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Earning Your Pro Card

slesh

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Oct 11, 2011
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Disclaimer - this thread is coming from an objective place and just my observation. I am not trying to trash or disrespect anyone. I am not trying to act like my physique is superior to anyone else’s.

I simply do not understand the process of obtaining your IFBB pro card - well I understand the process - but it just makes no sense to me. It seems like now they hand these out like pennies. It is my understanding that at some national shows that you can come in second place and still receive a pro card. So you have a class - then you have what feels like a 100 weight/height divisions and the top 2 from each division can earn a pro card. So ok - now here’s what makes zero sense to me. IFBB pro shows do not have weight/height divisions - so why have them in the NPC to qualify? For example my buddy who I love to death got his classic physique pro card in some 5’10-5’11 at whatever weight. So now this dude is a pro. But not in a million years could he stand on stage next to Cbum, Dino or Urs. I don’t mean to be cynical but then what’s the point?! You’re giving pro cards out to guys who will never win a pro show? Just feels like it’s completely diluted and just Instagram marketing at this point. Maybe some of you guys can present an alternative view point…
 
Lol ok so I’m not crazy and omg how much are the dues???
 
Not a pro (yet tehehe) so I can only speak to the NPC but I assume the IFBB is similar.

NPC yearly membership ~$125
Enter a show: $125-$150 average
Every class crossover another $100
Spray tan: $150- 3rd party vendor but im sure they see some of the profits

So you’ll have people doing their first show and easily dropping $500+ if they do a few class crossovers.
 
Disclaimer - this thread is coming from an objective place and just my observation. I am not trying to trash or disrespect anyone. I am not trying to act like my physique is superior to anyone else’s.

I simply do not understand the process of obtaining your IFBB pro card - well I understand the process - but it just makes no sense to me. It seems like now they hand these out like pennies. It is my understanding that at some national shows that you can come in second place and still receive a pro card. So you have a class - then you have what feels like a 100 weight/height divisions and the top 2 from each division can earn a pro card. So ok - now here’s what makes zero sense to me. IFBB pro shows do not have weight/height divisions - so why have them in the NPC to qualify? For example my buddy who I love to death got his classic physique pro card in some 5’10-5’11 at whatever weight. So now this dude is a pro. But not in a million years could he stand on stage next to Cbum, Dino or Urs. I don’t mean to be cynical but then what’s the point?! You’re giving pro cards out to guys who will never win a pro show? Just feels like it’s completely diluted and just Instagram marketing at this point. Maybe some of you guys can present an alternative view point…
Lol dude I get it. A buddy of mine who I was being coached by for a few years got his pro card. When he told me I was pretty surprised. Sure, he looks good, worked hard to get to where he’s at, and I completely appreciate and respect that. However, like you said, he’s not at the level of some of these guys who you mentioned. I don’t follow the shows or anything that much and I’m certainly not a judge lol. So I’m not entirely sure on what it takes to get a pro card now.

Also, to your point of IG being diluted with them now. He’s one of them lol. As soon as he got his pro card his page changed dramatically, raised his prices for coaching, and everything just went right to his head.

Again, like you stated man, absolutely no disrespect to those who got it. Shit, I applaud them. But some of them you see really makes you think lol.
 
I don't see the harm it this fact. It gets more people involved. As a business it is a good idea. And in the end the same person is going to win a pro show despite how many other pros are around. I feel bad for the past greats who never were due to how hard it used to be to become pro.
 
Just to be a devil’s advocate, and with no disrespect to anyone, but I have never heard anyone who won a state body building championship, or who placed a national body building championship, who said it was easy. I do have to agree, however, that with board shorts and all the other categories that exist now, some of these “pros” don’t even look like bodybuilders and the title is a bit misleading for them to toss around.
 
I always say this.....
IF ITS SO EASY, GO GET ONE! SHOW US.
 
It doesn't mean the same thing as it once did.

However, it's not completely trivial either. How many people compete on this site? How many pros post here?

For everyone who claims getting a card is easy now, cool. Go get one. It should be easy, right?
 
Cbum didn't take the world by storm when he first got his pro card, a lot of pros didn't, they kept grinding and continued to get bigger and better until they started placing better, and some people never do get better to the point of top placings.
 
