Female body building began in the 1960′s, but contests and competitions did not start until the late 70′s. When the competitions first started, they were more like beauty contests, with the women wearing high heels, and bikinis. They also did not do the poses like the crab, and lateral spread. That changed in the 1980′s when women started to take body building more seriously and wanted to participate in contests that more closely resembled that of their male counterparts.
The first Miss Olympia contest was held in 1980. This is the creme de la creme for fitness professionals. Rachel McLish won the first contest that year. She proved to be quite profitable and personable and sparked an interest in many other women to become female body builders.
In the 1990′s the Miss Olympia contest dealt with controversy over the judging. Over the last decade, women had become motivated to have a more muscular physique and were deemed by judges as being too big or manly looking. Judges were then accused of trying to feminize the competition and make it more based on beauty than brawn. Due to this controversy, new rules were set in place that stated that women would be judged on healthy appearance, symmetry, and muscularity.
There are two other competitions that are similar to body building. They are the fitness and figure competition. The fitness competition has a swimsuit round and a performance round. In the swimsuit round, the contestants must wear two piece bikinis and high- heeled shoes. The bikinis are required to cover at least fifty percent of the gluteus maximus muscle. The performance round is judged based on either a dance, gymnastic or aerobic routine. The figure competition is a newly introduced format that judges the contestants solely on physical attributes such as symmetry and muscle tone. In this competition, the contestants must wear a one piece bathing suit, line up side by side and demonstrate a series of quad or half turns presenting their physique to the audience and the judges.
The IFBB( International Female Bodybuilding) has a hall of fame for female body builders. It was established in 1999. There are currently 15 members in this hall of fame. They are: Carla Dunlap, Cory Everson,Rachel McLish, Bev Francis, Lisa Lyon, Abbye Stockton, Kay Baxter, Diana Dennis, Kike Elomaa, Laura Combes,Lynn Conkwright, Ellen Van Maris, Stacey Bentley, Claudia Wilborn, and Laura Creavelle.
Women who are interested in becoming female body builders need to get into optimal shape and hire a personal trainer. Training programs must vary in two week intervals in order to obtain desired results. Female body builders must eat 6 to 8 small meals per day. The meals need to be high in carbohydrates.
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