Female Bodybuilding

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Female bodybuilding is the female component of competitive bodybuilding. It began in the late 1970s when women began to take part in bodybuilding competitions. [1] Contents [show] History[edit] Origins[edit] Female bodybuilding originally developed as an outgrowth of not only the late nineteenth- century European vaudeville and circusstrongwomen acts, Bernarr Macfadden's turn of the century women's physique competitions, and the weightlifting of Abbye "Pudgy" Stockton, but also as an outgrowth of the men's bodybuilding. The contest formats of men's events during the 1950s to the mid-1970s had often been supplemented with either a women's beauty contest or bikini show. These shows "had little to do with women's bodybuilding as we know it today, but they did serve as beginning or, perhaps more properly, as a doormat for the development of future bodybuilding shows." [2][3] Physique contests for women date back to at least the 1960s with contests like Miss Physique, Miss Body Beautiful U.S.A., W.B.B.G. and Miss Americana, I.F.B.B.. Maria Elena Alberici, as listed in the Almanac of Women's Bodybuilding, won two national titles in one year: Miss Body Beautiful U.S.A. in 1972, promoted by Dan Lourie and Miss Americana in 1972, promoted by Joe Weider. Mr. Olympia, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a judge at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York when Maria Elena Alberici (aka) Maria Lauren won Miss Americana. [4][5] It was not until the late 1970s, after the advent of the feminist movement and female powerlifting events that women were seen as capable of competing in their own bodybuilding competitions. [2][3] 1977-1979[edit] Prior to 1977, bodybuilding had been considered strictly a male-oriented sport. Henry McGhee, described as the "primary architect of competitive female bodybuilding", was an employee of the Downtown Canton YMCA, carried a strong belief that women should share the opportunity to display their physiques and the results of their weight training the way men had done for years. The first official female bodybuilding competition was held in Canton, Ohio, in November 1977 and was called the Ohio Regional Women's Physique Championship. It was judged strictly as a bodybuilding contest and was the first event of its kind for women. Gina LaSpina, the champion, is considered the first recognized winner of a woman's bodybuilding contest. The event organizer, McGhee, told the competitors that they would be judged "like the men," with emphasis on muscular development, symmetry, and physique presentation. In 1978, McGhee organized the first National Women's Physique Championship, along with the short- lived United States Women's Physique Association (USWPA), which he formed to help

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Transcript of Female Bodybuilding

  • Female bodybuilding is the female component of competitive bodybuilding. It began in the

    late 1970s when women began to take part in bodybuilding competitions.[1]

    Contents

    [show]

    History[edit] Origins[edit]

    Female bodybuilding originally developed as an outgrowth of not only the late nineteenth-

    century European vaudeville and circusstrongwomen acts, Bernarr Macfadden's turn of the

    century women's physique competitions, and the weightlifting of Abbye "Pudgy" Stockton, but

    also as an outgrowth of the men's bodybuilding. The contest formats of men's events during

    the 1950s to the mid-1970s had often been supplemented with either a women's beauty

    contest or bikini show. These shows "had little to do with women's bodybuilding as we know it

    today, but they did serve as beginning or, perhaps more properly, as a doormat for the

    development of future bodybuilding shows."[2][3] Physique contests for women date back to at

    least the 1960s with contests like Miss Physique, Miss Body Beautiful U.S.A.,

    W.B.B.G. and Miss Americana, I.F.B.B.. Maria Elena Alberici, as listed in the Almanac of

    Women's Bodybuilding, won two national titles in one year: Miss Body Beautiful U.S.A. in 1972,

    promoted by Dan Lourie and Miss Americana in 1972, promoted by Joe Weider. Mr.

    Olympia, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a judge at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York

    when Maria Elena Alberici (aka) Maria Lauren won Miss Americana.[4][5] It was not until the late

    1970s, after the advent of the feminist movement and female powerlifting events that women

    were seen as capable of competing in their own bodybuilding competitions.[2][3]

    1977-1979[edit]

    Prior to 1977, bodybuilding had been considered strictly a male-oriented sport. Henry McGhee,

    described as the "primary architect of competitive female bodybuilding", was an employee of

    the Downtown Canton YMCA, carried a strong belief that women should share the opportunity

    to display their physiques and the results of their weight training the way men had done for

    years. The first official female bodybuilding competition was held in Canton, Ohio, in November

    1977 and was called the Ohio Regional Women's Physique Championship. It was judged

    strictly as a bodybuilding contest and was the first event of its kind for women. Gina LaSpina,

    the champion, is considered the first recognized winner of a woman's bodybuilding contest.

    The event organizer, McGhee, told the competitors that they would be judged "like the men,"

    with emphasis on muscular development, symmetry, and physique presentation. In 1978,

    McGhee organized the first National Women's Physique Championship, along with the short-

    lived United States Women's Physique Association (USWPA), which he formed to help

  • organize women interested in competing in bodybuilding. The USWPA became defunct in

    1980.[1][3]

    On August 18, 1978, promoter George Snyder organized a "female bodybuilding" contest

    known as The Best in the World contest, which was the first IFBB-sanctioned event for women

    that awarded prize money to the top finishers, with the winner receiving $2,500. It was

    considered the forerunner for the Ms. Olympia competition. Although sanctioned as a

    bodybuilding contest, women were required to appear on stage in high heels. Doris Barrilleaux

    found the Superior Physique Association (SPA) in 1978, the first women's bodybuilding

    organization run for women and by women. She also began publishing the SPA News, a

    newsletter dedicated exclusively to female bodybuilding. SPA disseminated information to

    women about contests and proper training and dieting. On April 29, 1979, SPA held Florida's

    first official women's contest in which thirteen women competed. She also began publishing the

