Q&A with Kirk Myers
Owner of Kirk Myers Fitness, Celebrity Personal Trainer
At The Sweat Life, we really believe that there is no best of anything, only what works best for you — which goes to say, there is also no best body. Everyone has their own hang-ups about their body image, areas that they would like to improve and body parts they love to flaunt, and what you see is not always what you get. #Sweat Your Body is an ongoing feature, one that promises to be quite eye-opening. Thank you to the rockstars who are brave enough to #sweat their bodies for the world to see, and tell us what they love — and what they don’t.
Kirk Myers is one of NYC’s most respected trainers, recently featured in New York magazine, and trains high profile clients like Hugh Jackman and noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker, as well as a host of other gents that make up the NYC elite — they call themselves the #Dogpound. But Kirk had to put in his own hard work to get to where he is today.
How would you describe your body type?
Short, stocky, husky, thick, and strong.
Why do you think you have your body?
Genetically, my family is short and stocky with a history of being overweight. I got the body I have now through hard work, perseverance, resiliency, setting goals, and surpassing them. I was chunky as a kid, and as a teenager I was obese, drinking a couple gallons of chocolate milk a day, eating chocolate chip cookie dough, pizza — it all added up. I didn’t realize how much I was consuming. I ended up gaining on average a pound a week for 2 years straight, weighing over 300 pounds as a senior in high school. At this weight, I thought there was no way I could ever have a six-pack, but now I realize anything is possible. When I was 300 lbs, I set a goal to hit 270. 270 became 240, 230 to 200, and so on. I constantly would set goals, reach them and reset. I have now created habits and do not sway too far from them.
Resiliency is my favorite word. My physical weight loss is almost secondary to being diagnosed with heart disease. At age 21, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Sometimes the worst things that happen to you can be the best if you change your mindset. If I wasn’t diagnosed with this, who knows? Maybe I would be over 350 pounds and unhappy, instead of owning my own fitness company, training high profile clients, athletes, and living my dream. I got sick, and at that time was forced to make a decision: live the way I was living and die, or change and bounce back. Within 6 months I dropped 50 pounds, within two years I weighed 185. The doctors said I needed a heart transplant, but by thinking positively, living healthy, and keeping a good support system around me, I proved them wrong.
What do you do to maintain a healthy body image?
I live a healthy lifestyle. In my opinion there are four main components to this: diet, cardio, strength training, and most importantly, having a positive mindset.
What triggers you to stress the most about your body?
Pictures. Pictures of myself where I look overweight or I look like I have gained weight. Especially coming from being a heavy person, sometimes you don’t realize how much you’ve gained until you see a picture of yourself
What does your workout routine consist of?
When it comes to working out - it’s not a mater of IF I’m working out, it’s WHEN. It’s just the same as taking a shower, or brushing my teeth, or putting on my clothes; working out is something I do on a daily basis. Every day I try to do something. I lift weights five days a week, which includes drop sets, super sets, and high intensity strength training. I typically target one to two body parts in each workout. I also try to do cardio 30 minutes plus, 5 days a week, just walking on the treadmill with an incline.
How would you describe your eating habits?
Preparation is key. I try to eat six meals a day. I always have shakes, bars, and prepared meals available to me. If I didn’t have this, I would end up eating whatever was around, healthy or unhealthy, probably too much, especially if I’m hungry. When it comes to food, every option I have is healthy. If I don’t have prepped meals available, I make sure to find places to go where there are healthy options available. When I go to a restaurant, I already know what I am going to order before I get there: lean protein and vegetables, no salt, no oil, no dessert, no appetizers, minimal to zero alcohol.
What’s your favorite thing about your body?
My quads. I just like having big legs.
What would you change?
My skin. One thing that I dislike from my weight loss is the fact that I have loose skin. But I choose to turn what may seem like a negative into a positive. My skin is now tattooed. It has turned skin that I would not be proud of, into something I love.
When do you feel the best about your body?
After taking a yoga class, after meditation. Your body and mind are connected. If my mind is relaxed, my body feels amazing.
What outfit do you feel best in?
I typically wear the exact same outfit every day. I feel my best in a black shirt and loose pants. No shoes.
Are you comfortable naked?
No. Even when I am at my top shape, I still don’t feel comfortable naked. I feel like I am hard on myself, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. It pushes me to work harder.
Any last words?
Your mind is a powerful, powerful thing. If you truly believe you can do something, you can. If you are someone who wants to transform your body or life, surround yourself with positive people, set your goals, and go for it. No one can stop you but you.
For anyone who's let themselves get a little overweight, Kirk Myers is the poster child for personal achievement in physical fitness. Growing up, Kirk was a shy kid from Kansas CIty, ballooning to more than 300 pounds on a 5'5" frame, and struggling to keep up both socially and athletically. His poor dietary habits finally caused his health to hit rock bottom. During an ER visit while in college, doctors found that his heart was enlarged and he had suffered congestive heart failure. He was only 21. This was his sea-change moment. His doctors placed him on a diet of green vegetables, and after completely changing his lifestyle and focusing on fitness, Kirk has lost 125 pounds and built an impressive body of work. At 35, and a ripped 180 pounds, he is a top trainer to celebrities, athletes, and professionals.