An Exclusive Interview With the Ms. Olympia Champion Iris Kyle
First off Iris, I want you to know that I have dreamed about interviewing you for MANY years, so I am on cloud nine right now! I REALLY appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions! I am enthralled by your motivation, passion, mental outlook and drive in the sport of bodybuilding. Without further ado.....let's get started.....
When you are prepping for a big show like the Arnold or the Olympia what do you tell yourself to motivate yourself to wake up each day and train and diet hard?
I think we all have a purpose in life, or should I say journey, where you come to a halt and say okay----- and looking for the next fix of depending on something or someone to fuel, fill, love, accept and acknowledge you, believe in you, value, appreciate and respect you. In other words, I have come to a place where I am the only one other than GOD who is TRULY responsible for initiating and controlling the outcome and destination of my own happiness. Being created with a purpose uniqueness and predestined path and future for our lives, I become aware that everything that has been programmed in my mind, heart and soul has mostly come from the families or the belief systems I grew up with. I have learned that weakness can turn into strength, I learned that personal attacks such as prejudices, judgements, assumptions, opinions and perceptions as well as ignorance, envy, jealousy, disrespect and discrediting are truly not about ME.
ANSWER: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.... Not to mention being two titles from breaking the Olympia record is enough for anyone to rise to the occasion..... Holding the most title wins for the Ms INTERNATIONAL, therefore going out on top is always the best way, therefore my mind set is geared in over drive to be victorious on every outing and that's if its in God's WILL....
It's really about the person who is delivering the negative and toxic message, I have a choice whether to receive it or not. I take all the good and the bad, tie it together, and I establish endless will power to go through things instead of around them, which places me in the position I have currently sustained. The bottom line, I learn that trails and hardships are really training tools for growth, maturity and for the development of character. DON'T SWEAT the SMALL STUFF, somethings are not in your control, WORDS can be powerful, they can speak life to build up one another, or they can destroy. Life is a journey, but is also a "GIFT" therefore my gift from the Lord is to create your own happiness...
When you first started competing in 1996, did you ever think you would win the Miss Olympia title multiple times?
Never in my wildest dreams, it started as a want.....to compete on the Olympia stage with the best athletes in the WORLD....
What is a day in the life of Iris Kyle like?
My days always start through prayer and reading my bible, other than that my days are never the same. Offseason I'm traveling the world for training clients, seminars and guest appearances sometimes for months at a time. Then when time permits, I like the idea of visiting private resorts for total relaxation the "Phoenician" in Scottsdale, Arizona being one of my all times favorite resorts. Everything after that is pretty scaled back. I love house cleaning my entire house, grabbing some hilarious or emotional love movies with some fine wine chilling for the evening. I'm a homebody. Occasionally I hit the club scene with friends but thats definitely very rare for me. Normally my friends would have to kidnap me for the day, forcing me to dress at their place. I'm known for changing my mind or simply flaking altogether. Then on Sunday is a rest day so my day begins with visiting the house of the Lord. Not every Sunday I attend but at least every other Sunday. Afterwards brunch then the rest of the day is pretty much up in the air. Periodically you can find me reading some interesting material, or my Bible, which consumes most of my time. I do find myself returning a lot of my fan's postal and emails since I do insist on handling all of my administrative duties. I'm a true believer a fan is earned and not given, so having another person answering messages from my fans is not showing true appreciation to my fans. My leisure time is very rarely planned, I can awake have plans for one activity, then out of nowhere there's a change of heart, doing something totally different or absolutely doing nothing at all. Shopping is another enjoyment. I consider shopping therapy.
Tell me about the movie We are Sisyphos you were in.
Actually the movie is in the midst of filming. My portion does not start until after the Arnold Classic. I'll travel to Austria for a month then we are due to finish shooing the film in LA at the famous Shark School. I'm one of the main characters playing an American bodybuilder name Dina who moves to Arnold Schwarzenegger's homeland after my daughter's death in order to experience new challenges in my life. Being instructed by my doctor to stop competing due to severe ventricular extrasystoles, which originate in a congenital heart defect which is worsened by my excessive training. My body became increasingly ambivalent, loving my sport, shaping it to celebrate victory after victory only to notice my body beginning to fail me, I gradually becoming weaker as my doctor advised me to abandon my purpose in life. I worker as a bouncer as well for Viennese Discotheque Volksgarten. Taking my job profession to seriously which causes me to lose my job for my morally correct position instead of just doing my job. After losing my job I start fighting for another bodybuilding victory ignoring my physicians' objections causing a heart attack caused by ventricular fibrillation. Staying in the hospital for two months fighting the decision to give up the dream of my life. While being in hospital I meet Kurt, my soul mate. I immediately take to the gentle blind man suffering from Marfan Syndrome. As the movie continues I begin to help care for Kurt, that way Kurt does not have to live in a day care home. Moral of the story is observing true fighters suffering from similar conditions.
