Friday, 28 February 2014

241: Area Orion's Transformers

A couple of years ago, when FMS was very much in its infancy, it got a mention on another female muscle fan blog. Afterwards, I couldn't help feeling that somehow FMS had "arrived". This was partly because of the resulting sudden, massive increase in readership, but it was mainly due to the fact that the blog which had mentioned FMS was none other than Area Orion, one of the great female muscle blogs (if not the greatest) and an inspiration to me personally back when FMS had been nothing more than an idea. Consequently, it felt like more than just a mention. It felt like I'd been approved, like my blog had got a papal blessing or something.

And if that makes it sound as though I was (and still am) not just a fan, but rather utterly IN AWE of Area Orion's work, then that's absolutely right.

So when it came to deciding how to finish off 241 week, Area Orion's Before and After posts came to mind. The same woman, although sometimes that is rather hard to believe, "before" and "after" her transformation into a muscle goddess.

Whether it is, in fact, Area Orion who sources the images and then combines them, or whether they are found as they are makes no difference to me. It's Area Orion who puts them out there, and, as with the little mention of FMS, at a stroke, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of readers know about the incredible transformation each woman has achieved. And that's the magic.

Old or new, each transformation has its own special beauty.
Gayle Moher
Eleonora Dobrinina

They show women who have taken control of their bodies and their lives.
Binge-Eater No More: Linda Gartside
Anorexia Conquered: Lisa Cross

I honestly can't think of a "Before and After" pic I don't like, but the ones I like the most are definitely the very skinny to very muscular ones. Why? Well, take a wild guess at my own wife's body shape. The knowledge, contained within these images, that within a few years, however unlikely it may be, I might end up being married to a woman who resembles Theresa Ivancik After, rather than Theresa Ivancik Before, well, it just gives me a warm feeling inside. Know what I mean?

Moreover, the "Before and After" also shows us that even some of the all-time greats started out with such unremarkable bodies that, as I said above, you have to look twice to make sure that you are, indeed, looking at the same woman. There must be more than a few people out there who have failed to recognise the "Before" they once knew in their utterly different "After" form.
Transformed: Heather Policky
I'm A Big Girl Now: Katka Kyptova

And furthermore, even when the long long journey to muscle has already started at the time the "Before" picture was taken, the insane contrast with the fully-formed muscle goddess in the "After" can be no less jaw-dropping.
Monica, Wiechowski to Mowi
Alina, gym rat to Alina Popa, FBB Queen
Figure to Huge: Monique Jones

Collectively for guys like us; like me, like you and I dare say like the genius that is Area Orion; it is probably the transformation of the woman who has undoubted "mainstream" sex appeal into the woman who has muscular sex appeal that is the best transformation of all. Another woman rejecting the body shape ascribed by society as ideal, another woman coming over to our side.
Beauty Queen to Fitness Goddess: Cindy Landolt
Bunny to Beast: Brigita Brezovac

See lots more of these at Area Orion Transformations on Tumblr

Hope you enjoyed 241 week.

And don't forget: it's the last day for FMS Hot and Hard 100 votes.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

241: Sisters of Iron II

Twin sisters of iron Patricia Beckman and Terri McBee have, for the last five years or so, been, without question, by far the most successful natural female bodybuilders in the world in their respective divisions. Patricia, who competes in bodybuilding, has an amazing record of having won every pro show she has entered. But Terri's record in the pro figure division is only slightly less impressive: in seven pro outings she has only failed to win either her class or the overall title on one occasion.

Of Patricia, they say: Every once in a while an athlete achieves a level of supremacy that is beyond compare – Muhammed Ali, Wayne Gretsky, Tiger Woods, and Michael Jordan come to mind – and Patricia Beckman might be in that category. Rarely has an athlete put together such an impressive string of victories and so dominated the opposition in every contest as Beckman has in her short time in bodybuilding.

It's not surprising, given their respective sizes, that Patricia has been training for about twice as long as Terri, Eight years, as compared to four. In fact, Terri's first experience of bodybuilding competition was cheering on her sister - cheering her on to victory, no doubt. Patricia encouraged Terri to follow her onto the stage, but it took a while because Terri had always been painfully shy, and the thought of getting up on stage in front of a roomful of strangers made me feel sick to my stomach.

But, eventually, she did follow, choosing figure rather than bodybuilding she says because I thought that would be easier, with a full-time job, and being a wife and mother. The rest is history. Well, natural female bodybuilding history anyway.

As natural bodybuilders, their physiques are forged without the use of performance-enhancing drugs like anabolic steroids, insulin, diuretics, and human growth hormone. In addition, the many natural bodybuilding federations (IFPA, WNBF, etc.) have slightly differing lists of banned substances and/or methods of drug testing.

It isn't my place or purpose to wonder if Patricia's or Terri's success has been achieved by fair means or foul. Honestly, if they say they're natural, then as far as I'm concerned, they're natural. But inevitably, there are those who have expressed doubt on the sisters' "natural" credentials, particularly Patricia's, although these doubters don't tend to be from within the "natty" [natural bodybuilding] community.

What everyone, even those on the pro-steroid forums, does seem to agree on though, is that the sisters do have something of an unnatural advantage over their competiton: what one forum poster termed their "goddess genetics". They have some of the best genetics for females in the sport, says one natural bodybuilding journalist, referring to female bodybuilding as a sport in its entirety, whether sanctioned as natural or not.

And with the help of those exceptional genetics, these remarkable twins are taking natural female bodybuilding to new heights. Long may they reign!

Lots of clips of Patricia on YouTube, FMS recommends any of her posing routines but has a soft spot for her 2012 Musclemania performance. You can also find a fair bit of Terri there, with her 2013 Ms Pro International routine our pick of the bunch.

