Once again, apologies for keeping you waiting. Let's get straight down to it.
THE FMS HOT AND HARD 100
GINGER MARTIN #53
Crossfitter(?) & former (?) NPC Physique & Figure Competitor
Does anybody know where Ginger Martin has gone?
She hasn't competed since the 2012 NPC Nationals, and was last seen in the summer of 2013 doing a Crossfit competition for the first time on her (currently dormant) YouTube channel. Since then, Ginger has completely fallen off the FMS radar.
And sadly so. Ginger was one of our original Women of the Year back in 2011, and she obviously still has more than a few fans among our readers as, despite disappearing, she's actually higher in the Hot and Hard countdown this year than she was last.
Still, any excuse to post a few of our favourite Ginger snaps. Whether she comes back as a Crossfitter, a Physique competitor or even returns to Figure, or doesn't compete but just returns to performing on webcam... let's hope she'll be back real soon.
OKSANA GRISHINA #8
Ms Fitness Olympia 2014
Oksana Grishina has been a crowd favorite for years, and tonight she was finally awarded first place, said Cassie Smith in her 2014 Fitness Olympia review. Grishina, Smith reckoned, has been worthy of a gold medal for a long time, but could never get past eight-time champ Adela Garcia. Once Garcia hung up her dancing shoes, the door was wide open. But Grishina didn't just walk through it; she barged in with a performance that blew the rest of her competition out of the water.
Knowing, as I do, very little about the Fitness division other than Oksana is in it, what was surprising to me was not that she won, but that she had won for the first time! And, though it was surely her most important, the Olympia title was just one of the first prizes she collected in 2014, having been crowned the Arnold Classic champion in March (also for the first time) and then just a week after her Olympia win, she added her second Arnold Europe title to her collection. So what I'd imagined had been happening all along - Oksana turns up, Oksana wins - was actually happening at last. And if the start of 2015 is anything to go by - she's already retained her Arnold Classic crown - it doesn't look like she's finished with winning yet.
Everytime I see Oksana I seem to have to catch my jaw before it drops all the way, writes one fan, and I doubt very much thay are alone in suffering that particular affliction. Everything about Oksana is, quite simply, stunning. She is, I think I can say without fear of contradiction, one of the most naturally beautiful women in the entire world of female muscle, and far beyond as well. And that body, honed to lean muscular perfection from a lifetime of gymnastic pursuits...
And then there's what she can do with it. Like I said, for many years Fitness for me has been synonymous with Oksana and the main reason for that has been the breathtaking combination of power and art that she has always brought to her routines, or, more appropriately perhaps, her performances. And it's through her performing that she has become an athlete who has transcended her sport, a woman who has changed the game, if you like, who has raised the bar so that others may follow. As far as I was concerned, she'd been the Queen of Fitness for many years, and now I'm finally right about that, it looks as though she will remain so for many years to come.
When you pick your jaw off the floor, why not check out Muscle Insider's All Access series with Oksana? It's as close as you or I will ever get to her! You might also enjoy a behind the scenes with Oksana on a Muscle & Fitness Hers photo shoot, well, you might... And you might also need todo some jaw-catching when you review Oksana in excelsis performing her winning (in a blow the competition away kind of way) routine from the 2014 Olympia. Oksana's on Instagram and Twitter too. Enjoy!
ZSUZSANNA TOLDI #47
IFBB Figure Pro, 2014 Bodypower Pro Winner
Early last year a (somewhat mischievous) internet acquaintance and me started posting pics of muscular women on a forum that was neither porn nor female muscle oriented but was most definitely about women. Among the first women we posted was Zsuzsanna Toldi. Immediately, the stereotypical reactions started to flow. Eg. I love the athletic look, but too much muscle crosses over onto [sic] butch. Now really, I ask you, what exactly is it about zsexy Zsuzsanna that is "butch"?!
Time was I'd gt all worked up about the so-called majority opinion, but these days, and that little experiment definitely helped, I'm of the opinion that if you can't get excited about a woman like Zsuzsanna (and there aren't many of them, more's the pity) then there must be something wrong with you. In the meantime, us sensible chaps of taste who have been appreciating Zsuzsanna all along will be happy to welcome you into the wonderful world of female muscle lovin' anytime you see the light.
I reckon Zsuzsanna Toldi will have popular appeal and be a riser this year, one reader predicted while the votes were still being counted. And he was not wrong. 2014 was a big year for Suzy, with her first pro win and consequently her first trip to the Olympia. Hopefully the fact that that first win came in the UK at Bodypower will mean she'll be back in the country as often as possible in future and that us sensible chaps from Britain will only have to go as far as the NEC Birmingham to catch a glimpse of her two-time World Champion bod. As long as she remains too "butch" for most, there shouldn't be too much of a crush around this Hungarian muscle goddess.
