Top 10 Greatest Female Bodybuilders of All Time

September 23, 2021 By Sourav

Top 10 Greatest Female Bodybuilders of All Time

In the late 1970s, women began to take part in bodybuilding competitions that have for long been considered male-only sports. But even before this, in the late nineteenth century, there were records of circuses performing what is called ‘strong women acts.’ Around 1977, female bodybuilding began being promoted with the belief that women should be allowed the opportunity to display their physiques, the way men have done for years. This list is about some of the greatest female bodybuilders of all time.


Greatest Female Bodybuilders of All Time | 2021 Power Ranking


10. Denise Masino (USA) - Girl Bodybuilding Pioneer
9. Gladys Portugues (USA) - Huge Female Bodybuilder
8. Rachel McLish (USA) - Big Women Bodybuilder
7. Rasa von Werder (Germany) - Natural Female Bodybuilder
6. Marianna Komlos (Canada) - Hot Female Bodybuilder
5. Rebekka Armstrong (USA) - Best Female Bodybuilder
4. Nikki Fuller (USA) - The Best Women Bodybuilder
3. Nicole Bass (USA) - Sexy Female Bodybuilder
2. Lisa Marie Varon (USA) - Extreme Female Bodybuilding Legend
1. Chyna (USA) - Biggest Female Bodybuilder In The World


Therefore on August 18, 1978, the female bodybuilding contest known as “The Best in the World contest” was organized. On that account, today, we bring you the top 10 greatest female bodybuilders of all time who’ll blow your mind away.


10. Denise Masino (USA) - Girl Bodybuilding Pioneer



Sánchez, otherwise known as Denise Masino, had her first big win in 1995 at the NPC Nationals. After that, she was featured in various prominent fitness and bodybuilding magazines. She won the Night of Champions in 2003.

Over the years, she has competed gloriously and won prominent places in many competitions, such as she came second in Ms. International (2003), IFBB Ms. Olympia (2004), etc. Masino now holds the tenth place in our list of the top 10 greatest female bodybuilders of all time.


9. Gladys Portugues (USA) - Among The Huge Female Bodybuilders



In her bodybuilding career, Portugues’ most significant achievement was when she managed a spot among the top-10 in Ms. Olympia. Former Ms. Olympian winner Rachel McLish heavily inspired Portugues. After watching McLish on television, she decided that she’d take bodybuilding seriously.

Portugues has made appearances in three films and once on television. And now, she holds the ninth place in our list of the top 10 greatest female bodybuilders of all time.

Also Read: Best Indian Body Builders


8. Rachel McLish (USA) - One Of The Big Women Bodybuilders



When studying physiology and health & nutrition, Rachel Livia Elizondo McLish started working in a health club and later got inspired to compete in bodybuilding championships after seeing magazines of female bodybuilders. McLish’s breakthrough victory came in 1980 when she won the inaugural United States Championships and IFBB Ms. Olympia contest.

For the next five years, no other woman appeared in more magazine covers than McLish did. Although her career spanned only four years, in every competition that McLish entered, she at least achieved third place. She has written two New York Times bestsellers on weight training for women.


7. Rasa von Werder (Germany) - One Of The Natural Female Bodybuilders



Better known as Kellie Everts, she was once barred from entering a competition in 1981. Werder took to picketing and spoke of the injustice being done to her at a radio show. In 2007, the World Bodybuilding Guild (WBBG) awarded her “Progenitor” of Female Bodybuilding and also inducted her into their Hall of Fame.

Werder is the founder of her own church, which is based on a combination of the idea that a woman stripper can also preach. She created the “Stripper for God.” She has published six books and numerous articles online on her religious beliefs. Werder now holds the seventh place in our list of the top 10 greatest female bodybuilders of all time.

Also Read: Richest Bodybuilders of all time.


6. Marianna Komlos (Canada) - Hot Female Bodybuilder



Late Komlos started her bodybuilding career in the year 1993 by participating in provincial contests. In 1996, Komlos had won the Gators Classic, the British Columbia Championship (alongside being named as the Best Poser) in 1997, and the Women’s Extravaganza in 1997. Komlos appeared on the covers of many fitness magazines like Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness (September issue in 1997), Flex (November issue in 1997), and Women’s Physique World (December issue in 1997).