Dedicated to John, with thanks.


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

241: Pic of the Week


Now here's an idea FMS could fully get behind.

Let's paint the town with Mega-Malacarnes. We can start with one at the gym for 'fitspiration'. But why stop there? Let's have one at the train station. Another on the outside of City Hall. On the facade of the shopping mall. Let's have them everywhere!

A world decorated with Mega-Malacarnes. Without doubt, a BETTER world!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

FMS Hot and Hard 100: Final Demand

Today, we're taking a little pause in our 241-fest this week to issue a
Voting for the FMS Hot and Hard 100 2013 closes this Friday, Feb. 28th.

Thanks to all who've voted so far, and to the rest of you, it's now or never if you want to get involved. Vote for any number of women from 1 to 100. Who are your 2013 faves?

Email your list to Anonymity guaranteed.

Get voting!

The votes will be counted up in the first week of March, and we'll start posting the results, counting down from 100 to 1 the week after that.


Monday, 24 February 2014

241: Twice the Woman

Today on FMS we're seeing double, as 241 week continues with 30 pictures of 15 women. We've chosen the sort of women who are providing a new paradigm for their peers. Leaders of the 'Strong Is Sexy' generation, you might say.

But stunningly beautiful in face and body though they are, they are so much more than "just" strong and sexy. To bring you a comprehensive list of their combined achievements would take up a whole page of this blog. And yet, none of these women are much over 30, and most of them are in their early (even very early) twenties.

They're champions. Some World Champions. Champions in physique, fitness and bodyfitness, and bikini. Champions in powerlifting, armwrestling, and taekwondo. They've overcome eating disorders, they live with adverse health conditions. They're entrepreneurs. Many of them provide personal training, they run posing clinics. Some of them have hundreds of clients, or thousands of webcam devotees. They have their own clothing lines. They are already stars on their own national TV, or they are stars-in-waiting on a global scale. They are, one and all, achievers.

Twice the woman most women are. (And that's being kind to most women!)

Owner Labellamafia clothing, journalist, IFBB bikini athlete

Good girls go to heaven, hardcore ladies go with Labellamafia

Facebook; Labellamafia website; Labellamafia promos #4 and #10

World Record Powerlifter

If I'm misunderstood or make someone "uncomfortable" because of who I am, that's not my energy being wasted. It's exhilarating that I'm able to play the part of both the beauty and the beast. As for men, some like that I'm strong and some don't. Here's my take: strong is the new sexy. Most women can't handle that - I'm not most women. Some guys can't either – that's not my problem.

Facebook; YouTube; 2011 interview

Dutch physique champion

from Evelien's Instagram

Website; Facebook; YouTube

Athletic fitness, bodyfitness and figure competitor

Just 20, Angelica is a type-1 diabetic


Fitness model, personal trainer, motivational speaker, figure athlete

Bella's very own line of swimwear is coming soon

Website; FacebookTwitterYouTube

Webcam performer

Good morning! I'm searching for some SLAVES... you know where to find me!

Muscle = Fucking sexy!! RETWEET if you agree!!


Champion armwrestler, Swedish Gladiator, and now 'Shara', WWE Diva

from her new 'Shara' Twitter page
Follow for updates in the journey to become the strongest diva of #WWE!


Budding physique competitor

When I'm pounding the shit out of those weights there's nothing else on my mind. I hear nothing but the sound of my breath and the beat of my heart. I feel free. Free from my worries. Free of bullshit. Nothing else matters, I'm just there to be free.

Website; Facebook; YouTube

Icelandic taekwondo champion, IFBB bikini world champion 2013, singer

Margret says the biggest obstacle to achieving her goal physique is her asthma:
It's hard not being able to finish my cardio workout if I get an asthma attack.

Blog; Facebook; Twitter; YouTube; Interview

Physique competitor, personal trainer (with over 350 clients worldwide)

I was "THAT GIRL" who did every fad diet & workout video that was known to man. I was HOPELESS. At the age of 17 I hit 150lbs [68kg] with some killer muffin tops, and I was only 5’2 [1.57m]. I wasn’t having that. So I did something I should have done all along, I learned general nutrition. With that and me falling in love with running I found myself a year later at 104lbs [47kg], size 0! I was SKINNNNAYYY!

I was at the gym one day and I saw this baddddd looking chick and I turned to my boyfriend at the time and said "WHO IS THAT AND WHAT DOES SHE DO?" He told me her name was Natalie Calland and she was an IFBB Figure Pro...

Facebook; YouTube; Interview; Website (now up!)

IFBB physique pro

Aside form the hard work of training and eating correctly I also thrive on educating others on what I know and believe in. I feel as though giving a reason why somehting is done is just as important as telling someone what to do.

Website (coming soon); Facebook; 2013 Europe routine

Fitness model, entrepreneur, Carnaval Queen, TV personality

Full name: Gracyanne Jacobina Barbosa Vieira Nickname: Gracybomba

Facebook; Twitter; Wikipedia entry (in Portuguese)

Physique competitor

Jenna wishes Oreos created ripped abs

Facebook; MusclePapa profile feature and "Wild Thang" teaser

WBFF pro fitness model

The human body with naturally made muscles, it's such a TURN ON! Both women's and men's bodies! I think people with muscles just look much more healthy, attractive and sexy, not to mention the self-confident and goal-oriented side of those people.

Facebook; Twitter; Interview

IFBB figure pro, skateboarder, hamburger connoisseur

I skateboard. I eat burgers. I build muscle. And I repeat.

Website; Facebook; Twitter; Post-contest interview