She appeared on nine FLEX covers. She won a record-shattering six consecutive Ms. Olympias and went undefeated on pro stages. But if you’ve never heard of her, that’s because she may have retired before you were born. Cory Everson last competed in 1989. In the ’80s, she was something of a one-woman revolution, carrying female muscle into the mainstream and creating a hard-yet-feminine paradigm that remains the ideal for figure and physique competitors today.

After excelling at collegiate track, Everson transformed the nascent sport of female bodybuilding. One month after winning the 1984 NPC Nationals, the 25-year-old Wisconsin native leaped into the Ms. Olympia—and won. As incredible as her O debut victory was, it wasn’t shocking. Everyone at the Nationals could see Cory was the future. At 5’8″ and 160 pounds, she combined cover-model looks with symmetrical, shapely sinew. Winning five more Ms. Os, she went a perfect 6-0 in her pro career. Subsequently, she acted in films and TV shows. While female bodybuilders grew larger and got leaner in her wake, Cory Everson’s iconic Ms. Olympia physique remains the benchmark for countless women today.


Cory’s younger sister, Cameo Kneuer, was a fitness model, actress, and two-time (1987, ’88) national fitness champ.


“I work calves once every four days at the end of my leg workouts.”

“Legs were always a strong point from my years of track.”

“I think calves respond best to that middle range of 15–25 reps, not too low and not too high.”

“Later in my career I added things like stair bounding, which gave my thighs and calves a more athletic look.”


  • Donkey Machine Calf Raise | SETS: 3 | REPS: 15–25
  • Standing Calf Raise | SETS: 3 | REPS: 15–25
  • Seated Calf Raise | SETS: 3 | REPS: 15–25