Lori Victoria Braun (born November 9, 1966) is the owner and founder of Femalemuscle.com, which was founded on December 31, 1995 and is the oldest website devoted exclusively to female bodybuilding, fitness, and female athletes. Femalemuscle features thousands of videos, galleries articles, and blogs, updated daily for the past 22 years by Braun and her staff of female bodybuilding contributors.
Throughout the years, Braun has been a mentor to female bodybuilders in both their training routines as well as in their business lives. In the 1990’s decade she served as the Bodybuilding Guide at About.com and consistently generated millions of monthly page views, frequently ranking among the top 20 of all About.com guides.
Braun was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is the youngest of two children. Her father is a designer and an artist, and she credits him for her creativity and artistic sensibilities. Braun’s mother is now a retired school teacher and holds a Master’s Degree in Shakespearean literature. Braun credits Sondra for her writing skills and for encouraging her to promote women in their physical and intellectual endeavors. Her brother, Bruce, owns his own fitness training center in Southern Florida.
Braun’s parents divorced when she was twelve years old. Braun spent her teenage years causing chaos in Flatbush, alternating between being a gifted student and delinquent troublemaker. At this time, she and her brother kept house by running an account at the corner deli and played music and joined the youth and music scene at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.
Braun's independent nature was also inspired by her grandmother. Braun says her grandmother reinvented herself at the age of fifty five when she left her husband, changed her name, changed her state, acquired a driver's license and got a job in which she carried a gun. All of this at a time when women didn't do these types of things. Braun says her grandmother's courage was always an influence in her life.
After deciding that the State University of New York at New Paltz College in upstate New York was not for her, Braun joined her grandmother in a warmer climate and transferred to the University of Florida where she received a degree in Communications and Journalism. There she became passionate about the bodybuilding culture and started lifting some serious iron in the university's extensive athlete training facilities.
Upon her graduation from college, Braun returned to New York and briefly worked as a journalist intern at Murdoch Magazines. She quickly realized that her passion was bodybuilding and not publishing, so she quit and established her own personal training business in New York City. She quickly built up an impressive list of clients and several celebrities. She trained her clients at the then world famous Pumping Iron Gym on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City. As one of the leading trainers in Pumping Iron, Braun had clients from all walks of life, as the New York Times wrote: “In the 80's business boomed with the fitness craze, and actors like Christopher Reeve, ballerinas from Lincoln Center, yuppies and body builders crowded the gym.
Founding of FemaleMuscle.com
In 1995, long before, for example, bodybuilding.com was founded (February 6, 1999), Braun founded Femalemuscle.com, becoming an Internet entrepreneur and a digital legend in the bodybuilding industry. Femalemuscle, at that time and for many years thereafter, was the only major bodybuilding site with female ownership and the only site whose major focus was covering and promoting female bodybuilding and women's health.
Braun fought hard to have herself and Femalemuscle.com receive press credentials to all major bodybuilding shows, long before digital media, yet alone female digital media, was allowed to cover the sport of bodybuilding, which to this day is dominated by male bodybuilders and competitors. Femalemuscle.com went backstage at those major shows and published ten of thousands of photos of major competitions, long before there was social media or other avenues for fans and competitors to keep up with the contest results and the contestants. She had Femalemuscle.com give equal treatment to male and female competitors.
Braun discovered, much like Women’s Tennis of today, that there are millions of male fans who follow female bodybuilding.
Femalemuscle.com on Facebook
Braun currently spends the majority of her time promoting female bodybuilding on Facebook on the Femalemuscle.com page on Facebook (whose URL is aptly named “I Love Female Muscle.” As of August 2017, the combined Facebooks likes of all of Lori’s page exceeded 300,000 likes and achieved a monthly reach of over 1 million Facebook members.
Meet and Date Athletic Women
On October 1, 2017, Lori published her first full length self-help book (Amazon, eBook and audio) entitled “Meet and Date Athletic Women.” This book draws upon Lori’s own experiences, conversations and friendships over the years with hundreds of male and female athletes, fitness professionals and bodybuilders. In her book, she explains to people that are seeking to form a relationship with athletic women, the specific preferences, desires and needs of these women being dedicated athletes and powerful females.