Friday, 15 December 2017

The Year in Review: May


Seems there are two types of people. There are those who prefer the picture on the left, and there are those who prefer the picture on the right, and not only prefer, but also project all kinds of fantasies onto it. I, you can probably guess, am totally, firmly, and deeply committed to the RIGHT on this issue. It's not often I say that.


At the NPC Team Universe in July she won her class, and pro card. And it was around then that no little chatter about her started up on the forums, much of it about her jaw-dropping calves. They really are glories. And (I've been looking closely) there's also that freaky tendon that has grown into a sort of shin muscle adding even more below-the-knee droolworthiness. And, we might as well throw in, a qualified and working accountant, as thorough with the figures as she is with her Physique.

And she's quite the fox.


Muscular woman vs. less muscular/not-at-all muscular women. A good laugh? A major fetish - it must be, Lisa Cross has cashed in on the market. Crushing? Inspiring? Arousing? (For the woman being photographed with the goddess, I mean.) All these issues and more, as FMS spends a day comparing two incomparable things.

I would urge those still prefacing the term Figure competitor with "only a" to look long and hard at Azaria Glaim's upper body and a long hard look at her admirer's, and then have a good, long, hard rethink about their terms of reference.

A decent second best would be hanging out with the woman who had got the photo with the object of our mutual admiration. Tell me again about when you were living down in Fort Worth and Delane Hart was one of the PTs at your gym...


A week-long tribute to the closest sisters of all.

Starring The Traffords...

And The Longs...

Yes, there's only one woman in that picture. We didn't have a preference for one or other all week, and then Michelle Long pops up with her Blockmanesque looks and those muscles, and we decided that in this case we didn't fancy yours so much.


As IFBB pro FBBing in 2017 approached, we decided to spend a bit of time looking back over the recent past. Starting with Sarah Hayes in Tampa in 2012, we saw seven women - all, with one notable exception, no longer competing in Bodybuilding or at all - in what we thought was the shape of their lives, including Skadi Frei-Seifert (Essen, 2011), Rene Marven (Toronto, 2013), and Gillian Kovack (Toronto, 2012).

A good excuse to repost what one reader calls "one of the best posing videos I've seen" from Simone Oliveira (Toronto, 2014), it was second to none. "Anyone who thinks that female bodybuilders aren't sexual needs to take a long, hard look at Simone on stage," our reader continued. I did, and I still don't know how that posing suit stays on.

And thanks to Katka (Madrid, 2011) Swell remembered his first time...

Suddenly I was the teenage boy in his bedroom with his copy of Muscle & Fitness unable to take his eyes off Anja Langer and her beautiful muscular body. Katka thrilled me like the very first time. I just couldn't stop looking at her. Her pecs, her abs, her legs, her arms... a beauty and yet she was just so big and hard, her muscles were so full and defined. Tanned, thrilling. Sexy but beyond sexy. MUSCLE SEXY.

And finally in May...


We've had a mini-heatwave here in the UK over the last few days. Hottest May day ever, apparently. So, bodies on display, and, to my delight, female muscle on display. I saw more of it today in about 30 minutes than I've seen in the preceding six years, more than I ever saw concentrated in one place in all my years in London.

More, in fact, than I've ever seen in such quick succession in my entire life.

I'm wondering if every day is going to be like this now, or have I just used up my allotted number of sightings for the next six years? Is this happening elsewhere? Has the new era finally dawned? Is this what we can expect from now on?

And the link to all the pics 1/5-13/5 plus extras - here.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Year in Review: April

We started April, with the benefit of hindsight, rather too optimistically.

This was the last bit of good news there was about Marthe Sundby's health.

Sun is up, spring is on, life has never been better. Training light, eating clean, and trying to heal my body. I'll never give up. Stronger. Wiser. Tougher. Fighting back.


Caitlyn Terry was an early April Woman of the Week.

We couldn't help ourselves. Dry ab belly, claw hands, and a muddy brown tannnn... I love being a mud-coloured protein princess! Or, All I wanna do is get bigger and better. I just want delts the size of my heeeeaddddddd! The swoonometer "started smoking" midway through the post. As we signed off it was "actually on fire".


A love letter to female muscle pits.

Pits of plenty... A confluence, if you will, of muscle. A glorious meeting - perhaps meating? - of bicep, delt, lat and pec. Not so much armpits as muscle pits.

[Note: all of the images from all of the posts dating 10th April to 13th May appear to have disappeared from imagebam. No idea why. One day I may get round to uploading them them all again, but for now I've made two rar files of the pics, the first covers 10th-30th April, and you will find the link for it at the end of today's review. The link for the second (1st-13th May) will be at the bottom of tomorrow's post.]


Only April and for the second time this year we were bidding adieu to a legend.

Like many others, I fell for Jackie during my formative female muscle lovin' years, and I found images of her demonstrating her legendary flexibility, among the first of her I saw, utterly mesmerising. They, she, will stay with me as long as I live.


After paying tribute to a former champion, we spent the remainder of that week with champions of a more recent vintage - pros and amateurs from North, South, and Central America, Asia, Australia, and Europe, including new Chinese Figure sensation Mou Cong, and ex-Figure now Physique sensation Shanique "The Future" Grant.


OK, so Mrs Swell has surprised me by booking a two-week break to the sunshine. Love her to bits, though she can at times mistake the fact that I am self-employed for being able to take time off whenever I want. Anyway, I shall be busy buying her some new outfits for the beach before we go, and then we're away, so posts may be a bit thin, or lack the usual diligence for the next couple of weeks. But don't blame the lady.

