Spotlight On: Iris Swatuk
Category you compete in: Heavyweight Female Open, Masters Female Bodybuilding
Date of birth: December 23, 1973
If you could change into a superhero for a day who would you be and why? I'm such a nerd I love superheros .. I collect supergirl, wonderwomen, and other powerful warrior women collectibles comics and statues.lol yep I'm a nerd! ... If given the option tho it would be supergirl.. powerful, soar the sky , helping people with the speed of light, flipping cars to save stranded people.. how cool would THAT be! with all the same powers as superman but a super hot female with a kick ass outfit :)
What made you begin dedicating your lifestyle to this sport? When I was 16 years old .. I joined my first gym ever and they must have seen me coming because the fee was $60/month 20 yrs ago!! It was Gold's Gym . The mecca now located in Toronto!
I had just got hired at my first job in a retail store and I peddled to the front doors and joined the same day.. I was surrounded by mass monsters and fit women .. it was love! I had all the pictures of my favorites in a collage on my bedroom wall.. Lenda Murray Laura Creavalle , Laura Binetti, and my favorite Denise Rutkowski!
the only caveat as a 16 yr old girl loving bodybuilding was listening to my mothers dislike of it.. so I continued to train and work out but nothing further...I became a personal trainer and It wasn't until 2009 when I met my first Coach Laura Binetti that I needed to take control and go after what I really wanted..To be a competitive bodybuilder.. . It was a battle and although I wasn't in the best shape for my first show I dropped 60 lbs from February 2009 to November 2009 in London Ontario.. I placed second in my class.. I was bigger then my competition but I needed to be leaner! I then put on a little more mass and did another London show where I placed second in the open class and first in the Masters division.. since the beginning I've been hooked... I have yet to reach my full potential but that’s where 2012 comes in and working with Noel Fuller!
What approach do you take to dieting...carb cycle..keto? I've done a low carb diet , a low fat diet with moderate carb diet, and a keto diet.. For the most part, the keto works well and FAST , but I find my muscles lose their size and presence and I get discouraged because I start to be flat.. .. I really like how a moderate carb diet works.. I love to train and I train hard.. I'm a bit sadistic and I will not let anyone work harder then me and I love the feeling of leaving it all on the gym floor, or in the ring or on the mat... So with that being said, I hate to feel depleted so that's why I think the carbs in there are important.. It gives you the energy to fuel your workouts and keeps your muscles full while the clean eating and the cardio lean you out and preserve your size as best as dieting can..But Noel Fuller has so many tricks and uses all different methods so we will see by the end of 2012, which is going to work the best for me!
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about competing? That you are competing on stage... like Muhammed Ali has said with regards to boxing " the competition is far and away from the ring.. The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights. " and so it is true..
My philosophy is that the competition comes from within, with the discipline, the never missing a workout, not missing a meal and having a good support system .. There should be camaraderie on stage because all the competitors have fought through obstacles and personal battles to stand on stage.. Jay Cutler and Phil Heath are two bodybuilders that train together and are friends and yet onstage they are each others main competition..
What is your most embarassing childhood memory? I wasn’t actually a child.. probably my most embarrassing moment I was in my late 20's and I was I walking around a mall with toilet paper sticking out of the back of my pants.. and all my friends knew and just let it be... a good 20-30 minutes! I lined the seat and the seat followed me!!!
What is the biggest lesson you have learned about YOURSELF during your contest prep? HOW TO HAVE PATIENCE!! wow it is so hard to be patient with your body when it is losing weight slowly..Or even when you are trying for Personal Bests in the gym and you regress... you know your strength will go up and you know the weight will come off ( different seasons of course) but you become obsessed! Then you start thinking "It's not going to happen" then you find yourself looking in the mirror constantly and you start posing or flexing to look for the changes.. the new vein popping out, the new striations in your delts.. **sigh** but with all of that I learned patience...
Who do you look up and admire and why? There are SOO many people.. I am TRULY honored and blessed to be surrounded by alot of the people in my life. First and foremost my mom! When I was young I used to ask my mom to flex, not my dad!!! My mom has worked so hard her whole life and it showed .. funny, she hated her muscles lol
When it comes to bodybuilding, it would have to be Laura Binetti - she was a fierce and driven competitor .. she is a very focused individual and I find her very motivating... Nicole Ball.. a stunning and beautiful representative of the sport.. Fabiola Boulanger.. a girl who set out on a mission in 2010 to be a professional bodybuilder and she became Miss Canada! Male bodybuilders would be Frank McGrath who came from near death to the Olympia stage.. Priceless!!! Fouad Abiad and Ben Pakulski - two very different individuals, but with the same mindset..
My Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor.. Paul Abel.. I don’t think I have met someone who has had such an impact on me like he has... Very hard to explain, but I met him at a low point in my life and he inspired me so much and he is one of the most genuine people I know.. Another person, Bola Olubawale - Professional Boxer and my boxing coach- Another very genuine and amazing person... Wow! I really do appreciate a lot more then this list. It would be very long if given the opportunity!
2009 - London OPA level 1 - second place heavyweight
2010 - London OPA Provincial qualifier - First Place Masters, Second Place open heavyweight
May 16, 2012 - Provincial Qualifier ..Then the world!!! lol
Favorite Motivational Quote:
"Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even. " Muhammed Ali
"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!" Rocky Balboa 2006
Who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank my training partner, best friend and love of my Llfe, Dave! He puts up with the mood swings and the stuff we go through when dieting..He would give the shirt off his back to help anyone. Also, my coach Noel Fuller, he understands women's bodybuilding.. well bodybuilding period! Better then anyone. I'm looking forward to a long career with him! LOL, maybe I will meet him one day! ha!
RXMuscle , RXGirl and Species for always supporting women's bodybuilding and having us beefy, beautiful women represent their products at the biggest expos around and for a forum to represent!
Muscle Insider Magazine. A Canadian Magazine that also stands behind us female iron girls and promotes our sport! with great information.
The fans of bodybuilding, the facebook fans, fellow competitors with whom I share the stage and the people who come out to support our shows!!