Saturday, 5 September 2015

Rising Phoenix 2015: Media Watch


Interestingly, there is a subculture that finds these extreme cases of masculinized women attractive and/or desirable. We tend to label these people "schmoes" - men who sexually fetishize female bodybuilders. I used to look at these men in disgust for their perverse nature, booking private sessions for "posing" and "wrestling" and other general kinkiness. But, in respect to the female bodybuilders out there still intent on pushing the envelope, I'm going to change my mind.

These guys have shown their worth in saving some semblance of the upper echelon of female bodybuilding by putting their money where their whack-off lube is. In 2015, there's a new show for top female pros called Rising Phoenix. Promoted by Tim Gardner and supported financially by the schmoes, this show offers to fatten the bank accounts of the erstwhile disenfranchised female pros with a $50,000 prize plus a Jeep worth $55,000. This beats the top Olympia prize in its heyday.

If such promotions continue and female bodybuilding becomes fan supported, then [...] the women so inclined can just go for it. Power to them.

John Romano, "The Death of Women's Bodybuilding", TNation, August 18th 2015


Just seen the line up for the show. Underwhelming to say the least. There are only about 3 girls that can win this and without the likes of Alina who is injured and the girls who have defected to physique like Anne Freitas [...]

I admire WoS for supporting this show but I'm afraid to say that compared to the O this show looks a poor relation. There seem to be 4 or 5 girls that have been given 'sympathy' spots when they have placed near the back of the field in the other competitions that they did this year. Surely this is supposed to be the best of the best not a 'who can we get to show up' event.

People on [this forum] complain that female bodybuilding is in decline. People like Wings of Strength assist with funding for a contest. People on [this forum] complain about the competition line up anyway. You'd think with all the recent moaning and groaning about the likes of Shannon Courtney walking away, people would support the competitions and competitors we do have. Clearly not.

"Fan" post and response on the forum whose first rule is, August 20th and 22nd 2015


Margie Martin looks amazing in her front shots, great balance of muscularity and conditioning, good lines, arms and delts are great. Conditioning from the back isn't crazy but those are impressive shots for her. She's my front runner so far.

Helle Trevino - wow. Helle brought it! Good muscularity, conditioning looks really good. Nice balance and flow, hams and glutes are pretty good. She could very well have this whole thing.

David Baye, Muscular Development play-by-play, August 22nd 2015

A total of 15 IFBB Pro women took the stage to battle it out for the Jeep and $50,000 and in the end it was a heated battle between Helle Neilsen [sic] and Margie Martin. Both were always in the middle during prejudging.

It was quite intense knowing that first place was a $50,000 cash prize and the custom Jeep, whereas second got $25,000. $25K is nothing to sneeze at but the top prize was quite impressive and with the judges putting the top group through their paces for multiple rounds of comparisons it almost felt like a heavyweight bout with Neilsen and Martin going pose for pose to see who could gain the edge.

Many thought they would be re-judged again at finals and indeed they were.

Gene X Hwang, GeneX Magazine, August 22nd 2015


All of the competitors received a rose after individual posing.

All 15 competitors did the posedown.

The IFBB professional women's bodybuilding cash prize for first place was five times that of the IFBB professional men's bodybuilding first place cash prize.

The first [Rising Phoenix] was held on Iris Kyle's 41st birthday.

Wikipedia, "Wings of Strength Rising Phoenix World Championships, "Notable Events"


The Finals had some nice touches and since this was the first year, you had to expect them to try things out to make an impression. The introductory volcano scene and reveal of all the competitors was pretty cool (see photo above). The volcano perhaps could have been more impressive but hey, the audience was there to see the physiques, not pyrotechnics.

Gene X Hwang, GeneX Magazine, August 22nd 2015

Numbers wise the show as a whole was a bit down but for a first year show in a city that hasn't had professional bodybuilding before that's to be expected. Production wise it was on par for Tim Gardner and first class from stsrt to finish. Despite how well it was ran [sic] I don't see women's bodybuilding as something that could be a stand alone event but it was a nice addition. I think not having Iris and/or Alina hurt a little bit but overall I'd say it was good.

David Baye, Muscular Development play-by-play, August 22nd 2015

I was there. Fantastic event, great turnout, stunning competitors. Helle appeared to be the audience favorite, but Margie definitely brought the best physique package and her win was well deserved.

