The National Physique Committee announced earlier this year that they would be introducing a new class to the world of bodybuilding. As the largest association around the world for amateur bodybuilding, this comes as a very welcome announcement and beckons in some beneficial changes.

Understanding the NPC

The (NPC) is the premier amateur bodybuilding organization in the United States. It hosts the largest class of competitions and serves as an American gateway for many up-and-comers to enter into professional competition within the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB). Around the country, people compete to earn their way into the professional scene and this can often involve some fierce competition.

Though Bodybuilding is often the category that receives the most attention, in 2011 the NPC introduced a new category called Men’s Physique. This category allowed those with smaller muscles to compete, so long as they still had a toned physique. Nevertheless many participants found that qualifying for this size was difficult and they wanted a category that rested somewhere between the Men’s Physique and Bodybuilding levels. In September 2015, they announced the new Classic Physique.

Offering a level between the traditional Bodybuilding and Men’s Physique categories, Classic Physique allows people who are a bit too small for the former but too large for the latter to find a niche to compete in. With the announcement of this new class of competition, the NPC revealed some other creative changes, such as the introduction of even shorter shorts.

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The Classic Physique Requirements

Like any other fitness competition, the Classic Physique is separated into a variety of different competitive classes. Segregated by division, this allows individuals of various body sizes to compete with others who share similar physical measurements. Division A calls for anyone who happens to be 5 feet 7 inches or shorter and weigh in at 170 lbs. or lighter, depending on their height. Similarly, Division B includes men between 5 feet 7 inches and includes those up to 5 feet 10 inches. It allows for weight up to 192 lbs., assuming they are between 5’ 9” and 5’ 10”. Finally, those over 5 feet 10 inches and weighing up to 240 lbs. will find their home in Division C.

Regardless of what division a contestant ends up in, he needs to display a good combination of both muscularity and body condition. Judges put an emphasis on muscular size, symmetry, balance, and proportion, with a focus on definition and conditioning. They look for those individuals who display a strong aesthetic appearance as well as a small waist. With five mandatory poses, many who find they are too big for Men’s Physique and too small for the traditional bodybuilding category will enjoy competing in Classic Physique.

Why Create this New Competition?

While the primary purpose of the NPC is and always will be to prepare individuals for competition in the professional bodybuilding arena, the organization also reflects the changing interests of modern society. As a result of this, they look to appeal to a much wider audience than just those eager to build large muscle mass. Since many competitors today have found it difficult to make the large gains for the major bodybuilding class while also having to shed some mass to qualify for the Men’s Physique competition, the NPC has come to understand that there needs to be a happy medium.

Realizing the need for this new class of contenders, the NPC opened up the playing field for many bodybuilders to compete at a level that they can appreciate. This is sure to be a welcome change for many viewers and competitors alike. When speaking about the change, the NPC has pointed out that they try to stay up to date with the current trends and right now people are looking for more and more placement of those who don’t have the large body mass required for the bodybuilding class. In effect, this opens up competitors on both sides of the spectrum to start in the sport.

Calling for New, Shorter Shorts

As the standard attire for this new level of competition, the NPC has introduced new, shorter shorts for their competitors to wear. The official Classic Physique shorts sold offer just the right length to give one the competitive look needed when posing. Since they utilize compression technology, these shorts can also double as an excellent compression short. For many who have followed the sport, this is definitely a useful change to the field.

Why Is This a Good Thing?

Perhaps the primary reason that people are celebrating these new shorts is the fact that it allows competitors the perfect length to really show off their efforts in developing their legs. Since the Class Physique is more about a balanced and toned body than sheer mass gains, the legs are definitely an important part of the equation. Using these shorter shorts allows competitors to train in a comfortable pair of workout shorts while wearing exactly what they might use for competition. More than this, the shorter length mirrors those used by the IFBB, which really gets competitors ready for professional competition in the Classic Physique division.

Future of This New Classic Physique Division

While the first year of competition might be required to really get a feel for how this new division will go, many are eager to see where the Classic Physique takes them. The use of these shorter shorts and the inclusion of many more competitors should definitely get more people involved in the sport. Based on the initial reception among the community, it would appear that the future is bright for this new class and competitors should find that there are more than enough people out there to keep them on their toes during the competition.


What are your thoughts on the new Classic Physique class? Are you looking forward to seeing the new shorts in action?

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