    SPA News, a newsletter dedicated exclusively to female bodybuilding. SPA disseminated

    information to women about contests and proper training and dieting. On April 29, 1979, SPA

    held Florida's first official women's contest in which thirteen women competed. Also in 1979,

    the IFBB formed the IFBB Women's Committee; Christine Zane was appointed the first

    chairperson to serve as head of the newly formed committee. One of the significant differences

    between the SPA and the IFBB was that while the IFBB was organized and run by men, the

    SPA was run by women and for women.[3]

    More contests started to appear in 1979. Some of these were the following:

    The second U.S. Women's National Physique Championship, won by Kay Baxter,

    with Marilyn Schriner second and Cammie Lusko third.

    The first IFBB Women's World Body Building Championship, held on June 16, won by Lisa

    Lyon, followed byClaudia Wilbourn, Stella Martinez, Stacey Bentley, and Bette Brown.

    The Best In The World contest, held at Warminster, PA on August 18, featuring a $5,000

    prize fund, with $2,500 awarded for first place. Patsy Chapman was the winner, followed

    by April Nicotra, Bentley, Brown, and Carla Dunlap. (Levin, 1980)

    The Robby Robinson Classic, held at the Embassy Auditorium in Los Angeles on August

    25. Bentley finished first, also winning best legs and best poser, followed by Brown, Lusko,

    and Georgia Miller. (Roark, 2005)

    Although these early events were regarded as bodybuilding contests, the women wore high-

    heeled shoes, and did not clench their fists while posing. Additionally, they were not allowed to

    use the three so-called "men's poses" the double biceps, crab, and lat spread. The contests

    were generally held by promoters acting independently; the sport still lacked a governing body.

    That would change in 1980.

  • 1980-1983[edit]

    Golden era[edit]

    The 1980s of female bodybuilding has been regarded as the golden era and the height of

    female bodybuilding. The early 1980s signified a transition from the fashionably thin "twiggy"

    body to one carrying slightly more muscle mass.[2] The National Physique Committee (NPC)

    held the first women's Nationals in 1980. Since its inception, this has been the top amateur

    level competition for women in the US. Laura Combes won the inaugural contest. The first

    World Couples Championship was held in Atlantic City on April 8. The winning couple

    was Stacey Bentley and Chris Dickerson, with April Nicotra and Robby Robinson in second.

    Bentley picked up her third consecutive victory in the Frank ZaneInvitational on June 28, ahead

    of Rachel McLish, Lynn Conkwright, Suzy Green, Patsy Chapman, and Georgia Miller Fudge.

    In 1980, the first Ms. Olympia (initially known as the "Miss" Olympia), the most prestigious

    contest for professional female bodybuilders, was held. Initially, the contest was promoted by

    George Snyder. The contestants had to send in resumes and pictures, and were hand-picked

    by Snyder based on their potential to be fitness role models for the average American woman.

    The first winner was Rachel McLish, who had also won the NPC's USA Championship earlier

    in the year. The contest was a major turning point for the sport of women's bodybuilding.

    McLish turned out to be very promotable, and inspired many future competitors to start training

    and competing. Stacey Bentley finished in fifth place, in what turned out to be her final

    competition. Also in 1980, the American Federation of Women Bodybuilders was also founded,

    representing a growing awareness of women bodybuilders in America. Winning competitors

    such as Laurie Stark (Ms. Southern States, 1988) helped to popularize the federation.[2][3]

    Rachel McLish became the most successful competitor of the early 1980s. She lost her Ms.

    Olympia crown by finishing second to Kike Elomaa in 1981, but regained the title in 1982. A

    new major pro contest, the Women's Pro World Championship, was held for the first time in

    1981 (won by Lynn Conkwright). Held annually through 1989, this was the second most

    prestigious contest of the time. McLish added this title to her collection in 1982. George Snyder

    lost the rights to the Ms. Olympia in 1982, and after this the contestants were no longer hand-

    picked, but instead qualified for the Ms. Olympia through placings in lesser contests. Women's

    bodybuilding was officially recognized as a sport discipline by the 1982 IFBB Congress

    in Brugge, Belgium.[6]

    As the sport grew, the competitors' level of training gradually increased as did the use of

    anabolic steroids (most of the competitors in the earliest shows had very little weight training

    experience or steroid usage), and the sport slowly evolved towards more muscular physiques.

    This trend started to emerge in 1983. With McLish not competing in the big shows, Carla

    Dunlap took both the Pro World and Ms. Olympia titles. Dunlap possessed a more muscular

  • physique than either McLish or Elomaa, and though she never repeated her successes of

    1983, she would remain competitive for the rest of the decade.

    1984-1989[edit]

    Cory Everson's reign[edit]

    In 1984, a new force emerged in women's bodybuilding. Cory Everson won the NPC Nationals,

    then defeated McLish to win the Ms. Olympia. At 5'9" and 150 pounds, Everson's physique set

    a new standard. She would go on to win six consecutive Ms. Olympia titles from 1984 to 1989

    before retiring undefeated as a professional, the only female bodybuilder ever to accomplish

    this.