Who was your biggest inspiration when you first started competing?
Beverly Francis and Lenda Murray
How has your perception in regards to training and life changed since you have became such a big time force in this sport?
I'm a person who always trains by the basics. It is not a science in my training regimen.... So I continue to training from heavy lifting to super sets, drop sets, high repetition etc... Far as my diet is concerned we both know dieting is dieting. You have to do it to look sharp especially us women, we have to lower or minimize portions... I pretty much duplicate my same diet... If not broken why try to fix it.... Being the leading force changed absolutely nothing in my life. I'm still the person I was ten years ago, okay maybe from monetarily standpoint, material things can ruin the major but I chose to take on another route. I'm very blessed and humbled. I'll remain the same, everyone is a champ in my eyes, God is in control of my destiny, therefore I know staying on course working smart and not hard is required, never taking things for granted, and always treating others as you wish to be treated.
What would you say is the biggest lesson you have learned throughout your career competing?
Never allow someone else's opinion to dictate your "future"....... I was told I'd never become Ms. Olympia....
What is the biggest obstable you have had to overcome?
Boy oh Boy!!!!! Theres a few to say the least.... No one can describe the disappointment, I had after losing to Lenda Murray in 2003 Ms Olympia when I clearly know and others knew I beat her by a land slide... Ok Lenda has great delts maybe the best in the business... A wonderful shape to her physique nice round bellies to her muscles "BUT" let the story be told she didn't have all the HARMONY the lines not to mention the definition I display that year.. Lenda's quadricep vanished where? I dont know.. She use to have great quadriceps..
The icing on the cake is where I had to take second fiddle to Yaxeni Oriquen Garcia 2005 Ms Olympia that was a big stab in the back at the time we were instructed to reduce 20% in the muscularity round.. I normally compete at 160-162 that year being the embassador of the sport I must lead by example, which I did. I competed at 155lbs still same conditioning, shape etc.... Lord behold second fiddle to Yaxeni.. It looked as if Yaxeni had did the opposite of what the current ruling stated and she was being rewarded..
Come on we have two different body types! I have a small tapered waist line, fine detail flowing through out my body, nice harmony and she's displaying nothing but BIG. When someone refers to Yaxeni body they say she's a big girl.. She has great confidence about herself on stage, which is an EXCELLENT tool and having that can always gain you a few points, but to flat out win is RIDICULOUS and not possible...
Anyhow, Yaxeni was more surprised then I when hearing her name announced victoriously. And believe it or not annoucing the winner that year was Lenda Murray, so she was probably soaking up every second of me losing as a mild way of payback. I was always told when going after the champ you have to completely knock the champ "OUT". Anything close should not cause you a win. Then losing the Ms INTERNATIONAL, placing sixth place due to noticeable site injections.
Well, I guess that wasn't the case this time around... My previous preparation has always been determined by me and since that day I promised myself I would continue as I had before and if the judges think I have all the right ingredients then I'll be respectfully rewarded. If not another one bites the dust.... What can you do it's out of your control, live with it and move on....
Would you please tell us a little about your workout schedule? Contest and during the Off-Season? Does it vary much?
K.I.S.S. = keep it simple stupid.... That would be me.... Tampering, changing and following the new system that changes by the day isn't smart, that will ONLY allocate room for error. So I'm the queen of sticking to the basics...
During the offseason I train five days a week with two off. Training one body part per day with three days of cardio during contest mode. I train every day, including cardio working two body parts per day... As the weeks expire, I simplely add supersets, drop sets and high reps... There's no secret I train smart not hard...
How do you handle defeat?
Taking the good with the bad is apart of being a "CHAMP". You have to be content and accept defeat, knowing it will come but it does not mean you have to allow it to control your destiny. You realize it, accept it , and create another plan by moving forward. I leave all my worries in God hands. God is the ruler of all.. He is my mentor ... He has given me the royal blood line to have the passion, perseverance and the patience to endure the challenges set before me. I live for God's will... I know keeping the faith, he has my best interest in mind. I'm grateful for life it self, with tons of eagerness to learn, forever willingness to serve.
I can't begin to thank you enough for answering my questions. I wish all the best for you in 2012! In closing, who would like to thank or give a shout out to?
Always, give thanks to God for allowing my dreams to be realized. To my dearest family and friends for the constant love and support, and last but not least my loving fans who have shown tremendous support. The wonderful feedback, which is very motivating. As I previously stated, a fan is earned and not given so I'm forever privileged for each and every one of my fans. I would also like to thank Visalus Sciences for all of their support.
Lastly, how can people get ahold of you for guest posing, training and sponsorship opportunities?