Friday, 30 December 2016
To compensate for having inexcusably missed this (otherwise annual) selection in 2015, FMS is delighted to welcome you to an especially bumper crop of the best of 2016 with an angle up to Antoinette Soto that we are sure you will enjoy.
Who hasn't had that dream? Or this one?
DOMESTIC BLISS I
One of the female muscle phenoms of 2016, Russian lower-body jaw-dropper Bakhar Nabieva rarely seems to wear more than is absolutely necessary at home. This is one of those rare occasions, but I'm not going to hold that against her.
Back in May, the IFBB Pro Female Bodybuilding season got underway in Puerto Rico, and on her hotel balcony after she'd finished runner-up to Kim Buck, I think Isabelle Turell provided us with some of the most memorable images of the year.
Shape, size, curves, veins, hell let's throw in the hair why don't we? What more could you possibly want from your muscle goddess? "Only suggestion - bigger calves!" says one eejit on GWM. There really is no pleasing some f***ing people. What a tool!
You wanted me freaky, said Ashley Losee (formerly Sneathen) to her trainer/husband when she posted this post-workout, pre-contest pec classic.
Guess that's why he married her.
[Side note: this is what Figure competitors look like these days! Rejoice!!!]
Year on year we find ourselves choosing fewer and fewer of the professionally shot "glamour" style pics. Next year they might be absent altogether because this year we're down to just two - Natalya Kovalyova - who we discovered in 2016 is actually no angel - and Cindy Landolt - who's not even pretending.
CONTEST IMAGES OF THE YEAR
The professional photographer still very much rules at the contests though.
And while James Cook, Gene X. Hwang, Dan Ray, Jeff Binns et al have given and continue to give us many many memorable shots, by far my favourite contest photos over the last few years have been shot by Eastlabs' in-house lensman Igor Kopcek.
The devil is in the detail.
Although sometimes the women themselves look so damn good, pose with such sensuality and/or commitment, or wear a posing suit that is visibly unable to contain their excitement that I wonder whether great contest photography is actually just a case of being able to keep a steady pulse and a steady hand!
And finally in this category, from a photographer new to me - Fivos Averkiou - Sarah Williams at the WABBA International Universe doing a fair impression of some kind of 21st century female muscle Britannia here, exploding with power, and with a jawline the likes of which we haven't seen since the days of Michelle Neil.
PERFECT PARTS I (and our Images of 2016 competition!)
Jamie Pinder's left gloot looks good enough to .......
Answers on a postcard to the usual address please.
Other rear views sent in by our old friend C. Moore for inclusion today included Modesta Halby's bathroom rear double biceps, Ramona Arseni ("even her name makes me splooge!" C. Moore tells us), Rach White (calves of the year by a mile, or about ten inches anyway), and Therese Vilrik Bruun's double clench.
It's not so much that she's got a great pair, says C. Moore of Therese's bum, and it's a shabby photo really, but the urge, and the fact she acts on the urge to just drop her shorts and roll up her underwear, and show it all off. And in a public place too! There is nothing to beat public displays of muscle glootage. It's what I live for!
And, we might add, often get arrested because of.
From our Crossfit correspondent comes this 2016 gem...
Jeanne Rossarie at a Crossfit event in her native France got plenty of attention on the fan forums earlier in the year, impressing with her Speedo-style panty things, her tiny, tiny orange top and the perkiness it fails to hide. Must have been cold there. Like a more ripped Camille Leblanc Bazinet, says Aiden. Sorry? Camille who?
DOMESTIC BLISS II
Imagine how many people would just be passing and decide to drop in if your girlfriend looked like Lauren Martin Stow and tended to check her messages in the middle of the living room in her underwear no matter what the company. Reckon you'd get take away deliveries you never ordered and wouldn't have to pay for too.
Apologies for not noting whose perfect rear this is at the time I saved it. It comes from a little clip as well. Lost that. If you find it, please tell me where it's gone!
PERFECT PARTS II
New this year to the files of The Pectarium, Layla Allen's chest almost crashed the system. This beautiful view is just one of hundreds this "Trained Figure" champion and fitness entrepreneur posted to her Facebook over the last twelve months. So many in fact that even the late Professor's tip top software found her hard to handle!
And just - just - outveining Trisha Smick for the freakiest pecs of 2016, Stephanie Flesher (Flesher - really, you couldn't make it up) was a full 6 weeks out from the NPC USAs when she got such a pump on she damn near turned herself inside out.
And lastly, a very different view.
Theresa. Not, as usual, pumped in the gym or posing on stage. Just gorgeous.
Which brings us nicely to...
Can there really still be guys (and girls) out there who would insist on the impossibility a woman who is both very muscular and very beautiful?
Of course there are.
If this year in general has taught us anything, it's that the vox populi have a blatant disregard for inconvenient stuff such as factual information, or evidence. Still, if evidence was useful there was plenty of it around in 2016 - Jessica Sestrem, Kim Ji-hyun and the Queen herself just three of hundreds we could have chosen.
Not all muscular women go out of their way to glam up though.
Many, like Melissa Lesage (below), go out of their way to show us just how freaky their bodies can be, revelling in their "otherness" with their own form of blatant disregard, for the norms society has about how a woman should look.
