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NABBA History

First magazine for body-builders “Strength & Health” went out in London in 1898.

First competitions of body-builders, passed in English Royal Albert Halle in 1901.

From 1930, realization of competitions began “Mr and Miss Britain”. That began quickly to collect enormous popularity. In 1936, 11 398 body-builders were registered in organization, and to 1943, not looking on war, already 191 000 athletes.

In 1948 the first competitions passed “Mr Universe”, John Grimek won on them.

John Grimek on the cover of Strength & Health

NABBA champion of the Universe - John Grimek

In 1950, NABBA and competitions are organized. “Mr Universe” became main championship of new organization. Steve Reeves became a champion.

Reg Park got the title “mr Universe” in 1951. In the outsiders of tournament a young man was meant from Canada – Joe Weider.

Reg Park - champion NABBA Universe

In the following years, many athletes won the Universe several times. These are: John Grimek, Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, Reg Park, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

1969 NABBA Universe champion – Arnold Schwarzenegger

NABBA - Arnold Schwarzenegger

From 1955 to 1986, the head of the NABA became Oscar Heidenstam then Aivan Dunbar and Graeme Lancefield.

In the 90s, the rapid development of a new direction of bodybuilding – fitness, the new structure appears in the NABBA: WFF – World Fitness Federation, which is headed by the General Secretary of the NABBA – Klaus Hoffmann.

The first joint WFF / NABBA World Championship 1998: Oleg Burinsky (Latvia), WFF President Klaus Hoffman (Germany) and NABBA President Ivan Dunbar (England)

NABBA WFF - World Championship

In Latvia, the first NABBA champions appeared in 1998: Marina Burinskaya became the European champion among women, and Aivars Visockis among veterans.

Until 2000, the WFF and NABBA hold joint World Championships (the first day is bodybuilding, the second day is fitness). But due to the huge number of participants, this is no longer possible since 2000, “Universes” of NABBA and WFF take place at different times (usually for the convenience of athletes with a weekly difference).

The champion of the first, separate WFF Universe 2000, held in Vienna (Austria) becomes Burinska Marina (Latvia).

Universe Champions half a century apart: Marina Burinska, Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl

Universe Champions: Marina Burinska, Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl

In 2002, the joint website NABBA WFF was opened.

From the mid-2000s, an absolute category for bodybuilders appears in the WFF – body extreme, in which many champions and prize-winners of NABBA compete.

Currently, this situation persists, bodybuilding and fitness World and Universe and WFF/NABBA championships held within a week. Most NABBA in England and the WFF in Europe (usually Germany or Austria).

NABBA and WFF leaders are usually always close to each other at WFF/NABBA Championships.

In 2012, WFF/NABBA competition: NABBA President Graeme Lancefield with a team of WWF Latvia (Oscar Sarkans, Normunds Jurans and Oleg Burinsky)

NABBA World Championship

In 2013, after the WFF Universe in Greece, Klaus Hoffmann resigned his post for health reasons and the President of WFF became President of NABBA Grim Lancefield (Australia). This finally merged WFF / NABBA into one organization.