OK, this is it. Today, we reveal the ten women FMS readers have voted the Hottest Hard women in the world. Some are fairly predictable, others more of a surprise. So, did your favourite make the Top Ten? There's only one way to find out. Read on...
THE FMS HOT AND HARD 100
KARINA NASCIMENTO #52
IFBB Pro Physique, 2014 Tampa Pro Runner-up, 4th Ms Physique Olympia
Kicking off our top ten with an almighty Ai karamba! is our new Queen of Brazil, Physique goddess Karina Nascimento. Readers may remember Karina from her lightweight bodybuilding days, days when she was a top 3 Ms International finisher, but, unlike a lot of other ex-bodybuilders who have become Physique competitors, she's been just as, if not more successful in her later incarnation. And, in my humble opinion and the opinion of the majority of FMS voters, she's also got even hotter.
And that's after she spent the best part of a decade as a full-time mother - yes, that unbelievable body has given birth to three children! - only returning to competition in 2012 and winning, I believe, the first ever Women's Physique title at the Desert Muscle Classic (Dana Linn was 4th at he same event). This year was her second time at the Olympia, and her highest placing - 4th. A 41-year-old mother of three, a top female Physique pro, and, as one reader put it, a TOTAL muscle babe [his capitals].
We've featured Karina a number of times on FMS passim, most notably emerging from the surf in May (see On the Beach), just beautiful in August (see Muscle Beauty of the Day), and, last but by no means least, looking, as one reader put it, absolutely f***ing glorious as part of our Images of 2014 in December. On these and many other occasions she has had us well and truly swooning all over the place, and as I write - yes, you guessed it - I am getting a right big swoon on all over again.
She might be hot and sweaty or cool and classy, but whatever state she's in, Karina is always a stunning sight. Perhaps I should rein in the hyperbole a little given that there are nine more women to go in our countdown to numero uno today, but looking at Karina as I am - at her body covered in such superbly honed muscle, at her luscious, exotic, mature beauty - I find that I'm in no mood to hold back. No, sir!
Get yer swoon on with Karina on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. There's also her YouTube channel, and if you've got anything left after your visit there, FMS recommends you watch Karina whipping the crowd into a right frenzy with her guest posing routine at the 2014 Naples-Bonita Classic. Maximum Ai karamba!
CINDY LANDOLT #12
Cindy is, as far as we know, the only woman from last year's inaugural Hot and Hard 100 to also feature on a mainstream 'Sexiest Women Alive"-type list, an event reported by FMS back in December (see Hot and Hard: Cindy 750cc). We had the debate about whether Cindy's breakthrough into the mainstream (in her homeland at least) was a cause for female muscle fans to celebrate or not then, so we won't go into it again now. Besides, Cindy received enough votes to break into our own top 10 this year, which suggests FMS readers already know which side of the Cindy debate they're on.
However, we will say that the fact that Cindy has retained and grown in popularity with the female muscle lovin' brethren while widening her mainstream appeal is very much down to Cindy and her own ideas about what she is and isn't prepared to do. She has, for example, turned down offers for her to appear on reality TV shows. That would no doubt have massively increased my viewer base, she says, but the message would have become blurred. I enjoy the media exposure but I always insist that the exposure is "on topic" and I promote my knowledge and methods.
She wouldn't have been able to turn Cindy Training into a global fitness brand (Zurich-Sydney-London) without her own methods working not just for herself, but also for her clients. But on top of that, there's her media (and new media) savvy, and her considerable business acumen as well. Throw in the fact that she is multi-lingual and what you have is a strong and sexy woman whose appeal lies as much in her intelligence and professional success as it does in her obvious physical attributes.
OK, perhaps that is a little far-fetched, but my point is that there is more to Cindy, much more, than the pleasure she gives the eye, and very much more than the bits of her that enter the room a fraction of a second sooner than the rest of her.
So let's leave the last word to the ever-eloquent Ms Landolt. It will always remain my objective to educate and help people in achieving their physical goals, my motivation is to provide the absolute best advice to my trainees and followers, she says. But if that results in me becoming a personality who transcends the fitness world... then that’s great! I certainly wouldn't bet against her continuing transcendence in 2015.
