As the interest in bodybuilding and fitness has increased, both at personal and professional levels, new categories have appeared in the last few years in official competitions.

Among them, there are two categories that have been very well-received, Bikini Fitness and Bikini Wellness. They have many similarities, but also some differences.

In order to address the differences and similarities of these two categories, we must first talk about other concepts related to lifestyle.

More and more people are interested in body worship, but there is also a growing interest in a healthy lifestyle, apart from the tendency to pursue a muscular body.

In the middle of this trend, some concepts arise that are often mixed up, but they can actually be distinguished by some very, very tiny differences.

That being said, there are people who confuse fitness and wellness, two disciplines that of course share a common ground but also have clear differences.

What is fitness? When a person practices physical activity that involves improving aspects such as endurance, flexibility, movement coordination, agility, speed and strength to take care of their body.

Fitness means doing repeated exercises with the aim of maintaining a good physical condition.

As you can see, fitness is mainly focused on physical health and well-being.

Wellness, on the other hand, is a combination of several things, we could say that it is a synonym of physical, psychic and emotional well-being since it takes into account more aspects than just physical health.

It uses physical activity as a means of achieving emotional well-being by seeking the desired mind-body balance.

Wellness has been associated with a state of personal fulfillment and tranquility that is highly desired in a society characterized by immediacy, competition and competitiveness excess, and stress.

The wellness philosophy is based on the need for global happiness and focuses on the entire person in order to achieve an overall well-being.

To do this, physical exercise is included and encouraged in a lifestyle that involves other disciplines such as yoga, meditation… Physical exercise would be one activity among many others, that contributes to the personal fulfillment and happiness desired.

These two concepts, fitness and wellness, have been indirectly introduced in the IFBB accepted disciplines, giving rise to the two categories that most attract the public to these competitions, Bikini Fitness and Bikini Wellness.


What is Bikini Wellness?

The Bikini Wellness category was encouraged by IFBB Brazil, it later spread to Latin America and then to the rest of the world.

According to the IFBB Spain “Bikini Wellness is a category created by the need to find a competitive panorama for those competitors whose muscularity does not fit in modalities such as Body Fitness and Women Physique , however, the limit of muscular development that is being demanded in the last seasons of the Bikini category is a little bit short, mainly in the lower body.”

Although many still confuse it, this category is not Bikini Fitness, is not Body Fitness, is not Women Physique, is not bodybuilding, is something different, although the truth is that many of them have things in common.

This category looks for a female physique, with firm and smooth muscular curves, lacking fat or cellulite, and allows a greater leg development.

Fat excess in the arm and triceps, abdomen, obliques and femoral or crotch, etc. is not well appreciated. Also, skin striations, shins, scars, spots, excessive tattoos and flaccidity are not allowed.

In Bikini wellness it is valued, above all:

  • Low muscle volume.
  • Female body’s proportion and symmetry toned by exercise.
  • Moderate muscle tone.
  • Healthy appearance.
  • Properly aesthetic and well-cared facial appearance.
  • Uniform tanning beauty and skin tone.

Bikini Wellness made its debut at the Spanish Championships in 2017 and due to its good performance, there is a clear intention from the IFBB Spain to promote this category at a national and regional level in the 2019 season.

Since this is a fairly recent category at IFBB, there is still a bit of confusion as to which is the right body that stands out, but this is a normal process whenever new categories are created.

What is Bikini Fitness?

Currently, the Bikini Fitness category is the one that attracts the largest number of people.  This is perhaps due to the fact that, despite not losing the essence of bodybuilding, they show more “natural, beautiful, and proportionate” bodies.

Bikini Fitness is basically aimed at women who keep their body in shape and maintain a healthy diet.  It takes into consideration the general lines of the body, the balance and proportions, the toning and the healthy appearance.

In general, they look for a woman who is proportionate, physically fit, but not overly muscular, that means having defined muscles without extreme separation or definition.

In addition to the physical appearance and a healthy and attractive look, it is also taken into account the overall presentation (her pose, charisma, personality, presence, clothing, decorations, nails …) and especially femininity.

Bikini Fitness has become more than just a sport, it’s a lifestyle.


Differences and similarities between Bikini Fitness and Bikini Wellness

Both categories are similar in having a low percentage of fat, and they both value: careful aesthetic beauty (firm and tanned skin, nourished and shiny hair, facial aesthetics, well-designed make-up, appropriate accessories, etc.), femininity on stage and an attitude that transmits self-confidence, charisma and sensuality.

Posing, competition bikini, shoes and other accessories are the same in both categories.


It can be said that both categories are quite different from bodybuilding since they are more approached to social reality and allow higher fat percentages.

The differences between Bikini Fitness and Bikini Wellness are very subtle and that is why there is a lot of confusion among athletes interested in competing and sometimes there is even controversies among professionals in the sector.

The Bikini Wellness is aimed for women with slightly higher muscle mass in the hips, thighs and buttocks area, unlike Bikini Fitness where more stylized bodies with longer and slender lower extremities are valued.

Therefore, the differences are only in the physical section and there are no differences in the rest of the evaluation sections, neither in body fat levels, nor in poses or image.

Did you know about these two categories? Are you a competitor in either one?

We would love to hear from your experience in the comments.

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