Monday, 30 June 2014

Muscle in a Dress of the Day: [name removed by request]

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Muscle in a Dress of the Day: Mmmmonique

The magnificent Mmmmonique Jones, two-time Toronto Pro champ and Victoria's Secret fan says, Although I'm in gym attire 90% of the time, I love me some dresses!

Well, here at FMS, we love us some Mmmmonique in a dress 100% of the time...

...and so we kick off a week of Muscle in a Dress on the blog with just a small selection of some of our favourite mouth-watering Mmmmonique moments.

Mmmmonique believes, "The less you reveal, the more people can wonder", a motto that could easily be applied to her classy choices of attire as well as the fact that it's not clear to me whether she will be defending her Chicago crown next month!

More Mmmmonique on Twitter and Instagram.

And more Muscle in a Dress tomorrow and all week. Enjoy!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Emily Chorley: Just a Normal Person?

Emily Chorley is a female bodybuilder from the south-west of England who has been training for about a year and a half. She has competed just once, in the Toned Figure class at a recent regional NABBA show. She finished in 8th place.
Emily (centre) on stage at the NABBA West 2014

Now, normally, despite our undying admiration for ALL women who train, and particularly those that put themselves through gruelling exercise and dietary regimes in order to compete, FMS wouldn't normally be devoting an entire post to a regional competitor with one contest and one eighth-place finish to her name.

So, why are we?

Well, first of all, there's the fact that we do love a good transformation.

In October 2012, Emily saw some images of fitness models. I was about 7 months pregnant and I was blown away – I knew there and then what I wanted to achieve and it was the perfect way for me to lose my baby weight. After the baby, her second, had been born she began training. It was the first time she had entered a gym, but it didn't take long for the proverbial bug to bite. After about four or five months of training I began to blossom and people started to compliment me on my new figure.
Emily, backstage before her first show

And 18 months on, give or take a year after she had started getting those compliments, Emily was preparing to go on stage for the first time at a bodybuilding show. Her husband had told her back in the summer of 2013 that a year from now you’ll be wearing a bikini, feeling amazing, looking awesome... And he was not wrong.

In a year she had lost over 2½ stone (about 35lbs, or 16kg), and completely changed her eating habits, her body shape and, in her own words, my entire life, for the better.

February 2014
So excited to post a pic of my abs!!! They're really there! Woo hoo!

Originally, Emily had been inspired by Olya Haidner. Then, last autumn, she and her personal trainer husband went to see the local Miss Plymouth amateur bodybuilding show. After seeing the female competitors - Miss Plymouth 2013′s routine was jaw dropping - I knew then that I wanted to be on that stage next year, she says. Then and there she vowed she would take part in Miss Plymouth 2014 this September, but by February her contest debut had been brought forward to June, and the NABBA West.
Backstage at the NABBA West, May 2014

After having her hair and make-up done, and a final coat of tan applied, Emily looks in the mirror. I could barely recognise myself, I felt amazing! she says. Her transformation complete, she takes to the stage for the very first time...
Emily is all smiles as she waits to go on...

I was either going to love it or hate it on stage, and it turns out that I loved it! I had such an incredible day regardless of placing. It was fantastic, and has certainly given me the drive to work harder, dig deeper and come back better next time!
...and after receiving her medal

But there's more, much more, to Emily than "just" her baby-weight-to-toned-figure transformation story, which, though remarkable, is by no means unique.
Emily's blog, Mrs Beast Within

What is unique about her is the fact that she has been writing all about her journey to change my body on her blog for almost a year now, motivated partly by the desire to encourage others to work for the body they have always wanted, but also to educate - to put straight some of the common misconceptions both men and women have about female bodybuilders and the sport in general, and to spread the word about the pleasures and, above all, the benefits of weight training for women.

