Female bodybuilders are some of the hardest-working people in the fitness industry. Whether these athletes are young or heavyweights, they push their bodies to the limit just like their male counterparts.
These women’s gains are a result of ambition, grueling training, and loads of discipline. Whether they’re in their 20s or 50s, the women on this list are at the top of their game.
At just 24 years old, Elisa Pecini is one of the most successful female bodybuilders in bikini competitions. After battling anorexia nervosa from age 13 to 15, she regained control of her life and got into bodybuilding.
She’s won the 2018 MuscleContest Nacional Pro Bikini, 2018 Pittsburgh Pro Bikini, 2018 MuscleContest Brazil Pro Bikini, and the 2019 Bikini Olympia category during the 2019 Mr. Olympia.
Pauline Nordin is an international fitness model and personal trainer. She shot to fame after her appearance as a trainer in the Nordic version of the TV show “The Biggest Loser.”
30-year-old Nordin weighs 121 pounds, and her biceps measure 12-and-a-half inches. With a top dead-lift weight of 265, she has fierce fitness credentials.
This Russian-born gymnast and Fitness competitor has some major accomplishments on her resume. She started gymnastics at seven years old and continued with it throughout her school years. In 2000, she got her degree in Physical Training and Sports.
Oksana’s friends encouraged her to start entering bodybuilding competitions in 2005, and she never looked back. She won an Arnold Classic in 2014 and went on to win four Ms. Fitness Olympia victories.
American-born Andrea Shaw began bodybuilding at the tender age of 17. She had a BA in Exercise and Sports Science and a pro card at the NPC Nationals. In 2019, Shaw entered the Chicago Pro as a bodybuilder and came in second place.
In 2020, she went on to win two of the most prestigious bodybuilding tournaments, becoming Ms. Olympia and Ms. Rising Phoenix.
At just 22 years old, Melina Keltaniemi is off to a great start. She came second place in 2018 Nordic Elite Pro, 3rd place at IFBB Elite Pro Russia, and was 2018’s IFBB Elite Pro World Champion.
In her bodybuilding career, Keltaniemi focuses on knowing her physical limitations. She takes time to rest and recuperate during the off-season, and is currently preparing for the next IFBB Elite Pro World Championship.
Monique Jones is a natural athlete who began training at just 13 years old when her father bought her some weights. She felt a deep connection to weight training from an early age and continued to build muscle throughout her extensive career.
American-born Monique Jones is the 7th best female bodybuilder in the IFBB Pro Women’s Bodybuilding Ranking List.
54-year-old Yaxeni Oriquen is a vegan bodybuilder with Venzuelan-American heritage whose career has spanned 20 years. She is ranked second-best in the IFBB Pro Women’s Bodybuilding Ranking List.
With five Ms. International titles in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2012, she is the only Venzuelan-American to ever win the Ms. Olympia championship title.
Theresa Ivancik is a certified personal trainer and professional bodybuilder for the IFBB Pro Women’s League, and she ranks 6th in the world for female bodybuilding. She secured 6th place at the 2019 Rising Phoenix World Championships.
In 2019, Ivancik won the Lenda Murray Norfolk Pro show and qualified for the Rising Phoenix World Championships.
This certified sports nutritionist, personal trainer, and IFBB Pro holds the title for 2020’s Olympia: Women’s Physique and has won the IFFB Pro Olympian three times.
In 2019, Sarah Villegas also earned second place in the Olympia Women’s Physique competition – she’s one to watch because her successful bodybuilding career is only just beginning.
American female bodybuilder Shanique Grant is an online coach and IFBB professional. Winning her pro card just four months into her bodybuilding career, she also held the Women’s Physique Olympia title at the tender age of 23.
Grant suffered from intense bullying at school, which lead to issues with low self-esteem. After partying a lot in her teenage years, she decided to turn her life around and start bodybuilding. She won the East Coast Championships at just 19.
Dr. Stefi Cohen is a hugely popular female bodybuilder, and it’s not hard to see why. She’s a fitness icon, and physical therapist, and holds multiple world records and a state gold Olympic medal for weightlifting.
The records she’s broken include squat and deadlift – with 202.5 kg and 205 kg respectively. She has a huge following on social media and is an inspiration to many.
As an American fitness model and an inspirational female bodybuilder, Carriejune Bowlby has taken years to perfect her physique and amass a 1.2 million-strong following on Instagram.
Bowlby began her fitness journey in school with gymnastics, track and field, and cheerleading, and moved on to weights just two years into secondary school.
Portuguese-born Beatriz Biscaia is a two-time youngest Bikini Olympian and two-time IFBB Bikini Pro champion. Biscaia earned her pro card when she was just 17 years old and has never looked back.
She’s also won first place in the Diamond Cup Thorn, first place in the Rui Ferreira Contest, and first place in the Portugal Classic. Additionally, she holds a silver medal in the European Pro Bikini, Vancouver Pro Bikini, and MuscleContest Japan Pro Bikini.
Helle Trevino is a Danish-American IFBB Pro who earned her pro card at 27 years old. Born Helle Nielsen, she competed in the Olympia in 2004 and herniated multiple discs in her back. Her doctor told her she’d never compete again, but he was wrong.
After eight years of intense rehabilitation, Trevino made a full recovery and went on to win the 2011 FIBO Pro in Germany and the Wings of Strength Rising Phoenix World Championships in 2018.