Iris Kyle

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Iris Kyle
Iris Kyle 2012 Ms. Olympia finals.png
Iris Kyle doing a double bicep pose during the 2012 Ms. Olympia finals on September 28, 2012
Personal info
NicknameChocolate Chip[1]
The Female Ronnie Coleman
Game Over
Iron Maiden
Born (1974-08-22) August 22, 1974 (age 47)
Benton Harbor, Michigan, U.S.
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)[6]
150–167 lb (68–76 kg)
175–180 lb (79–82 kg)[6][7][8][9][10][11]
Professional career
Best win
  • IFBB Ms. Olympia champion[12]
  • 2001 (Heavyweight only), 2004 (Heavyweight and overall), 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014[12]
PredecessorValentina Chepiga
Lenda Murray
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia[12]
SuccessorAndrea Shaw
ActiveSince 1994[12]

Iris Floyd Kyle (born August 22, 1974) is an American professional female bodybuilder.[13] She is currently the most successful female professional bodybuilder ever with seventeen titles including ten overall Ms. Olympia wins (the most Mr. or Ms. Olympia wins of anyone[14]) and seven overall Ms. International wins.[12][15][16][17] In 2013, she was ranked as the best female bodybuilder in the IFBB Pro Women's Bodybuilding Ranking List.[18][19]

Early life[edit]

Iris Floyd Kyle[20][21] was born on August 22, 1974[20] in Benton Harbor, Michigan,[20] the fifth of six children. Her early athletic endeavors included running cross country, basketball (point guard), and softball (shortstop). She was an All-American in basketball, and received a number of athletic scholarship offers. Kyle attended Benton Harbor High School and continued her education at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi, on a basketball scholarship, majoring in business administration and minoring in accounting.[20][18][22]

Bodybuilding career[edit]


Iris claims the reason she got into bodybuilding was when she moved to Orange County, California, and being surrounded by fit, healthy-looking people, she thought she could obtain a similar highly trained, sculpted physique. She walked into a gym and took out a membership. "I distinctly remember being a bit overwhelmed with the facilities and the seemingly endless variety of training equipment, but I knew at that exact moment ... without feeling even the slightest doubt ... that I could develop the kind of physique I wanted." She was later hired by the same gym and, as an employee, got more opportunities for training and growth. She became a voracious reader of the magazines FLEX, Muscle and Fitness, and Iron Man.

Iris recalls, "I remember the first time I saw a photograph of Lenda Murray in a magazine. I was in complete awe. I cut out that picture and placed it on my refrigerator and, from that point on, my goal was to develop a physique like hers." One day, a local promoter named Butch Dennis was in her gym and, after sizing her up, suggested she enter a competition he was hosting in 10 weeks, the Long Beach Muscle Classic. She won the contest, the 1994 Long Beach Muscle Classic. From 1994 until turning pro, she was advised and coached by professional bodybuilder Patrick Lynn.

Steve Wennerstrom, IFBB women's historian, wrote a photoreport in the Women's Physique World November / December 1996 issue called "Keep An Eye on Iris Kyle!". In the report he focused on her 1996 NPC California overall and heavyweight title win. He also wrote that "The 5-7, 144-pound Kyle showed a dazzling level of muscle definition to go with sound structural balance and a stage savvy that puts her physical qualities at the national level right now."

In 1996, NPC USA Championships, Iris came in second to Heather Foster in the heavyweight category. In July 1998, at the NPC USA Championships in Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, she edged out Foster by one point in the final tally after having shared first place judging votes with her to go on and win the heavyweight, overall, and IFBB pro card at the age of 22 years old and 150 lb (68 kg).[20][23][24][25][26][11][27]



Iris began to distance herself from friends and family and to become very isolated, stating that she found this the best way to make gains. She has had a series of high placings as a professional. With the exception of the 1999 and 2008 Ms. Internationals, Iris has always placed in the top six in every IFBB pro bodybuilding competition in which she competed. Steve Wennerstrom, IFBB women's historian, wrote in the November 1999 edition of Flex that her 2nd place at the 1999 IFBB Pro World was "a welcome one for the structurally impressive 5'7", 155-pound Kyle." He also wrote that "Combining some of the qualities of Yolanda Hughes and Lenda Murray, with calves better than both, the 27-year-old health-club manager needs only to add some styling to her general appearance to put a shiny finish on her physical armament."