This event has thrust female bodybuilding into the limelight for ordinary people - as a positive thing. People lined up to get their pictures taken with Margie after the show - including a pair of young twins who each asked her, "Could you pick me up?" Ordinary tourists could be heard at the airport muttering about the "bodybuilding thing" that came to town that weekend, and there were no sneers of contempt.

Not only was Rising Phoenix not a dud, it was a rousing success and a victory for bodybuilding as a whole.

Fan post on the forum whose blah blah etc., August 25th 2015

Right. So that's what other people have been saying - the few who have had something to say about the show, anyway. I've got a few things to say myself, and over the next six days, with the blog's familiar timing and "not quite topical" hallmark, I'll be saying them. And, more importantly, we'll be seeing how the women themselves have reported their own experiences. The phoenix rises (again) all week on FMS.


Friday, 4 September 2015

While the Slave's Away: Day 14

Katie Ringley

The final post from our holiday time warp. As you read this, the FMS charter will have touched down at Gatwick, the beach (for this summer anyway) a thing of the past. But as today's post was put together in advance of the holiday, the sights we bring you today were potentially in FMS' future when we posted them, if you see what I mean.
Heidi Worrell-Osborne

It would be unprecedented if that potential had been realised and I did have a "holiday beach muscle woman spotted" story to share upon my return. After all, it's never happened before. But that doesn't mean I ever stop dreaming about it. One day...
Laine Costa, Carmen Brady, Hazel Piazza

My dreams are not just my dreams either. Wish someone like that was on my beach, we say when yet another candid of muscle beauty on the sand turns up on the forums.
Vanessa Serros

Oh my God! Wow I want to go to this beach!!!
Eunika Desir

Rarely, if ever, do we consider the practicalities. I mean, the chances are you'll be with someone at the beach, right? Well, you can't just walk off and leave them as soon as The Madness strikes and then spend the whole day ogling from a safe distance, can you?
Miriam Ferreira

And then there are certain other practicalities to consider. Your physical response, for example. Imagine seeing her at the beach next your beach umbrella... Mine would open up all by itself! No matter what your choice of beach attire is, an open umbrella would completely rule out any walking up and down on your part, wouldn't it?!
"Dana" (and friend)

Another thing to consider is that it's highly unlikely your muscle babe is going to be alone on the beach either. The proprietorial hand of this young lady around her muscle belle (identified only as "Dana") illustrates your problem right there.
Kassie Kemmis

So taking all that into account it's probably for the best if I don't (or as far as you're concerned didn't) run into to any luscious female muscle on the beach this year.
Fernanda Sierra Marques

Some fantasies are better left as such. Maybe the only way to truly enjoy such a scenario would be to be the guy on the beach who is with the alpha female...

Or females.
Samantha Hill & April Davis

There's always next summer. Get busy!
Kat Secor


Thursday, 3 September 2015

While the Slave's Away: Day 13


The penultimate offering of our two-week holiday period comes courtesy of the magnificent Watatiwatatio, whose delightful YouTube channel continues to amaze with gems both new and old, often, though not exclusively, with an Asian focus.

His latest winner (at the time of writing) features one of FMS' readers all-time Fantasy Contest picks: the legendary Paula Suzuki. But while Paula's name, face and body are obviously familiar, the clip certainly is not (well, not to me it isn't anyway!).

So, sit back and enjoy over three minutes of a Paula guest posing routine.

Her costume may be a little too modest across her glootage for my liking, the camera may get in a bit too close at times (so we don't get to appreciate the Suzuki-V as much as perhaps we would like), but on the other hand, close-ups of the Suzuki upper body are never a bad thing, and by the end of the routine, as Paula whips the crowd into an audible frenzy, these minor issues are quite irrelevant anyway.

Watatiwatatio's videos

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

While the Slave's Away: Day 12


Am I the only one to be struck by how eerily similar the above in car selfie by IBFA British champ Christal Cornick (and friend) is to the in car selfie below of Hot and Hard 100 #1 Shannon Courtney (and friend) as seen previously on FMS?

Similarities between the two women do not end there. Shannon, as we reported last week, is now competing in Spartan races. Christal, meanwhile, calls herself "The Spartan". Spooky, isn't it? Some bizarre cosmic connection going on here I think!


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

While the Slave's Away: Day 11


Spotted: two gymrats way outside of their natural habitat, attempting to blend in amongst the NARPs (non-athletic regular persons)...

