Here they are, your top 20...
THE FMS HOT AND HARD 100
MINNA PAJULAHTI #93
IFBB Physique Pro, Powerlifter
Minna has always been attracted to muscle, always wanted to "be big". I remember when I was a little girl at school, I drew a picture of a muscular lady who had a Mercedes-Benz, she recalls. Then I saw our Fitness champion Tarja Heikkilä walking down a street and told my mother "That's how I wanna look!"
These days Minna looks much much bigger than her Fitness champion idol ever did, and must be quite a sight herself when she's walking down the street. Those muscles sure do look great on her, and never more so than as she prepared for and made her WPD Pro debut at the Arnolds in March this year.
But those muscles are not just for show, as she proved when even more recently setting the Raw Bench Press world record and getting herself into the top 20 all-time for combined lifts. How motivating is this! she wrote as she published the list on her Instagram - a list headed by a familiar name, Kristy Hawkins, and containing many other familiar ones too. My name is going to be there in 20th place! Couldn't be more motivated to get into top 10! And the cutest thing about Minna is how after demonstrating all her raw power she gets up off the bench and acknowledges the applause like a gymnast would (or as she did back when she was a gymnast/cheerleader) - so ladylike, even girly!
Check out more of her powerlifting exploits on her YouTube channel which also has the other side - the Physique training side of Minna - as well. But most of all do not miss fifty minutes of interview and gym from a Finnish fitness channel (there are excellent subtitles). She's so engaging (not to mention BIG) the time absolutely flies by.
MARGIE MARTIN #48
2015 Ms Rising Rising Phoenix World Champion, 2015 Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Champion
The #1 female bodybuilder in the world in 2015 only makes #19 on our list. A lot better than her previous appearance at #48, and a hell of a lot better than Iris Kyle - the woman who was the #1 in the sport the first two years of the Hot and Hard 100 - ever did. Margie may not be everybody's favourite, but she was a hell of a lot more popular as a winner than Iris ever was, and this blog has been far from the only place where you could find a female muscle head singing her praises this year.
Margie is sitting on top of the sport now and rightly so, reads one post-Rising Phoenix forum post. Her symmetry, stage presence, and tight conditioning have put her there and allowed her to jump over fan favourites like Aleesha Young and Mojo [Monique Jones]. [The] Perfect mix of beauty and brawn. Another reported they had been a fan of hers since first seeing her at the 2013 USAs. Congrats to her. She was big, ripped, gorgeous and sassy. Very deserving of her win.
I know it's the "gorgeous and sassy" bit that I like. And a lot of fans feel the same way. After so many years of Iris - great bodybuilder, zero sass - it's nice to have a World Champion who is, as this blog and countless forum posters have pointed out, "sexy as hell".
There suddenly seems to be a few retired FBBs rediscovering their love for the sport (now, the cynic in me says, there's a bucket of cash and a bling vehicle to drive it home in up for grabs). In addition, Alina will be back from injury. Helle was a very close second last year and will be back too. Margie is going to need every bit of her brawn, symmetry, beauty and sass to hold onto her title. But whatever happens this season, 2015 was her year. Feel the "Quadgasm" to come with FMC's Margie 2015 preview. Review her year on FMS, starting with her getting "no love" from the judges in Toronto and Chicago, through her triumph in Tampa, and ending with her as "Queen Muscle".
CINDY LANDOLT #9
Personal Trainer, Gym Owner, Fitness Model
We noted previously on FMS how this year's #18 had begun to infiltrate the mainstream media (the German language mainstream media anyway), even - since she added some enhancements to the front of her physique - appearing in the Hot 100 of the very mainstream "gentlemen's magazine" Maxim Deutschland Schweiz Österreich.
And she's been getting some more attention recently. Or at least certain bits of her have. Fitness trainer Cindy Landolt can show exactly how cold it is out there today, according to the Swiss media source Blick. It seems the newspapers are using me as a special type of "Weather Girl", Cindy tweeted. And so around the virtual world travelled Cindy's nipples (once again, it must be said, female muscle heads had had their fun with the pic long before the rest of them picked up on it) and the virtual world wondered what kind of bench press grip she used to "make her nipples go that far outside of her tits". Mixed blessing this female muscle moving back into the mainstream you know. Careful what you wish for!
Still, there must be a lot more teenage boys (and girls) around the world with Cindy on their wall (desktop, tablet, in "Special Favourites" folder, whatever) now than there were twelve months ago. And they could have much worse dream girls/role models.
