Difference Between Figure Competition and Bikini Competition

The NPC, or National Physique Committee of the USA, Inc., is the United States of America’s IFBB Professional League affiliate. This league hosts a variety of bodybuilding events that have been well-received and supported by a large number of people. Because of the training and dedication that these tournaments demand, many people have dedicated their lives to participating in the events organised by them.

There are a variety of categories in the league, but the bikini competition and the figure competition are the two most popular among the many. According to what people have heard, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between the two competitions, which is the reason why some people have trouble telling them apart. It is preferable to define each competition to understand the major distinctions between these two competitions.

Figure Competition vs Bikini Competition

The main difference between figure competition and bikini competition is that figure Competition is all about toned muscles, tanned body and overall posture. However, in bikini completion, along with a healthy body, attire, presentation, makeup, skin tone, complexion also holds a lot of importance. The women competing for figure competition do not put on heavy makeup or high heels. Rather the women competing for bikini competition are bound to put on high heels and makeup too.

Figure Competition vs Bikini Competition

The female competitors who compete for figure competition possess prominent muscles. Here, in this competition, the overall muscles, body proportions are taken into account. In this competition, more emphasis is put on the shapely lines with overall muscle tone. Makeup is not a key factor in this competition, and wearing heels is not important as well. Here in this competition, what woman wear is not important at all. The marking criteria also depend upon the competitor’s body posture.

The women competitors who compete in bikini competition possess much fewer muscles than those who are interested in a figure competition. Here in this competition, a flowy and a beach kind of look is highly in demand, where no muscle sticks out more than the other muscle. In this competition, physical appearance matters. Factors like complexion, skin tone and overall presentation matter. In this competition, makeup holds importance. However, wearing long heels is also mandatory. Here, the way women present themselves in front of the audience is important. The casualty in the same can lead to failure.

Comparison Table Between Figure Competition and Bikini Competition

Parameters of ComparisonFigure CompetitionBikini Competition
MusclesWomen possess prominent muscles.Women possess comparatively fewer muscles.
EmphasisShapely lines and overall muscle tone.Skin tone, complexion and overall presentation.
PostureOverall muscle mass is considered.Flowy and a beach kind of look is preferred.
Make-upMake-up or wearing heels is not a key factor.Make-up is needed. Long heels are mandatory.
Marking criteriaAttire is not important. Body posture is.Attire and presentation are equally important as other factors.

What is Figure Competition?

Competitors wear high heels and a two-piece posing suit. Isn’t it entertaining? A lot of finance and work put into these suits. However, they’re often customised and are bedazzled with the help of gems and rhinestones. The IFBB refers to the high heels as a “classic stiletto pump,” while the rest of the audience refers to them as “stripper heels,” with a 5-inch heel. Jewellery gets a thumbs up as a part of overall appearance and presentation.

At the time of judging rounds, the female contestants walk on the centre of the stage. Then they do quarter turns and finally face the judges before moving to one side of the stage. In a comparison round, all the women get lined up to do quarter turns. There’s no need to stress!

What is Bikini Competition?

This group is for ladies who maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat well. The overall balance, shape, and proportions of the body, as well as a healthy appearance, body tone, are all taken into account. It is not necessary to do high-intensity weight training or build firm, lean muscles. The emphasis is generally put on a model-like, well-shaped, healthy, fit, and beautiful appearance.

High heels are necessary for women competing in bikini competitions. However, jewellery is also permitted. Posing costumes can be purchased off the shelf, but they are expected to be in “good taste.” Competitors who don’t have proper attire are cautioned, and their scores may suffer as a result.

Main Differences Between Figure Competition and Bikini Competition

  1. The women competing for figure competition possess many prominent muscles; however, the women competing in bikini competition possess comparatively fewer muscles.
  2. For figure competition, the overall muscle mass is taken into account. However, for a bikini competition, a flowy and beach kind of look is preferred, where no muscle necessarily sticks out more than the other.
  3. In figure competition, the emphasis is given to the shapely lines and overall muscle tone. However, in a bikini competition, physical appearance matters, like skin tone, complexion and overall presentation.
  4. In the case of figure competition, makeup is not a key factor or wearing heels is important. However, in a bikini competition, makeup have importance and wearing long heels is mandatory.
  5. In figure competition, what you wear is not important. You are marked according to your body posture. However, in a bikini competition, the way you present yourself in front of the audience is important and casualty in which can lead to failure.


The capped deltoids in the female competitors of the figure competition are the most evident distinction between the bikini competition and figure competition bodies. Women competing in bikini competitions, on the other hand, have fewer muscles in comparison to those who compete in figure competitions. The majority of the women in the bikini competition had a terrific tan because it gives their bodies a more edgy appearance.

Figure competitions generally emphasise the total muscle to further distinguish the two contests, figure and bikini competitions. The body fat percentage in this division is higher than in the bodybuilding or wrestling class. Figure competitions are for those women who have maintained an athletic body as well as a muscular appearance.


  1. https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1031&context=wsi_theses
  2. https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijsnem/27/5/article-p458.xml
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