Her website, Cindy Training, will cover pretty much all of your needs, but there's also her Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram to provide you with your daily Cindy medicine. You could say she's got all bases covered! More mainstream Cindy coverage from Swiss TV is available on her YouTube channel, as are a couple of "behnd the scenes" photo shoot clips. Do not exceed the recommended dosage.
TINA CHANDLER #14
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
It's a testament to her enduring popularity that the glorious Tina Chandler, despite not having competed since her fourth appearance at the Ms Olympia in 2013, still managed to secure even more votes this year than she did last.
These days Tina is more likely to be found backstage, the proud "Mama Bear Coach" of, among others, NPC Masters Physique competitor Rhonda Reilly (see below), than on stage. I've seen rumours on the boards that Tina has retired, but I haven't turned up any official announcement or other reliable evidence to confirm that.
40-year-old Tina is, however, most definitely very much loved up and engaged to actor Carl Ducena - that's him in the mirror there taking the pic - and they are currently planning their wedding. Apologies if you find that distressing!
Perhaps a little of Tina in her pomp might help...
Better? You can share Tina's joy on her Instagram, where, apart from all the lovey dovey stuff, there is still the odd treat - Tina working her (still very impressive) shoulders and arms for example. You can also find her doing a bit of acting in her fiancé's productions if you like, and his YouTube channel includes plenty of Tina (and him) having "the best day ever" in a variety of locations, California most recently.
MAVI GIOIA #3
"Bodybuilding's Bella Donna"
We've waxed lyrical about the marvellous, mouth-watering Maria Vincenza "Mavi" Gioia and her magnificent muscular body plenty in the last couple of years. Among other things she was, quite naturally, a big part of Forza e Bellezza, our week of Italian female muscle, a little over two years ago. She's been part of our cue sports and hand bra reviews, a week of muscle beauty and poetry, and we even stopped what we were doing to wish her happy birthday when she turned 37 on August 30th last year.
What more can we add? After all, there are no new interviews with Mavi to report on (either in English or Italian), and it's not like she's competed since her turn at the Arnold Classic Amateur in 2013. And nor does she seem to have any plans to compete again any time soon. I like competing but I much prefer modelling, she says. So, rather than just plough over the same old superlatives again, we've turned to the Mavi sections of the forum boards for our descriptions of this year's #7.
Unsurprisingly, these thesaurus-thumbing Mavi admirers more often than not focus on her beauty, which they describe as "outstanding", "stunning" or "phenomenal". There is much talk of "those lips", and her "hypnotic eyes". Despite that, though, our collective favourite view of Mavi's body appears to be from behind and feature her "heavenly bum". Her legs and glutes show curves that just baffle me, mesmerize me, melt me... says one particularly worked up (and apparently female) commenter.
But just about any view will do. From any angle, whether close-up or with that body of hers in full view, Mavi is liable to get the brethren typing away to share their thoughts. She's "amazing", they say, "every inch of her is gorgeous". She has "all the prettiest curves together in one body", and all in all is just "pure gorgeous awesomeness".
But we'll leave the last word to one of our own, an FMS reader who has a theory about Mavi and her effect that he shared with us some time ago now. The sexiest woman on Earth hands down, he says. No man can look at her and not want her, and I suspect a lot of women want to make out with her too. I can't help wondering if perhaps he used a few well-chosen posts from Mavi's Instagram to test his theory on his significant other. If he did, I'd love to know how it went. Might try it out myself...
SUZY KELLNER #13
She exudes an exotic, animalistic essence that sends shivers down my spine, says one voter. And he was not alone in feeling that shiver because sexy Suzy Kellner got a LOT of votes. I know I've felt that shiver. I'm feeling it now. How about you?
Suzy, you may recall, was hit by a car at the end of 2013, but before very long was back and bombarding her fans with image after image of herself down in her new base of Florida. She's on the beach, flexing in the surf, flexing on the sand with her delicious glutes (glutes that give our old friend C. Moore the biggest shivers he's ever known) beautifully framed by her thong bikini. She's flexing dressed up in some outrageously tight and revealing outfit, she's wearing costumes for Halloween or Christmas, for a masked ball, or just because it's a Wednesday and she feels like it. She's flexing in the gym, she's flexing on a motorbike, and she's flexing her muscle next to (or in, or on) any number of pimped up cars. She's like a female muscle shark, another reader suggests. Her body's forever in motion. Like if she stops flexing her, she'll die!
