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The Rise of the Female Bodybuilder

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The first professional female bodybuilder was Louise Leers, who used her body in ways that no female had dared before. She leaped into the limelight and projected a sculpted body that, at the time, wasn’t deemed to be the ideal woman’s body. Louise Leers may not have known it at the time, but her efforts were to become a catalyst for a new generation of the ideal woman’s body. Read on to learn more about the rise of the female bodybuilder and some of the most famous modern-day athletes acting as advocates for a strong woman’s physique. 

The beginning of a new era

Or should we say the end of an era? The ideal woman’s body has changed dramatically over the years to the modern-day opinion that there’s no ideal woman’s body. Instead, a woman can be who they want to be, with many women now choosing to hit the gym and build a strong physique. Everything from workout routines to supplements is tailored to both men and women, with many women opting to use supplements to help improve their performance and aesthetics. The different supplements women can get when buying steroids in Canada give them the opportunity to instigate vast muscle growth.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that women really entered the world of bodybuilding. Women like Rachel Mclish, the first Ms Olympia, crowned in 1980, spearheaded the transition into a new era of women’s physique. Other big names like Andrea Shaw, Nataliya Kuznetsova, and Lenda Murray remain an influence on women who want to create their dream bodies. 

Transforming the norm for women

What these women continue to do – alongside amateur and semi-professional bodybuilders – is transform the norm for women. More women than ever before are picking up the weights that were once deemed only appropriate for use by men. Social media also has a massive influential role, with the likes of Krissy Cela, Tammy Hembrow, and Karina Elle showing young women that being strong is sexy. 

As bodybuilding experts confirm, lifting weights has become a way for women to feel strong, independent, and capable of pushing their bodies to new extremes.

The most influential modern-day female bodybuilders 

Some really influential female bodybuilders use social media platforms and bodybuilding events to show women what their bodies are capable of achieving. Some of the most influential and popular include:

  • Stefi Cohen
  • Nataliya Kuznetsova
  • Dana Linn Bailey
  • Linda Burdesson
  • Andrea Shaw

These women advocate for the positive benefits of bodybuilding and beating the stigmas about women lifting weights. Most recently, Andrea Shaw recently rallied with fellow female bodybuilders to share the rage over The Arnold Classic and Olympia weekend not supporting women’s bodybuilding.

Strong women embody dedication, drive, and individualism. They spend hours training to achieve the ultimate aesthetically pleasing muscular body that exudes power. These women prove that lifting weights is definitely not only for men. More women than ever before are now using this inspiration to fuel a new generation of bodybuilders. Are you interested in starting your bodybuilding journey? Click here for some of the best bodybuilding workout routines tailored to women.


Zuella Montemayor did her degree in psychology at the University of Toronto. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle. 

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