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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

Bodybuilding was initially considered the
manliest of the manly sports, but thanks to changes in attitudes, health, and perceptions
about beauty, as of the 1970s, there are countless female bodybuilders in the world. Having covered the top male bodybuilders in
a previous video, it was only natural that we followed up with a list of the top female
bodybuilders, breaking things down in a similar fashion by analyzing their physique first
and then also taking other things into account like the amount of accolades they’ve received
or the amount of fame they were able to gain. So, get your spray tans, thong bikinis, and
supplements ready as we break down the top 10 most extreme female bodybuilders! Jodie Marsh We begin our list with Jodie Marsh, who is
the youngest female bodybuilder on this list and one of the few who weren’t a part of the
“Golden Age of Female Bodybuilding” that occurred in the 1980’s. Like most women on this list, she came from
a modelling background in her native Britain, where she is now relatively famous as a media
personality, columnist, model, and actress. While she may have never reached the size
or bulk of some of the women on this list, it’s safe to assume that the “culprit” (if
you want to call it that) behind that is the fact that she’s always prided herself as a
“natural bodybuilder”, meaning that she abstains from using any performance enhancing drugs
to enhance her physique to or add bulk. So, while a lot of women on this list have
been huge proponents of body positivity, they were all looking at it from a different perspective
than Marsh, who wasn’t attempting to be unnaturally huge in order to be taken seriously as a bodybuilder
or fitness competitor. It’s that, combined with her fame in the UK,
that places her as the first entry on this list, she’s doing things the right way – which
should help keep her both active (in the world of fitness competitions) and alive (in general),
something that sadly cannot be said for everyone on this list. Liking this video so far? Show us some love – click that subscribe button
and tap that notification bell. Sharon Bruneau Sharon Bruneau is a retired French-Canadian
bodybuilder who was born in Timmins, Ontario in 1964. The most decorated and famous female bodybuilder
in Canada, it’s safe to say that she was a trailblazer for women in the bold/cold North. Like others on this list, she started out
as a model, something she found success in until she contracted a serious case of pneumonia,
which ended up lowering her weight to a near gaunt level. To get healthy again, she began training with
weights, and after finding that she was both adept at putting on muscle and landing gigs
as a fitness model, she truly found her calling. She ended up putting on over 50 pounds of
muscle during her peak and has been on a lot of fitness magazine covers for rags like Muscle
& Fitness as well as Flex. Did we mention she was a trailblazer? Well, we meant it, as she was one of the first
ever female bodybuilders to be signed to Weider Health and Fitness publications as a representative
(from 1991 to 1998). After she retired from bodybuilding in 1994,
she had an equally impressive career as a fitness competitor and then as an actress,
making her one of the first triple (or quadruple) threats in the bodybuilding arena and also
on this list! Yaxeni Oriquen Yaxeni is one of the most famous international
bodybuilders on this list. She was born in Cabimas, Zulia, Venezuela
as the youngest of nine children. A natural beauty, she grew up as a model and
had dreams of becoming an actress. At the age of 23, though, she decided to dedicate
her life to bodybuilding and by 1993 found that she was a natural, winning four amateur
contests and winning her professional card after winning the Ibero/Central American Championships. She decided to use that as an opportunity
to pursue the American dream not long after and did just that, moving to the US and piling
up accolade after accolade over the years, with her most impressive showing being her
Ms. Olympia title in 2005. That makes her the most decorated and successful
Venezuelan bodybuilder of all-time, and also one of the most decorated female bodybuilders
in general, as she’s won five Ms. International titles as well (in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008
and 2012), proving that she’s as consistent as she is great. Tonya Knight If there’s a golden age of female bodybuilding,
Tonya Knight has to have been a part of it, as she competed during the 1980’s, an era
in which most of the women on this list were active and in their primes. Knight loses a few points, though, because
she has a controversial history as someone who has apparently circumvented the rules
(which, to be fair, is more common than not in the world of bodybuilding, especially in
the 80’s). IFBB officials presented “strong evidence”
that she was using someone else’s urine to pass tests before competitions