He might be onto something there. I know whenever I see (those rare) images of Suzy where she's not actually flexing, it always seems to me she's either just been flexing or that she's thinking that the very next thing she should do is have a damn hard flex.
Suzy seems to be never less than utterly enamoured with the beauty, the power and the capabilities of her own muscular body. However sexy others might think she is, it's Suzy who is Suzy's greatest fan. However sexy Suzy might appear to us, Suzy herself feels even sexier. And as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't get sexier than that.
At the time of writing her website was "down for maintenance", but you can still get plenty of shivers from her Facebook and/or Twitter. She is apparently training for "TV projects" at the moment. The mind boggles at what the world will make of her!
ALINA POPA #1
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder, Ms Olympia 2014 Runner-up
Surprised? You're not alone. I can't quite believe I haven't got Alina at number 1, said one reader. Alina was very much the pre-voting favourite. After all, she's won almost every fan poll of the last few years, including last year's Hot and Hard 100. And she'd won by an absolute landslide in 2014, with 85% of all voters including Alina on their list and the vast majority placing her top. But as the votes were tallied up, it quickly became apparent it was going to be very different this year. Not only fewer votes for Alina, but voters were also much much less likely to have her in first place.
I doubt very much the reason for this was Alina's showing at the Olympia. She looked massive, beautiful, as elegant as always, her conditioning was spot on, and her routine was pure class. Commentators before, during and after all noted that she had looked spectacular, perhaps in her best ever shape. Sadly, that wasn't quite good enough to beat Iris (again) but over the last couple of years the opinion of IFBB judges regarding Alina has mattered little to her legion of fans, whether they be female muscle heads like you or I or her female bodybuilding peers. She may not have been - and may now never be - Ms Olympia, but she has most certainly reigned as Queen of Muscle.
It would be rather premature to say that she's lost her crown, but it seems to me that what has changed since this time last year is Alina's focus. Whereas before fans were treated to all kinds of heavenly Alina clips and images, most notably as Annie Riveccio's favourite muse on Muscle Angels, in the last year there has been next to nothing. She made, for example, only 8 Instagram posts in the whole of 2014 (though one of them, a clip of a very sweaty Alina 9 weeks before the Olympia, is definitely worth a watch!) Her Facebook page, though more regularly updated, has had more of Alina the coach and less of Alina the muscle goddess this year as well.
None of this should be taken as criticism. Far from it. Nor is it as though the brethren have turned against her. The post-Olympia boards we just as full as ever with "she should have won". It's just my little theory in case you're wondering why Alina's only in 5th, or indeed why you didn't have her either higher on your list or on your list at all.
Most recently, Alina has enrolled on and started taking classes at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts and announced she won't be competing in 2015, which is, I think you'll agree, disappointing, but who would begrudge her a little time off after so many years of hard hard work and giving so much pleasure to us all? I know there's more than enough Alina in the FMS archive to keep me happy for many years to come! She'll be back (I hope). And when she does come back I'm sure she'll be favourite to win whatever contest she enters, and she'll be just as popular with the fans as ever.
Anyway, before you see who our voters think were even hotter and harder than Alina in 2014, do you fancy some guest posing three weeks after the Olympia? Thought so.
DANI REARDON #32
The "Lil Monstar"
On his decision to leave two of his "all-time favourites" in second and third on his list this year, one voter explained that 2014 was, above all, the year that I discovered the incredible Dani Reardon. What a woman! She is PERFECT! Well, there are some newspaper reports from around the middle of September last year (see FMS passim) that seem to suggest she might not quite be 100% perfect. I'm in love with Dani, another fan confessed. This is the kind of woman I would do anything for, even if she were a total bitch. Oh, those reports don't make a bit of difference then...
Of course, those reports never made a blind bit of difference, not to her fans, and certainly not to FMS (as readers of our take on them will know). Dani was one of our Women of the Year in 2014, and she dominated our posting (at least in the first half of the year) like no other. Unlike our voter, we had discovered Dani in 2013 (not crowing, just saying) but in terms of impact on the female muscle lovin' community, no single woman came close to her last year. You could say this was the Year of Lil Monstar.