The following extracts are just a taste...
Bicep selfie, May 2013

August 2013, on her favourite, and most responsive body part, her arms
They [her arms] got slimmer, stronger and a hell of a lot harder within only a few months. I revel my mornings at the gym when I train arms, there’s something incredibly satisfying about looking in the mirror and watching the muscles around my biceps and shoulders contract and extend. After only a few minutes of weights I can see my 'inner hulk' emerging, splits appear across my muscles with every rep and my veins start to show up like road maps... and I love it.

Selfie, July 2013
Awesome arms session this morning. I feel like they're gonna burst!

September 2013, on bodybuilders and vanity
If you had a hobby restoring cars and were incredibly proud of what you were doing and wanted to show everyone how hard you were working on a project then it would be perfectly acceptable to post photos and tell everyone about it... right? And when you had finally finished pouring all that hard work into finishing that beautifully restored car you’d want to drive it around the streets to show it off... right? Well, don’t you think the same goes for someone who has spent years sculpting their own body into the physique they have always dreamed of?
Back progress, March 2014

February 2014, after beginning her contest prep
I can’t lie to you, this first week has been a bit of a shock but I have still really enjoyed it. The change I have seen in just a few days is ridiculous and I know it isn’t just my imagination as one of the lovely ladies from the morning spinning class where I train even commented on how I’ve changed... I think I have already found the perfect piece of music to put a routine to, I’m pretty sure I know what colour bikini I’d like to find and I’ve even started learning to handstand and cartwheel (these are things I have NEVER been able to do before in my life!)
Two weeks out, April 2014

This blog is intended to be a record of my journey, an insight into women who lift weights and most importantly an inspiration to others, writes Emily. And it certainly does what it says on the tin. It's also intelligently and very candidly written. Emily doesn't, for example, hide the fact that undertaking contest prep means feeling, at times, like a complete wreck. But neither does she hide the fact that the rest of the time it makes her feel like a beautiful, living, breathing, and flexing work of art.

Mrs Beast Within, October 2013
Just for fun!

And as a result of her online presence - Emily is also on Instagram and Twitter - her stated wish to be an inspiration to others has been realised. People from all over the world have told me how inspired they are by my pictures, she has said. It's quite strange that all these people are being encouraged to get fit through me.

Selfie, January 2014
I'm determined to get these abs out before my 30th this year!!!

As far as this blog is concerned, Emily is very far from "normal", but it's exactly this "normalnesss" that makes Emily so inspiring to so many. There must be more than a few mothers of two with full-time jobs out there who would also like to get their abs out - whether they're hitting 30, 40, or toning up before going to the Med this summer - and in Emily they find a heroine they can identify with. She doesn't kid her followers that it's easy, but they can, she shows them, achieve it.
Emily (centre), NABBA West

The latest post on Mrs Beast Within finds Emily taking stock after her 30th birthday. She gets up 5.30, she goes to bed at 11. She works full-time, and she freelances in the evenings - It’s an exhausting road but I know that to get the rewards I want it’s the only way to get there. She is amazed at how far her story has travelled - It still seems so unreal, everything that has happened since I have started training. Bodybuilding has given her a sense of belonging, a community that is friendly, generous and humble and completely unlike what she had imagined. I’m at last comfortable in my own skin, she writes. She is happy, she is healthy and she is confident.
Plymouth Hospital Radio, May 2014

And since her first show Emily's word has reached an even broader audience, because she has become something of a local media star recently. An appearance on a local hospital radio station led to an interview appearing in the local newspaper, which is also going to run a feature on her weight-loss journey in the near future.
Mum, June 2014

I'm a normal person... I see myself as someone who is average, says Emily.

We, her local media, and most importantly her many followers couldn't agree less.
First posing lesson, March 2014

Emily will be competing next at the Miss Plymouth show in the autumn.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

No Wonder He's Smiling (Nervously)

Little more than a blurry screencap as far as I can tell, this week's Pic of the Week may not be the best picture we've ever featured here in terms of quality.

However, I'm pretty confident you won't forget it in a hurry!