In 2004, the editor-in-chief of Flex, Jerry Kindela, when talking about Komlos had said, “Marianna’s one of the most beautiful bodybuilders I’ve ever seen.” Komlos died in 2004. She was suffering from breast cancer and was only 35-years-old. However, she still holds the sixth place in the list of the top 10 greatest female bodybuilders of all time.


5. Rebekka Armstrong (USA) - One Of The Best Female Bodybuilders



A former bodybuilder, Rebekka Lynn Armstrong, is an HIV/AIDs activist. Back in September 1994, Armstrong declared that she was HIV-positive. Since then, she decided to educate the LGBT community about the horrors of contracting HIV/AIDS without even knowing. Armstrong herself had contracted the disease when she was as young as 16-years-old.

Being a competitive bodybuilder, Armstrong has many medals of success. She won the Muscle Beach competition in 2004, NPC Los Angeles Championship (2004), NPC Pittsburgh (2005), and the NPC Los Angeles Championships in 2009. Armstrong had appeared as the Playmate of the Month in Playboy for September 1986.


4. Nikki Fuller (USA) - Among The Best Women Bodybuilders



Fuller realized early in her life that she was quite strong physically and decided to channelize her focus on bodybuilding. She began trying her hand at workouts in a local gym, transformed herself, and rose to eventual fame. At her largest, Fuller’s biceps measured 457 mm, and she weighed 91 kg. She began contesting in 1998 and participated in the Novice Oregon, where she won.

In 1992, Fuller finished being one among the top ten Ms. Olympia and Ms. International contests. A year later, she got featured on the cover of The Women and was part of a compiled photography book of top female bodybuilders. She definitely deserves the fourth place in our list of the top 10 greatest female bodybuilders of all time.

Also Read: Mandy Rose Net Worth, Career, Family


3. Nicole Bass (USA) - Sexy Female Bodybuilder



Throughout the 80s and 90s, Nicole Bass-Fuchs was one of the most celebrated female bodybuilders in America. She has participated in eminent wrestling competitions like the XPW, Extreme Championship Wrestling, the National Wrestling Alliance, and World Wrestling Federation. Besides, she won the NPC National Bodybuilding Championship in 1997.

Today Bass wrestles in an independent wrestling circuit, performing at public events and provides personal training. Besides his immense popularity as a great bodybuilder, she also holds her place among the hottest WWE divas of all time.


2. Lisa Marie Varon (USA) - Legend Of Extreme Female Bodybuilding



Fans widely know Varon with her ring name Victoria. She started her career as a professional wrestler in 1997 and went on to become the WWE Women’s Champion twice, TNA Knockouts Champion five times (becoming a  seven-time Women’s Champion overall), and  Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) once.

Varon had studied biology and medicine, and while working at the eye and tissue bank, she started teaching aerobics and became a professional trainer. When she got the opportunity of participating in a bodybuilding competition, she jumped on the offer. She now holds the second place in our list of the top 10 greatest female bodybuilders of all time.

Fun fact: Before becoming a professional wrestler, Varon had a chance to meet with the WWF star wrestler Chyna who encouraged her to join wrestling.


1. Chyna (USA) - One Of The Biggest Female Bodybuilders In The World



Joan Marie Laurer, otherwise known as Chyna, is a bodybuilder, among other things. She became famous in 1997 while performing in the professional wrestling promotion of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Some of her most notable performance has been in the New Japan Pro Wrestling (2002) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2011).

When not bodybuilding or fighting in the ring, Chyna appeared in Playboy magazine twice, numerous television shows, and films. Billed as the “Ninth Wonder of the World,” Chyna then became famous for “a lasting legacy as the most dominant female competitor of all time.” She definitely deserves the top place among the top 10 greatest female bodybuilders of all time.


Final Words

Share your thoughts about this list of the top 10 greatest female bodybuilders of all time in the comments below.


