For some people stepping on stage is the final achievement of personal goals, for some a career stepping stone and for some a lifelong passion. So whatever your reasons, be sure to pick the right event for your goals and personality.
For ease of comparison I see there as being two fitness camps....one more pageant oriented and the other that see themselves as a competitive sport. The shows feel entirely different from an audience point of view but the ultimate aim, of course, is to showcase the best athletes.
I will also say, at this point, that many of the federations are also competing with each other for competitors so some degree of snobbery and favouritism are rife....so be careful who's basket you put your eggs in, and make sure it's the right one for you.
Firstly I am just going to concentrate on the events that run in the UK, as this is my native country and I know more about these ones.
Pageant Fitness Federations include:
When you are in the audience it feels like you're watching a show...... the lighting, background visuals, nightclub volume music (for hours and hours). The production is high key, and impressive and the forerunner of most of the other pageant style shows that began afterwards.
Sports Federations include:
This is the UKBFF, a very different beast indeed. Stripped of all the show trappings, and no distractions you just see the athletes in all their glory.
So, if you are thinking of competing I would highly recommend going to several of the shows and checking them out for yourself. Figure out where your personality fits within the fitness industry before diving in headlong.
With new federation spin-offs popping up all the time it shows that this is a growing industry with a massive fanbase and it's here to stay!
I'll be following up with more in depth look at each federation, including rules, how they judge and their individual bikini preferences....