I first thought, "Isn't she big?" (or words to that effect), feasting my eyes on those huge biceps and, unless it's a trick of the light, a pair of lats that make her armpits look proper DEEP. There was that, and then there was the almost alien look the hair (or lack of it) gives her, like she's a kind of divine muscle female from outer space.

But my second thought was "Isn't she small?" Female muscle clip colossus he may be, but Mr FMC is by no means a giant of a man. And he is bending his knees quite a lot.

Now I'm no scientist, but I do remember (because my Physics teacher drummed into me) that density equals mass over volume, so the fact that Virginia has so much mass packed onto such a small area must mean that that mass is denser than dense can be.

So perhaps he's smiling a bit nervously because as good, enviable even, as his situation is, he can hear the floor giving way beneath the weight of Virginia's dense mass...


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

FBBUK@ NABBA Worlds 2014

For the second time this week, FMS is at the recent NABBA Worlds, this time to praise the British women who were doing it in thongs in Belfast. No one was as successful as the Brazilians (see Sunday's post), but there were podium places for UK women.

Runner-up to Caroline Crozeta in the Toned Figure category was the stunning Kelsey "Tinkerkel" Yung, a mother of two from Barrow (in the north-east of England). She and her husband have run a dance/martial arts studio there since 2007, and Kelsey teaches dance, fitness and kickboxing (she's a black belt). NABBA is absolutely amazing, she says, [and] I absolutely love being a Toned Figure competitor.

Kelsey was also runner-up at last year's NABBA Universe, and she arrived in Belfast fresh from having won the NABBA Britain title the weekend before. This was her third appearance at the Worlds, and her best result after two 4th places in 2012 and 2013.

Also in the Toned Figure class was the very beautiful Rebecca Maughan from Hull, who finished 4th. Rebecca, NABBA Miss Britain in 2013, and runner-up at the same show to Kelsey Yung in May this year, became interested in fitness a couple of years ago before a holiday to Ibiza. I really wanted to get toned to look good for the holiday, she says, and the quick-fix fitness plan became a desire to compete.

This isn’t a chore for me but a lifestyle, says Rebecca, and aged just 25, with a position as a "guru" at a major supplements company, a dream to become a professional fitness model, and those looks, FMS doesn't imagine this will be the last we hear of her.

In the shorter of the two Trained Figure classes, best of the Brits was Kay Goodwin, previously on FMS after she had finished 2nd at last year's NABBA Worlds. There she competed in Toned Figure, but made the switch to the more muscular category this year, promptly winning the NABBA North-East and Miss Britain titles in May.

Personally if I was ever told I would fare better in the trained class after all my prep and diet I would be gutted, Kay said last year when still a competing in Toned, which suggests to me that her move "up" is a decision she has made for herself. However, as is so often the case, there's so little information about many of the UK's top NABBA women available that why Kay has changed classes is not a question I can answer. Anyway, she has, and her two titles and a 4th at the Worlds indicates it was the right move. And, as far as I'm concerned, more muscle is always a good thing!

And finally, another 2nd place for Britain in the taller Trained Figure class, courtesy of Pamela Higgins, who had finished 4th behind Kay Goodwin at the British finals, but was clearly peaking for this show and can, in my unqualified opinion, count herself more than a bit unlucky not to have walked off with the category title at least.

Pam has been lifting for about six years now I reckon, having originally been inspired by her partner, a former bodybuilder himself, to start competing. British champ 2011 and 2012, it's good to see Pamela, who, like Kelsey Yung (and Georgina McConnell, incidentally) hails from the north-west of England, back to her best.

