Like pretty much all public events, bodybuilding competitions were cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19. If you had set your sights on a 2020 bodybuilding competition, you were probably very disappointed when your dreams were crushed and your hard work was for nothing. But 2021 can be your comeback year.
Before you spend hours Googling ‘bodybuilding competitions near me 2021’, here at WOLFpak we’ve done you a favor and compiled all the best bodybuilding competitions in the U.S. in 2021 for you to attend to get your fitness fix. Let’s get started.
How to enter a bodybuilding competition
Before we start to cover some of the best bodybuilding competitions happening near you in 2021, let’s first cover how you can enter a bodybuilding competition to make sure you’re not setting yourself up for a loss.
Each competition has unique prerequisites required to enter. For example, anyone can’t just enter Mr. Olympia. You have to prove yourself at recognized bodybuilding shows across the country and get your pro card before attempting to compete at Mr. Olympia.
If you want to get your pro card, you need to compete and qualify at an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB), National Physique Committee (NPC) or other major bodybuilding federation event. To give you an idea of the scale of these competitions - the IFBB holds 6000 events per year at different levels for different ages and genders. So you have plenty to choose from!
Before applying to a bodybuilding competition, make sure it is an IFBB recognized event for the right category. If it’s your first ever competition, you need to go to an amateur event. Check out this website that has a list of all the amateur bodybuilding events in the U.S. in 2021.
To become a pro bodybuilder, you will need to win a regional contest weight class. This will get you an invite to a national championship event. If you win this, you get your pro card. You can read more about how to become a pro bodybuilder in this Generation Iron piece.
Bodybuilding competitions near me 2021
NPC West Coast Classic, Rancho Mirage, June 19
The NPC West Coast Classic is Center Podium’s Southern California’s NPC National Qualifier. Located in Rancho Mirage, this competition is suitable for first-timers and amateurs, in a number of different categories including:
- Classic physique
And more! Click here to see the full schedule and suitabilities. WOLFpak are proud sponsors of this event, so if you’re interested in competing or watching, come and show your support!
Legion Sports Fest, Reno, Oct 22-24
Based in Reno, Nevada, the Legion Sports Fest is a bodybuilders dream. You can compete for your pro card or enjoy yourself at the expo that happens at the same time. The competition includes all nine IFBB pro master divisions and all classes. If you win, you’ll get $20,250 as a prize.
The event on the 22 does not require a qualification, but for the events on the 23 and 24, you will need certain prerequisites before applying. Make sure you check these out before signing up!
Aside from the competitions, you can also enjoy the full expo and keynote speakers, as well as supporting us at WOLFpak as we are sponsoring the event.
NPC High Roller, Las Vegas, Sept 4th, 2021
New to Las Vegas, Nevada, the NPC/IFBB High Roller is Mark Anthony first NPC/IFBB show.
WOLFpak is the Title Sponsor of the event.
TheFitExpo in cities across California
If you’re based on California, TheFitExpo events are for you. There are multiple events happening across California throughout the year, in San Diego, Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose. This is a great option for beginners or novices who want to get more immersed in the world of bodybuilding before attempting to compete in a national competition.
For example, one of the competitions is ‘TheFitExpo’s Best’, in which men and women can apply to win the title of the ‘best body’ and win $200 as a cash prize. It’s not an official competition and doesn’t require outfit changes or swimwear catwalks, so is an ideal option for first-timers.
Joe Weider’s Olympia, Orlando, October 7-10
After facing challenges in 2020, Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend is back in Florida for October 7 to 10. This is the competition many bodybuilders dream about, and is viewed as the pinnacle achievement, with winners earning the title Mr. or Ms Olympia. As you may have guessed, if you want to compete in this competition, you need to pre-qualify. Click here to see the schedule and qualification requirements.
NPC Mother Lode, Reno, May 15
If you don’t want to wait until October, the NPC are hosting Mother Lode in May in Nevada. This competition is one of the most entertaining and visually interesting bodybuilding shows so is an ideal choice if you want to watch a competition before entering. This event is a national qualifier, so if you’re trying to get your pro card, this is for you.
How to choose a bodybuilding competition to attend?
These are just some of the many thousands of bodybuilding competitions that are happening in 2021. It can be overwhelming to try and narrow it down, especially if this is your first time. Here are some tips for you to help you make your decision:
- Choose local events first - there’s no point travelling across country for your first competition when there are events near you. For your first event you may not qualify, so it’s better to visit somewhere locally so as to not be disappointed.
- Quantity = experience - The more events you do, the more experience you’ll have. Don’t let your ego get in the way of entering smaller novice competitions. The more the better!
- Seek advice - Reach out to a bodybuilding coach near you to get some insight into the most suitable categories and divisions for your natural physique.
- Prepare to spend - Entering any bodybuilding competition requires an upfront payment. Be prepared to spend a lot of money on entering, tanning, hair, makeup, clothes, posing coach, food, travel, etc.
- Be realistic - Based on the amount of people that apply and don’t place, it’s important to be realistic about how quickly you’ll get your pro card, if at all. Mr. Olympia isn’t an overnight thing!
We hope this article has helped to give you some inspiration and useful information on how to find and choose a bodybuilding competition near you that is suitable. Good luck!