which lead them to revoke some of her placements and championships, namely the 1989 Ms. International
competition where she placed first (and the 1988 IFBB Ms. Olympia where she placed 4th). Beyond that she also had to return her prize
money of over $12,000, which is a lot of money now but was definitely a lot of money in the
80’s, especially for female bodybuilders. The reason she is on this list at all, though,
is that she overcame that bad press and got back on the right path, winning the Ms. International
title in 1991 “without incident”. She retired not long after, but she had already
proved her point, that she didn’t need to cheat to win in an era where everyone was
cheating to win. Rebekka Armstrong If this list proves anything it’s that there
are a few different paths that one can take to make it into the professional bodybuilding
realm, from those that came from the wrestling world or those that came from playing sports
in their youth. Rebekka Armstrong didn’t follow the typical
path, however, but she was definitely a household name before she began her career as a fitness
competitor, depending on which house you’re asking, as she was a Playboy Playmate. As Playmate of the Month in September of 1986,
it seemed like the world was her oyster, however, things took a bad turn when she found out
that she was HIV positive in 1988. After she attempted to escape dealing with
her newfound status for a couple years by doing drugs, she eventually came to grips
with her sickness and decided to become an advocate for those less fortunate than she
was. She announced to the world that she was HIV
positive in a September 1994 issue of The Advocate magazine, and with the help of Hugh
Hefner and Playboy, she helped create an AIDS-awareness campaign. She actually didn’t start bodybuilding until
about a decade after that, placing first at the 2004 Muscle Beach contest (and winning
her first three contests), which was part of her plan to stay healthy and to continue
to beat her disease. As an open lesbian, she’s also been a huge
role model for people everywhere, and considering that she contracted HIV in the 80’s, she is
a definite success story from a time when there were so few. Nikki Fuller Female bodybuilders aren’t as well known for
their bulk as their male counterparts, well that is, most aren’t, but there are always
exceptions to the rule, and one of the biggest exceptions to that rule is Nikki Fuller. Born in 1968, Fuller was an absolute beast
at her peak mass, coming in at over 250 lbs., with biceps that reportedly measured over
20 inches. To attain that mass she lifted tremendous
amounts, with some of her best lifts coming in at over 315 lbs on the bench press and
over half-a-ton (1,100 pounds) for multiple reps on the leg press back in the day before
fake plates were even an option. A highly decorated fitness competitor, she
also transitioned into wrestling, like many women on this list, and while she never quite
became the household name that other bodybuilder-turned-wrestlers like Nicole Bass or Chyna did, she did have
a respectable career as an actress appearing on television shows like Ally McBeal, Arli$$,
Just Shoot Me! and Nikki. She was even in a commercial for Right Guard
Extreme deodorant with Dave Chapelle, which makes her one of the biggest triple threats
on this list (bodybuilding, acting, and wrestling), with the most impressive IMDB to boot! Betty Pariso Betty Pariso is a legend in the world of bodybuilding
and of all the women on this list definitely had the longest and most storied career. Born in 1956 in Kentucky, Pariso (who was
born Betty Slade) was a natural athlete who grew up on a farm where she excelled playing
sports in high school and attracted the attention of numerous track and field scouts at different
colleges around the area. Always in shape, Pariso didn’t start actually
bodybuilding until later in her life when she was in her 30s, something that she initially
did to stay fit and put some weight on when she felt that she was too thin and “stick”
like. She first competed in amateur bodybuilding
competitions in 1988 and by 1996 had earned her pro card (at the 1996 NPC Nationals). In doing so, at the age of 40, she became
the oldest woman to earn an IFBB Pro Card, proving that age isn’t anything but a number
and that it’s never too late to pursue one’s dreams. Beyond that, Pariso didn’t actually retire
from professional bodybuilding until 2010, meaning that she was competing well into her
50’s but not only that, excelling, as she ended up winning her second pro title in 2009
at the age of 53. Thanks to her amazing career, she’s won numerous
accolades as well, like winning the NPC Nationals or receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award
at Europa Dallas. As a pure bodybuilder, she’s probably the
most decorated on this list, but because she never made the switch over to professional
wrestling she isn’t as high on this list as others simply because she doesn’t have the