At the 2000 Ms International, Tazzie Colomb and Iris were both disqualified for diuretic use.[28] She won her first professional contest at the 2001 Ms. Olympia, winning the heavyweight title, but losing the overall Olympia title to Juliette Bergmann. Looking back, Iris maintains, "I sincerely believe that I was the rightful 2001 Overall Ms. Olympia. I'm not saying Juliette didn't display a nice overall package; I'm just saying I believe my physique was better."[20][29] [30]


In 2002, Lenda Murray returned from retirement to reclaim her Ms. Olympia title in 2002 and 2003, with Iris coming in second both times behind her idol. In 2004, Iris won both the overall and heavyweight titles of Ms. International and went on to beat Murray and win the overall and heavyweight title of the 2004 Ms. Olympia. In 2005, Iris skipped the Ms. International, and focused defending her Olympia title. However, in 2005, the IFBB changed the rules and abolished the weight class system for Ms. Olympia, along with the new '20 percent rule' requesting "that female athletes in Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure decrease the amount of muscularity by a factor of 20%". This allowed Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia to win both the 2005 Ms. International and dethrone Iris at the 2005 Ms. Olympia.[20]


In 2006, Iris rebounded by regaining both her Ms. International and Ms. Olympia titles. In 2007, she again won both Ms. International and Ms. Olympia.[20] There was a bit of a controversy at the 2008 Ms. International. Iris was placed seventh due to noticeable site injections on her shoulders and glutes, which according to head IFBB judge, Sandy Ranalli, caused "distortions in her physique". After the 2008 Ms. International, on the Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Radio, when asked about why there was bumps on her shoulders and glutes, she said that "when you in the sport and you decide to take it to the league level you know those things take place". She also stated that the bumps won't even have been an issue if she had been a male and thought she should have been placed 1st.[31][32][33]

Iris rebounded at the 2008 Ms. Olympia by winning the show. Iris went on to win both 2009 Ms. International and 2009 Ms. Olympia titles in the same year. At the 2010 Ms. International, Iris won her fifth Ms. International, surpassing Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia's four Ms. International wins, becoming the most successful Ms. International champion ever. She has gone on to win the 2010 Ms. Olympia and 2011 Ms. International and 2011 Ms. Olympia.[12] In 2012, she could not attend the 2012 Ms. International due to a leg injury.[34] Iris went on to win the 2012 Ms. Olympia and regained her Ms. International title in 2013. In 2013, she won her ninth overall Ms. Olympia, making her the most successful female professional bodybuilder of all time. In 2014, she won her tenth overall Ms. Olympia title, breaking her own previous record of nine overall Ms. Olympia titles.[12] After winning her tenth overall Ms. Olympia title, Iris stated that she was retiring from bodybuilding.[35]


On September 25, 2015, in an interview with Dave Palumbo, Iris announced she will be coming out of retirement to compete at the 2016 Wings of Strength Rising Phoenix World Championships.[36] Although she stated she wanted to compete at the 2016 Wings of Strength Rising Phoenix World Championships, the IFBB told her that she needed to either win the 2015 Puerto Rico Pro, 2015 Toronto Pro Supershow, the 2015 Omaha Pro, the 2016 Chicago Pro, the 2016 Lenda Murray Pro AM, and the 2016 PBW Tampa Pro, or be one the top 7 IFBB female bodybuilder's to accumulative points implementing the IFBB Tier 4 point system. Iris was angered at the IFBB, stating that she was entitled to compete for the fact she is the most successful bodybuilder, male or female, ever. Iris said that she was offered to do some work with them that she doesn't "agree with", but declined the offer. While the IFBB did later allow her a special invite to the 2016 Wings of Strength Rising Phoenix World Championships, she declined to compete, instead focusing on training her ex-boyfriend, Hidetada Yamagishi, for the 2017 Arnold Classic Men's Physique and focusing on their business venture.[37]

In September 2016, in an interview with Nevada Public Radio, Iris agreed with Jeff O'Connell's, editor of, assessment that performance-enhancing substances are quite prevalent in bodybuilding, especially at the Olympia level. However, she stressed that while IFBB professional female bodybuilders use performance-enhancing substances, it also requires hard work and genetics. When asked if she would rather compete without taking performance-enhancing substances if everyone else did, she responded that "I never said I took steroids, you said that." She also stated that IFBB professional female bodybuilding is infested with performance-enhancing substances.[38] In the Winter 2016 edition of Muscle Sport Magazine, Kyle, in an interview with Joe Pietaro, criticized the IFBB for its treatment of female bodybuilders and called for the reaction of a union and ambassador for female bodybuilders.[39]


In July 2020, Iris announced she was compete at the 2020 Ms. Olympia. IFBB professional bodybuilder Patrick Tuor has been coaching her for the upcoming 2020 Ms. Olympia.[40][27] She co-promotes two shows in Japan with her ex-boyfriend, Hidetada Yamagishi.[12][15] She ranks as the best female bodybuilder in the IFBB Pro Women's Bodybuilding Ranking List.[18][37]