Greatest Female Bodybuilders - Infographics


FAQ Regarding Greatest Female Bodybuilders of All Time

Q. Who is the prettiest female bodybuilder?

Women's bodybuilding is not only about the biggest female biceps but also about a stunning and hot look. And if you compare the overall appeal, Jennifer Rish is currently the prettiest among female bodybuilders. Hailing from Southern California, she is currently dominating the international circuit.

Q. Who are the biggest female bodybuilders?

There are several old female bodybuilders who had a large physique. But now, the time has changed and women bodybuilders are now working more towards their shapes rather than the overall volume. But yes, Chyna, Nicole Bass, and Rasa Von Werder are some of the biggest bodybuilders the women competitions have ever seen.

Q. Who is the number 1 female bodybuilder?

You must have already liked our list of the top 10 natural bodybuilders. But yes, if you talk about the overall shape and performance, Chyna is by far the top female bodybuilder the world has ever seen. However, new bodybuilders like Jennifer Rish, Sarah Backman, and Rachel Cammon are also climbing the ladder at a rapid pace.

Q. Who is the best Russian female bodybuilder?

While many countries are known for shaped but small bodybuilders, Russia is a whole league apart. They constantly gifted some of the heaviest and largest female bodybuilders the blue planet has ever seen. Nataliya Kuznetsova is currently the best Russian female bodybuilder. She won the IFBB WOS Romania Muscle Fest Amateur championship in 2018.

Q. What do female bodybuilders eat?

To get the best girl body, all the female bodybuilders follow a strict diet plan. They mainly rely on protein sources like lean meat and whey protein. However, several vegan bodybuilders are now also coming into main circuit without consuming meat and meat products. Besides, they also concentrate on their liquid intakes to stay properly hydrated.

Q. How do female bodybuilders train?

If you see the female bodybuilders before and after pics, you can witness some immense changes. And they mainly do it through a rigorous physical training and a proper diet plan. But yes, most of the professional female bodybuilders spend around 8 to 10 hours each day at gymnasium doing various weight training and cardio activities.

Leave a Reply

  1. Chris
    Chris December 24, 2019 18:21

    Good list but several of these ladies have passed away. Your article implies they all are still working.

    1. John
      John August 16, 2020 18:31

      This is your opinion. its like
      Saying Caroline wazniacki, Simon a halep are the best female players, this is would be my opinion, the majority of people would say its serena williams, or steffi graf

  2. Stephanie Moore
    Stephanie Moore January 3, 2020 15:54

    I agree with the last poster. Great examples but sorely out of date. I completed with some real freaks back in the 80s, and they should have been included in this list.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das January 3, 2020 18:45

      Tell us more about those bodybuilders.
      And, thanks for the visit!

    2. Andrea Sullivan
      Andrea Sullivan April 26, 2020 12:46

      Rachel McLish and Glady Portugese were my idols in the 80's and early 90's. I am 61 now and still get inspired by your younger generation of weight training and excerise leaders as well as diet and nutrition. I have been so depressed not going to the gym over the Covid19. I just need to pull out my hand weights and resistance bands. Pull out the mat and to some Planks, ab work and legs. I know what to do I have been so lazy and down over this whole thing but I was an aerobic dance instructor for severla years. I need to get off by butt and do a morning work out before at home office work. Can I get a supporter to help me

  3. LoveBug
    LoveBug January 20, 2020 04:47

    Where's Lenda Murray anja Iris Kyle? They win multiple Ms. Olympia competitions.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das January 20, 2020 18:17

      Yes, she deserves an honorable mention on this list. We will soon update this one.

  4. J Monteiro
    J Monteiro June 10, 2020 18:17

    I include Cory Everson on my top 10 list. She was amazing and helped make Ms Olympia more popular during her 6 year reign. Another worthy mention is Sharon Bruneau who also made a good name for herself outside of bodybuilding and also competed in fitness shows.

    1. Sourav Das
      Sourav Das June 11, 2020 17:31

      Thanks for your suggestion. We will definitely keep that in our mind while updating this post.
      And, keep visiting our sports blog!

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