at another federation if I am affiliated to the IFBB?
A: This is a standard rule that was set by the IFBB International Executive Council. As the IFBB South Africa is affiliated to IFBB International, we are bound by their rules and regulations, and must adhere to it.
Q: What is the IFBB Constitution?
A: The IFBB Constitution is a document that was compiled by the IFBB South Africa Executive Committee in conjunction with our lawyer, and presented and approved by the IFBB International Executive Council. This document contains all the rules and regulations which the IFBB South Africa needs to abide to. As this document was approved by the International Executive Council and their lawyers, it serves as a binding contract between South Africa and the International Federation. We are obliged to execute all the rules and regulations stipulated in the Constitution. The Constitution is available on our website for you to view.
Q: How can I be sure that I will be judged correctly?
A: The judges who are judging you at a competition have all passed a tough judges exam and they have trial judged for one year minimum at various shows. Above all, they had to score a minimum of 70% for their trial judging before they could qualify as judges.
After each competition, the judges who judged get a judges score. This score will influence the judges’ status and at which competitions they are allowed to judge. Therefore the judges must judge correctly otherwise it will influence their scores and their statuses. You can be sure that the judges will do their best at each competition, as all the scores get send to the IFBB National Chief Judge, who keeps a record of all the judging scores for all judges.
Q: What can I do if I am not happy with my placing at a competition?
A: You must submit your query in writing to the Chief Judge of the competition you attended on the same day of the competition or no later than the Monday after the competition. The Chief Judge will get back to you in this regard. If you are not satisfied with the answer you get, you can send an email to
Q: Where can I find the IFBB Rules and Regulations?
A: The IFBB South Africa Rules and Regulations document is available on our website (www.ifbbsa.co.za).
Q: What is a junior athlete?
A: In South Africa there are two junior categories – under 18 years and under 23 years of age. It might happen at competitions that there are only one junior category. The reason for this is it is costly to host a category and there are no entries. The committees might work on past entries of the previous years to determine if they are going to host more than one junior category. It also depends on sponsorships. Please keep an eye out for the show poster as all the information you need will be on there.
The IFBB deem a person as a junior athlete if he/she is under 18 years of age/under 23 years of age. You can still compete under 18 years the same year in which you turn 18. From the next year you will have to compete in the juniors under 23 years. You can still compete under 23 years until the same year in which you turn 23. Then the next year (in which you turn 24) you have to move to the senior divisions.
Q: What is a Novice athlete?
A: There are different statuses of athletes. The first status is a ‘Novice’ athlete. A novice athlete is an athlete who has NEVER competed in a BBSA/IFBB show before. Athletes who placed 4th, 5th and 6th may remain a novice for one more year DIRECTLY AFTER the first year they competed. Regardless of the athlete’s placing during this year, he/she will have to move on to Provincial level.
If an athlete places 1st, 2nd or 3rd during the Novice show and the athlete enters any other competition during that year where he/she doesn’t enter as a ‘novice’ – their novice status are forfeit. Also if an athlete decide to go to a different division – let’s say from juniors to senior men or from senior men to masters – he is NOT regarded as a novice athlete anymore.
If an athlete has never entered any BBSA/IFBB competition before and they choose NOT to enter the novice competition first, but to enter any provincial competition first – he/she may NOT go ‘back’ and enter any novice competition. He/she will then be redeemed as an ‘experienced’ athlete.
Q: What is a Provincial athlete?
A: A provincial athlete is any athlete that have previously competed in a BBSA/IFBB competition. These athletes can compete at their province’s intermediate shows, their provincial shows, any IFBB sanctioned show as well as the BBSA/IFBB National Championship.
Q: What is a PRO athlete/how can I become a PRO athlete?
A: An athlete needs to apply in writing to the IFBB South African President for a PRO card. The criteria for applying for a PRO card is as follow:
The athlete needs to be a well-known top IFBB SA athlete. The athlete will be expected to be solely loyal to IFBB SA and shall not compete or guest pose in any other federation’s shows for a minimum period of two consecutive years (or two full seasons) directly prior to and up to the date of application.
In the same year of application the athlete must:
Compete in the IFBB SA National Championship and win his/her division, and
Compete in an IFBB Continental Championship (for example the IFBB African Championship) and win the overall title, or
Compete in any Arnold or Olympia Amateur event and win the overall title, or
Represent South Africa at the IFBB World Championship and win his/her division.
An application for a PRO CARD must include three full length photo’s (a front view / a back view / a side view). Once all criteria have been met and the athlete’s application has been sent to the IFBB SA President, an application will be forwarded to IFBB INTERNATIONAL. IFBB SA cannot guarantee that an athlete will be awarded his/her PRO CARD as this will be at the sole discretion of IFBB INTERNATIONAL.
The main difference between an amateur and a professional athlete is that professional athletes only compete internationally and they can compete for money. The IFBB rules for the PRO league also differs from the rules of the amateur league.
If you want to earn your IFBB PRO card, you need to be loyal to IFBB. Only loyal IFBB athletes will be considered for PRO status. The rules to be considered as a PRO athlete has been approved by the President of IFBB International, Dr Rafael Santonja and is penned down in our constitution. We need to comply with this rule. When the IFBB South African President apply on an athlete’s behalf to IFBB International for a PRO card, the President pledge to the International President that you as athlete comply to this rule. If this is not the case … IFBB South Africa (affiliate to IFBB International) put their integrity on the line and our affiliation to IFBB International can be revoked. This means that we won’t be able to send our athletes to compete at any IFBB sanctioned international shows (including IFBB World, Arnolds Sports Festival, and Amateur Olympia etc.).
