In the 1960s, guys like Dave Draper, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, and Lou Ferrigno turned body-building into an international phenomenon.
Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, female-only competitions started popping up in the late ’70s, with the first U.S. Women’s National Physique Championship held in Canton, Ohio, in 1978.
Since then the sport has continued to grow with the annual Ms. International and the Ms. Olympia events seeing an increased popularity year after year.
Not convinced that women have what it takes to compete at the same level? These five ladies might change your mind.
Contest Weight: 155-161 lbs.
Contest Weight: 145-148 lbs.
Contest Weight: 160 lbs.
Contest Weight: 150 lbs.
Contest Weight: 140 lbs.