Based on the reactions of the surrounding humans, the gymrats were unsuccessful in their quest for fitting in unnoticed.

Sierra's intense and wonderful world just gets more & more entertaining.

Check out her matching hair & posing suit at the NPC USAs on FMS passim.


Sunday, 30 August 2015

While the Slave's Away: Day 9


Theresa Ivancik, our Hot and Hard 100's highest new entry at #12, has been preparing for the NPC North Americans, which take place - as you read this - next weekend in Pittsburgh. Now, I wonder if you would agree that she looks ready?

Biceps? Check.

Upper body? Pecs, shoulders, triceps etc... Check.

Back. OMFG YES! Check.

Abs? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check... Yep, all present and correct. And then some. I definitely see seven, and I also definitely see an 8th struggling to get out of there and say hello. And this was 2 weeks before the show! SWOOOON!

Now, is she going to have the legs this time? They've been a bit of a weakness in the past, you know, with all that upper body going on. What do you think? Well, I'll say this - I do like the shapes Theresa's thighs are throwing in them there leggings.

Check Theresa's final week of prep on her Instagram.

One more with the back? Oh, OK then...


Saturday, 29 August 2015

While the Slave's Away: Day 8


Natalia Trukhina meets some earthlings in a "Candid Camera" style set up that seems to be all about the blond asking guys if they want to meet her friend, Natasha. If they say yes, that's Natalia's cue to walk on and blot out the sun. Hilarious reactions all round, and off they go together - the puny earthlings and the amazon alien goddess. At least that's how it seems to me, though my Russian ain't what it used to be...


Download here

Friday, 28 August 2015

While the Slave's Away: Day 7


Say hola to yet another Spanish beauty, personal trainer and "supplementation expert" Silvia Eiras Gonzalez, aka Silvia Steel. She's a Madrid-based former Spanish champ who was competing at the NABBA Worlds as long as a decade ago. Since then she's been developing those muscles further and working in the "Chemical Industry", which may or may not be related. Whatever she's doing, it seems to be working. Damn!

Silvia is on both Instagram and Facebook. And she has her own YouTube channel too, from which we recommend a bit of Silvia working that bad boy - and the other one as well! She even has her own blog, Los secretos del acero - The Secrets of Steel.


Thursday, 27 August 2015

While the Slave's Away: Day 6


Unless there has been some quite unexpected turn of events, Shannon Courtney aka FMS readers' Hottest Hard Woman in the World 2015, didn't join in the female muscle festivities at the Rising Phoenix last weekend (I'm writing from the past so the "RP" is the future to me right now, remember?). In fact, she hasn't been been seen on a bodybuilding stage for over two years - since the 2013 Tampa Pro.

But as her #1 Hot and Hard 100 ranking suggests, this hasn't made her any less appealing to female muscle heads - not the ones who vote in our annual poll anyway.

So what has Shannon been up to lately? Well, she's been entering Spartan Races.

According to Wikipedia, Spartan Race is a series of obstacle races of varying distance and difficulty ranging from 3 miles to marathon distances. In addition, the company website says Spartan is a sport, community, a philosophy, a training and nutrition program – with daily advice, a podcast, a book, an activity for kids, workout gear, a media channel, an NBC Sports series, a digital magazine, and a timed obstacle race. But not just any obstacle race. Spartan is the world’s best obstacle race. Period.

Different training, different skills, but the same old driven and high-achieving Shannon - she came in 3rd in her very first Spartan, the Monterey Super - 8 miles long and with 25 obstacles. And, when she'd finished, her nails still looked perfect!

If it excites you and scares the crap out of you at the same time, you should probably do it, says Shannon, explaining her motivation. I wouldn't be so obvious as to point out that those are pretty much the feelings that stir within me when I think about Shannon, but I will say that she's certainly changed the picture I had in my head of what a Spartan Race is, ie. blokes covered in mud running around fields in Essex.

And amid all this training, racing, and nail bar time - not to mention being a mother and doing her job - Shannon has been sitting all her college Pharmacology exams.

Phew! I reckon she deserves a little R & R.

I'm just speculating here but it seems to me that Shannon looks happier than ever now, and that she's always at her happiest when she faces a new challenge. And training outdoors. Oh how I've missed these awesome tan lines, she says.