name recognition that others have, but in the world of bodybuilding you can’t get much
bigger than Pariso. Nicole Bass Nicole Bass was perhaps best known for her
membership on the “Wack Pack”, a loose collective of interesting guests that appeared on The
Howard Stern show back during its heyday (if by heyday you mean the days in which Stern
was extremely politically incorrect). Bass’ physique was so impressive that the
reoccurring gag on the Stern show was that she had to be a man, something that understandably
upset her as she tried many times over the years to prove that she was in fact born a
woman. She joined the Stern show back in 1993 after
appearing in the pay-per-view television event The Miss Howard Stern New Year’s Eve Pageant
but what many fans of that show didn’t know was that she also was a decorated bodybuilder
and wrestler, like many women on this list. Perhaps even more than a lot of the bodybuilding
wrestlers, though, she was extremely decorated as a fitness competitor, winning the NPC Nationals
in 1997 and also participating in basically every tournament possible between the mid-1980’s
and late 1990’s. She began her wrestling career after retiring
from bodybuilding in 1998, joining Extreme Championship Wrestling during the first half
of that year, which lead to a contract with the then World Wrestling Federation (where
she debuted as the bodyguard for fellow female wrestler Sable during Wrestlemania XV). Sadly, like other women on this list, Bass
died a premature death but because of her wide and varied career, it’s safe to say that
she’ll never be forgotten. Lisa Marie Varon Lisa Marie Varon also made her living as a
bodybuilder and female wrestler but what differentiates her from people like Nicole Bass or Chyna
is that she had a lot more accolades in the world of bodybuilding and fitness competitions
than she did in the ring. Varon started her career in fitness competitions
back in 1997 when she joined ESPN2’s Fitness America Series and within a couple years was
placing high at competitions around the United States, including a second place finish at
a fitness event in New York (which lead to her earning her International Federation of
Bodybuilders Professional Fitness Card). It was through those competitions that Varon
happened to meet Chyna, who encouraged her to join the world of female wrestling, and
from there the rest is history as Varon became a two-time WWE Women’s Champion (as well as
gaining accolades in the then rival Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under the name Tara),
where she became a five-time TNA Knockouts champion. Chyna Now, Chyna is definitely the most famous name
on this list but because she was obviously a lot more well known for her professional
wrestling career than her career as a bodybuilder, we’re sure that some of you will take issue
with her spot on this list. Regardless of whether or not Chyna, whose
real name was Joan Laurer, had a lot of accolades as a bodybuilder, she will still forever be
remembered as one of the most physically impressive women to walk the planet. Laurer was also so physically imposing that
she often wrestled against men or was a bodyguard for other female or male wrestlers, which
meant that she (like a lot of other women on this list) had to deal with accusations
of whether or not she was a “real” woman. Beyond her wrestling and bodybuilding career,
Chyna did a lot for the body positivity movement, appearing in Playboy twice. She was also a pioneer in plastic surgery,
as her original breast implants actually ruptured during a wrestling match, which combined with
her sad final days prove that while she was a beacon of hope for women everywhere she
was never completely comfortable in her own skin, which is really just so sad considering
she’s loved worldwide and consistently tops lists like these. Rest In Peace, Chyna. You don’t need to lift any weights in order
to be a hero in our books. All you have to do is click that subscribe
button and tap that bell to join our notification squad. And don’t go anywhere – stick around and
check out some of our other great videos.


  1. Hell yeah! It's a shame however how the IFBB is dictating female bodybuilders how to look, i.e. they lowkey force them to get implants (because it ''sells'' better) and making them shave off their muscular mass that they worked hard on, ruining their idea of pride and dedication to the sport and physique.

  2. Tonya Knight Didn't start turning into a man doing the Gear , her facial features stayed very feminine , compared to the others

  3. Jodie March: "natural bodybuilder" . . . but has fake boobs. Female body builders are not as well known for their bulk? Have you looked at the chests of most of them? That is where most of their "bulk" is. My car has more original parts . . . Don't get me wrong: I like female body building . . . I admire those who work hard and achieve much . . . I just don't like fake parts . . . boobs or skin colour!

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