Lisa Lyon is a female bodybuilder and photo model from the United States, and is regarded as one of female bodybuilding’s pioneers.
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1953. Lisa Lyon studied art at the University of California at Los Angeles. There she became accomplished in the Japanese art of fencing, kendo, but found herself lacking sufficient upper body strength so she began weight training. This eventually led her into bodybuilding.
Lyon entered and won the first International Federation of BodyBuilders Women’s World Pro Bodybuilding Championship in Los Angeles on June 16, 1979. This was the only bodybuilding competition of her career. She appeared in many magazines and on television talk shows, promoting bodybuilding for women. She also wrote a book on weight training for women titled Lisa Lyon’s Body Magic (ISBN 0-553-01296-7), which was published in 1981.
Her stats as taken on October 1980: Bust 37A, Waist 24″, Hips 35″, Height 5′ 4″, Weight 120 lbs, Hair Color brunette. At the time, she could dead-lift 225 pounds, bench-press 120 pounds, and squat 265 pounds; two and a half times her own weight.
Although Lyon is often cited as the first female bodybuilder to appear in Playboy (in October 1980), she was actually predated by stripper and bodybuilder Kellie Everts, who appeared in a May 1977 pictorial called “Humping Iron”.
Lyon modeled for Helmut Newton, American fine art photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (resulting in the 1983 book Lady: Lisa Lyon), and Marcus Leatherdale, who published two pictures of her in his first catalogue book at Molotov. Lyon’s work with Mapplethorpe was specifically impressive due to Mapplethorpe’s ability to portray her body as masculine and feminine in his photos, which shows how her body was truly one of a kind.
She was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2000 for being a one-woman media-relations activist on behalf of the sportand Elevating bodybuilding to the level of fine art.