World fitness federation | World body building federation/p>
We know that people used to train their bodies for power, endurance and fitness even in ancient times. But regular competitions started only in the middle of the last century. The first World Bodybuilding Championship (named “Universe”) was organized by NABBA ( National Amateur Body Building Association) in 1948 in London ( UK ). For long years NABBA was led by it’s President Mr. OSCAR HEIDENSTAM, who used to take part in bodybuilding contests himself nearly twenty years before NABBA started “Universe” competitions. Another international bodybuilding organization IFBB (International Federation of Body Builders) organized it’s first World Championship only in 1959 (First European Championship in 1966).
There were two tendencies in the bodybuilding sport in the middle of sixties – on the one hand developing huge muscle mass and on the another hand developing esthetic body. Though NABBA and IFBB have chosen the first one, there were numerous athletes who appreciated criteria of beauty and harmony.
For many years bodybuilding and fitness had so much in common, that it was difficult to separate them clearly. It was professional women bodybuilders who first said “good bye” to bodybuilding. They were against big muscles in women bodybuilding. Big muscles made women bodybuilders looking like men. They wanted nothing special – just to be beautiful and remain women. After some time men’s categories appeared in fitness contests and total fitness movement started to grow rapidly. A new kind of sport – fitness – was born. Some still make no difference between bodybuilding and fitness. But the difference is evident. Fitness competitions are widely represented by aerobic, wheel-chair invalid, junior, senior and couple’s categories. There are many different age groups in fitness contest too (WFF presents nine age groups in the World and European Championships).
FITNESS AND BODYBUILDING
What way to choose and how to develop bodybuilding sport in future? Deciding between big muscle mass and esthetic body with medium muscles, bodybuilding have chosen muscle mass. Champions have always been the flag of each sport. Public and young athletes follow and admire the Champions. This is the reason why it is so important – WHO IS THE CHAMPION, WHO IS ON THE TOP. First time bodybuilding had to solve this problematic strategic question in the middle of sixties. Then the future of bodybuilding had to be decided between the body standards of HAROLD POOL and DAVE DRAPER. Ten years later the same decision was made between FRANK ZANE and LEE HANEY. Finally in 1990 a numerous group of professional women bodybuilders left bodybuilding in protest of uncontrolled muscle mass building. Among them were CORY EVERSON, CARLA DUNLAP, DIANA DENNIS. The bodybuilding had chosen the way of building unbelievable muscle mass. This mass is hard to understand by a normal minded person. Go to the street and ask people – is it nice? Is it normal? Do you want such muscles?
Contemporary bodybuilders often look like hardly moving bears on a contest stage as posing routines are not evaluated by judges in bodybuilding contests. Huge muscles and synthetic implants – today this is ordinary picture of most top contemporary bodybuilders. Bodybuilding becomes less and less popular. Commercial firms often stop sponsoring bodybuilders. Ten years ago IOC (International Olympic Committee) has given a chance for bodybuilders – the two years period was given to prove the ideas of this sport. But it was professional bodybuilding that reasoned the negative decision of IOC in supporting bodybuilding. Then in 2004 bodybuilding had another try in IOC Headquarters and again the answer was negative. Today the situation is clumsy and problematic. There is no way out to rise up the fallen prestige of previously nice king of bodybuilding sport. What should do athletes who do not want to go the way contemporary bodybuilding has chosen? The answer is simple – fitness!
“AMBER PRIX – INTERNATIONAL” – FIRST FITNESS CONTEST WORLDWIDE.
The strategic decisions upon the future of bodybuilding we are speaking about were made fare away, in America . The Europe as well as the other Continents did not take part in the process. On this side of the Atlantic Ocean under criteria’s of esthetics, harmony beauty of the human body first fitness competition was organized in 1968. It was one of the oldest still regularly organized competitions worldwide - “Amber Prix International” contest. The first Over All “Amber Prix” Champion was LEONAS PIVORIUNAS from Vilnius ( Lithuania ).
