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Mrs. Olympia Champions Andrea Shaw and Lenda Murray

As a photographer, I started concentrating on female bodybuilders from the moment they started competing. The sport continued to grow rapidly, and in 1989, a photographer friend of mine told me about a young woman named Lenda Murray, who had just won the IFBB North American championships. I did an article and photo series for Muscle & Fitness magazine called “The Shape of Things To Come,” and predicted that Lenda would win Ms. Olympia.

Lenda said she posted the article on the wall of Powerhouse Gym in Detroit to give her inspiration. Of course, everyone knows that Lenda Murray went on to win eight Ms. titles. Olympia and became the sport’s most famous female bodybuilder.

To have a young female champion like Lenda, one with a lot of muscularity, a beautiful face, a cheerleading background, a beautiful body, and a winning personality, is something special. very. To have another female champion, to be portrayed in the same way years later is even more special. Especially when he comes from the same Powerhouse Gym in Detroit. It is like lightning striking twice in the same place.

Andrea Shaw is not only a three-time Ms. Olympia champion, but also a multiple Rising Phoenix World winner. Wings of Strength

The new champion of the scene is, of course, Andrea Shaw, now the winner of three Ms titles. Olympia (so far). As a girl growing up, she was into gymnastics and competitive cheerleading. After middle school, she burned out from gymnastics and cheerleading. He is also determined to get a college degree.

Andrea’s mother, a nurse, and former personal trainer encouraged her athletic ambitions by getting her started working out at Powerhouse Gym in Centerline, Michigan. At the age of 15, he started attending the gym by himself. His mother’s training partner was a female bodybuilder who started giving him advice on muscle building exercises when he was 17 years old. Drea said that she had no desire to become a bodybuilder at that time, instead she wanted to become a fashion model. But genetics rules modeling like Bodybuilding, and Andrea is not tall enough for a successful career in fashion.

After being canceled for several years, Ms. Olympia championship is alive and well. Bill Dobbins

Many bodybuilders find that building muscle is attractive. Lenda and Andrea initially had different dreams and through their athletic discipline, they found Bodybuilding. Once you start weight training and experience body transformation, you won’t want to stop. Andrea’s body improvement was recognized by members of the gym, in particular, IFBB Pro bodybuilder Ron Love, a regular at the gym and the first to encourage Lenda to consider Bodybuilding. “Of course,” said Andrea, “having the example of Lenda Murray to inspire me was a big help, knowing that her beginnings began here at the Detroit Powerhouse Gym. Lenda competes in track and is a cheerleader, and I am in gymnastics and a cheerleader. Lenda is known not only for his muscles, but for his unique symmetry and shape of the muscles. People like Ron Love tell me that my body has the same qualities. Lenda’s eight world titles were in Michigan, with these achievements laying a foundation for female Bodybuilders to build upon.

Andrea started in the Figure division in 2008 and of course, her success was not “linear.” There are changes, stops, and starts. Her body improved and she changed her categories from Figure and Women’s Physique. He earned his college degree and then decided to take an eight-year break from competition but not weight training. This is important because the evolution of women’s bodybuilding has been greatly slowed down by competitors who enter competitions too early and then compete regularly. Male bodybuilders usually don’t turn pro until they’ve been in the game for twelve, or fifteen years or more. Many of the female champions of the past were just novices in terms of their ultimate potential. They just don’t train long enough and often get discouraged trying to build extra muscle.

Like Andrea Shaw, Lenda Murray has always been known for her shape, symmetry, and proportion. Bill Dobbins

In 2018, Drea became an IFBB Pro in the Women’s Physique division, where her body continued to improve and placed high but did not qualify for the Olympia. After placing 2nd at the Chicago Pro in Women’s Physique, Lenda Murray recognized that Andrea would definitely improve if she moved to the Women’s Bodybuilding division. In 2019, Andrea beat many top female bodybuilders, and in 2020 she got all the 1st place wins which is now known as the best female bodybuilder in the world.

Andrea is known for her work ethic and training like a machine with 100 percent consistent effort. Success in bodybuilding requires nature and nurture. You must have the genetics but then put in the time and effort necessary to fully develop your gifts. That requires a specific, dedicated mentality. As Arnold always said, one of the most important muscles for a bodybuilder is the upper neck.

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Anyone wondering how Drea looks as big as 175 pounds on stage needs to take a closer look at her muscular arms. Bill Dobbins

One thing most people don’t know about Drea Shaw is how big she is. He competes in shape at 175 pounds. That’s in contrast to Lenda Murray, who in her best shape is about 150 pounds – the same height as 5.5”. “In the 1980s and 1990s, competing too soon and too often prevented many women from reaching their full potential,” says Lenda Murray. “One problem is food. A competitive diet is extremely stressful, and it slows down your progress. I know many women who participate in a contest no more than two or three years after starting serious exercises. That should limit your potential growth. “

Also, until recently, female and male bodybuilders tended to overtrain, with too many sets, reps, and exercises and not enough time for rest and recovery. With more recovery time, bodybuilders have more opportunities to grow and improve. But the nature of sport is that it evolves over time. Lenda Murray was big enough for the early 1990s, just as Andrea Shaw was big and muscular enough to win Ms. championships. Olympia today.

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Andrea Shaw and Lenda Murray at John Simmons’s Anytime Fitness Gym in Madison Heights, Michigan. Bill Dobbins

But another thing they have in common is how good they are for the game, and how prosperous they are. When Ms. Olympia was stopped after 2014, one reason is the lack of a very marketable champion to help promote and develop the sport. We saw that in the first Ms. Olympia Rachel McLish, with the super famous Cory Everson, and, of course, with Lenda Murray. The same was true in professional golf when Tiger Woods arrived, and tennis when Serena Williams was the reigning champion. We are now in the era of Andrea Shaw and the future of female bodybuilding looks bright and promising.

Andrea Shaw-2020 Rising Phoenix
Like Lenda Murray before her, it seems Andrea Shaw is destined for a long career as a champion. Wings of Strength

Competition History by Andrea Shaw

  • 2022 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
  • 2022 WOS Rising Phoenix World Championships Pro Women’s Bodybuilding – 1st • 2021 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
  • 2021 IFBB Pro League WOS Rising Phoenix Pro Women’s Bodybuilding – 1st • 2020 IFBB WOS Ms. Olympia – 1st • 2020 Pro League WOS Rising Phoenix Pro Women’s Bodybuilding – 1st
  • 2020 IFBB Omaha Pro – 1st
  • 2019 Pro League WOS Rising Phoenix Pro Women’s Bodybuilding – 7th • 2019 IFBB WOS Chicago Pro Championships – 2nd • 2019 IFBB Toronto Pro Supershow – 11th[1]
  • 2018 National – 2nd
  • 2018 North Americans – 3rd
  • 2018 Lenda Murray Detroit Classic – 1st
  • 2018 John Simmons Championship – 1st
  • 2018 Ohio Natural Championship – 2nd
  • 2016 John Simmons Championships – 4th
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The light will strike twice: Ms. Olympia champion Lenda Murray and Andrea Shaw. Bill Dobbins

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