The goal of many aspiring bodybuilders in the UK scene is to become an IFBB pro and receive an IFBB pro card. For many the appeal and possibilities of competing in the IFBB pro league is the ultimate dream regardless of the category they compete in.
In years gone by, a pro card was given out to the overall national championship winners competing with the UKBFF and selected class winners. Another route in was also via the Arnold Amateurs and Amateur Olympia shows. So in reality, by winning 2 shows, you could get your pro card (if you’re good enough and politics work in your favour).
However recently, the route to get an IFBB pro card has become very unclear. The IFBB has split from the IFFB pro league, meaning that IFBB sanctioned national federations (like the UKBFF) now have no way to grant an IFBB pro card to their athletes. This is a huge kick in the teeth for these federations whom are now awarding IFF elite pro cards, which is in effect, a breakaway pro league, which athletes can choose whether to not to accept or decline. The IFBB pro league is still accepting this year’s national winners as recipients of an IFBB pro card, which is great news for very deserving, hard working competitors for whom this was their ultimate goal. Unfortunately, federations (not naming names) have banned athletes from their federations that have accepted the IFBB pro card instead of their new sanctioned IFBB elite pro cards. Confusing, right?
However, for those looking to get into the sport and achieve that status now, how would they go about it?
How to get your IFBB pro card
Right now the Arnold Amateur and selected US based international invitational events are your only way in.
However, I have on good authority that their will be partnership changes with the IFBB pro league and federation splits to come in due course. So rest assured the path will become clearer once more.
I’ll update this page when there’s more information come to light officially.
My advice for now?
Chose your federation carefully, and potentially hold off competing until the route becomes clear once more.
By this, you can get yourself into incredible shape. Hit your end goal size. Without the need to bulk and cut for comps, you’ll progress much more quickly. So when you come to compete and the route is clear, you’ll be there or there about.
Best of luck guys!
Ps many congrats to everyone who’s turned pro this year. In particular James Hollingshead and Walay Scott, both guys are awesome competitors!