1970 Mr. Universe - Dave Draper, Reg Park, and Arnold Schwarzenegger
NABBA (National Amateur Bodybuilders Association) was formed in 1950 and is the first competitive physique organization in the world, and the founders of the original Mr. & Ms. Universe competitions. Athletes are judged on their symmetry, proportions, and both size as well as clarity of each muscle group.
Past NABBA athletes have been such competitors as Joe Weider, Steve Reeves, John Grimek, Bill Pearl, Reg Park, Frank Zane, Dave Draper, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
We believe that the sport of bodybuilding is an ideal means for achieving total physical fitness and bodily perfection. It is a constructive force for developing discipline of the mind as well as of the body. We believe that this discipline should find expression not only in good health habits and planned physical exercise, but also in clean living, good sportsmanship and friendly relationships between competitors, officials, and administrators.NABBA USA
We believe that the dedicated, hardworking athlete not only deserves professionally run competitions with qualified judges but also recognition, publicity, and respect.NABBA USA
HISTORY OF NABBA® & NABBA USA®
1901: This year is the first of an organized bodybuilding contest in Europe when a famous German Strongman, Eugene Sandow, judged an event at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The event drew an attendance figures in excess of 2,000.
1906: The Health & Strength League was formed on a wintry evening in December by a group of enthusiasts who wished to pursue all aspects of physical culture. The league title was taken from a fitness magazine of the same name – first published in 1894.
1930: The first Mr. & Miss Britain Title was held. This inaugural event caused a great upsurge in membership and 1936 alone 11398 new members enrolled. The organization became Worldwide and had a motto´Sacred thy body even as thy soul´inscribed on its membership badge. By 1943 the League had staggering 191,000 members.
1948: Health and Strength magazine organized the first Mr. Universe contest to commemorate the Olympic Games being held that year in London. Won by John Grimek, twice Mr. America winner who had previously represented the USA as a weight lifter at the 1936 Olympic Games.
1950: NABBA was formed. Mr. Universe was won that year by Mr. America Steve Reeves, who later went on to make more than thirty Hercules movies.The following year, when Reg Park won, one of the competitors was a young man from Canada, Joe Weider.
In the years that followed the top bodybuilders worldwide came to England to try and win the Universe title. Famous names like John Grimek (USA), Steve Reeves (USA), were a part of a Bill Pearl (USA) were part of a group which also included Reg Park, (UK) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (AT). Schwarzenegger went onto win the Mr. Universe title 4 times.
These 5 early winners were also the most influential, and later became the legends of the Universe.
1955: The late Oscar Heidenstam was appointed full time secretary, and became the main driving force in NABBA for more than thirty years.
1968: Women’s bodybuilding classes were included from 1968 as MS Physique and later divided in MS Physique and MS Figure in 1986.
1983: Bob Gruskin, the President of NABBA USA, was responsible for bringing NABBA to the United States. Bob attended his first NABBA Universe this year and was so impressed with the efficiency of the organization, its world-wide establishment, and its direction in catering to and having athlete’s interest foremost, he took it upon himself to lay the ground work for NABBA USA.
1984: At a meeting in London NABBA International was formed and became host to the European, World and Universe Championships. This branch of NABBA is now supported by more than fifty countries.
1992: NABBA USA was officially christened, providing athletes with a new opportunity to compete nationally and internationally as an amateur and to qualify for professional competitions.
1998: We celebrated fifty years of the NABBA Universe – a time span that has made the federation the oldest and most established in the history of bodybuilding. At a celebration dinner in Birmingham, England, several hundred-people attended the greatest night in the history of NABBA. More than thirty former Universe Champions, men and women, were present, including NABBA legends Steve Reeves, Bill Pearl, Reg Park and Mickey Hargitay.
2013: following a seven-year absence from competition, Lee Priest returned and won the overall title as an amateur. Following his victory, the NABBA International Council determined that the following year the NABBA Professional Division would be reestablished with the inaugural professional contest being the 2014 NABBA World Championships in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
2014: Dave Titterton won the Professional Mr. Universe title in Southport, England.
2016: Pro Bodybuilder Eddie Robinson nominated for NABBA USA president.
“The NABBA USA, and U.K. Presidents, and committee would like to honor NABBA USA President Eddie Robinson for his lifetime commitment to the sport and art of bodybuilding. Starting his career as a Weider contracted athlete, he was not only the cover athlete for 89 magazine covers, but he was also brand manager and promotional director for Weider nutrition, publications and the face of multiple Weider brands such as ABB, Weider Victory Line, Schiff, Metaform, Muscle Tribe, and Weider Tiger Bars. Not to mention contributions to over 350 articles
His vision with NABBA USA is to bring back the classic look, the look in which bodybuilding was created. What bodybuilding was originally based on: symmetry, balance, poise, and beauty. The ultimate specimen of man and woman. Not the freak show of today.”
2017: December 31, 2016 Pro Bodybuilder Eddie Robinson is inaugurated as President of NABBA USA, with the objective to further the development of the National Amateur Bodybuilding Association by focusing on the needs of the athlete, the founding principles of NABBA, and the aesthetic potential of the human form.
NABBA USA Chairmen
Montana – Shane Mauritzson
Southern California – Bruce Butterbredt
Northern California – Brian Andrews
Florida – Doc Hall
Florida Central – Ian Harrison