Only 24 now, Dani started weight training at 15. By the time she'd finished high school she had two bodybuilding titles to her name, and by the age of 20 she was winning Figure titles at local shows. The one down side to Figure was that I kept training and eating, and therefore I kept growing, she says. I had to be careful of how I posed on stage, because some poses resembled that of a bodybuilder not a figure girl! Figure just wasn't what I was looking for, I had to hide what I worked so hard for.
Right on cue, along came the Physique division. After I saw the physique division, she says, I knew what was missing from my stage presentation... a front double bicep! The first time the judges announced, "OK ladies, front double bicep" I remember throwing my hands up for the pose and my eyes got teary with joy. I knew right then that this division was for me. There was emotion involved because I loved to train and I loved to compete, but I looovvveeeddddd to pose! And she's been posing ever since, not just on stage, but everywhere, and especially at the gym. I practice even during my workouts, in between sets, I even choose exercises that closely resemble poses. I also practice posing during cardio and normally after.
Little wonder that she's in such demand for guest posing, and that even if she's not winning Physique titles (yet), she is winning Best Poser awards. Little wonder she always looks like she's having the time of her life when she's hitting those poses - getting "the chills" as she put it after her appearance in Orlando last year.
A gorgeous young woman with an insatiable urge to show off her magnificent muscles night and day... It's little wonder we all think this Lil Monstar's so perfect!
Dani, as mentioned above, has been all over FMS in the last year. Her Instagram is not so much recommended as essential. Watch Dani's Orlando routine. Watch her guest posing as part of your exploration of her YouTube channel. And you might also want to read a recent interview with her just so you know that on top of everything else she is just as intelligent, informed, and eloquent as she is beautiful. *!SWOON!*
ELENA OANA HREAPCA #7
Queen of Abs, 2014 WBPF European Champion
As fields of one go, the field of one in the Women's Bodybuilding category at the 2014 WBPF International Austrian Championships was pretty spectacular, consisting as it did of Elena Oana Hreapca. Fair play to this (little known) federation, the prejudging went ahead as normal - to much applause - and Elena performed her routine - to even more applause. Then it was presentation time. With the crowd whooping and hollering as well as applauding, the presentation party - of one dude - took to the stage and gave Elena her trophy, her medal and her gift bag. Then he takes his place next to Oana for photos. She flexes one of her magnificent biceps and he can't take his eyes of it. Whatever he says (or does), it makes her giggle. And then he puts an arm behind her and starts tapping the muscle with his fingers. His eyes are popping out of his head. He keeps tap tap tapping away, and Oana just keeps on laughing...
One wonders, whatever happened right after the clip cuts (or whatever dry cleaning bill he may have faced afterwards), how much of his own personal fortune it cost to be the guy to get up there and give the gift bag to the muscle goddess. I'm sure many Oana devotees would dig pretty deep in their pockets to be that guy. In fact, I'd bet quite a large sum of money that there are more than a few of you who would give up a non-essential body part for the opportunity to have been that guy (and I imagine there's probably one or two of you who'd give up a vital organ and die happy).
She may not be the most successful female bodybuilder in the world - let's face it, the WBPF is hardly high profile. She's not even a professional female bodybuilder... yet. But all the same, here she is, punching way above her contest history weight again - your #3 in the Hot and Hard 100. And it's absolutely no surprise at all.
She's just a living, breathing dream, says one voter. Every inch of her is massive, sumptuous muscle. Her (rightly) legendary abs are just the starting point. Her whole upper body ripples with beautifully thick and hard muscle. And is it only me or do you also feel that whenever you think she can't get any more breathtaking, the next time you see her she looks even better and takes even more of your breath away? And then there's her searing beauty. I feel good in my skin, says Oana, powerful, sexy and confident... Add that confidence to that beauty and that body, and what you have is a muscle goddess who will give you a webcam show that you'll never forget.