    During this period, women's bodybuilding was starting to achieve some serious mainstream

    exposure. Pro competitor Anita Gandol created a stir by posing for Playboy in 1984, earning a

    one-year suspension from the IFBB.[citation needed] Erika Mes, a Dutch competitor, posed nude for

    the Belgian issue of Playboy in September 1987, also earning a one-year suspension.[citation

    needed] Lori Bowen, winner of the 1984 Pro World Championship, appeared in a widely broadcast

    commercial for Miller Lite beer with Rodney Dangerfield. Additionally, competitors Lynn

    Conkwright (1982) and Carla Dunlap (1984) were included in ABC's Superstars competition.

    In 1985, a movie called Pumping Iron II: The Women was released. This film documented the

    preparation of several women for the 1983 Caesars Palace World Cup Championship.

    Competitors prominently featured in the film were Kris Alexander, Lori Bowen, Lydia

    Cheng, Carla Dunlap, Bev Francis, and Rachel McLish. At the time, Francis was actually

    a powerlifter, though she soon made a successful transition to bodybuilding, becoming one of

    the leading competitors of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The main theme of the movie pitted

    the sultry and curvaceous Rachel McLish, the current champion; against the almost manly,

    super-muscular Bev Francis. This "rivalry" brought to light the true dilemma of Women's

    Bodybuilding and exposed the root of all the controversy (aesthetics vs size) which was the

    focal point at that time and which still continues today. Also in 1985, the National Women's and

    Mixed Pairs Bodybuilding Championships was held in Detroit, Michigan by

    promoter/bodybuilder Gema Long was the first amateur bodybuilding event televised

    internationally by ESPN Sports.

    For several years in the mid-1980s, NBC broadcast coverage of the Ms. Olympia contest on

    their Sportsworld program. The taped footage was telecast months after the contest, and was

    usually used as secondary material to fill out programs featuring events such as boxing.

    Typically, the broadcasts included only the top several women. Nevertheless, Rachel McLish

    and some of her leading competitors were receiving national TV coverage. McLish authored

    two New York Times best-selling books - "Flex Appeal" (1984) and "Perfect Parts" (1987)

    and was also starring in action films. The popularity was growing and women were being

  • empowered and inspired to train. In 1983, the top prize money for the women bodybuilding was

    $50,000, equal to that of male bodybuilding.

    The Ms. International contest was introduced in 1986, first won by Erika Geisen. In 1987

    the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), who were sanctioning amateur bodybuilding at the time,

    positioned the International as a premiere amateur event. It was held in Atlantic City, New

    Jersey. The AAU brought Serge Nubret (a former Mr. World, Mr. Universe and Mr. Europe)

    from France to be the featured guest poser. Since 1988, the competition has been sanctioned

    by the IFBB. Since the demise of the Pro World Championship after 1989, the Ms. International

    has been second in prestige only to the Ms. Olympia. The 1989 Ms. International was

    noteworthy for the fact that the original winner, Tonya Knight, was later disqualified for using a

    surrogate for her drug test at the 1988 Ms. Olympia contest. Consequently, runner-up Jackie

    Paisley received the 1989 title. Knight was suspended from IFBB competition through the end

    of 1990, and was forced to return her prize money from the 1988 Ms. Olympia and 1989 Ms.

    International, a total of $12,000 (Merritt, 2006).

    1990-1995[edit]

    Lenda Murray's reign[edit]

    Normally, competitors must qualify for the Ms. Olympia by achieving certain placings in lesser

    pro contests. However, the cancellation of the Women's Pro World contest in 1990 left only the

    Ms. International as a Ms. Olympia qualifier. Consequently, the IFBB decided to open the Ms.

    Olympia to all women with pro cards, and a field of thirty competitors entered. Lenda Murray, a

    new pro from Michigan, earned a decisive victory and emerged as the successor to Cory

    Everson. Murray became the next dominant figure in the sport.

    A new professional contest, the Jan Tana Classic, was introduced in 1991. The contest was

    named for its promoter, a marketer of tanning products, and ran annually until 2003 with the

    departure of Wayne Demilia (it was later briefly revived in 2007). The inaugural event was won

    by Sue Gafner. The Jan Tana filled the void left by the Women's Pro World contest, and

    occupied the number three slot on the pro circuit throughout its lifetime. 1991 also saw Tonya

    Knight return to competition, winning the Ms. International.

    The 1991 Ms. Olympia contest was the first to be televised live. Lenda Murray faced a serious

    challenge from the 1990 runner-up, Bev Francis. Francis had started bodybuilding in the mid-

    1980s, converting over from powerlifting. Over the years, she had gradually refined her

    physique to be more in line with judging standards. However, she came to the 1991 contest

    noticeably larger than in previous years. Francis was leading going into the night show, with

    Murray needing all of the first place votes to retain her title. Murray managed to do just that,

    winning a somewhat controversial decision by one point.

  • 1992 IFBB "femininity" requirements[edit]

    In 1992, there was more controversy, this time at the 1992 Ms. International contest. In

    response to the increased size displayed by Murray and Francis at the previous Ms. Olympia,

    along with increasing drug abuse and androgenic side effects, the IFBB made an attempt to

    "feminize" the sport. The IFBB, led by Ben Weider, had created a series of "femininity" rules;

    one line in the judging rules said that competitors should not be "too big." Since extreme size

    generally requires extreme AAS usage, with more women gaining more adrogenic (masculine)

    side effects, this was clearly an attempt to retain a higher level of female aesthetics and

    maintain the standard. The judges guide to the competitors stated that they were looking for a

    highly feminine and optimally developed, but not emaciated physique. The contest winner was

    Germany's Anja Schreiner, a blue-eyed blonde with a symmetrical physique who weighed 130

    pounds at 5'7". The announcement of her victory met with so much booing from those who

    prefer size over aesthetics that Arnold Schwarzenegger had to step on stage to address the

    audience, saying "the hell with the judges". Many observers felt that the IFBB had instructed

    the judges to select the most marketable aesthetic physique, not the most muscular.

