The Evolution Of Female Bodybuilding Competition

The evolution of female bodybuilding competition, started in the nineteen sixties as relates to competitive physical contests. It was only during this period that competitions such as Miss Americana and Miss Physique first began to attract female bodybuilders. Of course, these competitions were little more than bikini contests and it was only in the year 1978 when the U.S. Women’s National Physique Championship was held that female bodybuilding really took on a more serious note.

In the eighties the National Physique Committee held its first women’s Nationals and since then the best amateur female bodybuilders began competing seriously for the honors that was first won by Laura Combes who won inaugural event held in Atlanta City on April, 8th 1980. In this year another major female bodybuilding competition was held that was known as Miss Olympia (now Ms. Olympia) which is certainly a most prestigious contest among female bodybuilders and which was first won by Rachel McLish who in fact had already won the National Physique Committee’s USA Championship earlier in the same year.

Pioneer Female Bodybuilder Women
Laura Combes – Rachel McLish – Kike Elomaa – Cory Everson

This Miss Olympia was a very important female bodybuilding championship and it heralded in a new age in female bodybuilding and McLish in particular who was attractive and who helped promote female bodybuilding inspired many young women to take up female bodybuilding professionally.

Though McLish lost her crown the following year to Kike Elomaa, she regained the crown the next year and she then went on to win the Women’s Pro World Championship in the year 1982.

With the growth of female bodybuilding as a sport it led to more intense level of training, which was a radical change to the beginnings of female bodybuilding competition when most competitors hardly did any weight training. From the year 1983 onward and with McLish no longer participating a new female athlete took the Pro World as well as the Ms. Olympia crowns and she was Carla Dunlap who was far more physically well endowed than either McLish or even Elomaa before her. Another very famous winner of the female bodybuilding competitions such as NPC Nationals, Cory Everson even beat McLish and won the Ms. Olympia competition in 1984 and soon became a new force in the world of female bodybuilding. She actually won six consecutive Miss Olympia crowns and even retired undefeated; a feat that has never been matched.

The bodybuilder women in this article set precedents that were not only followed, but were continually improved upon over the following years. With their dedication came new and evolving techniques for developing muscle mass in female bodybuilding.


Author: Rex Grogan
No part of the article The Evolution Of Female Bodybuilding Competition may be duplicated or reproduced without written permission from