Bodybuilding Legends – Rachel McLish

One of the greatest female bodybuilders of the twentieth century was Rachel McLish. Lean, symmetrical and well proportioned, this beautiful bodybuilding superstar set the standards for women in the early days of competitive female bodybuilding.

Like many professional bodybuilders, Rachel had a strong background in sports. She had gained physical conditioning, mental focus and discipline from her experiences in ballet and cheerleading. Rachel’s dad trained with weights and she undoubtedly picked up some tips from watching him train, she was destined to join the elite in bodybuilding.

There is no shortcut to developing an astounding physique. Hard demanding workouts are obligatory. McLish put in the long hours of hard and rigorous training to build, sculpt and perfect her beautiful physique. Leg presses and lunges, pulldowns and pushdowns. crunches and curls; all important exercises that contributed to building her strong body.

Rachel entered her first competition in 1980 and confidently won. Later in the year, McLish took part in the first ever IFBB Ms. Olympia competition in Philadelphia. The eyes of the bodybuilding world were on this high profile event. McLish’s hard training, strict dieting and  elegant posing paid off, she won the event, defeating 20 other competitors and taking home a five thousand dollar prize.

Rachel’s competitive career lasted a relatively short 4-year period but her popularity continued to catapult. Her stunning looks graced the covers of the world’s best bodybuilding magazines including “Shape”, “Flex” and “Muscular Development”. In 2013, she was on the cover of top bodybuilding magazine “Ironman”, looking incredibly youthful at 58 years old.

Winning the highest level competitions in bodybuilding often opens up new doors of opportunities. She acted in films, made television appearances, modelled, lectured and wrote books too. This lady was unstoppable!

Her commitment to bodybuilding and efforts in promoting it earned McLish lots of recognition. She was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 1999 and the World Gym Hall of Fame in 2006.

Rachel was and still is hugely influential. Besides inspiring thousands of gym fanatics worldwide, she influenced distinguished Ms. Olympia competitors such as Gladys Portugues, Sharon Bruneau and our previous Keep Fit Kingdom Bodybuilding Legend, Cory Everson.

If you’re keen to shape your body, your way, as well as gain maximum health, and wellness, check out the book: How Squats Can Change Your Life with a foreword by WWE Hall of Fame wrestler, Rob Van Dam!

Alan Riseborough

Alan is a strength and physique enthusiast and has 28 years' of training experience behind him. He has competed in powerlifting, arm wrestling, bodybuilding and grip strength competitions. He also includes rigorous bodyweight, sprinting and kettlebell training regularly in his routines. He believes in the transformative power of the squat which is (believe it or not) his favourite exercise!

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