    The 1992 Ms. International is also famous for an incident involving British competitor Paula

    Bircumshaw. Bircumshaw was the same height as Schreiner and possessed a similar level of

    symmetry and definition, but carried significantly more muscle, weighing in at 162 pounds. She

    was the clear audience favorite, but was relegated to eighth place. Normally, the top ten

    contestants are called out at the end of the show when the winners are announced, but the

    judges only called back the top six, hoping to keep Bircumshaw back stage. This resulted in an

    uproar from the crowd. With the audience chanting her name, Bircumshaw returned to the

    stage along with the top six competitors.

    Advertising in Muscle & Fitness for the 1992 Ms. Olympia featured Schreiner prominently,

    relegating two-time defending champion Murray to a small "also competing" notice.

    Nevertheless, Murray also apparently met the "femininity" requirements, and managed to retain

    her title; Schreiner finished sixth, and promptly retired from competition.

    Following the 1992 debacles, the judging rules were rewritten. The new rules retained

    provisions for aesthetics, but allowed the contests to be judged as physique contests. Lenda

    Murray continued to dominate the sport from 1990 to 1995, matching Cory Everson's record of

    six consecutive Ms. Olympia titles. Murray's closest rival was probablyLaura Creavalle, who

    won the Ms. International title three times, and twice was runner-up to Murray at the Olympia.

    During this time, some additional professional shows were held, in addition to the three

    mainstays. The 1994 schedule included the Canada Pro Cup, won by Laura Binetti, and the

    first of three annual Grand Prix events in Prague, won byDrorit Kernes. In 1996, the Grand Prix

    in Slovakia was added. Besides providing the competitors with extra opportunities to win prize

    money, these contests also served as additional Ms. Olympia qualifiers.

  • 1996-1999[edit]

    Dorian Era[edit]

    Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls's reign[edit]

    The mid-1990s of bodybuilding was known as the "Dorian Era", AKA the "drug years". In

    1996, Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls would win the Ms. Intentional and dethroned the Ms.

    International champion, Laura Creavalle. Also in 1996, she would unseat six-time defending

    champion, Lenda Murray. This was the first time a pro female bodybuilder would win both the

    Ms. International and Ms. Olympia in the same year. She would retain her Ms. Olympia title in

    1997 against Lenda Murry, who retired afterwords. At the 1997 Ms. Olympia, she competed at

    157 pounds (71 kg). In 1998, she again won the Ms. Olympia title. The 1998 contest was held

    in Prague, Czech Republic, the first time the competition had been held outside the United

    States.

    At the 1998 EFBB British Championships, Joanna Thomas won the lightweight and overall title,

    becoming the youngest woman in the world to ever to win an IFBB pro card at the age of 21.[7]

    1999 Ms. Olympia controversy[edit]

    The 1999 Ms. Olympia was originally scheduled to be held on October 9 in Santa Monica,

    California. However, one month before the scheduled date, the IFBB announced that the

    contest had been cancelled.[8] The main cause was the withdrawal of promoter Jarka

    Kastnerova (who promoted the 1998 contest in Prague) for financial reasons, including a low

    number of advance ticket sales for the 1999 event.[9] The backlash following the announcement

    led to a flurry of activity, with the contest being rescheduled as part of the Women's

    Extravaganza (promoted by Kenny Kassel and Bob Bonham) in Secaucus, New Jersey on

    October 2. Last minute sponsorship came from several sources, most significantly in the form

    of $50,000 from Flex magazine. Amid all the turmoil, Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls won her fourth

    consecutive title. Chizevsky-Nicholls decided to retire from bodybuilding after winning the 1999

    Ms. Olympia. According to Bill Dobbins, she retired due gender discrimination guidelines set up

    by the IFBB that advocated for more "femininity" and less "muscularity" in the sport.[10]

    2000-2005[edit]

    2000 IFBB rule changes[edit]

    The IFBB introduced several changes to Ms. Olympia in 2000. The first change was that Ms.

    Olympia contest would no longer be held as a separate contest, instead became part of the

    "Olympia Weekend" in Las Vegas and held the day before the mens show. The second

    change was when heavyweight and lightweight classes where added. The third change was

    the new judging guidelines for presentations were introduced. A letter to the competitors from

    Jim Manion (chairman of the Professional Judges Committee) stated that women would be

  • judged on healthy appearance, face, makeup, and skin tone. The criteria given in Manion's

    letter included the statement "symmetry, presentation, separations, and muscularity BUT NOT

    TO THE EXTREME!"[11]

    Of the three pro contests held in 2000, only the Ms. International named an overall winner -

    Vickie Gates, who had won the contest in 1999. The Jan Tana Classic and the Ms. Olympia

    simply had weight class winners. With Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls retiring from bodybuilding to

    pursue fitness competition, the Ms. Olympia title was shared by class winnersAndrulla

    Blanchette and Valentina Chepiga.

    Betty Pariso posing at the 2001 Extravaganza Strength Contest

    The 2001 pro schedule opened routinely enough, with Vickie Gates winning the Ms.

