Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Olympia 2017: Phenomenal Figures
Watch those calves bulge! See the definition in her thighs! Feast your eyes on those ballooning lats spreading and spilling over the strings of her posing suit! A posing suit that's at least a size too small anyway... My conversion into a bit of a Figure/ Bodyfitness fan(atic) has been one of FMS' most recurring themes over the last year or so. Are these women getting more muscular - Cydney Gillon seemed to grow in the week between the Arizona Pro and the Olympia! - or was I just not paying attention before and now there's no Ms International and no Ms Olympia to obsess over, at the A and the O Figure phenoms provide a significant part of the female muscle fix I crave?
MELISSA BUMSTEAD (unplaced)
It was a couple of years ago when she won her pro card at the Canadian Nationals that this sensationally gorgeous woman first showed up on the FMS radar, and I have been hooked ever since. She had some decent finishes in 2016, but it was her win at the Lenda Murray Pro Am earlier this year that enabled her to make her Olympia debut here. I'm not going to argue with the judges about her (non-) placing. I'm just going to enjoy those abs, those shoulders, and that big, beautiful smile. A stunner.
My only issues with the Figure division have nothing to do with the ladies and everything to do with the rules they compete under. How I wish they would get to flex like the NABBA Trained Figure ladies - who they are at least as muscular, if not quite as bone-dry conditioned as. Imagine that! Even better, imagine Candice or Latorya (3rd and 2nd respectively this year) showing their beautiful muscle bums in NABBA-style posing suits, bending over à la Kay Goodwin to ensure the judges get an eyeful.
HEATHER DEES (4th)
I first remember Heather as Heather Udy from the days of Hardfitness and the Muscletease schmotography site. I knew she was still around but I had no idea she had enjoyed such success over the years. She had two 4th places at Olympias in 2012 and 2013, and though this was her first Olympia since then, she enjoyed a 2nd at the Ms International in 2015 and this year won the 3rd pro title of her career in Hawaii. I also had no idea how excitingly thick she looks these days. Like a fine wine, it seems.
Which is not to say these phenoms don't work it. Given the restrictions they have to. The power stances, the not so surreptitious tricep flexing, and when they hold their poses they tense everything (and I mean everything). On heels too, which some may say have no place on a "bodybuilding" stage, but take away the heels and those quads are not going to ripple half as much as they stride forwards to assume the front and centre position and spread their wings for their first, breathtaking compulsory pose.
SANDRA GRAJALES (9th)
9th here was an improvement on her debut placing of 14th last year, and hardly surprising. She just gets better and better. Her abs are more and more veinsexy, her lats wider and wider, those thighs more and more gorgeous, and her good hard post-workout flexes just get gooder and harder. Over the last couple of years, Sandra's development has been essential viewing for many of the brethren, myself very much included, and there's nothing to suggest this young Figure phenom's rise will do anything but continue unabated. Top 30 in your 2017 Hot and Hard 100.
Yes, I said breathtaking, because at this highest level of Figure there is, these phenoms really can have me gasping for air. Perhaps not in the same way that Margie or Helle's first compulsory does, but for me it's as if these ladies inflate, pumped up in an instant as they spread their apparently immense lats, their abs tighten, and their magnificent thoroughbred thighs flare. They go from looking well, I wouldn't say "normal", but certainly not that big to suddenly looking pretty damn freaky, pretty damn drenched in muscle. And it's that sudden, shocking transformation that is so overwhelming.
JESSICA REYES PADILLA (8th)
Like Melissa and Sandra, Jessica is one of the Class of '15. Unlike Melissa and Sandra, I am ashamed to say Jessica has never featured on FMS before now. Her look here gave me a good, hard slap and demanded it though. Some of the best abs on show, and when she walked on a power stance that was all about the power. Toronto Pro winner this year, she failed to place on her Olympia debut but clearly learned her lesson, came back shredded, and deservedly (my ill-informed opinion) took 8th place.
As I sit here trying to think of new and original ways to big up the Figure ladies I am well aware that my zeal is wasted on the so-called "hardcore" fans who have probably already left FMS today (perhaps for good?!) tut-tutting as they went - "used to be about Bodybuilders..." But I also know there are plenty of Figure/Bodyfitness fans among the readership and I'm probably wasting my time with them as well because they don't require any convincing! Thirteen of your Hot and Hard 100 in 2017 were from the Figure and equivalent division, ten of them in the top 60, and five of the ladies who graced the Olympia stage this year were among them. It's hardly surprising such stunning women are so popular with female muscle fans, or indeed with their female followers either. Beautiful and graceful, they exude confidence and strength. Muscles and femininity combined. These phenomenal figures are packing serious sex appeal.
What's not to like?
The IFBB Figure and Bodyfitness ladies still might not get to really flex those hard-earned muscles in anger on stage, but as those of you who are already following these phenoms on social media will know, these women pack a shed load of heat!
Tomorrow, we devote a whole post to our favourite 2017 Figure Olympian.