Tuesday, November 20, 2012
IFBB Pro Kira Neuman Interview
Photos 1-2: Mike Eckstut/Her Biceps
Photos 3-5: RX Muscle
Kira Neuman is someone I have called perpetually underrated. Many times she has competed and I felt deserved better. In fact, after 2011 and finishing eighth at North Americans, Kira questioned whether she wanted to compete anymore, whether it was worth it. But still she competed this year, at Nationals. Kira brought her best package yet to the stage and can no longer be called underrated because she was awarded her pro card.
Q: In 2011 at North Americans you took eighth place, after that did you start to doubt yourself and whether a pro card would ever be possible?
A: Oh yeah! After that I was pretty disappointed and wasn't sure if I was gonna compete this year. I was like "Oh my gosh, seriously? Why am I wasting all this time and money?" So, I didn't think it was a possibility.
Q: With your prep for Nationals, at any point did you reach a point where you thought you had a shot?
A: Yes! This was the first year that I actually thought there was a chance. I felt weird, really confident about it. So this is the first time I thought I may have had a shot.
Q: When you are feeling confident like that, does it make the prep any easier or make your work harder?
A: It made it so much easier because it made it worth it. It gave me a whole new perspective on it.
Q: Did you do anything different with this prep?
A: I did less cardio and had more food.
Q: Physique wise, from North Americans in 2011 till this show, where were you better?
A: I was smaller this year. It made it easier for me to get in shape.
Q: Going into a show feeling that confident, does it become hard to not get over-confident?
A: Yeah, but I know I still have to work just as hard. Someone else is working just as hard if not harder. I get confident but it makes you want to work and do the work even more.
Q: One thing I noticed was the little things like make-up, hair, tan, a suit color that really worked for you, did you make a conscious effort to improve those things?
A: Yeah! It was suggested to me that I change those things and make them better. And my friend was there to help me.
Q: People who are not hard-core fans may not realize, but those things really plays a role in judging doesn't it?
A: Oh yeah! Even for the female bodybuilders it can make a huge difference.
Q:: When they do call-outs and you realize you have a shot, are you more excited or nervous?
A: I think I was more excited. There again, there was six of us in call-outs, so I was in the middle with Karen Choat, so it could have gone either way. I had no idea. When I saw who was in my weight class, I was like "I have no shot". I really didn't think I was gonna do very well, I thought maybe top five.
Q: When you realized that moment "o.k., now I am a pro", do you remember what went through your head?
A: Exactly that. I was like "Oh my gosh, I am a pro". When they called Karen's name for second place, I realized it and walked to the center of the stage and was like "I'm a pro". I instantly started crying.
Q: I've interviewed people and they have said it takes a week to sink in, did you experience that?
A: It is still slowly sinking in. Little things like people asking if I am a professional bodybuilder or people calling me that, like my clients, little things referring to it.
Q: When you won it, there seemed to be a lot of other competitors genuinely excited for you, does that make it more special?
A: Oh yeah, because I would be genuinely happy for the other girls to. I want to see them all do well and be happy where they place and not think they have to place number one. I am like that with my clients to, you don't have to place number one to be the best you can be. I form friendships with these girls, so to see them happy for me is awesome. I would give them the same support. It means a lot.
Q: Does the pro card carry any extra responsibility as to how you represent yourself?
A: Oh yeah! I said the other day "if I am gonna be a pro I better look like a pro". It has given me more motivation in the gym the last couple weeks, it has made me want to make improvements and better myself and my clients.
Q: The new schedule came out and there are not a lot of pro bodybuilding shows next year....
A: There's four, and two of them you can't just enter.
Q: Is that frustrating?
A: No, because I just turned pro, so nothing will rain on my parade at this point. I know that even as a pro bodybuilder I am gonna be one of the smaller girls. I am totally fine with that. I will try and make improvements and gain some size, but ultimately, I just wanna compete. I wanna be on stage with those girls, the ones I have admired and still do. I cant do more than two or three shows a year anyway, I will over-extend myself. I think if I were a veteran pro it would be frustrating.
Q: With so few shows, this question is easier, but do you know when you want to compete next?
A: I am actually signing my papers right now for my pro card and that is one of the questions, what show I want to do. I just put the one in Chicago and the one in Tampa. I put both of them down and whichever I actually do, I will do. I would like to do both but we will see, it is expensive.
Q: Where do you need to improve for the pro stage?
A: Honestly, my legs, I need size. I need size from top to bottom. i will do my best to do that and keep my symmetry.
Q: With so few shows, and you saying you are one of the smaller girls, would you ever consider physique?
A: Yes! In order to compete, absolutely. However, since I got my pro card in bodybuilding, I am gonna compete as a bodybuilder first and foremost. I feel very honored for the judges to feel I deserve it so to not do it would be a slap in the face to switch right away.
Q: Is there anyone you have not gotten to compete with that you look forward to finally being on stage with as a pro?
A: Oh my gosh, there is a lot of them. There is not just one. They are all amazing to me, they have different physiques that I admire. There isn't one particular girl.
Q: Do you expect to be more nervous for the first pro show?
A: Probably! Until I get through the first one. That is also my fun time, where I feel relaxed, so I don't think I will be that nervous. Just have fun with it.
Q: Would you seek out advice from someone who has done it?
A: I don't see why not. It is probably typically the same as far as how things go. It seems a lot more relaxed cause you already made it there. That is how it is for me, I have made it where I want to go and now just keep improving.
Q: You reached the pro card goal, so is there a new goal you want to reach?
A: I would love to make it to the Olympia or Arnold's at some point, that would be amazing.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Definitely my girlfriend, she is always so supportive of me. Also, Lisa Perry, she does my make-up and is amazing.