Monday, 16 January 2017

2017 Already Better Than 2016!

26th July 2016

imagebam.com

I'm in Vegas this month, Sexy Sophie Arvebrink, one of our 2013 Women of the Year, told her Facebook followers. Seriously living life here with gym in the morning, school in the daytime, pool parties and clubs at night. Sounds interesting... If you want to do the same thing, she advised, check out @europeanbartenderschool.

Sophie seemed to be having fun, But some fans did not take this news well.

And when Sophie's Instagram got deleted, they took it worse.

I tell you, wrote one especially despondent soul, she'll never come back. She's deleted this from her past. Why? Because she can. She's still on Facebook, mate. Cheer up!

You have to accept that you must forget her as the woman you like, he continued, same as Sarah Bäckman. Forget her, it's the best thing you can do...

Dude!

Well, predictably, the doomsayer's rather hysterical take on Sophie's "break" has not proved to be entirely accurate. Nor Sarah Bäckman's, but that's another post.

The good news is Sophie's back!

5th January 2017

imagebam.com imagebam.com

My account got hacked, I did NOT delete it, Sophie told her new Instagram followers.

But I'm finally back on now and I'm here to stay.

imagebam.com

Gains have been lost and my hair is gone...

imagebam.com

But motivation is on top and goals have been set for this year. Love, Sophie.

So, there you are. She's back, OK, smaller, but stunning as ever and she could mix you just about any cocktail you care to order. The hair, I like it (you can see her angelic face better), however, already there have been some comments on her (new) IG.

I can tell some of you don't like my new hairstyle, Sophie responded. I've never had short hair before and I wanted to try. It's just hair, it will grow back out. Until then, I will enjoy doing sprints and running without my annoying long hair.

Annoying followers might be more difficult to get rid of.

Let's all be considerate IG stalkers in 2017.

We wouldn't want Sophie, Sarah, or any other of our female muscle favourites to feel the need to restrict or even close their social media accounts, would we?

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Marja of the Day

Marja's Best?

So, I decided to finish this week with "my favourite" shot of Marja. She's "one of the most photographed FBBs ever", but many of those pictures are very similar to each other. Actually I've already chosen this shot as a kind of "epitome of Marja" once, for the Fantasy Contest post back in 2012, and I haven't found a better one yet.

It is perhaps a shame that there's only upper body in the frame, but, as upper bodies go, Marja's is (by common consent if you're not an IFBB judge) one of the greatest. Those arms, the peaks grab the eye first, but soon the unreal thickness of her triceps draws your attention. Is this faked? A morph? Marja's are just the kind of monster muscles that make you wonder if some alterations have been made to the original.

"She can't be that big!"

But she was. And this - though I'm not exactly sure of the date - is pre-implant, pre-professional Marja, possibly at the 1999 Worlds or 2000 Europeans.

She got bigger!

And that's part of the reason why I like this pic so much, I suppose. Here she is on the cusp of joining the elite of her sport, and looking like she belongs up there with them.

And I reckon that glimmer in her eyes and the smile (smirk?) on her face tells you that she not only looks like she's an elite female bodybuilder - she feels like one too.

imagebam.com

What's your favourite pic of Marja?

Send it (or a link) to 6ft1swell@gmail.com with a short explanation why if possible.

Enjoy!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Marja of the Day

Marja @ Ms Olympia 2004

Special thanks to JL, to whom today's post is dedicated.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

For Marja, the 2004 Ms Olympia was the realisation of a long-held dream.

Qualifying for the Olympia beats all the experiences I had before, and will beat all I will have after, she said. When I remember how I felt, I well up with tears of joy.

imagebam.com

Marja finished 3rd in the Lightweight class, behind winner Dayana Cadeau and runner-up Denise Masino. It was the first of just two Olympia appearances she made.

The following year weight classes were scrapped, and Marja placed 14th.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

But it wasn't just the 3rd place that made 2004 such a special time for Marja. One of the greatest moments there was to see and meet Lenda Murray, who had been one of my inspirations ever since I first saw photos of women bodybuilders, she said.

It reminded me of those early years when I wondered how it would feel to be like Lenda, or Cory Everson, Anja Langer, or Juliette Bergman. It's amazing how long the road has been since then, but it's been worth the work and sacrifice.

imagebam.com

And 2004 was the year when "costumes" were permitted at the Ms Olympia, so, as did some of the other competitors, Marja introduced a bit of "strip" to her routine.



Check out HerBiceps free gallery of Marja @ Ms Olympia 2004 here.

Enjoy!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Marja of the Day

Marja, by the Collective "We"

imagebam.com imagebam.com

I think this fan speaks for many...

Marja was definitely the lady that made me realize I liked 'em BIG!

imagebam.com

And so thoughts turn to encountering our goddess...

What a muscle dynamo! I can't really imagine seeing her in the gym, I've just never been near anyone with that kinda shape. To see Marja in action throwing around iron would be mind blowing! I doubt I would even be able to speak.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

More graphically...

If I were to see her in person I'd have a tough time hiding my excitement! She'd have me creaming my underwear the first one or two times she flexed!

imagebam.com imagebam.com

And it's not going to get any more highbrow just yet...