    International title for the third consecutive year. However, the Ms. Olympia featured a "surprise"

    winner, as Juliette Bergmann returned to competition at age 42. Bergmann, the 1986 Pro

    World champion, had not competed since 1989. Entering the Olympia as a lightweight, she

    defeated heavyweight winner Iris Kylefor the overall title. In the five years that the Ms. Olympia

    was contested in multiple weight classes, this was the only time that the lightweight winner took

    the overall title.

  • Lenda Murray's reign continues[edit]

    In 2002, six-time Olympia winner Lenda Murray returned after a five-year absence. Bergmann

    (lightweight) and Murray (heavyweight) won the two weight classes in both 2002 and 2003.

    Murray won the overall title both years, setting a new standard of eight Ms. Olympia titles.

    Murray was unseated as Ms. Olympia for the second time in 2004. Iris Kyle, a top pro

    competitor since 1999, defeated Murray in a close battle in the heavyweight class, and bested

    lightweight winner Dayana Cadeau for the overall title. Kyle became only the second woman to

    win both the Ms. International and Ms. Olympia titles in the same year, matching Kim

    Chizevsky-Nicholls's feat of 1996.

    2005 IFBB rule changes[edit]

    In a memo dated December 6, 2004, IFBB Chairman Jim Manion introduced the so-called '20

    percent rule', requesting to all IFBB Professional Female Athletes. It read, For aesthetics and

    health reasons, the IFBB Professional Division requests that female athletes in Bodybuilding,

    Fitness and Figure decrease the amount of muscularity by a factor of 20%. This request for a

    20% decrease in the amount of muscularity applies to those female athletes whose physiques

    require the decrease regardless of whether they compete in Bodybuilding, Fitness or Figure.

    All professional judges have been advised of the proper criteria for assessing female

    physiques. Needless to say the directive created quite a stir, and left many women wondering

    if they were one of those female athletes whose physiques require the decrease.[12] On April

    20, 2005, the IFBB adopted, by a 9 for, 1 against, and 3 no votes for Resolution 2005-0001,

    which announced that starting with the 2005 Ms. Olympia that the IFBB was abolishing the

    weight class system adopted in 2000.[13]

    The 2005 contest season saw another double winner, as Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia won her third

    Ms. International title, then edged out defending champion Iris Kyle to win the Ms. Olympia.

    Also notable in 2005 was the return of Jitka Harazimova, who had last competed in 1999.

    Harazimova won the Charlotte Pro contest in her return to competition, qualifying her for the

    Ms. Olympia where she finished fourth. Also in 2005 the documentary Supersize She was

    released. The documentary focused on focused on Britishprofessional female

    bodybuilder Joanna Thomas and her competing at the 2004 GNC Show of Strength and

    the 2004 Ms. Olympia.

  • 2006-2014[edit]

    Iris Kyle's reign[edit]

    Colette Nelson and Elena Seiple at the 2007 NPC Junior Nationals

    Dayana Cadeau at the 2007 Ms. Olympia

    In 2006, Iris Kyle won both the Ms. International and the Ms. Olympia, repeating her

    accomplishment of 2004. Iris won the Ms. International and Ms. Olympia for a third time in

    2007. Also in 2007 saw the brief revival of the Jan Tana Classic, which featured two weight

    classes for the female competitors. The class titles were won by Stephanie

    Kessler(heavyweight) and Sarah Dunlap (lightweight), with Dunlap named the overall winner.

  • There was a bit of a controversy in the 2008 Ms. International. Iris Kyle was placed 7th due to

    "bumps" on her gluts, which according to head IFBB judge, Sandy Ranalli, was distortions in

    her physique.[14] Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia went on to win the 2008 Ms. Olympia. Iris made up for

    this by winning the 2008 Ms. Olympia.

    Iris Kyle continued her success by winning both the Ms International and the Ms. Olympia in

    2009, 2010, and 2011. In 2012, Iris suffered an injury to her leg and thus couldn't attend the

    2012 Ms. International.[15] Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia won the 2012 Ms. International. Iris went on

    to win the 2012 Ms. Olympia and winning her seventh consecutive Olympia win and surpassing

    Lenda Murry's and She went on to retake the 2013 Ms. International after not being able to

    attend the 2012 Ms. International due to leg injury. At the 2013 Ms. Olympia, Iris won her ninth

    overall Olympia win, thus giving her more overall Olympia titles than any other bodybuilder,

    male or female.

    On June 7, 2013, event promoter of the Arnold Sports Festival, Jim Lorimer, announced that in

    2014, the Arnold Classic 212 professional mens bodybuilding division would replace the Ms.

    International womens bodybuilding competition at the 2014 Arnold Sports Festival. Lorimer, in

    a statement, said The Arnold Sports Festival was proud to support womens bodybuilding

    through the Ms. International for the past quarter century, but in keeping with demands of our

    fans, the time has come to introduce the Arnold Classic 212 beginning in 2014. We are excited

    to create a professional competitive platform for some of the IFBB Pro Leagues most popular

    competitors.[16]

    At the 2014 Ms. Olympia, Iris Kyle won her tenth overall Olympia win, beating her own previous

    record of nine overall Olympia wins. She also won her ninth consecutive Olympia title in a row,

    beating Lee Haney's and Ronnie Coleman's record eight consecutive Olympia titles in a row,

    thus giving her more overall and consecutive Olympia wins than any other bodybuilder, male or

    female, of all time. After winning she announced that she will be retiring from bodybuilding. The

    2014 Ms. Olympia was the last Ms. Olympia competition held.

    2015-present[edit]

