Women’s Bodybuilding: A Guide

An Easy to Understand Guide to Women’s Bodybuilding

Side chest pose by Nikki Fuller.
Side chest pose by Nikki Fuller.

Women’s bodybuilding can be confusing as it has many more categories than men’s bodybuilding. Here’s an easy to understand guide to women’s bodybuilding for those interested in competing!


Women's bikini
An example of women’s bikini


Bikini may be the “easiest” form of women’s bodybuilding. The bikini category was created to make bodybuilding more accessible to women. It focuses much more on the conventional bikini body and an emphasis on glutes. Bikini is definitely a great stepping stone for those thinking about competing in bodybuilding. Those with an athletic background can be ready for a show with 6 months of prep and training.


A figure competitor
A figure competitor

Figure is much like bikini but requires a leaner body and more muscle mass. Instead of poses focusing the glutes, figure competitions emphasize more of a bodybuilding aspect with quarter turns. Figure competitions can be accomplished with slightly more training, around 1-2 years of training.


Women's Physique

The equivalent of men’s physique, women’s physique has much more emphasis on muscle  tone and the flow of the physique. Much like men’s physique they have mandatory poses such as front double bicep and side tricep. Striations and muscle mass are positives; however too much muscle mass can dock you points. Women’s physique can take 5-6 of training.


Women’s bodybuilding is much more competitive and difficult to succeed in. The “hardest” category of women’s bodybuilding, taking many years of training. Women’s bodybuilding is also unfortunately on the downturn with the Olympia this year not even offering women’s bodybuilding. It takes roughly a decade of very intense hard training to achieve this physique. A true women’s bodybuilding body cannot be achieved naturally.

Now you’re all set to compete!