Corinna ‘Cory’ Everson was the first 6x Ms. Olympia champion, and one of the most recognizable figures in bodybuilding history.
Being a high-level athlete during her high school years, Corrina always seemed destined for greatness; she broke almost every sporting record and became the first multi-sport champion in her school’s history.
However, it wasn’t always easy for the legend – she suffered an near career-ending injury during the 1981 IFBB North American Bodybuilding Championship.
This is her story:
|Full Name: Corinna Kneuer Everson|
|155 - 165lbs (70.3 - 74.8kg)||5'8" (172.5cm)||36"||36"|
|Waist||Age||Date of Birth|
|24"||65||January 4, 1958|
|American||Professional Female Bodybuilder||1980|
|Weight||155 - 165lbs (70.3 - 74.8kg)|
|Date of Birth||January 4, 1958|
|Profession||Professional Female Bodybuilder|
- 1999 IFBB Hall of Fame
- 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award (Arnold Classic)
- 2008 National Fitness Hall of Fame
- Ms. Mid America – 1st (Tall and Overall)
- American Couples – 3rd
- Ms. Midwest Open – 1st (Tall & Overall)
- Ms. Central USA – 1st (HW and Overall)
- Couples America – 1st
- American Championships – 11th (MW)
- Ms. East Coast – 1st (MW)
- Bodybuilding Expo III – 2nd (MW)
- Bodybuilding Expo Couples – 2nd
- AFWB American Championships – 5th (HW)
- IFBB North American – 1st (MW and Overall)
- IFBB North American Mixed Pairs – 1st
- Bodybuilding Expo IV – 1st (MW and Overall)
- Bodybuilding Expo Mixed Pairs – 1st
- U.S. Bodybuilding Championships Couples – 1st
- AFWB American Championships – 8th (HW)
- NPC Nationals – 2nd (HW)
- American Women’s Championships – 1st (HW and Overall)
- NPC Nationals – 1st (HW and Overall)
- IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
- 1985 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
- 1986 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
- 1987 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
- 1988 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
- 1989 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 1st
Acting & TV Career
- The Morning After
- Double Impact
- The Adventures of Brisco County. Jr
- Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
- Natural Born Killers
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
- Strange Luck
- Tarzan: The Epic Adventures
- Goode Behavior
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
- Home Improvement
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
- 1986 Strength Training for Beauty Volume 3
- 1987 Superflex: Ms. Olympia’s Guide to Building a Strong & Sexy Body
- 1991 Back in Shape
- 1991 Cory Everson’s Workout Parigee Trade
- 1994 Cory Everson’s Fat-Free & Fit Perigee Trade
- 1998 Cory Everson’s Lifebalance Perigee Trade
Born and raised in Wisconsin (USA), even as a child, Corinna had a natural talent for sports during high school; she was highly skilled in sports including gymnastics, track & field, and badminton.
It soon became clear that she was destined for greatness as an athlete after she broke numerous records – becoming one of the first multi-sport champions in her school.
As a result, she was accepted into the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she chose to study Physical Education.
Start of Fitness Journey
During her time at college, Corrina further excelled at sports; she competed 3 times in the American Pentathlon – taking home the trophy each time.
However, it wasn’t until she befriended a amateur bodybuilder that she took an interest in weight-lifting. It was here when Corrina started her fitness journey, training mostly for aesthetics, rather than just performance, for the first time in her life.
First Show & Injury
After experiencing success in her first competition (the 1980 Ms. Mid America), it wasn’t long until Corrina found herself posing on stage in the 1981 IFBB North American Bodybuilding Championships. However, it didn’t turn out to be the dream ending she wished for.
As Corrina was performing for the judges, she felt a sharp pain in her left foot. Although she attempted to fight through the pain, she was sent to the hospital for urgent treatment – the source of her pain was diagnosed as blood clots, and she narrowly missed being forced to suffer an amputation.
But she didn’t let this get her down; Corrina found herself more motivated than ever to return to the stage and make a name for herself as a female bodybuilder.
Return To The Stage
After making a full recovery from her injury and returning to the gym, Corrina didn’t hesistate in entering further competitions. Over the course of 3 years, the future fitness star entered a huge 13 shows – earning 8 trophies during this period.
However, it wasn’t until 1984 when she really established herself as the leading female bodybuilder in the world.
After winning the 1984 NPC Nationals, Corrina qualified to appear in the most prestigious show in the industry – the 1984 Ms. Olympia.
The future legend was competing against female fitness icons, such as Rachel McLish. But she didn’t let this stop her.
Corrina left the stage after being crowned the champion of the show – instantly being thrown in the spotlight, becoming recognized as the best bikini athlete in the world.
Corinna spent the next 5 years dominating the female bodybuilding category. She placed 1st in every Ms. Olympia competition during this period, making history by establishing herself as the most successful female athlete in history.
Corinna is well-known for her perfectly proportioned figure, and she strongly believes that lifting weights in the gym is the key for women to achieve this.
In her prime, the fitness icon enjoyed training multiple muscle groups per session, apart when she trained legs.
Here’s Corinna’s training plan between 1984-1986:
Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps
- Bench presses (warmup) 3 x 8-15
- Bench presses (work sets) 5 x 8-15
- High- or low-incline dumbbell presses 3 x 8-10
- Seated dumbbell presses or
- Behind-the-neck presses 3 x 8-15
- Lateral raises 3 x 8-15
- Upright rows 3 x 8-15
- Bent-over laterals 3 x 8-15
- Dips or pushdowns 3 x 8-15
- Squats (warmup) 3 x 8-15
- Squats (work sets) 5 x 8-15
- Leg presses or hack squats 3 x 8-15
- Leg extensions or lunges 3 x 8-15
- Lying leg curls or standing leg curls 3 x 8-15
- Donkey calf raises 3 x 15-25
- Standing calf raises 3 x 15-25
- Seated calf raises 3 x 15-25
Back and biceps
- Bent-over rows (warmup) 3 x 8-15
- Bent-over rows (work sets) 5 x 8-15
- Lat pulldowns 3 x 8-15
- Low-pulley rows or
- One-arm bent-over dumbbell rows 3 x 8-15
- Standing barbell curls 3 x 8-15
- Concentration curls or cable curls 3 x 8-15
- Pulldown crunches 3-4 x 25-40
- Decline sit-ups 3-4 x 100
- Leg raises off bench 3-4 x 20-40
In terms of dieting, Corinna Everson didn’t follow any strict or restrictive eating patterns; she believes this is what leads others into pre-diet binge eating and gaining too much body fat.
However, she encourages others to follow a clean diet, without restricting their lifestyle – Corinna doesn’t believe that achieving an ideal figure results in a limited lifestyle.
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Idols and Influences
Although Corrina has become a female fitness icon, she looked up to numerous athletes during her reign as the 6x Ms. Olympia Champion – she specifically names Rachel McLish, Gladys Porugues and Carla Dunlap as sources of motivation.
However, she names other male bodybuilders as her main influences – they often helped transport her to the gym and encouraged her to train with them (the likes of Lee Haney, Bob Paris, Rich Gaspari, and Matt Mendenhall.
What We Can Learn From Corinna Everson
Although Corinna was always an extremely gifted athlete, she still had the right determination and willingness to success – she suffered a potentially career-ending blood clot injury towards the start of her journey, but she came back stronger to make history as a female athlete.
If we can learn anything from Corinna, it’s that you need to work hard, regardless of genetic potential – Corinna started her journey in better shape than most, but she still worked hard to further sculpt one of the most iconic figures in bodybuilding history.