Q: What is a Master athlete?
A: A master athlete is an athlete of advanced age. For ladies the ‘master’ age is 35 years and for men it is 40 years.
Q: How do I go about getting a sponsor?
A: Unfortunately the IFBB cannot help you with your sponsorship. You need to excel in the sport and submit your competition CV to the company you wish to sponsor you. We realise it is a very expensive sport and it is difficult if you have to pay for yourself. This is how all our athletes get their sponsorships, through hard work and perseverance. Or if you know somebody who owns a company, you can approach them and explain your future plans. But you will have to convince them that it would be worth it for the company though.
Q: Where can I get a certified trainer?
A: You can go to your local gym and ask as they should have qualified trainers available. Or they can connect you to a personal trainer. You can also have a look on Facebook as there are a lot of online trainers available. You can also try to contact a supplement company, as they have representatives that sometimes are also qualified trainers.
Q: What are the compulsory poses for the different categories?
A: Have a look on our website (www.ifbbsa.co.za) for the rules and criteria. You will see that the different criteria are available for the different divisions. You will find the information you need in the criteria document.
Q: What are the criteria for the different divisions?
A: A: Have a look on our website (www.ifbbsa.co.za) for the rules and criteria. You will see that the different criteria are available for the different divisions. You will find the information you need in the criteria document.
Q: Where can I find the competition dates?
A: Competition dates are available on our website (www.ifbbsa.co.za).
Q: What is the IFBB Twitter handle?
Q: What is the IFBB Website address?
A: It is www.ifbbsa.co.za
Q: How would I know which supplements to use?
A: Remember that our bodies all differ and it is difficult to say which supplement will work for which body type. What might work for one person, will not necessarily work for another person. You will have to use a supplement first to determine if it works for you or not. You can have this discussion with your personal trainer, who should be qualified to advise you on this topic.
Q: Can the IFBB arrange a sponsorship for me?
A: Unfortunately the IFBB cannot assist with any sponsorship, as we are a non-profitable organisation. You will have to arrange your own sponsorship. The IFBB only host competitions to cater for athletes, we do not sponsor any athlete.
Q: How does the IFBB differ from other federations?
A: As the IFBB South Africa is not familiar with the constitution, rules and regulations of other federations, we are not in a position to comment on any other federation. You can contact the federations to get more information in this regard. The constitution, rules and regulations of the IFBB South Africa is available on our website (www.ifbbsa.co.za).
Q: How do I qualify to compete at the SA’s?
A: You will have to compete at your local Provincial show, where a team will be selected to represent your Province/District at the South African Championships. Your Province will have to select you and you will receive an invitation letter to compete at the IFBB South African Championships.
Q: Who can compete at an IFBB Sanctioned show?
A: Any athlete can compete at an IFBB Sanctioned Show. Keep in mind that if you are a Novice athlete and you compete at a Sanctioned show, you will lose your Novice status.
Q: What must I do if I want to qualify to represent South Africa at the IFBB World Championships?
A: An athlete have to compete at his/her provincial show in order to be chosen to compete at the BBSA/IFBB National Championship. He/she can only compete at the Nationals as per invitation from their respective provinces.
At the BBSA/IFBB National Championship various teams will be selected to compete overseas. Any athlete can only compete at overseas competitions as per invitation from IFBB South Africa.
Q: How will I get my Protea Colours?
A: You will have to represent IFBB South Africa at the IFBB World Championships in order to get your Protea Colours. IFBB South Africa is the only South African Bodybuilding and Fitness organization that is affiliated to SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee), and therefore we are allowed to submit applications on behalf of athletes representing IFBB South Africa at the World Championships.
Q: What makes the IFBB different from other federations?
A: The IFBB caters for athletes from Novice to PRO status. We create a platform for athletes throughout South Africa. We are affiliated to SASCOC which means that IFBB is the only bodybuilding and fitness organisation in South Africa recognised by SASCOC. To be affiliated to SASCOC we had to comply with the requirement that the IFBB is represented in all respective districts and provinces. This also means that our organisation is only going to get bigger in future, which means more recognition and money from the Government – which will benefit each and every athlete in South Africa. We are focussed on the development of young and up and coming athletes and to make people aware of our sport and we are already in a position to assist athletes and officials financially with regard to overseas trips.
IFBB South Africa are planning to host 45 shows throughout South African for 2017.
IFBB South Africa is the only South African Bodybuilding and Fitness organization that is affiliated to SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee), and therefore we are allowed to submit applications on behalf of athletes representing IFBB South Africa at the World Championships.
Q: What categories are available at the IFBB shows?
A: Please keep an eye out for the show posters, as the posters will include the categories that will be hosted at that specific show. You are also welcome to check out the rules and regulations on our website (www.ifbbsa.co.za) as the different categories are discussed there.
Q: How do I come in contact with an IFBB representative in my area?
A: Have a look on our website (www.ifbbsa.co.za) for the contact persons in the different areas. You are also welcome to send us an email at
Q: I am not an athlete but I want to get involved with the IFBB, what can I do?
A: You can send an email to