Rules 2019-01-04T00:32:07-04:00

Want to compete?USBF-Pro-Bodybuilder-Erik-Alstrup

This is where you start.

The United States Bodybuilding Federation membership covers amateurs and professionals.

Memberships are categorized as follows:

  • Men and Women’s Bodybuilding
  • Men and Women’s Physique
  • Figure
  • Bikini

Athletes can compete in multiple classes:

  • Master’s 35+, 40+, 50+, 60+, 70+
  • Teens and Juniors
  • Debut and Novice

USBF Rules and Criteria

USBF Judges Guide

Men and Women

Contestants are judged in three areas; all three are weighed equally:

  • Muscularity – Hardness, deep cuts, and muscle separation is the focus.
  • Symmetry – A balanced physique is a major plus.  Nothing stands out [in a bad way] more than an under-developed upper or lower body.
  • Presentation – The key here is to practice, practice, and more practice. Assuming that you put in the hard work and have a winning physique, now you must present it properly.

For more information, please review the Judges Guide.


Male Physique is similar to Fitness Modeling. Contestants should display poise and confidence, flexing is not allowed and excessive muscle and striations will be scored lower.
Judges are looking for Symmetry and Physical Conditioning; competitors exhibiting excessive muscle or striations will be subject to penalty.

For more information, please review the Judges Guide.

Classic Male Physique falls between Male Physique and Bodybuilding. Unlike Male Physique, flexing is allowed. Showcasing four (4) poses, Classic Male Physique combines Modeling and Muscle.

For more information, please review the Judges Guide.


Women’s Physique is different from Women’s Bodybuilding in that the focus is not muscularity. Competitors should have good muscle tone without being viewed as massive or ripped.

Judges are looking for competitors that are physically fit with good muscle tone. Poses and all movement should reflect femininity.

For more information, please review the Judges Guide.

In MsUSBF Figure competition, contestants are judged on two criteria:  Physique and Presentation, which are combined into one score.

With regard to Physique, athletic conditioning and symmetry take priority. Penalty points for overconditioning include: overly muscular physique, striations in the upper arms and legs, looseness in the arms, glutes, and legs. There will be no penalty for well developed abs.

With regard to Presentation, judges are looking for poise, skin tone, make-up, hair style, suit fit, and a good smile.

For more information, please review the Judges Guide.

MsUSBF Bikini judges analyze body shape, tone, symmetry, complexion, poise presentation and overall condition. Priority is placed on a fit, toned feminine body that displays proper conditioning.
Contestants will be judged individually and in group comparisons. Facial beauty will be judged during this round as well. Contestants with a muscular appearance and generally carry themselves in a masculine manner will be negatively scored by the judges.

For more information, please review the Judges Guide.