There can be many different types of divisions in a fitness competition, and it can look overwhelming to a new competitor. Don’t get discouraged!

Here’s an explanation of the main divisions to make it easier for you:


In the fitness division, the goal is to be fit and athletic in appearance. The judges will look at your shape from all different angles. There is usually a fitness routine set to music where competitors show off their flexibility, strength, physical fitness, and gymnastic training.



The figure division is similar to the fitness division, without the fitness routine – figure is about posing only. The goal is to have an athletic appearance- wide shoulders, slim hips and thighs. Competitors are judged from all angles.

Latest Shots 2015 Figure Competition Laura


In a bikini competition, judges are looking for a softer, tight and toned look than any of the other categories. They are not looking for the same amount of muscle mass or definition as in the fitness, figure, or physique categories. You are judged based on poise, balance, and physical appearance.



In this division, judges are looking for lean muscle mass and very little body fat. Comparisons are made of the competitors in groups when they perform poses showing off their muscle definition.



In the bodybuilding division, the goal is to have well defined muscles with visible muscle fibers and veins, with very low body fat – more muscle mass than in the physique division.


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Use this guide to help you find which division is right for you! Next week, be sure to check out our posing guide for fitness and figure divisions.