Amateur bodybuilders compete in competitions from local to national competitions sanctioned by the NPC. One amateur organization per country is recognized by the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB), which is bodybuilding’s international organization and the IFBB recognizes the NPC as its amateur extension for the United States. Advanced athletes can progress as professionals and join the IFBB Professional League.
In order to become an IFBB professional bodybuilder in the United States a class must first be won at the NPC Nationals Championship or be the overall winner at the NPC USA Championship. However, there are other organizations and federations in the US that also promote amateur athletics and have a professional extension. While the NPC and the IFBB are the largest and most well known, there are other amateur and professional bodybuilding organizations and federations. The NPC also sanctions bodybuilding fitness and figure competitions across the United States.