• Ruth Marie Dales

What is an IFBB Pro?

Updated: Oct 12, 2018

If you're visiting my website for the first time you might be wondering "what is an IFBB Pro International athlete?" Here's a short video of me competing on stage this year in Portugal for sneak peak at what it entails.

Put simply an IFBB Pro is someone who competes in the IFBB Professional League. In this league all the professional aesthetic athletes compete in our respective categories and our aim is to accumulate enough points in the league to make it to the Olympia, which is regarded as the pinnacle of the bodybuilding world. There are 4 Categories for females: Bikini, Figure, Physique and Fitness. The mens categories are; Mens Physique, Classic Physique, Mens 212, Mens Open.


As if competing in one show isn't a big enough challenge, IFBB Pro Bikini athletes need to compete in A LOT of shows and place in the top 5 in as many as possible in order to get enough points to get to the Olympia.


2018 saw me don my bikini and heels for the first time after a break of nearly 3 years. Ever a student my aim was to get back on stage and get as much judges feedback and stage experience as possible so I can enter the 2019 season wiser and with a plan of action to see how close I can get to the big "O". I didn't expect any miracles but I did manage to score myself some points: In July I had the absolute pleasure of competing in the IFBB Portugal Pro and to my complete disbelief I came third against a really high class line up which included three Olympians. The placing gave me enough points to appear on the Olympia Qualification Series and finish the season equal 47th in the world (2nd in the UK). Check out the video below to see how I got on.


Why do I do it?

Competing on stage and on the track gives me a focus for my physical activity. I've been training as an athlete since I was 12, weight training since I was 19, so as you can imagine I clearly enjoy being active. Like anyone I do have times where I just can't be bothered. But also like anyone else, in order to be in our best health we all need to be active regularly; the recommended minimum physical activity for health is 150mins per week of moderate activity for adults, plus muscle strengthening exercise on at least 2 days per week [NICE, NHS].


Having a reason to undertake physical activity really helps me summon the discipline to get out of bed on a cold rainy morning when I'm tired and go do what I need to do to hit my goals. Most people have no desire to do competitive sport and probably couldn't see themselves doing what I do. But what we do all have in common is the need to be active regularly. Also, we all have other commitments and goals outside of our health and fitness that compete for our energy and attention. It can be all too easy to let these other commitments and goals squeeze the time we should be putting into our physical activity which is why it's so important to have a really strong reason WHY you want to be active.


My clients tell me they love seeing me compete and reading my training updates on social media. They tell me they often use the thought that I'm out there working hard, setting the example to help them when they don't feel like it.


I work with each of my clients to help them discover their own motivation and goals and help them focus on what success is for them. Then I help them get there.

Whoever we are, we all have in common the need to be active to be healthy. The first step is to find our own personal motivation to get us going. The next step is developing the discipline to keep it going.

If you need help with either of these, then lets have a chat.

[NICE - The 2011 report from the Chief Medical Officers for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland sets out physical activity recommendations for different groups. For adults: 'over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of moderate-intensity activity, in bouts of 10 minutes or more'. One way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.]

[NHS https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise//]

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