Congratulations to Pamela, and to all the wonderful muscle women who represented Britain at the show. You might also like to check out UK NABBA veteran Cheryl Steele's routine, and (although Irish rather than British) FMS fave Sophia McNamara, who always delivers a routine that is an absolute treat to watch.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Fuel for Fantasy: Nadi Kor's Joy of Muscle

Swell continues to dig long-time, big time FMS favourite Nadežda Korepanova, aka Nadi Kor, and her seemingly insatiable appetite for flexing her gorgeous muscles. On the bus, on the train, on the beach; in cafés, parks and shops - however Nadi is getting where she's going, or whatever she's doing when she gets there, she's flexing.

I get the impression (perhaps just an illusion she's trying to create, perhaps real) that so much does she love her muscles that any time, day or night, she is compelled to admire herself, compelled to invite admiration, compelled to show them off.

Sthenolagnia, as you probably know, is "sexual arousal from the display of strength or muscles", and as far as this sthenolagniac is concerned, right now there is no other woman who is displaying her muscles quite as arousingly as Nadi Kor is.

And I think that is partly because Nadi displays her muscles in pretty much everyday scenarios. She is fantasy, but not entirely so. The great (and much missed) Dena Westerfield was, arguably, the ultimate muscle exhibitionist, but she was pure fantasy - I don't recall Dena ever doing her thing in her day clothes on the bus.

Nadi, in contrast, has a girl-next-door quality - or maybe "dream girlfriend" would be a better way of putting it. The kind of girlfriend who would have you film her flexing in all those public places, have you film her, for example, in the changing rooms as she flexes in outfit after outfit. Shopping trips with the wife/girlfriend might be a bit more bearable if this was what was going on behind the changing room curtain!


And visit Nadi's YouTube channel for much much more.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Omaha: A Good Day

Yes, FMS continues to milk the Omaha Pro show, and makes no apologies whatsoever for doing so. This was, in case you need reminding, the first new show on the pro female bodybuilding calendar for many years, and, even better, it was a competition where, for once, the men were mere hors d'oeuvres, the women the meat and potatoes.
The Stars of the Show

For both the Omaha show, and the Toronto Pro the week before it, I found myself, for the first time, following the show more via the social media of the women themselves than through the reporting of established bodybuilding resource sites. For Toronto, a bigger show at which the pro female bodybuilding is one of many contests, this was a choice made partly out of the desire to get the results and images etc. as fast as possible - the major sites tend to be a little tardy in putting up images and results from the FBB show. It's just not a priority for them among all the male and bikini-type classes. But such was the pleasure I took in the self-reportage from Toronto of the likes of Tonia Moore (via her Instagram) that when it came to Omaha, I chose to get my news from the women, rather than trusting the big sites to give me news of them.

Tonia Moore and Jill Rudison
The Best Comedy Double Act in Female Muscle?

What the women can give you that the major sites can't is a no-holds-barred account of their final preparations, unique backstage candids from the show, and, once the show is over, all the pigging-out they do! Granted, the images are, quite obviously, not the kind of high quality stuff that the contest photographer is capable of producing. If you want that kind of detail - photographic detail - then stay with the big sites. But if it's a different kind of detail you crave - the minutiae of a female bodybuilder's final preparations, for example, or who travels/rooms with who, or who does whose make-up and so on - then who better to be your guide than the women themselves?

Judy Gaillard
Checking in (left, via NPC News Online) and waiting for showtime (via her Facebook)

That's not to say that all of the images the women post of themselves and their fellow "Sisters of Iron" are shaky low-quality ones. Far from it. After all, if you are a female bodybuilder with the chance to have your picture taken with nine-times Ms Olympia Iris Kyle, the chances are you are going to want to make it a good 'un. And they all, without exception, seem to have grabbed the opportunity. Often more than once!
Alana Shipp, Anne Freitas, Tonia Moore and Margie Martin get starstruck

Iris was there as a guest star for the show (along with Mr Olympia Phil Heath) and was also, apparently, acting as Rene Marven's coach. However, she was, of course, generously handing out pearls of wisdom to all and sundry. Anne Freitas posted the above photo of herself and the woman she calls "The Queen" on her Instagram with a big thank you message to Iris. I will not forget your advice, she wrote.

