The purpose of this study was to determine reasons women become competitive amateur bodybuilders. Participants were 63 adult female competitive bodybuilders who posted their biographies on a bodybuilding website. Each statement explaining why participants became bodybuilders was classified by a panel of current female bodybuilders into one of six categories. The most frequently stated category was Emulation (27%), followed by Self Esteem and Empowerment (24%), Previous Participation in Sport (22%), Health (17%), and Other (10%). These findings suggest that motivators for competitive female amateur bodybuilding stem from multiple sources, but in general are similar to those of their male counterparts. Future avenues for research are discussed.
Baghurst is with the Department of Health and Human Performance, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. Parish is with Adolescent and Adult Education, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, GA. Denny was a long-serving professor in the College of Education at the University of Arkansas who passed away in 2013.