Female bodybuilders should be applauded for their dedication, discipline, and work ethic to achieve success in what is typically thought of as a “male” arena: building lots and lots of muscle. Check out this the extreme female bodybuilder photos and stats below (guys, be forewarned, if you can’t bench press 300 lbs then prepare to have your manhood challenged!) Without further ado, here are the top female bodybuilders:

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Female Bodybuilders

Many women shy away from weightlifting because they are afraid of looking “too muscular,” “overmuscled,” or getting “too big.” They say that they want to “tone” their muscles. This is laughable for several reasons. First and foremost: to anyone (man or woman) who is afraid of getting “too big” by accident – don’t worry. No one ever got “too big” by accident. The people who are huge are huge for several reasons: good genetics, hard work (and LOTS OF IT), proper diet, supplements, etc.

For women, getting huge muscles is a triumph of hard work and science over nature. Most men are genetically programmed to burn fat and grow muscle. Women are programmed to store fat to keep their bodies ready for possible childbearing. This is why seeing huge female bodybuilders and even downright massive female bodybuilders is so impressive.

Most female bodybuilders have specific body chemistry and physical makeup that designates them as “mesomorphs.” This means that they are more likely to develop muscle than most other women. Even with this predisposition, they still need to put in a ton of work into build the kind of buff, chiseled physiques that you’ll see in this infographic of top female body builders.

Lenda Murray

First on our list of female bodybuilders is, of course, the “world’s most successful female bodybuilder,” Lenda Murray. She earned that title with her eight “Miss Olympia” title wins. One of the great black female bodybuilders, she was also the first woman to bench more than 300 pounds. Looking at her picture, you’d never believe that she is not even five and a half feet tall as she stands apart from many other female bodybuilding pics with such an imposing physique. She retired in 2004, but during her career (which spanned almost 20 years – from 1995 to 2004), she maintained a great female bodybuilder diet and her weight fluctuated only ten pounds. Her competition weight was usually 154 lbs. On the off-season, she would “let herself go” to 164 pounds.

Amber DeLuca

Native American (Omaha Nation “Ponca-sa”) and Ohio Native, Amber is an active member of the Native American Sports Council. She’s still out there competing, but made her debut in 1990 (more than 21 years ago!) and is considered by many to be one of the hottest female bodybuilders while actually being one of the older female bodybuilders. At 5’9″, she is quite a tall female bodybuilder and has the height to pack on some extra muscle. Weighing in at as much as 205 lbs in the off season, she slims down to 196 for competitions. Her bench is almost as commendable as Lenda’s: 10 reps of 285. She was also the National Physique Committee’s NPC Mid-USA heavyweight champion in 2003.

Vilma Caez

A mere 5’4″ tall, she could easily destroy many much larger men and women. Her off-season weight tips the scales at 155, but she competes at 134. Making her pro debut only about 12 years ago, Vilma obviously understands that professional bodybuilding isn’t a lifelong career and is continuing her education to become a Physician’s Assistant – a challenging, cerebral job that requires many years of medical school and hands-on career training and is only a notch or two away from a full-fledged doctor. In her professional debut year, she took first place in the NPC National Championships for Middleweights. Three years later she took second place for middleweights in the “Jan Tana Classic.” This was after working her way up from 4th place in 2000, 3rd place in the “Extravaganza” in 2001. Sometimes you just have to put in the work to get to the top!

Valentina Chepiga

A bodybuilder for almost a decade before making her professional debut, Valentina started pumping iron in 1988. She’s 5’5″ tall and competes at 128 lbs. In the off-season, she’ll “relax” to 143 lbs., but with her 190 lb bench press, you probably won’t find many people willing to comment about her weight within earshot. She has a long history of competing in Ms. Olympia contests, coming in 8th in 2004 and 11th in 2007. In 2003 she took fifth place in the Ms. International competition.

Trudy Ireland

Earning her first NPC Master Nationals first place title in 2007, Trudy’s win was a testament to a quarter-century of hard work and dedication. She first started weight training and bodybuilding in 1982. She is 5’3″ and competes at an incredibly well-muscled 155 lbs. The off-season could see her as heavy as 174, but with the almost 30 years of experience that she’s gleaned since her 1983 pro debut, she obviously knows how to handle herself. In 2005 she took 7th in the NPC Master Nationals, falling back to 7th place the next year, before knocking it out of the park in 2007.

Susanne Bock

Susanne Bock, seen here sporting lats that many men who kill for, starting bodybuilding at 23. She made her pro debut in 2003 and has the ability to bench 205 pounds for 10 reps. Competing at 165 on her 5’5″ frame, she gives herself an extra ten pounds in the off-season. Her best showing is easily her 4th place performance in the Jan Tana Classic in 2003. She was competing as a heavyweight.

Sophie Duquette

You’d never know it from this photo, but Sophie is only 5’3″ tall! At a trim 136 pounds (147 in the off-season), she has the ability to bench 221 lbs (one rep max, most likely). She entered the world of professional bodybuilding in 2001, even though her interest in bodybuilding started at age 16 in Quebec.

Other Powerful Women Bodybuilders

There are many other powerful women out there in the world (and many of them don’t even pump iron!) – too many to list here. Bodybuilding is like any other goal that you set your mind to: it takes hard work, determination, and dedication. Whatever your goals are in life, you’ll be hard-pressed to reach them without putting your nose to the grindstone.

You might not be as ripped or as huge as these famous female bodybuilders shown in the pictures above but whether you certainly don’t need to be an all natural female bodybuilder or a female bodybuilder on steroids or even a female bodybuilder (or a female or a bodybuilder) at all to start pumping some iron and achieving the body you have always wanted.

Get started browing through our list of exercises and workout plans (like this bodybuilding workout plan among many others) and reach your workout and fitness goals!