American top athlete Frank Zane always trained for symmetry, flowing body lines and superb definition. As an athlete possessing basically light frame, he nevertheless made a powerful statement in an age when size was becoming very fashionable. It was symbolic that for many years there was a painted figure of FRANK ZANE on the stage of this competition. The organizers wanted to show the direction of the sport they wanted to propagate - body symmetry, medium but good quality muscles and good posing routines.
For many years talented trainers CESLAV TAMULEVIC and VITALIJ ASOVSKIJ (Gym “ Victoria ”, Vilnius, Lithuania ) were working hard on developing complicated and spectacular posing routines that were impressive for public. Every routine was a unique piece of stage movement and stage art. The judges and spectators appreciated the routines very well. The routines were scored by qualified judges and due to this athletes were pressed to work more and more time on progressing in their posing. Imagine – athlete with the body of FRANK ZANE and a thoroughly prepared routine of any top star from gymnastics or figure skating? Excellent composition!
CESLAV TAMULEVIC and VITALIJ ASOVSKIJ represented so called “ Vilnius school” of posing. The impression of their works was so big that some talented persons in other countries started developing new schools of posing: VLADIMIR SHUBOV, NIKOLAJ MALYSEV ( Russia ), VALERIJ BOGDANOVIC, VLADIMIR ALEKSANDROVIC ( Belarus ), ARKADIJ KASANSKIJ, VALERIJ LUCAK ( Ukraine ). The best amateur bodybuilder of 2004 OLEG ZUR (Over All IFBB World Champion) fifteen years ago also was trained by VITALIJ ASOVSKIJ. Then OLEG ZUR could perform complicated dynamic posing routines too. But now bodybuilding is very static. On the other hand huge “monsters” can not perform dynamic movements. Only specific spectators attend bodybuilding shows.
In the years when posing routines were scored by the judges in “Amber Prix International” competition appeared a number of skilled athletes, well known in East Europe . After participating in “Amber Prix” some of them continued their carrier in bodybuilding and became Great Champions - OLEV ANNUS (Finland - Estonia), NATALIJA MURNIKOVIENE (Lithuania), VLADIMIR DUBININ, SERGEJ OGORODNIKOV (Russia), MASSIMO MONACO (Italy), OLEG ZUR (Lithuania), OLEG ZUR (Ukraine). There were many cases, when an athlete with muscles of FRANK ZANE won against a real “monster” because this “monster” did not know how to show his muscles even in compulsory poses. Athletes are training hard for years to be on a contest stage just for a few minutes. In bodybuilding only muscles are judged and most athletes neglect working on their compulsory and free posing. Many of us remember how in 1974 comparatively small PRANAS MURAUSKAS von against VLADIMIR DUBININ and as well as against OLEV ANNUS.
There were some skilled posers in bodybuilding too (RAMSFORD SMITH from UK , GIUSEPPE FOCERINI from Italy ). They could have been excellent fitness athletes – medium muscles, no implants, perfect posing. But such athletes were not evaluated in bodybuilding and finally disappeared forever.
Once the organizers of the first European Fitness Championship (EDMUNDAS DAUBARAS, OLEG BURINSKIJ, BIAGIO FILIZOLA) wanted to replace “Amber Prix” contest with European Championships. But after the long discussion about this old respectable contest they decided to go on organizing “Amber Prix International”.
WFF (World Fitness Federation) is connected with all international bodybuilding and fitness sport organizations. The closest connection is with NABBA – International as many presidents of the National NABBA associations are the presidents of the National WFF as well. Nevertheless WFF is connected with IFBB, WABBA, IBFA, IFA, IFC, “Pageant”, “Fame”, “Ms. Fitness” too. Anyway WFF was always open and friendly to any other international federation. Athletes from different federations use to take part in WFF events.
More than twenty years ago during German FIBO EXPO events KLAUS P.J.HOFFMANN started “Miss Figure World Championships”.
In 1996 in Frankfurt / Main WFF - International Congress elected KLAUS P.J.HOFFMANN ( Germany ) for the President’s position and EDMUNDAS DAUBARAS ( Lithuania ) for Vice President’s. The Congress decided to enlarge WFF activities: start fitness competitions in Men’s categories, set additional categories for women too.