Number of titles[edit]

Iris has won seventeen overall IFBB professional titles and three IFBB professional heavyweight titles, which is more IFBB professional overall wins than any female bodybuilder. Of those wins she has ten overall Ms. Olympia titles, and has two professional heavyweight wins in her weight class. Between 2000 and 2004, there were two weight classes, and from 2001 to 2004, there was an overall winner between the two class winners. In 2001, she won the heavyweight class, but lost the overall Ms. Olympia title to the lightweight winner Juliette Bergmann. This discrepancy has led to confusion in various sport publications as to the number of Ms. Olympia titles she has won. She also has the most consecutive Olympia wins, with nine, dating 2006 to 2014. She also has seven Ms. International overall wins with one heavyweight win, more than any female bodybuilder.[12][15]

Competition history[edit]


Other interests[edit]

Media appearances[edit]

On September 9, 2008, Iris made an appearance on episode 9, "The Special Episode", of season 1 of Wipeout.[43] During the episode, she suffered an accident on a water slide in which several of her ribs were broken. She was also constantly referred to as "he" by one of the show's hosts.[43] On September 16, 2008, her appearance was featured as one of the top 25 moments of the show.[44] In an interview with RX Muscle Girls Inc. (with hosts Colette Nelson and Krissy Chin), she revealed that she was invited back for another appearance on Wipeout due to the popularity of her episode but declined, citing the possibility of another injury and the lack of respect she received from the hosts.[45][46]

Iris appeared in the trailer for the unfinished film A:B - We are Sisyphos and was supposed to play the character "Dina" in the film.[47] She appeared in the 2013 bodybuilding documentary ASF25 – A Documentary. She and her boyfriend at the time, Hidetada Yamagishi, appeared as themselves in the 2017 bodybuilding documentary film Generation Iron 2.[48] She also appeared in the 2017 music video by Katy Perry titled Katy Perry Feat. Nicki Minaj: Swish Swish.[48][49]

Footage of her was used in the following television episodes: Bodybuilders (On the Inside), Gender Benders (Taboo), and Episode 160 (Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel), along with footage of her appearing in the documentaries Hooked: Muscle Women and Twisted Sisters.


Since July 1998, Iris has been an advanced personal trainer who runs her own online training and nutritional business, Healthier by Choice.[50][51] Since September 2011, she has been a promoter of the company Visalus.[50][52] Since 2013, she has been the co-owner of Bodi Cafe, a premier supplement, nutritional company, and smoothie cafe in the City Athletic Club in Las Vegas, Nevada.[53][54] She is sponsored by PNP Perfect Nutrition.[55]

Real estate[edit]

Iris is a real estate agent with ERA Realty.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Iris previously lived in Katy, Texas.[56] She has previously been a resident of Cypress, Texas; Glen Flora, Texas; Fullerton, California; Huntington Beach, California (where she is the co-owner of the "No Mercy" Gym); Henderson, Nevada; Houston, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Tustin, California, and Westminster, California.[20][21][23][50][57] She is a Baptist and routinely thanks God after winning competitions. She always starts her day off with a prayer and a reading from the Bible. Sunday is her rest day and she attends church at least every other Sunday.[31]