A thousand years from now, muscle fans will still jerk off to Marja.

imagebam.com

More objectively...

At her 2001-2004 peak she should have placed higher in competition in my opinion, but she must be one of the most photographed FBBs of all time nonetheless.

imagebam.com

And in summary...

I've just got to say it, Marja is the best FBB ever! From head to toe everything is PERFECT about this woman. But huge beautiful muscles aside, Marja still has the sexiest eyes, smile, skin tone, hair... You name it, this woman's got it!

Well, she had it anyway.

Enjoy!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Marja of the Day

Legs 11 (out of 10)

imagebam.com imagebam.com

She's rightly famous for her arms "as big as her head", but Marja's legs were almost (if not just) as wondrous. One March on the forum whose first rule is she was voted Biceps Goddess of the Month, and the following month Legs Goddess of the Month.

imagebam.com

Look at the girth!

And look closer...

imagebam.com imagebam.com

When she was 15, a teacher recommended she try sprinting. The weight training involved in preparation for her sprints ultimately led her to discovering her love of bodybuilding, but I imagine it also meant that she had developed her legs as a sprinter before she started to develop them further as a bodybuilder. Perhaps this was how her legs got the head start they needed in order to become so special.

imagebam.com imagebam.com
imagebam.com imagebam.com

One of the things I always loved about Marja was her penchant for the quad shake. Now I love a good quad shake no matter who is doing it nor how big her legs are, but when Marja shakes those mammoth quads then suddenly flexes them, it's truly heavenly.

Nobody has ever done it better.

Enjoy some of that here, and we finish today with an FTVideo classic.


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Marja of the Day

Marja in the Mirror

I imagine she did quite a lot of gazing at herself.

imagebam.com

Seriously though, did you know Marja discovered a passion for dressmaking as a result of her bodybuilding? For real. I love to create, she says, and while dieting I started to make clothes, which I found relaxing. Some of those outfits you may have seen...

imagebam.com imagebam.com

More Marja fron the archive tomorrow!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Marja of the Day

Bookends

The earliest picture of Marja the FMS research team could turn up and one from one of her final photo shoots (that I know of) by Annie Rivieccio for Muscle Angels. Not totally sure of the date of the "young Marja" pic, but for one thing those arms aren't quite the legends they became, and it's black and white, so it must be pretty old!

imagebam.com imagebam.com

And as a bonus a little Marja in motion classic.

Shot in 2003 by Awefilms, a massive contest shape Marja - in heels, tight tight tiny denim shorts and an even tighter white top - struts the streets of New York.

With predictable results.



Enjoy!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Marja of the Day

Happy Birthday Marja!

For no reason other than it's her 49th birthday today, we start 2017 by looking back.

Her contest career spanned two decades - she first competed in a provincial competition in Finland in 1990 and retired after the New York Pro in 2010 - and, like many of the best-loved FBBs, was somewhat short on first places - apart from that first contest, her only other title came the following year at the Finnish Nationals.

But we begin our plunder of our Marja archive with her professional debut. At the Jan Tana Classic in 2001 she finished 3rd in the six-woman Lightweight class behind Joanna Thomas and Jennifer McVicar (those were the f***ing days, eh?!).

imagebam.com imagebam.com
imagebam.com imagebam.com

Hair up for the prejudging, down and wild for the routine.

imagebam.com imagebam.com
imagebam.com imagebam.com

Hyvää Syntymäpäivää Marja!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Images of 2016

imagebam.com

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?

imagebam.com

DOMESTIC BLISS I

imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

*SWOOOON!*

CONTEST IMAGES OF THE YEAR

The professional photographer still very much rules at the contests though.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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!

imagebam.com imagebam.com imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com

*SWOOOON!*

PERFECT PARTS I (and our Images of 2016 competition!)

imagebam.com

Jamie Pinder's left gloot looks good enough to .......

Answers on a postcard to the usual address please.

imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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!

imagebam.com

And, we might add, often get arrested because of.

From our Crossfit correspondent comes this 2016 gem...

imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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!

Please!


PERFECT PARTS II

imagebam.com

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!

imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com

Theresa. Not, as usual, pumped in the gym or posing on stage. Just gorgeous.

*SWOOOON!*

Which brings us nicely to...

BEAUTIES

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.

imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com

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...

imagebam.com

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

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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!"

imagebam.com

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.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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!

imagebam.com


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

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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.

GRRRRR!

imagebam.com

Madelen Nilsson squeezes out that extra last rep. I'm so happy she did!

PERFECT PARTS IV

Finally! Abs.

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.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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!!!

imagebam.com

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".

*SWOOOON!*

And no, that wasn't the "ink warning" shot.

This is...

imagebam.com

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...

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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...

imagebam.com

This was another of our "Picture Perfect" selections. Truly the mind boggles.

NOOD!

But still kind of safe for work. Kind of.

imagebam.com imagebam.com

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.

Danielle Reardon

imagebam.com

And the Queen herself.

imagebam.com

*SWOOOON!*

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.