But, as so often seems to be the case with the women we adore, there is much much more to Oana. Since I was a kid I've been into sports and tried my best in all I've done. Now it's time to get others to the phenomenon and try to change some other lives and direct them to a better lifestyle, she says. Now Oana has realised her dream of having her own gym, not a swanky high-end place in the capital or a more lucrative European location, but one right slap bang in the middle of the her community. The Oana Gold Gym (Stejar, Tatarasi, Romania) was officially opened by its proud founder in February 2014, and it appears to be having the effect Oana envisaged.
So there you have it. On top of everything - the divine 8-pack, the eye-popping most muscular poses, those eyes, those lips, that smile and all those unforgettable webcam swoons - it turns out that Oana wanted nothing more than to give back to the place she comes from like some kind of local female muscle saint. All that beauty, all that muscle, all that sensuality... and it turns out she's a goddess who is pure of heart as well.
I've never swooned harder.
ALEESHA YOUNG #34
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder, NPC USA 2014 Overall Champion
She may only be 30, but female muscle watchers from both within and without the industry have had Aleesha Young on their radar for many many years. She's been one of the "Big Girls" everybody's been watching in women's bodybuilding the last few years and wondering when she would bring that "total package" to the stage, according to the Musclegirl Talk blog. In the words of FBB sage Steve Wennerstrom, she had always had a gifted genetic structure and muscle shapes that even a casual observer could see was carrying scary potential. Well, in July 2014 at the NPC USAs that "total package" was revealed and that "scary potential" was fulfilled.
The show was over as a contest the moment Aleesha walked onto the stage. It's not often, even in these times of smaller (as in number) line-ups for female bodybuilding that that happens, but Aleesha was head and shoulders (and arms and back and legs...) above the other competitors. The Heavyweight and Overall titles and the pro card that went with them were hers as soon as the flexing began. She was (Wennerstrom again) "mind-blowing". She didn't so much win as dominate. She owned the show.
Aleesha was born to build muscle. The story goes that she was 5 when she was first teased by the local boys about the size of her biceps. I always wanted to be a petite girl and did not enjoy being muscular, she says. In fact I despised it to the point that I became vegetarian and started running many miles a day just to lose muscle. It didn't work, so it was with the encouragement of her bodybuilder father that she first began to train at the age of 15. Within a year she was squatting over 400lbs (180kg).
There are those within the female muscle lovin' brethren who would dismiss Aleesha. They say that she is a "cartoon-version" female bodybuilder, that her enhancements look "ridiculous", that her overall look is "a joke". For others, Aleesha is simply one of the sexiest women in the world. She is "awesome", "a phenom", "the future".
If the results of our own Hot and Hard 100 poll are anything to go by, it is the latter who are very much in the majority. She may not be every female muscle fan's idea of a dream girl, but there are plenty of fans who would argue that those enhancements complement her voluptuous muscularity to perfection. Aleesha is nothing short of amazing... the hottest, the strongest, the goddess of female bodybuilding, say the forum posters. [She is} sexier than anyone that's ever won Ms Olympia... a perfect combination of size, strength and sexuality. It seems that to her many fans, Aleesha is the living, breathing, flexing embodiment of their ultimate female muscle fantasy.
Where does FMS stand in this debate? Well, personally I am firmly in the latter camp - Aleesha was one of my all-time 20 Fantasy Contest picks back in 2012, and her decision to go blond since then (not always a winner in my book) hasn't changed my mind about her in the slightest! I'm not always a fan of enhancements but when they're right, they're right, and, as with another of my personal all-time faves, Colette Nelson, they're right when they complement (rather than detract from) lots and lots of juicy, curvy, sexy muscle. And Aleesha is, for my money anyway, the female bodybuilder with the sexiest, curviest, juiciest-looking muscularity around.
Anyone else recall that back in November last year the genius that is Area Orion brought us Bodybuilding Barbie? [She] is your dream girl come to life, the copy tells us. And funnily enough, one of the very first comments I read about Bodybuilding Barbie on the forum boards was this: She looks like Aleesha Young. Nuff said!
So, 99 women down, and one to go. She may not be 24 for a couple of months yet, but she's your, in fact, our choice as the hottest hard woman in the world. From Oakdale, California, the Winner of FMS' Hot and Hard 100 2015: Shannon Courtney!