    Post Ms. Olympia[edit]

    IFBB Hall of Fame[edit]

    The IFBB established a Hall of Fame in 1999. The following women have been inducted:[17]

    1999 Carla Dunlap, Cory Everson, and Rachel McLish

    2000 Bev Francis, Lisa Lyon, and Abbye Stockton

    2001 Kay Baxter, Diana Dennis, and Kike Elomaa

    2002 Laura Combes

  • 2003 Lynn Conkwright

    2004 Ellen van Maris

    2005 Stacey Bentley

    2006 Claudia Wilbourn

    2007 Laura Creavalle

    2008 Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls

    2009 Juliette Bergmann

    2010 Lenda Murray and Vickie Gates

    2011 Tonya Knight and Anja Langer

    Competitions[edit] International Federation of BodyBuilding (IFBB)

    Competitions[edit]

    Main article: International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness Female Bodybuilding

    See also: List of professional bodybuilding competitions

    See also: Professional bodybuilding

    2015 IFBB pro schedule[18]

    Competition Place Date

    IFBB Omaha Pro Women's Bodybuilding Omaha, Nebraska May 30, 2015

    Toronto Pro Women's Bodybuilding Toronto, Ontario June 6, 2015

    IFBB Wings of Strength Chicago Pro Chicago, Illinois July 24, 2015

    IFBB Wings of Strength PBW Tampa Pro Tampa, Florida August 68,

    2015

    IFBB Wings of Strength Rising Phoenix World

    Championships San Antonio, Texas August 22, 2015

  • IFBB Pittsburgh Masters Professional

    Championships

    Pittsburgh,

    Pennsylvania

    September 3,

    2015

    Qualifications for IFBB Pro Status[edit]

    In order to become an "IFBB Pro" you must first earn your IFBB Pro Card. In order to win a

    bodybuilder looking to do this must first win a regional contest weight class. When a

    bodybuilder wins or places highly they earn an invite to compete at their country's National

    Championships contest for that year. The winners of each weight class at the National

    Championships will then go head to head in a separate contest to see who is the overall

    Champion for the year. Depending on the federation, the overall Champion will be offered a pro

    card. Some federations offer Pro Cards to winners of individual weight class champions. This

    can mean that each year more than one bodybuilder may earn a Pro Card.

    In the United States, the NPC (National Physique Committee) is affiliated with the IFBB and

    awards IFBB Pro Cards. The following competitions award IFBB Pro Cards:

    NPC Women's National Championships has three weight classes: Lightweight,

    middleweight, and heavyweight. All three class winners in the contest are eligible for

    professional status.

    NPC USA Championships has three weight classes. The overall winner is eligible for

    professional status.

    IFBB World Championships, each weight class winner is eligible for pro status.

    IFBB North American Championships, the overall winners is eligible for professional status.

    National Physique Committee (NPC) Competitions[edit]

    Main article: National Physique Committee Female Bodybuilding

    National level competitions[edit]

    2015 NPC national schedule[19]

    Competition Place Date

    2015 NPC JR USA's North Charleston, South

    Carolina May 30, 2015

    NPC JR National Bodybuilding, Fitness, Chicago, Illinois June 1314, 2015

  • Figure & Bikini

    2015 NPC Masters Nationals Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania July 1618, 2015

    2015 NPC USA Bodybuilding

    Championships Las Vegas, Nevada July 2425, 2015

    2015 IFBB North Americans Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania September 35,

    2015

    2015 NPC National Bodybuilding

    Championships Miami, Florida

    November 2021,

    2015

    Qualifications for national level competitions[edit]

    In order to qualify for national level competitions a competitor must place in one of the

    following:

    Rank in the top three in their weight class of the Womens open division in a contest that

    has been sanctioned as a national qualifier.

    First overall in an area championship of the open division.

    Top two in a weight class from an area level national qualifier

    Overall winner in a district level competition designated as a national qualifier.

    Winner of the weight class in a regional competition designated as a national qualifier.

    Weight class winners from the Armed Forces.

    Qualifications for Junior USA, Teen and Masters Nationals

    To qualify for Junior USA, Teen or Masters Nationals a competitor must place in one of the

    following:

    Top five in a weight class from a national level competition

    Top three in a weight class in the Teen or Masters Nationals

    Class winner in the Armed Forces

    Top three in a weight class from an Area national qualifier

    Top two from a district level national qualifier

    Qualifications for USA and Junior Nationals

  • In order to qualify for USA and Junior Nationals a competitor must place in one of the following:

    Top five in a weight class from the Nationals, USA, Team Universe or Junior Nationals

    Top three in a weight class from the Teen, Collegiate Masters Nationals

    Class winner in the Armed Forces

    First overall in an area level national qualifier

    Top two in an area level national qualifier

    Weight class winner from a district level competition designated as a national qualifier

    Qualifications for Nationals and North American Championships

    In order to qualify for Nationals or North American Championships a competitor must place in

    one of the following:

    Top five in a weight class from the Nationals, NPC USA or North American Championships

    Top five in a weight class from the Team Universe, Junior Nationals or Junior USA

    Top five in a weight class from Teen Collegiate Masters Nationals

    Top two in a weight class in the Armed Forces

    Top two in a weight class in an area level national qualifier

    Overall winner in a district level competition designated as a national qualifier

    Class winners at the USA and Nationals will be given five years of eligibility.