Looking back now, if what you got over the next couple of weeks was "thin" or "lacking the usual diligence" then the standards of this blog must be higher than (even) I think.

There were some real treats in there.

missxashley: So lean, so gorgeous, so totally into herself...

Excitement at Lauren Quinn's imminent return to competition.

Wish You Were Here #1: Hevumisa's first unmissable edit of the year.

Wish You Were Here #2: Much, much beef at the WoS 2017 get-together.

New Brazilian Physique sensation Ivie Rhein.

And this...

Link to rar file - all pics from original posts 10/4-30/4 plus extras - here.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Year in Review: March

As we counted up the Hot and Hard 100 votes, life went on...


We debunked the myth that Indian cricket god Sachin Tendulkar was a fan of the 2016 Ms India winner and multiple Asian championships medallist Thingbaijam Sarita Devi, but that nevertheless, "she has become a real beast," as one forum poster put it.

And reported on the first known (to us) example of state-sponsored female bodybuilding... In a corner of India so remote that the Chinese government doesn't even acknowledge parts of its most north-eastern state - Arunchal Pradesh - are, in fact, Indian territory, the "only female bodybuilder" there, Paklu Taipodia, has been making regional news recently. She travelled with her husband to meet Arunchal's Chief Minister at the end of January. Now I like this Chief Minister, Pema Khandu is his name, and that's him shaking Paklu's hand above. He is, apparently, a "keen sports enthusiast", and according to Indian media was "astounded by her sheer determination and courage". I like him a lot. "You are the embodiment of those who want to beat the odds to achieve excellence," he told her before promising "every help from the state government in future competitions at national and international level".

State assistance for female bodybuilding? Only in India!


We met, among others, actress etc. Gemma Atkinson, who British readers will know from her weekly appearances on Strictly Come Dancing. Bit of a mixed blessing it is. On the plus side, there's the skimpy costumes, on the downside, she's lost so much of the muscle she had packed on in the months preceding the show's first week. Since Stricly started both my training, and my diet especially, have been neglected. I’m eating way more than usual, training way less than usual and sleeping and resting less than usual, she explained recently. Never mind, it'll all be over before Christmas...


We had a British winner in the Amateur Fitness class - Kate Errington.

A Brazilian Physique double, with Priscila Cavilha winning the Amateur Overall and Daniely Castilho rather unexpectedly taking the Ms Physique International title.

And a wardrobe malfunction for the ages. Sorry Autumn, but it was GREAT!

Here's Autumn's "suit-held-firm" second go at her routine...

And then it was countdown time...

Oana, your 2017 Hottest Hard Woman in the World

For the fourth year running, you lovely lovely readers have enabled me to compile a list that, though not nearly as well-known, stands in opposition to those "Sexiest Women on Earth" type lists found in the "gentlemen's magazines", presenting an alternative vision of female beauty to the mainstream ideal. Strong and sexy.
Top of their classes: Anita Herbert (Bikini), Tina Nguyen (Figure),
the one and only Oksana Grishina (Fitness) & Cris Goy Arellano (Physique)

Out of the 100 women in our 2017 list, 47 compete in the Physique division, 26 compete in Bodybuilding, 13 in Figure, 3 in Bikini, and just one, Oksana Grishina, in Fitness, leaving 9 women who have not, so far as we know anyway, competed.

BOOM! Sarah Williams - not just top Brit in 2017, but the highest placing British bodybuilder ever on the Hot and Hard 100. BOOM! Sarah is not just the highest new entry on this year's list, but the highest Hot and Hard 100 new entry EVER!

Physique may have dominated the list overall, but there was beef to burn in the Top 10, where, as well as Sarah, you could find Selma (#4), Alina (#3), and Theresa (#2), and the outgoing and incoming Queens - Margie Martin and Helle Trevino.

We leave you today as we left you then, with your #1...

Tomorrow, Mrs Swell springs a surprise in our April review.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Year in Review: February


Not quite what I imagined when I imagined Denise's return, but hey, I'll subscribe to her YouTube channel and watch her harvesting sweet potatoes because for all the pleasure she's given me over the years, I feel it's the very least I can do for her.


This week's sizzle comes from 41-year-old Russian Anastasia Motorina.

That's right. 41.


Search #hairbra on Instagram, and you'll be faced with all sorts of women letting it hang down so they can post their photo without fear of censorship. But be warned, you will also have to contemplate men who have shaved their bodies in order to fashion a bra-shaped chest rug. I tell you, for a few days after, every time I closed my eyes...

Of course, if women are doing it, then muscle women are doing it better.


Love letters to ALL the muscle ladies.

30 years, give or take - funny thing about my first sight of a female bodybuilder (Carolyn Cheshire, UK TV), I can recall almost every detail of the event, but have only the vaguest idea of when it was. I could say it's the longest relationship I've had, but perhaps my lifelong passion would be a better way of putting it. 30 years...

And we ended February re-visiting some greats of the past in a feature called...


And it wasn't depressing!

Staying in California after graduating from the Masters program at the California Institute of Technology, Kristy worked as a metabolic engineer, then as Director of a yeast engineering company. Most recently, she is one of four female partners who have set up Antheia, Inc., whose mission is "to make and fairly provide medicines to all who need them". I'm very proud of the company we are building, says Kristy.


An amazing woman, an incredible physique, reads one fan's tribute on the forums. Even if there were still as many women her size in the sport as there used to be, there would never be another like her. She was one of a kind. A true Queen of Muscle.

March - 2017's Hot and Hard 100 revealed and MORE!