Zsuzsanna has been with Scitec, the same supplement company that looks after Larissa Reis, for a couple of years now, and their YouTube channel has plenty of Suzy to enjoy. Our pics of the bunch are a behind the scenes at a photo shoot with "Europe's Figure Queen", and a long and lustrous document of her last leg workout before the Olympia. Also recommended is this fan clip from the Olympia Expo - check out her deeper than you might expect voice and that dreamy accent. Zsuzsanna's also on Instagram, where she has well over 60,00 followers.
I'd say that's not bad for a woman who "crosses over onto butch", wouldn't you?
HEIDI VUORELA #10
There are plenty of other women on the Hot and Hard 100 list who, as well as being beautiful and beautifully muscled, are mothers - there's even at least one grandmother I know of, your #30, Ginger Martin - but none of them are as new to motherhood as our favourite Finn, the Lady herself, your #27, Heidi Vuorela. On March 26th at just after twelve noon, Heidi gave birth to her first baby, a son, Hugo.
So if Heidi has a certain glow in some of these selfies of hers, well, if you didn't know before, now you do. The very warmest FMS congratulations to Heidi and her fella!
And she was still lifting less than a week before the big day. Monster!!!
Perhaps it was the fact that she was getting "swole" as they say, or perhaps it was the eating for two that did it, but there has been some scurrilous posting on the forums suggesting Heidi morphs her pictures. All of them. It's total nonsense, of course, unless she has morphed upwards of 75% of all the pics she's ever posted, which seems rather unlikely given that when not lifting, Heidi is a shift worker at a printing company. Throw in her pregnancy and the idea she's spending hours and hours photoshopping her selfies seems a little far-fetched, don't you think? And on top of that, if you know anything about how hard Heidi goes on those arms, you wouldn't be surprised how big they are. 35 sets of triceps this evening, reads the caption on one of her arm-focused selfies. And tomorrow morning... it's biceps turn. Yikes! And the next day... just the 30 sets for the biceps. Oh! And she did calves that day as well!
In fact, with the exception of squats and deadlifts, which she phased out before the last six months of her pregnancy, Heidi hadn't changed anything about her training. As heavy as always, she says. And she might want to keep doing whatever movements she has been doing to compensate for the lack of squat and deadlift action because, impressive as her arms have always been, Heidi has gained some wondrous size and shape below, and looks better than ever in those skin tight leggings. WOW!
The beauty of life does not depend on how happy you are, but how happy others can be because of you, quotes Heidi. She may be even better at motherhood than she is at bodybuilding if that's going to be her mantra. You can follow her on Instagram.
VALERIE GARCIA GIOVANOLI NEW ENTRY
IFBB Physique Pro
Once upon a time Valerie was an Assistant State Attorney in Florida with a passion for fitness who dreamed of competing. But there was always something that held me back, she says. I had a lot of self-doubt, food issues, and zero support from those around me. Then she met her husband, bodybuilding guru John Romano. John has a wealth of experience in competition preparation and he always told me that I could do it and I would be good at it. Together they moved to Guadalajara in Mexico to run the Gold's Gym there. She left her high-flying legal career behind, and began training clients at the gym instead. And she competed. I finally trusted John enough to begin my prep for the 2013 Musclemania Mexico, which is the first show I did... and won!
That husband of hers really does know his stuff because it turns out his wife really is "good at it". Just one year on from that first show and Valerie had switched from Figure to Physique and in November was awarded her pro card after she finished runner-up in her class behind the overall champion Marcie Simmons at the NPC Nationals.
Her first appearance on FMS - doing a pull-up - back in December 2013 moved one reader to confess that he was completely addicted to those unnatural, petite muscular butts like Valerie's. And she appeared on the blog again at the end of last year before, during and after her Nationals appearance, when we reported how proud she was of her abs having (her words) more nooks and crannies than an English muffin.
And in between those two posts we were pretty much glued to Valerie's Instagram. And we still are. She has most definitely become a big FMS favourite in the last year, and I am very happy that there were enough of you readers who agreed that this stunning 30-year-old deserved a place on the Hot and Hard list.
Switching from Figure to Physique gives me lots of room for improvement, she says. Especially my arms and back. I need to grow! Follow her progress on her highly recommended Instagram, and Valerie's also on Facebook. She has a YouTube channel that has (sadly just a few - but they're LONG) clips of her training. She's sponsored by the wonderful Hardfitness so there's much Valerie to enjoy there, including this video interview. And I imagine it won't be long before we see her again on FMS...
LOANA MUTTONI #19
IFBB Physique Pro
"Sexy Brazilian Hardbody" is the title of the Muscle Angels set the above pic is taken from, which, if you throw in the words "veiny" and "very" anywhere you like, is about an apt a description of your #25 as it is possible to give in so many words.