    National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA)

    Competitions[edit]

    Main article: National Amateur Bodybuilders Association

    NABBA European Championships

    NABBA Universe

    Fitness and figure competition[edit]

    Main article: Fitness and figure competition

    A female competitor during a bodybuilding show in Asia

  • There are two other categories of competition that are closely related to bodybuilding, and are

    frequently held as part of the same event. Fitness competition has a swimsuit round, and a

    round that is judged on the performance of a routine including aerobics, dance, orgymnastics.

    Figure competition is a newer format, which combines female bodybuilding and gymnastics

    altogether, is judged solely on symmetry and muscle tone, with much less emphasis on muscle

    size than in bodybuilding.

    In a competition, each woman poses in a bikini. She must strike different poses, while facing

    forward, to the side, and to the rear. During her poses, she must emphasize her arms,

    shoulders, chest, stomach, buttocks, and legs by flexing them. The judges carefully observe,

    evaluate, then numerically grade the firmness and shapeliness of the woman's physique.

    Sexism and discrimination[edit]

    Since the sport of female bodybuilding was organized, gender discrimination has been an

    issue. People recognize that part of the feminine identity is sculpting their physical

    appearances and they usually associate the common feminine identity with slenderness and a

    trim figure.[20] In Studies in Popular Culture A.J. Randall and colleagues describes this as the

    result of the patriarchal society which emphasizes that femininity is created by altering the body

    for society's gendered expectations [21] When women venture away from the gender

    expectations, society's view of their femininity begins to slip. Female bodybuilders experience

    this criticism of their body, as they build bodies which are commonly associated with the

    masculine identity.[22] Despite this there is a very dedicated female bodybuilding fan base.

    The International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness has made several rules changes on the

    sport of female bodybuilding that relate to expected feminine identity. In 1992, the IFBB,

    attempted to "feminize" the sport by making the judges deduct points from competitors who

    were too big, meaning too muscular.[23] The IFBB then made a rule change in 2000 that

    emphasized a need for the women to decrease muscularity once again.[24] Before Ms.

    International in 2005 the IFBB created another rule that required the women competing to

    decrease their own muscle mass by 20 percent to compete.[24] Yet the men's bodybuilding rules

    have not changed in the same time period. In Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise Chris

    Shilling and Tanya Bunsell state that all of these rule changes reflect the IFBBs attempts to

    make women more closely fit gender expectations, as they all emphasize the need for the

    female bodybuilders to become less massive.[25] Bunsell and Shilling further state that male

    bodybuilding hasnt changed because their bodies are seen as masculine in identity, while

    female bodybuilding rules inhibit females from reaching the same muscularity.

    Female bodybuilders are rewarded far less prize money for their competitions than their male

    counterparts. For example the 2012 Mr. Olympia winner will receive $250,000 in prize money

    while Ms. Olympia winner will only win $28,000 in prize money.[26]

  • Government bans[edit]

    Afghanistan - Women's bodybuilding is forbidden.[27]

    Performance-enhancing drugs[edit]

    According to Dan Duchaine, author of the book Underground Steroid Handbook and worked

    with countless world-class female bodybuilders, and Greg Zulak, listed the following

    performance-enhancing drugs as ones female bodybuilders may use:

    Anadrol (Oxymetholone)

    Anavar (oxandrolone)

    Clenbuterol

    Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate)

    Dianabol (methandrostenolone)

    Equipoise (boldenone undecyclenate)

    Halotestin (fluoxymesterone)

    Human growth hormone

    Maxibolan (ethylestrenol)

    Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate)

    Primabolan (methenolone)

    Trenbolone

    Winstrol (stanozolol)[28]

    Side effects[edit]

    All anabolic steroids have some amount of androgens that cause massive increase in muscle

    size and muscularity. Most common side effects experienced by women using androgen

    steroids are:[29][30][31]

    Acne and oily skin

    Aggression

    Male pattern baldness

    Lowering of voice tone

    Disruption of menstrual cycle

    Clitoromegaly

    Increased hair growth on face, legs and arms

    Increased feeling of well being

    Increased energy

  • Decreased recovery time from workouts

    Heightened sex drive

    Muscle and strength gain

    Decreases in estrogenic fat (e.g. upper legs, abdomen, upper arms, buttocks)

    Surveys and studies on side effects[edit]

    A 1985 interview of ten weight-trained women athletes who consistently used anabolic

    steroids were interviewed about their patterns of drug use and the perceived effects.

    Anabolic steroids were used in a cyclical manner, often with several drugs taken

    simultaneously. All participants believed that muscle size and strength were increased in

    association with anabolic steroid use. Most also noted a deepening of the voice, increased

    facial hair, increased aggressiveness, clitoral enlargement, and menstrual irregularities.

    The participants were willing to tolerate these side effects but thought that such changes

    might be unacceptable to many women.[32]

    A 1989 study of competitive female bodybuilders from Kansas and Missouri found that

    10% use steroids on a regular basis. The female bodybuilders reported that they had used

    an average of two different steroids including Deca Durabolin, Anavar, Testosterone,

    Dianabol, Equipoise, and Winstrol.[33]

    A 1991 study of nine female weight-lifters using steroids and seven not using these agents

    has found that it appears that the self-administration of testosterone and anabolic steroids

    is increasingly practiced by women in sports where strength and endurance are important.

    Of the nine anabolic steroid users, seven took multiple anabolic steroids simultaneously.

