Top 8 Women Bodybuilders - What Can Be Learned from Them

Who are the top 8 women bodybuilders of all time? As far back as the late 19th century, individuals like Eugen Sandow popularized the sport of bodybuilding. However, bodybuilding was a men-only sport for the longest time, and female bodybuilders first entered the sport in the 1970s.

But, despite their later start, female bodybuilders have made an impressive name for themselves. Over the years, we’ve seen thousands of amazing women step on the bodybuilding stage and show the work they’ve put into their bodies.

A List of the 8 Best Female BodyBuilders of All Time

Today, we’ll go over the top 8 female bodybuilders of all time. In ranked from first to eighth, here they are:


1. Iris Kyle

Iris Kyle is considered the best female bodybuilder of all time. Kyle was born on August 22, 1974, in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Her height was 5 ft 7 in, her competition weight was 167 lbs, and her off-season weight was 180 lbs.

She has won ten overalls and two heavyweight Ms. Olympia titles since her professional debut. Her Olympia titles span 14 years, from 2001 – 2014.

Iris Kyle’s consistent competition domination has made her a fan favorite, and other competitors often cite her as an inspiration and role model.

Lenda Murray women bodybuilders

2. Lenda Murray

Lenda Murray is also one of the most decorated women bodybuilders, ranking second behind Iris Kyle with eight overalls and two heavyweight Mr. Olympia titles.

Murray was born in Detroit, Michigan, on February 22, 1962. Her height was 5 ft 5 in, her competition weight was 153 lbs, and her off-season weight was 164 lbs.

Lenda won Ms. Olympia titles from 1990 – 2003. She was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2019 for her dedication to the sport. In January 2010, Lenda was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame.

Corrina Cory Everson

3. Corinna Everson

Corinna Everson, aka Cory Everson, is another great female bodybuilder who achieved success early on in her career, winning six Ms. Olympia titles consecutively from 1984-1989.

Cory was born on January 4, 1958, in Racine, Wisconsin. Her height was 5 ft 9 in, her competition weight was 147 lbs, and her off-season weight was 150 lbs.

She has since retired from competitive bodybuilding but remains an active member of the fitness community, sharing tips and advice on how to stay fit and healthy through exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle habits. In January 1999, Cory was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame.

Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls women bodybuilders

4. Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls

Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls is another prominent figure in women’s bodybuilding who won four Ms. Olympia titles between 1996-1999 before retiring from competition in 2005 due to health issues related to weight gain caused by long-term steroid use.

Chizevsky-Nicholls was born in Charleston, Illinois, on April 23, 1968. Her height was 5 ft 87 in, her competition weight was 165 lbs, and her off-season weight was 176 lbs.

She now works as a personal coach, helping others reach their fitness goals through proper dieting and training techniques she’s developed over the years while competing professionally. In January 2008, Kim was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame.

Andrea Shaw

5. Andrea Shaw

Andrea Shaw is the reigning Ms. Olympia, having won three Ms. Olympia overall titles from 2020 to 2022. She was born in Detroit, Michigan, on December 18, 1983. Her height was 5 ft 6 in, her competition weight was 179 lbs, and her off-season weight was 191 lbs.

She started competing professionally at age 24 after graduating college with a degree in Exercise Science & Sports Nutrition Management.

Rachel McLish Women Bodybuilders

6. Rachel McLish

Rachel McLish was another dominant force in women’s bodybuilding during the late 80s/early 90s, winning two Ms.-Olympia overall titles between 1980 and 1982.

McLish was born on June 21, 1955, in Harlingen, Texas. Her height was 5 ft 7 in, her competition weight was 129 lbs, and her off-season weight was 135 lbs.

Rachel retired from the competition after finishing second at the 1984 Ms. Olympia due to injuries sustained during training. Rachel McLish was the first winner of the Ms. Olympia title. In 1999 Rachel was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame.

Juliette Bergmann

7. Juliette Bergmann

Juliette Bergmann was another top competitor who won one Ms.-Olympia overall title in 2001, along with three lightweight titles from 2001 – 2003.

Bergmann was born on November 30, 1958, in Vlaardingen, Netherlands. Her height was 5 ft 3 in, her competition weight was 133 lbs, and her off-season weight was 145 lbs.

She retired from competition in 2004. However, she remains involved with various aspects of the sport, such as judging competitions or providing mentorship for upcoming talent. In January 2009, Juliette was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame.

Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia Women Bodybuilders

8. Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia

Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia is one of the more recent stars of women’s bodybuilding. She was born on September 3, 1966, in Cabimas, Zulia, Venezuela. Her height was 5 ft 8 in, her competition weight was 175 lbs, and her off-season weight was 185 lbs.

Yaxeni won one Ms. Olympia title in 2005 and many other prestigious awards throughout her career, which spanned nearly 20 years. She last competed in 2020 and placed 13th in the Ms. Olympia competition.

Honorable Mention

Honorable mentions go out to Ritva Elomaa and Carla Dunlap. Both competed during the late 80s/early 90s period, respectively. They set new standards of excellence within the field, which still stand today.

Ritva won Ms. Olympia in 1981. In January 2001, Ritva Elomaa, known by many as Kike was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame. While Carla won Ms. Olympia in 1983, in January 1999, Carla was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame.

Despite not achieving the same level of success as the top eight female bodybuilders, they are to be congratulated. This is because female bodybuilders during that era did not get the recognition or resources of the men bodybuilders.

Also, with bodybuilding, the difference between greatness and second place is timing in most cases. Bodybuilding requires building weight, losing fat, and managing body fluids to get the perfect look.

The Last Word On the 8 Top Female Bodybuilders

The world of competitive female bodybuilding has seen some fantastic athletes. Still, these eight women stand head and shoulders above the rest as some of its finest-ever competitors!

From Iris Kyle’s ten overall wins to Andrea Shaw’s reign as reigning champion, these women are true inspirations who will continue to motivate aspiring athletes worldwide!

If you’re looking for motivation or guidance on achieving your fitness goals, look no further than these incredible female powerhouses! They truly embody what it means to be strong!

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By Terry Clark

Terry Clark, M.S. is a math professor, certified fitness trainer, nutritionist, bodybuilding coach, writer, and fitness enthusiast. Terry loves working out, math, music, chess, cooking, writing, and teaching.

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