One of the few women who started out competing in NABBA to have made a successful transition to the IFBB, Loana's sexy, Brazilian (and very veiny) hardbody graced the stage three times in 2014, her best result a 3rd place finish at the Ferrigno Legacy Pro in California in November. By then she had missed the chance at a first Olympia appearance, a fact that personally I find quite mystifying because to my (untrained) eyes anyway, Loana is at least as good, if not better, than many of the women who did line up in the Physique division in Las Vegas. You could say I'm a fan.
As far as I'm concerned, Loana's physique - particularly her ultra freaky contest ready physique - is what the division is all about. She's been honing that body since she was 17, and five years after she started, she had what you might call a bit of a moment. I saw a fitness contest on Brazilian TV, she says. I was so impressed with the women's physiques and routines that I KNEW I wanted to compete. A year later and she was winning a state level NABBA Fitness show, and by 2005 she had both the NABBA Worlds and Universe titles. By 2009 she had made the transition to the IFBB and was crowned South American Figure champion, and in 2013 became a Physique pro. I dream of the day that I qualify to compete at the Olympia! says the 34-year-old. I can only imagine how that may feel, to compete against such an elite class of athletes. Singularly unqualified to judge I may be, but for me Loana is already one of the elite, and I can't see any reason why that dream shouldn't come true very soon.
Meanwhile, every time Loana does compete is a treat. Just as she fell for those contest physiques at the age of 22, Loana seems to become more and more fascinated with her own physique the closer she gets to every contest. There's close-ups of those super vascular legs, there's close-ups of her pinching her paper thin skin (It's like gum, she writes, I LOVE it!), and there's selfie after selfie of those abs, criss-crossed with thick, pulsating veins. I plan to compete for a long time, she says, and she's so enamoured with her own top shape body that's hardly surprising, but also very VERY good news.
Watch Loana fall in love all over again on her Instagram as she prepares for yet another show. And you can also watch an appearance on Brazilian TV, which, although a few years old now, might lead you to consider how many women watched her and were so impressed they resolved to compete. Portuguese speakers (or those who just like watching Loana talk without understanding a word) might also want to investigate a series of Q&As with the lovely Loana on VideosSaudeJa, starting here.
CRISTINA GOY ARELLANO NEW ENTRY
Arnold Classic Europe Overall Physique Champion 2014
Q: Where does she come from?
When FMS discovered your #24, Cristina Goy Arellano, at the Arnold Classic Europe back in 2013, we described her as "divine", so I fully understand the reply in the above forum exchange. Actually, the correct answer is that she's from (or at least she lives in) Barcelona, but it's a very easy mistake to make.
We also thought - and this wasn't a mistake - that when she finished runner-up in her class in 2013 she had the best abs in the show. Well, when Cristina returned to Madrid in 2014, winning the Overall title, she had by far the best everything.
And, as a result, 2014 has been the year when she hasn't so much caught the collective eye of the female muscle lovin' community as had all our eyes bulging out of their sockets cartoon-style. In the end of year "Physique Goddess" poll on the forum whose first rule is etc., only the no-surnames-necessary Dani, Juliana, and Fabiola polled more votes than Cristina, and the only other European with significant support was Katka. Twelve months earlier in the 2013 poll she hadn't received a single vote.
Her beauty hits you like a punch to the solar plexus. She is nothing short of breathtaking, says one of our number, a reader who is probably already following Cris on Facebook. And although I haven't been able to find a clip of her winning routine from Madrid, she features heavily in one of the mighty Hemuvisa's edits from backstage at the show (the impatient should skip to about the 4.15 mark).
JUANITA BLAINO #24
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
It wasn't that long ago that right here on FMS we were ranting about Juanita Blaino not getting one of the places at the Olympia (see Ms Olympia 2014: The Line-up), and I have to say that while putting together Juanita's segment of today's post, I've got myself all vexed again that she wasn't - as the woman with the next highest number of qualification points - given the chance to replace the retired Brigita Brezovac and grace the Olympia stage for the second successive year. If Juanita isn't one of the elite, then I really do know nothing about the sport of female bodybuilding.
2014 wasn't such a good year for Juanita as her first year as a pro had been (2nd on her pro debut, 6th in her first Ms Olympia) but nevertheless (and I once again profess to having absolutely no expertise in the matter) she still looked absolutely stunning to me from every angle in both Chicago, where she was awarded 4th, and then again when finishing 7th in Tampa. And I, we could have had a whole other set of Juanita on stage if only the IFBB had just been a little bit more on it. Damn them!