Rene Marven, Alana Shipp and Margie Martin
Beauty, bling and smiles

Easy for Iris to show such generosity towards Anne when she's not competing against her, you might think, but this kind of camaraderie seemed to extend throughout the entire field, with all the competitors looking to be so at ease with each other. Laying back and waiting for the finals, reads the description of the above pic on Margie's Instagram, almost as if she, Rene and Alana were teammates, not rivals.

And then there was the almighty, twelve-woman posedown, the images of which reminded us of our posts from back in April, where, with the help of Tanya Bunsell's Strong and Hard Women, we identified both the physical AND spiritual highs experienced by the female bodybuilder at a contest.

We see, in the all-inclusive posedown, the women experiencing the physical and spiritual high both individually and as one, in a kind of collective peaking - although perhaps some of them are peaking just that tiny little bit more than others - for example, Rene Marven seems to be really really enjoying herself!!!

And after all that it's time to stuff your face with all the stuff you have been craving throughout your crazy contest diet. To get your glam on, to have a drink and celebrate your achievement. Today, the smile of the ever-beautiful and newly-married Helle (now Trevino, formerly Nielsen) seems to be saying, was a good day.


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Brazil Rules the Worlds

No, not another post about the World Cup (funnily enough I don't want to talk about that anymore!), but news and tubes from the 2014 NABBA Worlds, which was held in Belfast on 7th June, and where Brazilians triumphed in all three of the women's classes.

In Toned Figure (roughly the NABBA equivalent of NPC Figure) there were two Brazilians in the top 6, including the winner, Caroline Crozeta.

In 31 World Championships with the Toned Figure category, the only Brazilians to win the world title have been the beautiful Maite Bueno and... Carol Crozeta! she wrote on her Facebook page, proudly displaying her trophy. I'm the second athlete from Brazil to bring the trophy to us!!! And this was her first international contest, too.

If you are feeling generous and loaded, or know someone who is, Carol is currently looking for sponsorship so she can compete at the NABBA Universe in October.

In the taller of the two Trained Figure (equivalent Physique) classes, Brazilians made up three of the top four finishers. 2013 NABBA Miss Universe Carol Bittencourt finished 4th on this occasion, with Tereza Augusta in 3rd place.

It was the less experienced Regiane Moreira who won the class, despite (or perhaps because of) the technical problem during her individual routine...

And in the shorter Trained Figure class, it was a 1-2-3 for the Brazilians.

In 3rd, the very beautiful Cinara Polido, an FMS favourite from last year's NABBA Universe, when, you may recall, we were utterly hypnotised by her twitching glutes.

No involuntary muscle contractions this time, but we're hypnotised nonetheless...

Check out Cinara's incredible transformation on her website.

For my money the most ripped woman in the entire show, Brazilian NABBA royalty Dora Rodrigues rolled her abs and flexed her wonderfully striated legs and bum into second place in the class wearing a posing suit in the Brazilian national colours...

Now 33, Dora has been training (for the love of it, never forget the first A in NABBA is for "Amateur") for 19 years. She was crowned Overall NABBA Miss World as long ago as 2008, and won the Overall Miss Universe title the following year.

Check out Dora's website and Instagram for more.

And it was Auren Malvestiti, last year's NABBA Universe runner-up, who won both the shorter Trained Figure class and took home the title of Overall NABBA Miss World.

After her victory thanked her followers on Facebook: Guys!!! I'm bit by bit writing and thanking everyone who wrote to me and cheered for me! Every word, every strength, every gesture of encouragement from you took me to the highest place on the podium! What's worse is that I cry a little bit every message I read... it's kind of funny! Though I'm away, I feel embraced and welcomed with every message I get. Thank you from my heart. Brazil! I'm coming back with the title for my beloved country!

The new Miss World is also on Instagram.


And there will be more from the NABBA Worlds later in the week...