Women bodybuilders have revolutionized our ideas about the nature of the female physique and its ability to develop muscle and muscularity. Irene Andersen has been a part of this revolution and also taught us something about the aging process.
Irene is one of the best female bodybuilders competing for Jake Wood and Wings of Strength. She is also 53 years old.
“I first started working out in a gym when I was 15 years old,” says Irene. “I benefit from both muscle memory and muscle maturity. I’ve been training consistently for so long my body considers this degree of development to be ‘normal.’”
Science also tells us that when a bodybuilder continue to train hard for this length of time, it actually changes which genes are turned on or off. Not the genome itself, but it’s expression. This is one reason why bodybuilders, both female and male, peak at older ages than many other athletes.
Irene was a serious athlete as a girl, long before she discovered bodybuilding. She began studying and competing in martial arts, including judo and kickboxing, when she was nine years old. Some years later, she had a friend with a gym, and she started weight training – and she both liked it and her body responded quickly.
“I’d always been muscular,” Irene recalls, “so I was what people call a fast gainer.”
Irene turned eighteen in 1984 and one of her inspirations was Bev Francis. She saw the movie Pumping Iron IIand Bev became a role model, because Irene realized she had a body more like Bev’s and didn’t have the kind of slender aesthetics of somebody like Rachel McLish. But although many urged her to compete, it wasn’t until 2003 that Irene entered a show. One reason for this long delay was she gave birth to three children in the 1990s. But she never stopped training.
Irene went back to kickboxing in 1999 before focusing on bodybuilding in 2003. She then proceeded to win pretty much every female bodybuilding contest in Sweden. She set her sights on turning pro but this involved a complex process – winning the Swedish Championship, the Nordic Championship, the European Championship and top 3 in the World Championship. But since she had already beaten all the serious competition in Sweden , the Swedish Federation decided to simply grant her a pro card.
One of Irene’s great inspirations is 8 Time Ms. Olympia Lenda Murray. She admires Lenda, not only for her outstanding physique and competition success, but the classy way she has continued to represent and promote bodybuilding for women since she retired from competition.
Her first pro show was in 2006 and Irene has been competing as an IFBB pro, and then for Wings of Strength, ever since.
But in the meantime Irene Andersen accomplished something remarkable. There have been documentaries of one sort or another on bodybuilding for women since the beginning. Some, like Pumping Iron II, have been simply flawed. Many others, produced by people with no knowledge or experience of this sport, just repeated the same simplistic story over and over. But 2016 saw the release of the documentary movie Too Big For The World, in which Irene starred and helped produce. This is the first documentary that actually examines what female bodybuilding is like with both some degree of depth and accuracy.
“Even though I am in my fifties,” says Irene, “I don’t feel I am slowing down. I am looking forward to the Rising Phoenix and the Ms. Olympia. And I am very happy with the reception Too Big For The World has received. Bodybuilding for women is truly ‘Something New Under The Sun’ and I look forward to more people coming to understand and appreciate what female bodybuilders have accomplished.”
2003 Luciapokalen 1
2004 Swedish Championship qualifies 1
2004 Swedish Championship
Rookie of the year
2004 Lucia Classic 1
2006 Atlantic City Pro 18
2007 Sacramento Pro 7
2007 Jan Tana Classic 4
2007 Atlantic City Pro 15
2008 Tampa Pro 15
2008 Europa Supershow Dallas 4
2008 Atlantic City Pro 12
2009 IFBB New York 16
2009 Tampa Pro 10
2010 Tampa Pro 18
2010 Europa Hartford Battle of Champions 16
2011 Europa Hartford Battle of Champions 16
2012 Tampa Pro 16
2013 Tampa Pro
2015 Omaha 9
2015 Chicago 7
2015 Rising Phoenix 14
2016 Tampa Pro 7
2016 Rising Phoenix 8
2017 Puerto Rico 3
2017 Omaha 5
2017 Toronto 6
2017 Rising Phoenix 13
2018 Norfolk 7
2018 Tampa Pro 8
2018 Romania 4
2019 Toronto 4
2019 Puerto Rico 6
2019 Tampa Pro 8
2019 Rising Phoenix 3
Facebook : ireneandersenifbbpro
Instagram : ireneandersenifbbpro
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the best bodybuilders are lifetime athletes. Take Janeen Lankowski, who started gymnastics at the advanced age of 2 ½. She did very well at the sport and in 1988 was slated to go to the Olympics for Canada. Unfortunately, she suffered an ankle injury and that didn’t happen. It is an unhappy fact that there are always risks encountered by athletes engaged in really intense sports activities.
“Training in the gym at age 14 was part of my rehab program,” Janeen says. “I was already very muscular so when I started working with weights my physique began to develop very quickly.”
Janeen spent several years muscle building in the gym and then, as a competitive athlete, began thinking about bodybuilding contests. But an auto accident in 1999 forced her to put that ambition on hold for a few years.