    Thirty-fold elevations of serum testosterone were noted in the women injecting

    testosterone. In three of these women serum testosterone levels exceeded the upper limits

    for normal male testosterone concentrations. A significant compensatory decrease in sex

    hormone-binding globulin and a decrease in thyroid-binding proteins were noted in the

    women steroid users. Also, a 39% decrease in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was

    noted in the steroid-using weight lifters. Most of the subjects in this study used anabolic

    steroids continuously, which raises concern about premature atherosclerosis and other

    disease processes developing in these women.[34]

    A 2000 survey found that one-third of the female bodybuilders reported past or current

    steroid use and almost half of those who were non-steroid users admitted use of

    performance-enhancing drugs such as ephedrine. The study investigators found that

    women who used steroids were more muscular than their non-steroid-using counterparts

    and were also more likely to use other performance-enhancing substances.[35] Despite its

  • popularity among female bodybuilding, usage of steroids among female bodybuilders,

    unlike male bodybuilding, is a taboo subject and rarely admitted use among female

    bodybuilders. Although the IFBB officially bans the usage of performance-enhancing

    drugs, it does not test athletes rigorously.[36]

    A 2009 survey of both men and women found that while men overall use anabolic

    androgenic steroids, more women than men who use anabolicandrogenic steroids where

    competitive bodybuilders or weightlifters, with only 33.3% describing themselves as

    "recreational lifters" with no interest in competition. The survey found that 75% of the

    women experienced clitoral enlargement, half had irregular periods and showed changes

    in their voices. Despite this 90% said they would continue to use steroids.[37]

    Breast augmentation[edit]

    Bodybuilding causes increased lean body mass and decreased body fat, which causes breast

    tissue reduction in female athletes[38] whereas the current trend regarding the judges' search for

    "feminine" physique at competitions makes compensative breast augmentation with breast

    implants an increasingly popular procedure among female bodybuilders.[39] It is estimated that

    80% of professional female bodybuilders get breast implants so they can show some cleavage

    in competitions.[3]

    Cultural references[edit]

    The 1985 documentary film Pumping Iron II: The Women focuses on female bodybuilding

    and is one of the first female bodybuilder documentaries around.

    The Tiny Toon Adventures episode That's Incredibly Stupid Plucky is the judge of a group

    of female bodybuilders who are competing for the title of Ms. Teenage Iron-pumping Kick-

    boxer Wrestler USA.

    In a 1995 Geraldo episode, he featured notable female bodybuilders on his show Lenda

    Murray, Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls, Sha-Ri Pendleton, Nikk Fuller, and also featured female

    bodybuilding photographer Bill Dobbins.

    Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends in the episode Body Building focused heavily on female

    bodybuilding, included female muscle fantasy, fbb sessions, and the 2000 IFBB Jan Tana

    Classic competition.

    The 2000 documentary Bodybuilders deals with female bodybuilding and specifically

    concentrates on Ms. Olympia and the rapid changes that happen to the sport from 1980 to

    2000. Female bodybuilders interviews in the documentary include IFBB Jan Tana Classic

    champion Lesa Lewis, former Ms. Olympia champion Cory Everson, and former Ms.

    Olympia champion Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls.

  • Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls starred in the 2000 movie The Cell.

    The 2001 TLC documentary The Greatest Bodies talks about the evolution of female

    bodybuilding and the 2000 Ms. International. It also features female bodybuilding proGayle

    Moher.

    The Simpsons episode Strong Arms of the Ma focused entirely on female bodybuilding.

    Marge takes up bodybuilding after getting mugged. She competes in a female bodybuilding

    competition where she places 2nd.

    The Taboo episode Gender Benders focuses on the gender role of female bodybuilding.

    IFBB pro Betty Pariso, Rosemary Jennings, and the 2003 Ms. Olympia is featured in the

    episode.

    The Totally Spies! It's How You Play The Game Clover is given three micro-organisms that

    contain performing enhancing hormones by the Zanzibar coach. She has to take the place

    of Maria for Zanzibar in the figure skating at the Olympics and she obtains a bodybuilding

    physic due to the micro-organisms. She loses her muscle mass after sneezing those

    micro-organisms out. The Totally Spies! episode The Incredible Bulk Alex consumes a

    number of 'Bulky Bars' which allows her to grow a bodybuilding physic and defeat Ulrich

    Wernerstein.

    The 2005 documentary film Supersize She focuses on professional female

    bodybuilder Joanna Thomas participating in the 2004 IFBB Ms. Olympia.

    Iris Kyle appeared in the 2008 episode of Wipeout.

    The 2008 documentary film Bigger, Stronger, Faster* focused on anabolic steroids and

    featured a few female bodybuilders in it.

    The 2008 documentary film Hooked: Muscle Women focuses on professional female

    bodybuilder Colette Nelson and Kristy Hawkins participating in the 2008 IFBB Ms.

    International.

    The TV3 documentary Modern Ireland: Supersized Shes explores female bodybuilding in

    Ireland. This documentary follows the stories of two female bodybuilders, Inga Beinara and

    Sophia McNamara, over the course of one day, as they prepare to take to the stage of the

    Millennium Theatre in Limerick, for the Republic of Ireland Bodybuilding Federation

    Championship.

    The 2010 documentary film Twisted Sisters focuses on professional female

    bodybuilder Kim Buck, along with amateur bodybuilders Brenda Smith and Lauren Powers.

    A Super Bowl XLVIII GoDaddy commercial featured Danica Patrick as a female

    bodybuilder.

    Iris Kyle will appear as the character "Dina" in the film We Are Sisyphos, which will be

    released in 2014.