💪 History's Strongest Women

Can you guys believe that no one named Arnold has actually won the Arnold Classic? Like ever? This year was no different. Brandon Curry walked away with the W (spoiler alert: runner-up William Bonac isn't too happy about it).

In honor of Women's History Month, keep reading for a list of 12 supremely strong ladies, a workout strategy for when time is tight, and the updated Boston Pro Show roster. 


Bodybuilders Gone Wild: Columbus, OH

Brandon Curry is your 2022 Arnold Classic champ. This marks Curry's second AC title, and with it, he won $200,000. William Bonac placed second and Steve Kuclo got third place.

As Curry has a lifetime qualification to the Mr. Olympia, his win was a defensive play of sorts, preventing another currently not-yet-qualified competitor (such as Kuclo) from earning a spot at the Olympia. 

In total, there was $799,000 in total prize money on the line (not including bonuses). This was the 34th Arnold Classic, held in Columbus, OH (the show's only home). 

Here are all the winners from the rest of the Arnold Classic:

  • Classic Physique: Terrence Ruffin, $60,000

  • Figure: Cydney Gillon, $16,000

  • Fitness: Ariel Kadhr, $25,000

  • Pro Wheelchair: Gabriele Andriulli, $4,000

  • Bikini: Lauralie Chapados, $10,000

  • Men's Physique: Erin Banks, $10,000

  • Wellness: Isabell Nunes, $7,000


An Instant Classic

Terrence Ruffin is officially a history-maker. 

The favorite to win Classic Physique at the 2022 Arnold Classic became the first man to snag two AC titles in his division. Ruffin won $70,000 — 60 Gs for first place and another $10,000 for winning the Best Poser award

Also of note, two-time Classic Physique Olympia winner Breon Ansley placed fourth. He stayed humble in defeat, but the 2018 Arnold admits in an Instagram post that "the outcome was very tough for me to handle."

Ruffin has placed second at the Olympia two years in a row (2020, 2021) and is surely looking to unseat three-time consecutive champion Chris Bumstead. With the momentum of two back-to-back AC wins behind him, Ruffin poses a real threat to CBUM. 


Woman, Woman, Woman

Recognize the woman in the photo above? If you've been living under a rock for a few decades, let us jog your memory: That's Bev Francis, a six-time International Powerlifting Federation World Champion (1980-1985), a World Pro Championship winner in bodybuilding, and a runner-up at the Ms. Olympia in 1990.

Fast forward 30 years, and Francis, who co-owns the famed Bev's Francis Powerhouse Gym in Syosset, LI, set six Powerlifting Australia World Records at the age of 66. Francis is just one of 12 women on our list of the strongest women in history. 


The Excuse-Killing Workout

Sometimes time is of the essence because the gym can't always be life (crazy, right?). 

When you're in a hurry, try implementing AMRAP workouts. Short for as many reps (or rounds) as possible, AMRAPs push you to lift a specific amount of weight for as many reps as you can in a set amount of time. So, if you only have 10 minutes and a set of dumbbells at your disposal, try this upper-body workout:

  • Overhead Dumbbell Press: 10 reps

  • Single-Arm Dumbbell Row: 10 reps (each side)

  • Chest Flye (on the floor): 10 reps

  • Dumbbell Skull Crusher: 10 reps

  • Dumbbell Curl: 10 reps

Try and complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes, resting a little as possible. Ten minutes will feel like 20. 


Everything Else From Around the Web

Professional bodybuilder William Bonac hitting a most muscular pose

Photo courtesy of @william_bonac on Instagram

  • William Bonac isn't too happy. After placing second at the Arnold Classic, Bonac took to Instagram and expressed his discontent. "What in God's name do I have to do more?" In that comment section of the same post, seven-time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath implied that Bonac deserved first.

  • Speaking of Bonac, he's one of a handful of top-tier competitors who have entered the 2022 Boston Pro Show, taking place on March 12. Since the initial lineups were announced in mid-February, the rosters have fluctuated a fair amount. Steve Kuclo and Nathan Spear have both dropped out. On the flip, Bonac, Maxx Charles, Samson Dauda, Urs Kalecinski, Angela Borges, and Elisa Pecini are all (reportedly) competing. It's going to be a wicked competitive show.

  • Go ahead, have that beer. According to Jim Stoppani, alcohol doesn't have to be entirely off the table when you're looking to carve out an impressive physique. You can't go nuts, he implies, but creating sustainable habits that breed consistency will always trump sporadic bursts of perfection. If the occasional pint or glass of wine or shot of tequila (*retches*) is part of your social life, there's no need to cut it all out.