Not least because although it's her body that gets all the attention, the most impressive thing about Cindy is probably her bank balance. As the owner of "the most exclusive fitness club in Switzerland" she now has a physical as well as virtual training business, and it's not aimed at the low end of the market. Brand Cindy's expansion shows no signs of slowing down.
HEIDI VUORELA #27
This time last year as we counted down our Hot and Hard 100 congratulations were in order for not the only but certainly the newest mother on the 2015 list, Heidi Vuorela.
Although she had phased squats and deadlifts out of her training six months before she was due, she had continued to lift right up until a week before the big day.
And it wasn't long after the birth that she was right back at it again. Squats, deadlifts and all. And a little under a year after giving birth, she was competing in the Physique class at a show called "The Battle of Scandinavia". And winning it! It's a story to set off dreams in every expectant female muscle head father. OK, not many wives will be starting their journey after giving birth from the shape Heidi was in beforehand - not many at all! But think about it, less than a year, my friends. Less than a year...
Will she be back on stage again soon? The answer is no, sorry, she says. Time for her to mother up! We just bought a house and are doing painting and floor replacement there before we can move in. Plus Hugo's in kindergarten now and I'll start working full-time again... Reality bites!
SUZY KELLNER #6
A mere ten seconds or so, Suzy's preview for "Naked on the Beach", is probably the most, er, memorable ten seconds or so of the year for me. Or at least it was until I saw more of it on her website. She oils, she flexes, she does that thing with her mouth. She slaps her hard bum, complete with THWACK! sound effect. Tan lines, push-ups, and all - though naked - well within IG guidelines on nudity etc.
Then again, Suzy has always been able to be (almost) as exciting doing a lot less and wearing a lot more. My favourite bit of this very recent preview, for example, is the walk. Or rather, the strut.
I want to be reincarnated as beach sand, exclaimed one forum poster, lost, I imagine in wonder at what it must be like to be stuck on to Suzy's glistening skin during one of her visits to the beach. She actually goes onto that forum (the whose first rule is...) to interact with the likes of our poster. She dishes out "big Suzy hugs", she hopes to see us all in her "private club" (ie. website).
She does make longer previews. Check this one out and I'll see you in her "private club" real soon.
DANIELLE REARDON #4
2015 IFBB Greater Gulf States Pro Physique Champion
She's kept her looks, her muscle mass has grown - just saying, not complaining - so I am somewhat surprised to find "Dream Girl" Dani Reardon outside the top 10 this year.
She certainly didn't lack my vote. After her Olympia appearance I recounted how she had become something of a "Dream Girl" while I was compiling the most recent FMS tribute to her. She didn't lack the vote of one of our favourite readers either, who confessed to having become "quite obsessed" with Dani. Accompanying his Hot and Hard 100 list, her explained his #1 choice: She is just unreal! A real angel, the perfect combination of muscles, cuteness and sexiness! And she looks like a lot of fun too!
For others on the forums, she is "the sexiest woman in the sport", "the best thing ever to happen to Women's Physique", and - again and again - "perfect". She was, as we noted on FMS at the time, mobbed at the Olympia, so much so that she ended up quite overcome at the reaction she was getting from fans - who were male and female, young and old, fit and fat and everything in between. Everybody, you could say, loves Dani.
And already in 2016 she has claimed 2nd place at the Physique International. I though she'd looked better at the Olympia, more defined, harder, but what do I know? Pictures from the Arnold Expo showed Dani looking bigger than ever. Her arms, especially, bulging with sexy muscle power. [I'm] Lost for words... claimed one fan, before proving they were, after all, not. So gorgeous & built to the hilt! What a dream girl...
VIRGINIA SANCHEZ #35
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
Shock and Awe! Again and again this year our #14 has posted images of herself (often, though not exclusively of her back) that have taken my breath away, girded my loins, and - either inwardly or audibly (depending on how public the location where I was checking her Instagram feed) - made me groan.
Over the last twelve months I've said that a) in those bedroom/hotel room selfies VSM always seems to look bigger and better than she does on stage, and b) I'd love to see Virginia on that stage with the shaved head. Regarding the first, I still think that's true. Show me your favourite Virginia photo and I'd bet many many Euros that it won't be a picture of her at a contest and on stage. However, I also think that in 2015 she looked better than ever when she competed, particularly when finishing 3rd in Chicago.
