• The History of Bodybuilding: NABBA

    We're often asked the difference between NABBA and IFBB, the league associated with Ferrigno Legacy. Here's a little about NABBA.

    [caption id="attachment_13667" align="alignleft" width="150"]Logo_NABBA National Amateur Bodybuilders Association[/caption] Every great builder got their start somewhere; and for a lot of our Golden Age favorites, it was at the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA) Universe Championship. The Universe Championship is an annual bodybuilding event organized by NABBA that features four competitions: Amateur Mr. Universe, Professional Mr. Universe, Miss Figure, and Miss Toned Figure. The athletes are judged on their symmetry, proportions, and the size and clarity of each muscle group. The amateur division began in 1948 for those who have "never entered and accepted prize money in an advertised professional event." A professional division was later added in 1952 followed by Miss Physique in 1968 and Miss Figure in 1986. With over fifty years of history behind it, it is the oldest bodybuilding league in the sport. [caption id="attachment_13653" align="alignright" width="300"]Grimek2 John Grimek: First NABBA Mr. Universe[/caption] Although the league dates back to 1948, its history started in 1906 when a group of enthusiasts who wished to pursue all aspects of physical culture formed The Health & Strength League - its first competition was held in 1930 with Mr. & Miss. Britain. But, it wasn't until 1948 that the first Mr. Universe competition was held - commemorating the Olympic Games that were being held in London that year. The winner was John Grimek, twice Mr. America winner who had previously represented the USA as a weight lifter at the 1936 Olympic Games.


    NABBA's Mr. Universe competition is often confused with IFBB's Mr. Universe. Because of this, the IFBB changed that competition's name to the World Amateur Bodybuilding Championships in 1976. We'll be sharing more about IFBB in a later post. [tribulant_slideshow gallery_id="1"]
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