Lol you’re in a different league brother. You LOOK like a pro. Some of these other dudes, not so much.
I honestly don't give two shits who they give a pro card to and how many. Makes no difference in my life. I won the north American 40+ masters heavyweight class and still had to win the 40+ overall to get my card. I could have easily went to masters nationals where all I had to do was win my weight class.
 
A card in open bodybuilding lightheavy and above is still extremely difficult. The rest of the divisions not as much. Masters bodybuilding was similarly difficult until ~2015 when they really started expanding the shows at which a card can be won as well as the number of cards at each show.

Classic physique at the pro level is essentially regional level amateur bodybuilding unless you’re a top 15 guy at the Olympia.

If you win your pro card LHW + at USA, NAs or Nats you are going to ‘look like a pro’ to anyone who sees you.

But yes, the days of winning the glory days of needing an overall win at USAs (or even better, because that didn’t even always win you a card if I remember correctly) are long gone.
 
I think alot of people rush to get a pro card only to basically retire because they can't afford to travel to shows and or they can't compete at that level , I know several pros and only 2 have done more than 1 show , a wellness and men's physique.
I have a very close friend that is trying her second time for a pro card in figure. First attempt was Jr USA , this year Jr Nats. Last year at Jr Nats they had 6 figure turn pro. Last year at Universe they had 30 figure turn pro. My friends opinion is "if I can't win it at a hard show then I'll never be able to compare as a pro.
A local female was a constant woman physique competitor , she went to a national show and was told "sign up for bodybuilding to" was second call in women physique , won her card in bodybuilding because only one other female showed up.

I don't think at any point earning a card is easy but I think alot of people turn pro that could not ever compete as a pro
 
Hey Brad. Do you have a feel for (about) how many bodybuilders who get there pro card only to never compete again?

Nothing with that, more power to them as it can open multiple doors . . . just curious.
 
If you win your pro card LHW + at USA, NAs or Nats you are going to ‘look like a pro’ to anyone who sees you.

But yes, the days of winning the glory days of needing an overall win at USAs (or even better, because that didn’t even always win you a card if I remember correctly) are long gone.
This. 100%.

Any top 5 at LH+ at the major national shows will look the part and have a chance to get their card. Agree that it isn’t what it once was, but still ain’t easy.
 
Too many posts to reply to each. Again, meant no disrespect and didn’t mean to imply it was easy. Don’t want to downplay the accomplishment. Obviously I’m nowhere near big enough or conditioned to get my card. For me it was more about the concept of earning your pro card with these divisions but then really having no chance to compete at the pro level. Brad completely agree that guys still can make enormous progress once they get the card and then bring a new package to the pro stage.

Not saying it’s pointless to get the card because as mentioned above it does open other doors. I know a few local trainers did it just to boost their resume and add legitimacy. Totally respect that. Again tho, for me it’s just the disconnect between the NPC and IFBB I guess. Maybe y’all with think I’m stupid but what if the IFBB had height divisions as well? Like is it really “fair” that T Ruff has to get on stage with Cbum? They’re both classic it just don’t look right when standing next to each other…
 
This. 100%.

Any top 5 at LH+ at the major national shows will look the part and have a chance to get their card. Agree that it isn’t what it once was, but still ain’t easy.
While I don’t know what it takes to get a pro card, I do agree that it can’t be easy. I don’t have one, until I do, then I can’t say and won’t say what it takes to get it. Just as I would never tell the mechanic fixing my truck what the solution is and it’s an easy fix lol. I’m not a mechanic…I don’t know if it’s an easy or hard job. Regardless, I do know that it takes commitment and hard work to learn something, work at it, and be successful at it.

Not the best analogy, but I think you get what I’m saying 🙂
 
People keep parroting this none sense about pro cards being so easy now these days. What they don't understand is that:

1. If it's so easy, where are all the pros on these boards?

2. They forget that unlike 10 years ago, there are many many more competitors, so it naturally makes sense to give out more pro cards.

3. It can be argued that in the States it's easier, because they give pro cards to class winners at their pro qualifiers. However, everywhere else in the world It's still 1 pro card to the overall winner ONLY. So perhaps getting a pro card is not as prestigious as it once was in the US, but it's still far from "easy" and it's still as prestigious as ever anywhere else in the world.

4. As bboy said, if it's so easy, where is yours? Most people that claim getting a card is easy, have yet to win an overall at a local show, hence why their opinion is irrelevant lol.
 

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