In competitive bodybuilding, bodybuilders aspire to present an aesthetically pleasing body on stage. In prejudging, competitors do a series of mandatory poses: the front lat spread, rear lat spread, front double biceps, back double biceps, side chest, side triceps, most Muscular (men only), abdominals and thighs.

Each competitor also performs a personal choreographed routine to display their physique. A posedown is usually held at the end of a posing round, while judges are finishing their scoring. Bodybuilders usually spend a lot of time practicing their posing in front of mirrors or under the guidance of their coach.

In contrast to strongman or powerlifting competitions, where physical strength is paramount, or to Olympic weightlifting, where the main point is equally split between strength and technique, bodybuilding competitions typically emphasize condition, size, and symmetry. Different organizations emphasize particular aspects of competition, and sometimes have different categories in which to compete.

If you are looking towards organizing a body building competition, then one of the key factors that should occupy your mind should be the overall cost or expenditure needed to successfully organize the body building competition and that is what this article is all about.

Please note there is no “one cap fits it all” when it comes to the cost of organizing a body building competition and as a matter of fact, there are different factors that will contribute to the overall cost of organizing a body building competition.

7 Factors That Determine How Much It Costs to Do a Body Building Competition

  1. The Type of Body Building Competition You Want to Organize

One of the key factors that can greatly influence the cost of organizing a body building competition is the type of body building competition you want to organize. There are different types of body building competitions such as Local/Community body building competitions, City – Wide body building competitions, National and International body building competitions.

You will quite agree that the total cost of organizing a local or even national body building competition will be far lower than the cost of organizing an International competition. Please note that there is a total of 9 Divisions; Bodybuilding, Classic Physique, Men’s Physique, Women’s Bodybuilding, Fitness, Women’s Physique, Figure, Bikini and the newest division, Wellness.

These divisions are then broken up into Classes. Classes are delineated by age, height, weight, novice and open. Divisions and classes will vary from show-to-show. Most shows no longer include Women’s Bodybuilding due to lack of demand. Fitness is also on the decline because of the difficulty of the routine.

The main categories of classes are:

  • True Novice – Open to competitors who have never competed. Not offered at all shows.
  • Novice – Competitors who have not won any class including novice, open, masters, etc OR have placed top 10 at a pro qualifier
  • Master’s – Age classes excluding teens, typically 35 years old or older. This will vary and you may see 35+, 40+, 45+. 50+, 60+, etc.
  • Teen – Class for teenagers. Minimum age is 18 years old and will also always include up to 19 years old.
  • Hero – Military, Police, Fire, Rescue. Not offered at all shows.
  • Open – An “open” class is open to all ages and levels. These are the main classes. Open classes will be divided by height or weight depending on the class.
  1. The Type of Venue and Facility to Be Used for The Body Building Competition

Another important factor that will determine the overall cost of organizing a body building competition is the venue and facility to be used for the competition. It is fact that the cost of renting or leasing a sporting facility varies from city to city and of course the type of facility.

A sporting facility that is well – equipped will be far more expensive compared to a sporting facility that is not well – equipped. Please note that body building competitions take place anywhere from a $20 million dollar theater to an elementary school auditorium. Always go with shows that take place at a theater. Theaters will have superior lighting, sound, and backstage facilities.

Many low – quality venues will not have room for pumping up, mirrors, or even bathrooms! Also, avoid shows that are in convention center ballrooms. These events use temporary stages and audio visual equipment resulting in poor photos, video, and your appearance to the judges.

  1. The Quality of the Panel of Judges (Officials)

The quality of the panel of judges that you want to use for your body building competition will indeed influence the overall cost of organizing the competition. As a matter of fact, if you want to attract quality and well – experienced panel of judges, then you should be willing to spend more.

  1. The Quality of the Body Builders You Want to Attract

Aside from the quality of the panel of judges, another factor that will influence the overall cost of organizing a body building competition is the quality of the body builders you want to attract. If you are expecting to attract international body builders from different countries, then you are expected to spend far more than an organizer that is only attracting body builders within the country.

  1. The Cost for Logistics and Prizes

The cost for logistics and prizes is yet another major factor that will influence the overall cost of organizing a body building competition. When it comes to logistics, there are loads of expenditures that falls under this category. We have the cost for security, ushers, decorations, refreshments, transportation, flight ticket and hotel reservations amongst others. You will quite agree that the cost for logistics and prize money for international body builders is far higher; at least the cost of international flight and lodgings is on the high side.

  1. The Cost for Advertising, Branding and Promotion

One cannot accurately state the cost of organizing a body building competition without bringing to bear the cost of advertising, branding and promotion. If indeed you want your body building competition to attract not just quality and professional body builders and panel of judges, but also quality spectators, then you must be willing to spend good money on advertising, branding and promotion of the competition.

As a matter of fact, if you are also looking towards getting well – paying sponsorship deals, then you must make sure that you get your advertising, branding and promotion right and that will require that you spend more to attract a result – oriented advertising and branding agency.

  1. The Cost for Securing the Needed Licenses and Permits

Lastly, another important factor that will determine the overall cost of organizing a body building competition is the cost of securing the needed licenses and permits. The truth is that you cannot organize an event that will attract competitors, officials and spectators without getting approval from the city council and of course securing the needed licenses and permits.

The fact that these licenses and permits cost money means that you cannot neglect them when calculating the overall cost of organizing a body building competition.

In Conclusion;

The overall cost of organizing a body building competition can greatly vary from low to very high depending on the amount the organizer is ready to spend. For example, major body building competitions can have prize money of between $250 (3rd in IFBB Valenti Gold Cup Pro Men’s Physique), $2,000 (25th place in Mr Olympia) and $250,000+ (1st place in Mr Olympia).

Ajaero Tony Martins