Janeen finally began competing in bodybuilding in Canada in 2003 and continued by eventually entering 14 national competitions. Her gymnastics background gave her an advantage in winning best poser awards.
She competed as a bodybuilder in a number of contests but at a certain point competition for female bodybuilding seems to be fading away, so she was advised by a judge to switch to physique.
“It made sense at the time,” says Janeen. But when Jake Wood and Wings of Strength got involved bodybuilding for women went through a radical rebirth and I decided to get back to competing in that category.”
In the middle of her bodybuilding career, Janeen suffered another injury – a triceps tear in 2018 that required surgey. Again, she worked very hard at rehabilitation and was able to achieve a complete recovery. In fact, she developed a posing routine in which she deliberately demonstrated to the judges she wasn’t suffering from any muscle weaknesses.
On the subject of posing, Janeen thinks that many women bodybuilders – and men as well – do not take enough advantage of the fact that your posing routine allows you to draw attention of the judges to the best qualities of your physique and potentially raise you scores. “Bodybuilding posing should not be about dancing around on stage,” Janeen believes. “It is still about presenting your physique. If you don’t hit and hold your poses, keep dancing around on stage or you simply do compulsory poses the judges have already seen you aren’t going to do anything to improve your scoring.”
Janeen’s advice regarding posing routines is that you need to work with a coach or a video camera and try to come up with poses and transitions that are other than the most expected ones. When the judges or audience see something new, they tend to pay more attention. “Once you have a routine,” she adds, “the idea is to practice, practice, practice. You need to deeply imbed these movements in your muscle memory so that you execute them with grace and aesthetics.”
CONTEST HISTORY PRO
Shows – IFBB PRO in USA/Canada
2019 Power and Grace Olympia WOS* – *Best Poser
2019 IFBB Rising Phoenix Pro World Championship* – 8th Bodybuilding
*2nd Best Poser
2019 IFBB Tampa Pro* – 3rd Bodybuilding
2019 IFBB Norfolk – 2nd Bodybuilding
2017 IFBB Rising Phoenix Pro – 10th in Bodybuilding
2017 IFBB Tampa Pro* – 7th in Bodybuilding
2016 IFBB Tampa Pro – 8th in Bodybuilding
2016 IFBB New York Pro – 16th in Physique
2015 IFBB Ferrigno Legacy Pro – 16th in Physique
2015 IFBB Tampa Pro – 10th in Masters Physique, 16th in Physique Open
2015 IFBB Mile High Pro – 13th in Physique
2015 IFBB Europa Orlando Pro – 14th in Physique
2014 IFBB Tampa Pro – 16th in Bodybuilding
2014 IFBB Chicago Pro – 13th in Bodybuilding
2013 IFBB Toronto Pro – 13th in Bodybuilding
2012 IFBB Tampa Pro – 3rd in Bodybuilding
2012 IFBB Toronto Pro – 6th in Bodybuilding
Shows – Canada (2003-2011) Amateur
COMPETITION HISTORY IN BODYBUILDING
2011 IFBB North American* – Overall Masters Bodybuilding Champion – 1st in Masters Heavyweight
*Awarded IFBB Pro card
2010 CBBF Canadian Nationals – 3rd in Heavyweight
2010 CBBF Canadian Masters Nationals – 2nd in Heavyweight
2009 CBBF Canadian Nationals – 6th in Heavyweight
2009 IFBB North American – 4th in Light Heavyweight, 9th in Masters Heavyweight
2008 CBBF Canadian Nationals – 7th in Heavyweight
2008 IFBB North American – 5th in Heavyweight
2007 CBBF Canadian Nationals – 2nd in Heavyweight
2006 CBBF Canadian Nationals – 3rd in Heavyweight
2005 CBBF Canadian Nationals* – 2nd in Middleweight
*Best Poser award
2004 OPA Ontario Provincial – Overall Bodybuilding Champion, 1st in Middleweight
2003 OPA Western Ontario – 1st in Lightweight
*Best Poser award
2003 OPA Brantford – 2nd in Lightweight
Facebook Janeen Lankowski Ifbb pro
My name is Jennifer Lynn Childress, I was born January 26, 1987.
I am Mexican-American and Native-American born and raised in the small town of San Marcos, Texas. My family is Catholic Mexican-America. Growing up overweight I’ve spent most of my life keeping to myself. I never thought about my body being anywhere near perfect. So, you can imagine that competing with women’s whose bodies are flawless has been daunting.
I am a strong Christian and a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. I always felt the love and joy in my heart that only The Holy Spirit can give you. Having great faith has given me big dreams.In my heart I have a passionate desire to influence young girls who are just like myself.
I competed in my first Body building competition 2016 in Houston Tx. The Texas Cup was one of the biggest shows in Texas. I placed 3rd in the open. Which means I competed with the experienced competitors. These girls had years under their belts. I qualified to move on to NATIONALS that year. My husband Jimmy Childress is my coach/trainer. We went back to the drawing board. We had to make a decision if going to NATIONALS was an option for us the following year.