Iris is in a relationship with a finance executive. Previously she was in a relationship with bodybuilder and training and business partner Hidetada Yamagishi, along with previously dating bodybuilder John J. Sherman.[58] Despite having described her political views as liberal,[59] she voted for fellow bodybuilding icon Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, during his bid for Governor of California.[60] She is fluent in German and Spanish.[59][61]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About". Iris Kyle Facebook page. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  2. ^ "Iris Kyle Takes the Ms Olympia!". Muscular Development. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  3. ^ "Iris Kyle Runs Away with Ms. International – Again!". Archived from the original on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  4. ^ "2013 Ms. International Finals: Iris Kyle Wins Her 7th In Style". February 28, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  5. ^ Afwwrestling Iris Kyle [dead link]
  6. ^ a b "A few Q's". Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  7. ^ "How much do you weigh?". Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  8. ^ "Ms. Olympia Report By Bill Dobbins". Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  9. ^ "2008 Ms. Olympia Preview". Muscle & Fitness. September 17, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  10. ^ Radio), MD Radio (Muscular Development. "MD Radio (Muscular Development Radio) - Iris Kyle, Evan Centopani, Seth Feroce and John Brown". Google Podcasts.
  11. ^ a b "Flex Magazine".
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Iris Kyle – Ms. Olympia and Ms. International, IFBB Pro Bodybuilder". Iris Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  13. ^ "2010 Ms. International Preview". Flex Online. February 24, 2010. Archived from the original on April 20, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  14. ^ "Iris Kyle Returns to Ms.Olympia Stage | MUSCLE INSIDER".
  15. ^ a b c "THE OZONE: IRIS KYLE MAKES HISTORY". Flex. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  16. ^ "Iris Kyle". Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  17. ^ "A MS. OLYMPIA TÖRTÉNETE - NEKROLÓG" (in Hungarian). Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  18. ^ a b c "IFBB Pro Women's Bodybuilding Ranking List". September 1, 2011. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Iris Kyle, Ms. Olympia". IFBB Pro. April 8, 2008. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Iris F Kyle". peoplefinders. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  22. ^ "Iris Kyle". AMG Lite. 2005. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  23. ^ a b c "Female Bodybuilder Iris Kyle Tribute". April 12, 2004. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  24. ^ "Female Bodybuilding Interview of the Month". November 2008. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  25. ^ "Official Website of Iris Kyle - IFBB Professional Female Bodybuilder".
  26. ^ "Women's Physique World".
  27. ^ a b "Muscular Development - September 2020 | PDF Magazine Download". September 14, 2020.
  28. ^ "THE IFBB MS. INTERNATIONAL 2000". Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  29. ^ "Flex Magazine".
  30. ^ The Best Bodybuilder Ever
  31. ^ a b "An Exclusive Interview With the Ms. Olympia Champion Iris Kyle". RX Muscle. February 5, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  32. ^ "Iris Kyle Discusses Ms International Results with Pro Bodybuilding Weekly". MESO-Rx. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014.
  33. ^ PBW march 10 2008
  34. ^ "Muscle Gossip #49- Iris Kyle Injured". RX Muscle. 2012. Retrieved 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  35. ^ 2014 Olympia Weekend: Iris Kyle wins 10th title, announces retirement
  36. ^ Iris Kyle Is Back: Exclusive Interview at City Athletic Club
  37. ^ a b Generation Iron 2
  38. ^ Olympians Descend On Las Vegas For Annual 'Super Bowl' Of Bodybuilding
  39. ^ Muscle Sport Magazine Winter 2016
  40. ^ Iris Kyle Announces Return. Aiming for 11th Ms. Olympia Title in December!
  41. ^ 15 Female Bodybuilders: How Much Can They Bench Press?
  42. ^ Read More: Don’t Say You Heard It From Me But…Did You Know…Ms. Olympia 2010 Iris Kyle
  43. ^ a b Wipeout Season 1 Episode 9 Episode 109
  44. ^ (Episode 11)
  45. ^ ""Wipeout" Sneak: Iris". metacafe. June 12, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  46. ^ "Muscle Girls Inc. (03–03–09): Iris Kyle and Monica Brant". RX Muscle Girls. March 3, 2009. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  47. ^ Trailer A:B - We are Sisyphos
  48. ^ a b Iris Kyle imdb
  49. ^ Bodybuilding Legends – Iris Kyle
  50. ^ a b c "iris kyle". Linkedin. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  51. ^ "Iris Kyle". Iris Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  52. ^ "Advanced Personal Trainer". Iris Archived from the original on May 6, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  53. ^ "Iris Kyle – Ms. Olympia's 90day Health Challenge shared her photo". Facebook. November 16, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  54. ^ "Iris Kyle BodiCafe Co-Owner". Web.stagram. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  55. ^ a b "Iris Kyle". Muscular Development. May 30, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  56. ^ "Iris Kyle – Ms. Olympia and Ms. International- VIP Members". Iris Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  57. ^ "Iris Kyle Wins Ms International at the Arnold Sports Festival". Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  58. ^ Did Wings of Strength Push Iris Kyle Out?
  59. ^ a b "Iris Kyle". Facebook. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  60. ^ "Iris Kyle meets Arnold Schwarzenegger at Arnolds Classic 2013". Youtube. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  61. ^ "Female Bodybuilding Interview of the Month". November 2008. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2013.

External links[edit]

Ms. Olympia
Preceded by:
Lenda Murray
First (2004) Succeeded by:
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
Preceded by:
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
Second (2006) Succeeded by:
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Third (2007) Succeeded by:
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Fourth (2008) Succeeded by:
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Fifth (2009) Succeeded by:
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Sixth (2010) Succeeded by:
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Seventh (2011) Succeeded by:
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Eighth (2012) Succeeded by:
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Ninth (2013) Succeeded by:
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Tenth (2014) Succeeded by:
Ms. International
Preceded by:
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
First (2004) Succeeded by:
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
Preceded by:
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
Second (2006) Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Third (2007) Succeeded by:
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
Preceded by:
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
Fourth (2009) Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Fifth (2010) Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Sixth (2011) Succeeded by:
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
Preceded by:
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
Seventh (2013) Succeeded by: