In prior issues of Applied Metabolics, I've discussed in detail scientifically-based techniques used to prepare for men's professional bodybuilding competition, which involved a case study of precisely how a top-5 Mr.Olympia competitor prepared for the contest and got into the best shape of his life in the process. I also examined the best ways to achieve maximal muscular condition for natural bodybuilders, or those who refuse to use any type of anabolic bodybuilding drugs, such as anabolic steroids, growth hormone and others. The focus on natural training is to lose maximal amounts of body fat, while maintaining or even building as much muscular mass as possible as determined by natural genetic limits. This, of course, varies with individuals. But the training and nutrition techniques that I discussed in the article will produce results for anyone, regardless of genetics. In still another article in Applied Metabolics, I examined in depth how to prepare for the newer men's physique competition; this also included precise dietary and training suggestions that would produce maximal results for anyone interested in this type of competition. You can read any of these past articles in the online archive of Applied Metabolics simply by typing the appropriate search term in the search box on the site.
While much of what I've written about these various types of contest preparation applies to both sexes, with only minor adjustments needed based on the differing body size and nutritional needs of women versus men, some of the newer types of female competition need to be discussed and analyzed. Female bodybuilding competition (I will have an article about some recent studies pertaining to female bodybuilders in an upcoming issue of Applied Metabolics) has been around for a long time, since about the late 1970s. The early female bodybuilding competitors, such as the first Ms.Olympia, Rachel McLish, who won the title in 1980 and then again in 1982, showed minimal muscularity, but presented a lean, athletic appearance that appealed to both men and women. As a result, the Ms.Olympia contest continued to grow in popularity for about a decade, but things took a turn for the worse in some respects in the mid-90s. Cory Everson, a former champion athlete who won the Ms.Olympia six consecutive years from 1984 to 1989, was considered the quintessential Ms.Olympia with her winning combination of muscularity and athleticism. The fact that she was also very feminine and attractive added to her popularity.The woman who succeeded her as Ms.Olympia, Lenda Murray, also won the title six times between 1990 and 1995. Lenda set a new standard in women's muscularity with her added muscular definition and mass, which hadn't been seen previously. Indeed, I wrote an article in 1989 after Lenda won her first major title, the women's North American championship, questioning why she wasn't invited to compete . . .