With posts devoted to the freaky Laura Carolan and the size of Robin Hillis in the last week or so, both of them inspired by these ladies' appearances at the Toronto Pro, one way or another Canada has been on our minds a fair bit recently.
The USA excepted, no other country has provided female muscle lovers with nearly as much joy as Canada has over the years - and we will see just how much on Thursday - so we reckoned a week spent in the company of some the country's finest contemporary female muscle would be a week that was well spent.
In the Provincial Championships we were impressed with several physique athletes... Amanda Smith looked to almost have a pro level physique already which might have been a bit too much at the provincial level.
Gene X. Hwang, Toronto Pro Supershow contest report
As FMS impatiently scrolled through Gene X's extensive gallery of these amateur Physique ladies at the Ontario Provincials in search of images of the IFBB pro female bodybuilders, we were impressed with Amanda as well. Very impressed.
Amanda didn't win the Overall title but neither did her physique - as Gene X had feared in his report - prove "too much" for the provincial judges. In fact, she won her class, the tallest of the three Physique categories, which I believe means that she has qualified for the Canadian Nationals and a shot at a pro card later in the year.
27 years old and an Amazonian 5'9", Amanda had originally joined a gym in order to get in shape for her first marathon. One thing led to another, she says, and I found myself in the weight room and was immediately hooked.
Since then, it's been a case of constant growth, and, judging by this recent Instagram post, in the last couple of years, Amanda's growth has been spectacular. On the left, as she was in June 2014, and on the right, in Toronto exactly two years later.
As I reflect on these past two years, I surprise myself with the progress I've made, she says. It wasn't a perfect two years of training. I knew I wanted to improve my physique but I also knew I needed to change my mindset at the same time. Last year a new coach - the same coach as Laura Carolan - provided the impetus she had been looking for. Knowing the progress I've made with his guidance in only 13 months, I can't imagine what's to come as this journey continues.
I think Amanda looked absolutely glorious on the stage in Toronto, big and freaky and gorgeous and feminine all at the same time. Gene X was impressed enough to immediately do a photoshoot with her after the show, and all of a sudden she seems to have caught the attention of the female muscle lovin' world in general. I for one have been spending more time than is probably good for me immersing myself in Amanda's even freakier pre-contest posts on her Instagram. I'm smitten. You will be too.
Yet another exciting muscle goddess emerging from Canada to kick off - face-off perhaps we should say, she was once an ice-hockey goalie - our week. Amanda is currently just over 8 weeks out from her Canadian Nationals debut. Exciting times.