Anyway! I shall stop going on about that and get on with the business of, er, paying homage to your #23. For starters, there's her size. Just look at the abs and thigh pose above, for example, the intoxicating thickness of her arms. But there's so much more to Juanita than the fact she's BIG. Her physique is so beautifully balanced, her lines so aesthetically pleasing... Here I go again, talking like I know about this stuff!
I do know what I like, though, and I probably don't need to tell you by now that I like Juanita. I like Juanita A LOT. I like her physique (I may have mentioned that already). I like the way she emanates a raw, animal-like power that gives her incredible sex appeal, yet she also embraces the glamorous side of female muscle modelling. She's so big and strong and at the same time so feminine and classy. A dream combination.
And the good news is she's finally got herself on Instagram, where, among other treats, she has revealed she's getting sponsorship from jewellery designer Dominique Vien, so I expect that will mean she'll feature in even more classy muscular glamour work in the future. But according to Juanita though, Muscle is the new fashion accessory, which means that whatever she's wearing (or not wearing as the case may be) she's never ever less than fully accessorised. You might want to check out those accessories of hers in full flow in a preview of her most recent work with Female Muscle Clips. Enjoy!
SOPHIE ARVEBRINK #18
I can't help wondering what being Sophie Arvebrink is like. Don't worry, I don't mean that I actually want to be her (though I can imagine worse fates), I just wonder how it feels to wake up every morning when your day consists of choosing which hot workout gear to wear, eating, bit of personal training, more eating, maybe a nap, doing your own lifting, taking a few selfies in your hot workout gear (often while you're all pumped up and dripping with sweat), eating, maybe another selfie or two and more eating while you read all the compliments your 167.000 Instagram followers are paying you today - how beautiful you are, how they adore/envy etc. your shoulders/your back/your bum etc. etc. Then it's hot workout gear into the washing basket, a last cheeky topless (but tasteful) selfie... and it's time for bed.
Now obviously I really have no idea what a typical day in the life of Sophie Arvebrink is really like, but that is certainly the impression I get as one of the 167,000. I may have missed out a meal or a change of clothes, a selfie opportunity with Adriana Kuhl, a bit of rooftop suntanning, or, surprise surprise, a cardio session, but it seems to me that's pretty much Sophie's day. Every day.
Do I or the rest of the 167,000 ever get bored of seeing pretty much the same day recorded in pretty much the same way over and over? No! Do I wish a pro female muscle photographer would shoot her just once for a bit of variety? No! Does Sexy Sophie always look as though today is the best day of her life? Yes!
Has anybody got anything negative to say about her? Well, yes, actually, they have! Sophie could stand some lessons in posing, as she isn't as good as she should be at showing of her assets. There's no pleasing some people, is there? I do wonder though if I could stand a "proper" Sophie posing clip without a paramedic on hand. But there are more courageous men out there than me, men who are willing to sacrifice everything. Too bad she's one of those girls who like to post workout videos but virtually no posing/flexing vids, writes one of them. She is meant to pose our heads off with that awesome body. Now I'm not 100% certain what that means exactly, but surely only the brave would be prepared to risk having their heads posed off!
Take your chances on Sophie's Instagram and YouTube channel.
MARIA GARCIA #77
IFBB Figure Pro, Exotic Dancer & Strip Club Owner
Now, I'm not usually one to say "I told you so" [not much! - ed.], but I did. From the FMS Hot and Hard Countdown 2014: Female muscle fandom seems to be on the cusp of falling absolutely and insanely in love with Maria. If I'd asked for votes a month or even a couple of weeks later than I did, then Maria José Garcia Sanchez would have finished a LOT higher than 77. So there you go. Not a difficult call, truth be told, but I told you so... OK, I'll admit it. I LOVE it when I'm right!
Maria only competed a few times last year with a 4th at the Kentucky Pro in November by far her best placing as far as I know. Now, I'm quite sure that Maria trains as hard and takes her contest prep very seriously indeed, but it's not really Maria Garcia the IFBB Pro Figure competitor that gets you all hot and bothered though, is it?
I'm the owner of a big strip club in Malaga where I have several girls working for me, and when I can I work as well, pole dancing and doing striptease shows on stage. Malaga. Warm and sunny. Guaranteed sunny pretty much. Not a bad place for a holiday at all. What do you think? Could Malaga be this year's schmoe-to destination?!
Maria has her own website, although the last updates are a couple of years old now, I reckon, so for more recent stuff, follow her on Instagram and/or Facebook. You might also want to check out Maria pounding her shoulders in a video from Muscular Development España that weighs in at a sumptuous 25 minutes long. I'm still looking for clips of the strip show... will this do for now?
And on that slightly naughty note, we end today's segment of the countdown.
Who's left to make up the top 20, do you reckon?
All will be revealed soon...