SHANNON COURTNEY #2
The First Lady
I've written plenty over the last few weeks about the other 99 [er, actually, it's taken you months! - ed.} hottest hard women in the world. At times the words have flowed nicely, at others they haven't come so easy (not complaining, just saying), but I've always found something (however incoherent and drivellish) to say. But as I prepare to write about Shannon, and I'm gazing at her, at her pictures, and I'm waiting and waiting for inspiration to strike, I simply find there are no words that can truly do this incredible woman justice. I look at Shannon and I am, finally, lost for words...
I had already decided one thing, though, and that was, whatever I was going to write, that it would be respectful. Recently Shannon got rather upset about the fact that some of her training clips had been uploaded to porn hosting websites, so upset in fact that she'd taken to Instagram to let the "schmucks" responsible know that she was a mother and she did not care to find those clips, "clips that are used to educate people", in such places. It's very disrespectful, she says directly into the camera. Now I wouldn't for a moment condone putting training clips of any female bodybuilder on porn sites (not least because, let's face it, it's pretty poor as porn goes), and nor do I think of FMS as even remotely resembling porn, but there has been a misunderstanding in the past. The last thing I would want to do is offend the woman we're here to celebrate, so the decision was made: nothing but maximum respect at all times in the writing.
If you're stuck, my old creative writing tutor used to tell me, go do some research. Great advice. Only problem here is that in the past couple years I've done my research on Shannon. Of course, I wouldn't say that I know everything there is to know about her - far from it - but short of buying a plane ticket to California, there's not much more I can know about Shannon that I haven't already shared on FMS passim. So, no more research then. But that still leaves me lost for words. Perhaps a little factual overview of what Shannon's been up to in 2014 might help me get going...
She did, at the start of 2014 at least, plan to compete, a prospect that had me (and I'm betting not only me) going nuts with anticipation. How many weeks to go till we see Shannon wearing the tan, oil and bikini on stage at the new Omaha Pro? we asked last April. TOO many, we decided. In the end, of course, Shannon didn't do that show, and nor did she do any shows in 2014. But she did, most definitely, grow.
Every day (or at least it seems like every day) she posts her post-workout self on Instagram. Chest, done! Back, done! Cardio, done! Legs, done! Shoulders, done! Arms, done! she tells us. I don't know about you, but I'm sure my eyes get wider and wider the bigger and better she gets. Each new pic is a serious event for us admirers and fans, to be posted with devotion onto the forums. You can almost hear the brethren purring as they heap each one with comment after comment (not everyone, it seems, is as lost for words at the sight of her as I am) in praise of their goddess.....
They say she is "beyond awesome", the woman who "has no match in muscle strength or beauty". She is "a Greek goddess crossed with a road map" (a reference to her "lovely, sexy veins"), "a package of incredible muscle and phenomenal strength". She has "an utterly beautiful face and such a massive, sexy, powerful, and muscular physique", or "incredible muscles everywhere" while being "so damn pretty". She is "PERFECTION!".
One fan is slain by what he calls her "accidental poses" - for example, he explains, that great left arm pose she does just by holding up the cell phone! Others "can't breathe" at the sight of her "beast thighs", her "epic glutes", the "unbelievable shape of her quads and hammies". The peaks of her biceps, her protruding triceps, her chest of purest muscle, and even her "huge neck" all get their fifteen minutes of adoration. And then there are the "EYES EYES EYES" (it's easy to get confused about how many she has when you can't breathe), "THOSE GORGEOUS GORGEOUS EYES". Keep pumping up, Shannon, one message reads, we want to know how massive and veiny you can get.
And, finally, she is dubbed by one particularly inspired devotee as The First Lady of Muscledom, which I used as her tagline above - removing the "of muscledom" bit because, let's face it, it's the only "-dom" that matters here. I hope it catches on, if only because it reflects the decision of so many of you readers to (like myself) put Shannon's name first on your list. But I think it also accurately captures her goddess-like status among female muscle heads in general as well. She's The First Lady, Goddess #1, the FMS Hottest Hard Woman in the World 2015: Shannon Courtney.
A huge thank you to everyone who voted. What a list you have made!
I need a lie down.
FMS will return to some normality (well, as normal as we can be) soon, but before that we'll have a few thoughts and a whole lot of stats about the Hot and Hard 100.
Thank you again.