I do still wish she'd go out there with her shaved head though. Her features - those lips and eyes - are big and strong enough to carry it off. Other women have flourished in recent times with the same look (just one example here). I don't want to be boring and go on and on about it, but I really think it would help Virginia carry that extra bit of Shock and Awe! from the hotel room to the stage.
I've never seen a woman with that kind of upper body, writes the man who makes the vids for Fit Vids. On another level incredible... back, bis and pecs were out of this world! It's just the legs, apparently, that let her down when she stands next to the very best. That and the syrup.
MARTHE SUNDBY #84
IFBB Physique Pro
Just when you thought sexy Marthe Sundby couldn't get any sexier, her IFBB pro card arrives in the mail and she starts contest prep and suddenly you can see all the detail of EVERY single muscle on her bounteously freaky Norwegian body. Mercy! (FMS, 22/08/15)
One way or another, Marthe had us begging for mercy rather often on FMS this year, whether it was during the prep for her first pro show or during the week we spent with her in the USA around it. And before and after those appearances she also got our attention as well. Some readers were clearly feeling it for Marthe as well. OMFG! That's just insane condition, wrote one. So freakin' hot and sexy!!! Must be hard as a rock...
Elsewhere in the female muscle lovin' world her body has been called "a masterpiece", her beauty "stunning". Commentators at the Atlantic City Pro this year, mainstream muscle types who hadn't seen Marthe before she stepped on stage, were certainly impressed by "Huge quads! Great arms! Freaky hamstrings and glutes!!!" Perhaps too much muscle, wondered Palumbo and Aceto on the RxMuscle play-by-play, it will be interesting to see what the judges do with her. What they did was mark her down, no surprise. But Marthe enjoyed, LOVED every minute of her American contest journey.
Those blue eyes of hers shine with a fiery passion for muscle, and her body is the proof of that passion. And the great news for Marthe fans is that passion just seems to grow and grow. That's one amazing looking woman! one forum poster commented recently, and they are not wrong.
NATALIA TRUKHINA NEW ENTRY
She's on HBC right now and she is literally enormous.
She is, according to one fan with a nice turn of phrase, "leaving humanity behind". There are countless pictures of her with other people in. Men, women, bodybuilders or not. In every single one of them she looks like she's a different species. The other humans are (possibly) inferior, definitely less physically powerful and evidently (much) smaller in stature.
She is 'the pride of Russia", she "deflates male egos". And she has been, on FMS in the last twelve months the "Super Freak" and the "Behemoth". She's your highest new entry on this year's list, and, I think I can say without fear of contradiction, the BIGGEST woman on the list as well. It is so clear, says one fan. That she wants to be the biggest FBB ever!
Back in June when we first met Natalia on FMS, I noted her stats. What a waste of time that was! She'd probably grown in the time it took for me to type those numbers out, she may have doubled in size by the time I've finished this paragraph. There is no limit to her progress it seems, says one fan.
I'm not doing the cam thing these days, but I must confess to having seen a little footage of her in action and she is quite a sight. I don't always exactly like what I see when I see Natalia, but just like John Ritter in "that scene" in Skin Deep, I have to tell you I still always get absolutely scared stiff.
KASHMA MAHARAJ #18
Breaking news! Well, it 's a few days old, but anyway... Kashma is a champion again! Last weekend at the NPC Europa Orlando she competed for the first time since 2013. And as a BODYBUILDER! And you bet she won. Of course she did, just look at her! And check out much much more contest ready, contest owning Kashma on her Instagram.
What's so impressive about Kashma's three-year run in the top 20 on your Hot and Hard 100 list, and testament to her enduring appeal with the fans, is that it hasn't been dependent on her getting into that super shredded contest shape she had when she first burst onto the scene winning her national (Trinidadian) championship back in 2011.
There have been times when rumours of her impending downsize to Physique have been rife. There have been rumours that her husband (now ex - hurrah!) wanted her to lose muscle, and rumours she would never be able to compete in the US - for a number of (rumoured) reasons.
But it turns out she's still the same thick, "sexylicious" woman she always was. Still a Bodybuilder. And whatever her reasons for not competing, those days are over. It can only be a matter of time before we see that world class body of hers in the pros. It all suggests she'll be right back in the top 20 again this time next year. Despite the rumours she'll still be thick, beautiful, and utterly sexylicious.
So, the top 10...
Who? Well, I'll reveal all...
See you then dear readers!