Melissa is well aware that she's going to get admirers (like ol' Swell here) exactly because she's so different and freaky. If you're a girl who deadlifts and eats carbs you about to get IG stalked so hard, she noted, but I ain't even mad about it! It's been our pleasure to IG stalk the self-styled "Miss Beast", and to stalk her HARD too.
Like Melissa, and also from pro Women's Physique division, rising star Michaela Aycock spent the year offering a very freaky ride to her 20,000 followers.
We titled this "What the Photographer Saw" when we chose it as one of our "perfect" pictures back in August. This photographer/workout buddy of hers must see Michaela pretty much every day, we presumed at the time, you might expect the shock and awe of Michaela, all muscle and veins, not to be quite so great for her. However...
And also featured in our Picture Perfect week in August was this early morning selfie by Maz Burn. Trust me, the longer you look at this picture, the better it gets. So long have I gazed upon Maz's delicious muscles that I actually achieved some kind of trance-like, heightened state where I could touch and taste as well as see.
PERFECT PARTS III
The bodacious backs (and everything else on view) of (left) Branka Njecovec, and one of Swell's favourite swoons, Sierra Mangus. Permission to come up behind them, grab their lats and squeeze was denied. By both. Well, by their lawyers.
"She's on HBC now and she is literally enormous!"
A Tumblr poster spreads the word.
NOT ALL SELFIES ARE CREATED EQUAL
There's such a glut of them now that the initial excitement of having so many images of our fave muscle goddesses available is beginning to wane and fans have even begun to complain about how samey most of them are, just as FMS once complained the femuscle paysites were producing too many virtually identical images.
But they're not all just like yesterday's selfie in different gymwear. Tanya Hyde (left) puts her photography skills to good use, and the (quite literally it seems) sizzling Mica Zumpano Schneider's capture of herself letting it all hang out in the sunshine are my picks as joint runners-up for Female Muscle Selfie of the Year.
And here's the winner... Rachel Reid. And her toothbrush!
I just can't help lovin' the idea that gorgeous Rachel can't even wait the few minutes until she finishes brushing before snapping the vascular arm she's so proud of!
DOMESTIC BLISS III
Decisions, decisions. And we're back in the kitchen as Tina Nguyen tries to remember which supplement to take next, and Cerra Aredia wonders whether to break the habit of a lifetime and put some damn clothes on and fire up that cooker or whether to order out and give the delivery boy one of her "eyeful of Cerra" tips.
Madelen Nilsson squeezes out that extra last rep. I'm so happy she did!
PERFECT PARTS IV
Yulia Kalinova (left) starts off our pick of the muscular midriffs - and anyone who thinks Yulia has too much ink on those perfect abdominals (and they really are just perfect, aren't they?) should probably skip to the end of this section now.
Opposite Yulia, we couldn't resist including Liis Org and her "OMG my clothes fell apart and look what I've turned into!" pose. And yes, it's "Org". She's from Helsinki, you see. And this is how ripped Bodyfitness competitors get these days. Rejoice!!!
My other Greek Physique crush Tereza Pantela pulls up the top to reveal abs so hard I really should be allowed to give them a thorough testing, with all my expertise. Probably the "Photo You Wish Was Ever So Slightly Wider of the Year".
And no, that wasn't the "ink warning" shot.
The beautiful body she sculpted, defaced by a vandal's graffiti! and other outraged reactions... Well, I happen to be a bit of a connoisseur of "street art", and if I saw graffiti this good, I'd take a picture of it. Point is though, we're not talking about the ink, we're talking about the wall... I mean the ABS - and they are glorious, as is the rest of Lisa Marie Russell to be honest. Though I'm sure Mr Outraged would send her packing if she was knocking on his window at night - "Begone defaced woman!"
Last two. On the left, the eight-pack is back (or is it nine? ten? I never know when to stop counting!) thanks to Britain's own secret Physique weapon Kirsty Woolford, and finally for the abs, Canada's new IFBB Physique pro Amanda J. Smith couldn't quite believe what was happening to her midsection after a hot peak week shower...
So she took a picture and shared. Fabulously freaky!
If you had asked me at the start of the year to predict what picture of the returning to competition Alina Popa I would be selecting as one of the Images of the Year, I wouldn't - I couldn't - have imagined anything quite like this...
This was another of our "Picture Perfect" selections. Truly the mind boggles.
But still kind of safe for work. Kind of.
Rosela Joseph (left) gives us (and from a different, possibly more appealing angle, whoever is appearing over her right shoulder) the kind of view you would imagine you have to part with cash for in the normal scheme of things. And Melissa Wee, out hiking in Hong Kong, goes au naturel for the camera, and then shares the resulting image with the world. Are there, we wonder, other images of this hike that Melissa hasn't shared? And how would we get hold of them if they did, in fact, exist?
And we end our year with two women who have already featured today, two women who together had probably more candidate pictures for today's post than all the others put together, and who will finish our last post of 2016 with an image each.
And the Queen herself.
If this is indeed one of the final images that we have of Margie the competitive bodybuilder, then she is sure to be a champion who lives long in the memory.
To all our lovely readers, Happy New Year!
FMS will return to regular posting in January.