After contemplating long and hard we both decided and i said ” If God wants me on that stage than I will be there!!”. So I trained HARD to gain muscle thickness and strength for 7 months. During that time I was 10lbs away from the squat world record which was 440lbs. After along and exciting offseason it was time for 20 weeks of dieting for Nationals in Miami. I placed top 5 in the Nation !! At my second show ever, everyone said “that was unheard of”.
I praised God for my win, i knew he was the only one who could give me the strength, courage, discipline, will power and restraint to have gone that far.
I started off my competitions competing in Women’s Physique.
I will be moving up to women’s Bodybuilding. My husband and I feel that after the last 3 years of competing that my frame is more suitable for Women’s Body Building. I out weighed my fellow competitors by 30lbs on stage and not getting the outcome I hoped for. I am EXTREMELY excited and nervous to join the beautiful and very muscular Body Building women on stage. I respect The Wings of Strength women tremendously and look up to them.
I am know laser focused on becoming a Body Building Pro. Once I win my Pro card I will transfer over to the International Federation of Body Building and Fitness (IFBB).Being a part of the International Federation of Body Builders is a dream of mine along with competing at the Rising Phoenix along with The Olympia.
Being apart of The Wings Of Strength Team is BEYOND a blessing and I am humbled to have the opportunity.
Jennifer Lynn Childress
2016 Texas Cup placed 3rd in the Open category
2017 National Championship Miami places 5th Women’s Physique class C
2018 National Championship Miami placed 6th Women’s physique
Battle on the Bay Corpus Christi Tx placed 1st and over all Women’s Physique
2019 USA’s Las Vegas placed 4th
Born: September 5, 1977
Location: Portland, OR USA
Off-Season Weight: 195-200lbs
Competition Weight: 155-165lbs
Hi – my name is Jessi Martin. In 2012, I wanted to find a way to lose a little weight and find some stress relief from my day job. As a result, I joined a local gym. What I found in that gym was a whole lot more than what I came looking for. With no athletic background, I discovered how incredible it felt to get moving, sweat, achieve goals and gain strength I never thought possible. After the first year, I lost over 80lbs and gained confidence, strength and a passion for bodybuilding.
I love bodybuilding because it has transformed me both inside and out. It has given me the most priceless gift: confidence in myself. Bodybuilding is the foundation for how I live my life. The principles I’ve learned in bodybuilding (things like patience, consistency, discipline, and grit) I apply in all areas of my life, as a mom, boss, sister and employee.
In 2018 I attended the Wings of Strength Rising Phoenix / Arizona Pro as a spectator. It was such an exciting event that showcased incredibly hard working and amazing women. After that, I knew I wanted to compete on the big stage with the best of the best. So, I set my plan in action in the hopes of qualifying. In May of 2019 I competed in the Puerto Rico Pro and thrillingly, yet unexpectedly, took first place. Because it was my first contest in the bodybuilding division, I wasn’t sure where I stacked up with some of the most seasoned athletes. Winning was of course an awesome experience. However, getting to meet some of the women that have and continue to inspire me was truly the “cherry on top.” I enjoy being a role model for other women, encouraging them to find their inner – and outer – strength, power and confidence through bodybuilding.
This year, I was ecstatic to find out I was selected as a Wings of Strength Ambassador. It gives me the opportunity to not only be a part of an organization that supports women’s bodybuilding, but also contribute to this sport in a way that is larger than just myself. The mission of Wings of Strength aligns with my personal values. Bodybuilding for everybody. People like me. People who start out needing to lose weight. People who have regular day jobs. People who have families to raise. People who have fitness goals. People who are passionate about this sport!
A sincere thank you to the Wings of Strength organization, my family, friends and fans for your support of me personally and for keeping bodybuilding for everybody!
Xoxoxo – Jessi
Competitive record – IFBB
2019 Rising Phoenix World Championships
2019 Puerto Rico Pro – 1st Place
2017 San Antonio Pro
2017 Arctic Pro – 3rd Place Women’s Physique
Competitive record – npc
2016 USA’s Las Vegas – 1st Place and Overall WPD
2016 Pacific Coast Championships – 1st Place and Overall WPD
2015 Emerald Cup – 5th Place Open Figure, 3rd Place Masters Figure
2014 Seven Feathers – 1st Place Open Figure,1st Place Masters Figure
2014 Oregon Ironman – 2nd Place Open Figure, 3rd Place Masters Figure
2014 Vancouver Natural – 1st Place and Overall Masters Figure
2014 Oregon State Championships – 3rd Place Open Figure, 3rd Place Masters Figure
2013 Northwest Championships – 2nd Place Open Figure, 2nd Place Masters Figure
2013 Seven Feathers – 4th Place Open Figure, 5th Place Masters Figure