FITNESS IS ON THE LEAD
1998 WFF World Championship in Palanga ( Lithuania ) was important for strategic decisions in WFF - International. First time more than 180 competitors took part in the event. The organizers and judges were confronted with many new unexpected questions. Nobody was used to see so many athletes in the Categories and it made additional work for judges. It was difficult to stay in tune with contest time - schedules.
1998 WFF – International Congress in Palanga had to decide for the future World Championships – to limit the number of participants or to set some more new categories and age groups. Seeing evident rapidly growing popularity of fitness the Congress decided not to limit the number of participating athletes. It decided to enlarge Categories in Aerobic Fitness Championship and set more age groups for Juniors and Seniors in Women and Men Categories.
WFF – International activities were growing quickly. More and more countries joined the organization. More and more athletes competed in WFF World Championships.
The majority of newcomers were from East Europe , many international fitness events were organized in East Europe . In 1999 WFF decided to set and register it’s department under name WFF EH ( Eastern Hemisphere ).
WFF EH has full juridical registration: Registration Certificate, Constitution, Judging Rules, Logo, Stamps, Bank Accounts etc.. It was WFF EH to organize WFF European Championship each year and to coordinate job of European National Federations. International WFF EH Congress elected EDMUNDAS DAUBARAS for the President’s position and OLEG BURINSKIJ ( Latvia ) for Vice President’s.
WFF – International and WFF EH are so close together that it is difficult to see any difference in them. Nevertheless their job is separated. During 2003 WFF “Universe” in Germany WFF – International Congress divided the work of the two organizations: it is WFF EH to organize annual WFF World and Europe Championships and WFF – International to organize WFF “Universe” contests.
During 2004 WFF World Championship ( Vilnius, Lithuania ) in more than 90 categories and age groups participated nearly 500 competitors. In fact there were a few World Championships at one time:
WFF RPOFESSIONAL DIVISSION
It is no secret that bodybuilding professional life runs in the United States . All major events are there, all best professionals are there. Many years in bodybuilding was a certain rule: a professional athlete could be the one who became World (and America in IFBB) Champion. At the moment IFBB professional status is so democratized that PRO CARD may be received very easy.
In 2004 WFF EH set a professional division. Every WFF World or Europe Champion, after paying annual fee of 50 US dollars, may get a WFF PRO CARD. To the position of the director of WFF professional league was elected ANDREJ BASOV (Secretary General WFF EH) from Russia.
There are four categories for professional athletes: two for women and two men. Every year more and more bodybuilders are participating in WFF events. Due to this WFF pro division has two categories – fitness and bodybuilding. WFF – International is against bodybuilder’s participation in it’s events. But WFF EH, contrary, hosts bodybuilders. WFF EH has set “Extreme Fitness Category” for amateur bodybuilders and a Bodybuilding Category for professionals.
38 athletes received WFF PRO CARD and participated in 2004 WFF Professional World Championship ( Vilnius, Lithuania ). Mr. Fitness Category winner was DMITRIJ CIZOV ( Russia ), Mr. Bodybuilding won MASSIMO MONACO ( Italy ), Miss Fitness – IRINA ZINCENKO ( Russia ).
Fitness is a new quickly growing sport. During ten years WFF is in contact with IOC, it recognizes IOC politics. Discussing about the development of fitness worldwide in IOC Headquarters there were a few meetings of the President of WFF - International Mr. KLAUS P.J.HOFFMANN and Director of IOC Sport Programs Mr. GILBERT FEHLI.
In difference of many other international sport organizations WFF sees clear goals for future: 2005 WFF World Amateur Championship in Vilnius (November 18 - 20, Lithuania ), 2005 WFF World Professional Championship in Moscow (November 25 - 27, Russia ).
The Head of the Organizing Committee of 2005 WFF World Amateur Championship is again Mr. ALGIRDAS BUTKEVICIUS (Finance Minister of the Republic of Lithuania), Deputy Head of the Organizing Committee is Mr. GEDIMINAS KIRKILAS (Defence Minister of the Republic of Lithuania).