10 Facts Surrounding the IFBB Break-Up

By Dan Solomon

I continue to receive questions about the NPC/IFBB Professional League’s split from the IFBB Amateur Federation. Here are some quick FACTS to help clarify a few things.  To be clear, these are not opinions. These are just facts.  I’ll leave the opinions to everyone else.

The IFBB Professional League is a completely separate entity from the IFBB Amateur Federation.  The two are no longer affiliated.

2  The IFBB Amateur Federation has no “individual” members.  Its membership is a list of affiliated countries/organizations that gain membership.  “Individuals” cannot join the IFBB Amateur federation.  Organizations do.

3  The NPC is the largest amateur physique organization in the world.  This is based on individual memberships, volume of events, annual participation numbers, and overall infrastructure.

Also See:
Dan Solomon's Olympia Reflection

4  The IFBB Professional League has a strategic partnership with American Media Inc to sanction and produce the Olympia Weekend, the most prestigious event in the industry.  The only way to compete in the Olympia is to qualify by way of IFBB Professional League events.  This year’s Olympia awarded approximately 1.4 million dollars in prize money.

5  The Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH, under the direction of Jim & Bob Lorimer, is an IFBB Professional League sanctioned event. The only way to become eligible for an invitation to compete in Columbus is to obtain IFBB Professional League status. — Additionally the popular Arnold Amateur event in Columbus will now become an OPEN event. Meaning it will no longer be considered an IFBB Amateur sanctioned event. It will become open to all amateur athletes with winners earning entrance into the IFBB Professional League. — With regard to the other Arnold events held throughout the world, I will know more on those soon.

6  The IFBB Amateur events are no longer a pathway to the IFBB Professional League; Olympia, Arnold, NY Pro, Europas, etc…

The Top bodybuilders, fitness, physique and bikini competitors in the world compete in the IFBB Professional League.  In order to compete against them, an athlete must obtain IFBB Professional League status.  The IFBB Amateur federation is no longer providing that opportunity.

8  Amateur competitors outside the U.S. can now compete in a series of OPEN events being set up by top promoters around the world. These events provide the opportunity to gain entry into the IFBB Professional League. In the words of IFBB Professional League President Jim Manion, “If you win, you’re in”.

The IFBB Amateur federation will continue to sanction events around the world, however, the outcome of those events have no affiliation with the IFBB Professional League, Olympia, Arnold, etc…

10  Phil Heath, Big Ramy, Dexter Jackson, Shawn Rhoden, William Bonac, Kai Greene, Cedric McMillan, Roelly Winklaar, Brandon Curry, Sergio Oliva Jr, Flex Lewis, Josh Lenartowicz and the rest of the world’s top bodybuilding stars are IFBB Professional League athletes. If you want to see them compete you’ll have to watch an IFBB Professional League event.  If you want the chance to compete against them, you’ll have to gain entry into the IFBB Professional League at any of the numerous events being set up around the world.

Also See:
Bob Cicherillo's Royal Event

I hope this clears things up a bit. Feel free to share.

Also See:
Jim Manion Breaks Silence - Explains NPC/IFBB Amateur Break-Up


For two decades, Dan Solomon has earned a reputation as a leader in the world of fitness & bodybuilding publishing. Having conducted many of the industry’s most wide reaching and high profile interviews, Dan has served as host and lead commentator for the Mr. Olympia contest, the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, while also having appeared as host & moderator at the Olympia Press Conference. In 2018 Dan was named Chief Olympia Officer by American Media Inc to oversee the Olympia brand and its annual showcase event held annually in Las Vegas.  Dan was Co-Executive Producer for the movie BIGGER, The Story of Joe Weider (in theaters 2018) and he developed the Pro Bodybuilding Weekly radio show in 2005, a first of its kind program, for which he was awarded the IFBB’s Lifetime Achievement Medal by co-founder Ben Weider. Prior to creating Digital Muscle, Dan was the Senior Features Editor at Muscular Development Magazine and has worked with many of the top brands in both nutrition and media.
His favorite thing to talk about? Baseball.