CBBF Men’s Classic Bodybuilding Rules

Men’s Classic Bodybuilding was officially recognized as a new sport discipline by the IFBB Executive Council and IFBB Congress on November 27, 2005 (Shanghai, China). Classic Bodybuilding responds to the increasing worldwide demand for competitions for men who prefer, unlike today’s current bodybuilders, to develop a less muscular, yet athletic and aesthetically pleasing physique.

At the CBBF National Level IFBB International Qualifier there are two senior men’s classes:

Men’s Classic Bodybuilding Short:

Up to and incl. Up to 180 cm – Max Wt [kg] = (Ht [cm] – 100) + 6 [kg]

Men’s Classic Bodybuilding Tall

Tall over 180 cm – Max Wt [kg] = (Ht [cm] – 100) = 8 [kg]


At the IFBB World Championship Level there are five categories in senior men’s classic bodybuilding:

  1. Up to & incl. 168 cm

Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 0 [kg]

  1. Up to & incl. 171 cm

Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 2 [kg]

  1. Up to & incl. 175 cm

Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] -100) + 4 [kg]


  1. Up to & incl. 180 cm

Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] -100) + 6 [kg]

  1. Over 180 cm

Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] -100) + 8 [kg]


Note 1: For competitors with a body height of over 190 cm up and up to and including 198 cm, the following formula will be used:


Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 9 [kg]

Note 2: For competitors with a body height of over 198 cm, the following formula will be used:

Max Weight [kg] = (Height [cm] – 100) + 10 [kg]


Note 3: All of the above mentioned competitors will participate in the “Over 180 cm” category.

There are two categories in master men’s world-level classic bodybuilding competition, currently as follows:

40 to 49 years of age inclusive: One open category

50 years and older: One open category



  1. The entire line-up is brought onstage, in numerical order and in a single line or two lines, if necessary.


  1. The line-up is divided into two equal-size groups and is positioned onstage so that one group is to the left of the stage; the other group is to the right of the stage. The center portion of the stage is left open for comparison purposes.


  1. In numerical order, and in groups of not more than eight competitors at a time, each group is directed to the center-stage area to perform the following mandatory poses:

All individual comparisons are to be carried out center-stage


Front double biceps

Front lat spread

Side chest

Back double biceps

Back lat spread

Side triceps

Abdominals and thighs


  1. On completion of the Mandatory Poses, the entire line-up is reformed into a single line, in numerical order, before exiting the stage



Posing Routine:

Only TOP 5 Competitors from pre-judging will do their routines.

Athletes will line up offstage in numerical order. Each individual is required to do a 60 second posing routine, to their choice of music (profanity, racial / sexual slurs and inappropriate verbiage is NOT allowed. If we find that your music contains any of these things, your music will be stopped and you may be disqualified from the competition).


Your routine should include the following:

  • Poses and movements that highlight your best features
  • Smooth transitions between movements
  • Good musicality
  • Additional physical prowess that you have: flexibility, dance, gymnastics…

Once the individual routine is completed, exit the stage and line back up numerically. Athletes will line up offstage in numerical order. Competitors will walk out on stage in a line as guided by the stage marshal and line up as directed, depending on the number of competitors on stage.

The top 5 competitors will be called out to center stage line and may be asked to do mandatories and a 30 second pose-down. Awards will then be handed out.



The posing attire must meet the following guidelines:

Competitors will wear one-coloured, opaque posing trunks which are clean and decent. The colour, fabric, texture and style of the trunks will be left to the competitor’s discretion. The trunks will cover a minimum of ¾ of the gluteus maximus. The front area must be covered and the side of the trunks should be 1 cm in width at a minimum. The use of padding anywhere in the trunks is prohibited.


  1. Except for a wedding ring, competitors will not wear footwear, glasses, watches, necklaces, earrings, wigs, distracting ornamentation or artificial aids to the figure.
  2. The use of props during the Prejudging or Finals presentation is strictly prohibited
  3. The IFBB has banned all tans and bronzers that can be wiped off. If the tan comes off by simply wiping, the athlete will not be allowed to enter the stage. Sparkles, glitter, shiny metallic pearls or gold coloring are prohibited whether applied as part of a tanning lotion or applied separately.
  4. Implants or fluid injections to change the natural shape of any part or muscle of the body are strictly prohibited and may result in disqualification of the competitor.

Assessing the physique:

The judge should first assess the overall male athletic appearance of the physique. This assessment should begin at the head and extend downwards, taking the whole physique into account. The assessment, beginning with the general impression of the physique, should take into consideration the hair and facial features; the overall athletic development of the musculature; the presentation of a balanced, symmetrically developed physique; the condition of the skin and the skin tone; and the athlete’s ability to present onstage with confidence


During the comparisons of the Mandatory Poses, the judge should first look at the primary muscle group being displayed. The judge should then survey the whole physique, starting from the head, and looking at every part of the physique in a downward sequence, beginning with general impressions, and looking for muscular bulk, balanced development, muscular density and definition.


The downward survey should take in the head, neck, shoulders, chest, all of the arm muscles, front of the trunk for pectorals, pec-delt tie-in, abdominals, waist, thighs, legs, calves and feet. The same procedure for back poses will also take in the upper and lower trapezius, teres and infraspinatus, erector spinae, the gluteus group, the leg biceps group at the back of the thighs, calves, and feet.


A detailed assessment of the various muscle groups should be made during the comparisons, at which time the judge has to compare muscle shape, density, and definition while still bearing in mind the competitor’s overall balanced development. The comparisons of the Mandatory Poses cannot be over-emphasized as these comparisons will help the judge to decide which competitor has the superior physique from the standpoint of athletic balanced development, muscular density and definition


The physique should be assessed as to the level of overall muscle tone, achieved through athletic endeavours. The muscle groups should have a round and firm appearance with a small amount of body fat.


The assessment should also take into consideration the tightness and tone of the skin. The skin tone should be smooth and healthy in appearance.


The judge’s assessment of the athlete’s physique should include the athlete’s entire presentation, from the moment he walks onstage until the moment he walks offstage. At all times the competitor must be viewed with the emphasis on a “healthy, fit, athletic- looking muscular physique, in an attractively presented “total package”.


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