One of the biggest changes in the world of bodybuilding has been the growing proportion of women in the sport. Increasingly more and more women are choosing bodybuilding as a method to improve their health, fitness and strength, which is hardly surprising given how successful this sport can be in achieving these goals.
One of the pioneers of female bodybuilding was Lisa Lyon, who developed many of the dance-like muscle poses that are still popular today. She also sought out a variety of photographers that took the photos that introduced the sculpted female body to the world. The stunning Rachel McLish, who won the very first female Ms. Olympia title then set the standards that many female bodybuilders still try to achieve today. She managed to combine her sexy looks with muscularity and body tone and in doing so created a benchmark that many people still aspire to.
The world of women’s bodybuilding however had to travel a relatively rocky road to reach the point of relative acceptance that it enjoys today. Women had never built their muscles for aesthetic purposes before, although they have always used other forms of exercise to keep fit and attractive. In any case, bodybuilding for women was not widely approved of at first and was criticized by both men and women. These days however, women’s bodybuilding, while not nearly as popular as men’s bodybuilding is a much more accepted form of fitness. Whether this is simply the sport itself maturing, changing personal beliefs or the growing equality between the sexes, female bodybuilding is enjoying a much higher profile these days.
The most of obvious benefit of female bodybuilding is its effect on health and fitness. As has been written before, bodybuilding provides a very effective way to manage weight, health and body shape that many other general exercises and sports simply can’t offer. This statement holds true whether the participant is male or female. Many women suffer from strength deficits, body weight issues and a loss of physical capacity, especially after childbirth, and bodybuilding is a great way to manage these issues. Unfortunately many women concentrate exclusively on aerobic exercise and never perform any form of resistance training as they have been told they will look like a man if they lift weights, which is of course a myth.
It is very common for women to try a variety of dieting programs, some of which are extremely unhealthy and misleading. These kinds of diets can cause a loss of general health, bone mass, and lean muscle mass. Bodybuilding can help avoid all of these issues as participants learn to integrate exercise and nutrition using well-developed and well-understood scientific principles into their daily lives and routines, which has obvious health benefits.
Many of these bodybuilding workouts that can be easily found online are as relevant for women as they are for men. Although the goal might be to develop muscle tone as opposed to developing muscle size this is easily accommodated by varying the sets, repetitions, and weights that are used when performing the exercises. Women who want to undertake bodybuilding should therefore learn the common exercises that are performed in the gym the same way as a man would, and incorporate them into a training program that uses higher repetition and lower weights in order to achieve the goal of increased body tone.