Manning Up to the Challenge

Sup big dawgz! I’m back with another interview. Most of the interviews that I have done have been with guys who are fairly young who are making their mark in the world of strength athletics. However, I felt that it was time that we hear and meet one of the more “seasoned” big dawgz. This guy knows is stuff when it comes to training and is making a mark in the world of strength athletics in his own way. Before we get into the bread and butter of this interview, here’s a quick look at Manny Kirby!

Full Name: Manny Kirby
Birth Date: 5 November 1966
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 235-240 lbs.
Hometown: New York City, NY
Years training: 15 years
Best Gym Lifts:
• Flat Bench Press: 405×5
• Decline Bench Press: 405×5-6
• Dumbbell Incline Press: 160×4-5
• Standing Smith Machine Shoulder press: 225×10
• Hammer Curls: 85×10 each hand
• Deadlift: 405×10
• Stiff Legged deadlifts: 405×12
• One-Arm Dumbbell Rows: 190×10 each hand
• Hack Squats: 540×10
Hobbies: Eating & Mixing Music

Manny – thank you for sitting down with me and letting us at Big Dawgz United get to know you better. How did you get started in bodybuilding?

I got started in bodybuilding by watching Bruce Lee movies, my pops doing his karate, and watching the Incredible Hulk! In 1996, I was in a car accident. It was pretty bad but I lived. I was laid up for 4 months. I couldn’t even do a push up. 3 months later, I was in the gym working out because I needed to and had to.

What challenges have you faced to get where you are today?

Well the only problems I really had were not enough money for food, supplements, and a gym membership. However, I always found a way.

Take note – there is ALWAYS a way! I know you are a very busy man so how do you balance work, training, and a life outside of both?

Balancing a life with fitness was and is hard. I find it hard to sleep at night when I know the time I’m sleeping I could be doing something. I try not to look at anybody from a personal trainer standpoint but being in the field makes you see things in a different light: “I wonder if she works out,” “he has a huge upper body, but he has no legs.” So it’s hard. I really don’t have a life. My life is my friends online – the close one. They are the people I do my videos for, the ones I deal with simple everyday life stuff with – even though we have never met. Having a woman is hard. When preparing for a competition, it can put a strain on the relationship, let alone a friendship. So I balance my life accordingly and very carefully. If I’m not training somebody or busting a nut in a workout, I’m always doing something.

You sound like me, Manny. I am ALWAYS doing something. What is a week of training like for you?

A week of training in the mind of Manny? Sometimes, it could be really brutal. There are days where I had no energy to train or sleep. There are times where I take days off just to repair and grow. There are days where I may do High Volume workouts or H.I.T.

It sounds like you never know what to expect with your training. I know in our conversations you have competed in the past. Tell us about that.

Well…I’ve done one powerlifting meet and got 2nd. My first bodybuilding show was a week later and I placed 7th. Every show after that has been 3rd or 4th place except my last show where I got 10th out of 10 people.

How do you prepare for a contest?

I prepare for a show by not looking at any pictures and trying not to listen to those who give advice and have never stepped on a stage in their life! I try not to change the workouts – keep the reps high and weights heavy and push onward!

Onward and upward to bigger and better things. Now, I know that you are a sponsored athlete with the supplement company Advanced Muscle Science. How did you get involved with Advanced Muscle Science?

I got involved with AMS through my buddy Ian Kauffman. I had just gotten out of working with a company that had lied to me. This is the first time I am actually speaking about this. A few people know of this. The person lied to me about contracts and never answered any messages or emails telling me he didn’t want to use me anymore for who knows what reason. So all the videos, pictures, and interviews I did had to be taken down – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and the website I was working on. I told Ian I was looking for another sponsor and he told me about David Cannoy and Advanced Muscle Science. David and I spoke briefly through email and phone. He said he wasn’t going to sponsor anybody but we could work out something for supplements along the lines of networking. Then, a funny thing happen. He got in touch with me, changed his mind, and sponsored my next show!

That is just great Manny. New York City is like my second home and favorite place to visit when I get a chance. I haven’t lifted at a gym there but what is the lifting scene in the Big Apple?

Well the lifting scene is pretty much the same everywhere. You have the ones who lift to compete, the ones who do it for the health, and the talkers.
At Steel Gym where I train, we have a mix of cool people there. Daren, the manager, has seen it all – pro bodybuilders, models, movie stars, TV stars – you name it. Ken, the owner, is quite cool and laid back. He is the most approachable gym owner I have met.

What is your definition of a Big Dawg?

What is a BIG DAWG?!?!? To me, a Big Dawg is a person (male or female) who can do more than a normal person can in the gym and still be nice to other people!

Awesome definition. What are your future plans and goals?

My plans right now are to get the Iron Coalition off the ground!! Maybe do a show next year…maybe. More on that later.

I smell a follow-up interview. With you being a personal trainer and a bodybuilder, do you have any advice for those who want to compete in bodybuilding?

Those who want to compete in bodybuilding – you got to have the heart for it, the means to an end to get up, do the work and still smile through it all. Listen to those who will tell you the truth and take the words you like and use it. Then you can achieve what you want on stage and off!

Solid advice from a solid guy! Now for a little fun! Finish this sentence:

The one movie I can watch over and over again is “Enter the Dragon”
The one food I can gorge on all day is Cookies & Cream ice cream
If I could watch one TV show forever, it would be cartoons

How can bodybuilding fans follow you online? or

Well, I want to thank you again for doing this Manny. Is there anyone you would like to thank?

David Cannoy and Advanced Muscle Science, Claudia Reid, Ian Kauffman, Harry Riverazarrella, Zoila Acevedo, Vivian Greaves, Tammy and the crew at World Physique, Shawn Jones, Kimberly Myles, Jefferey Hall, Will Chiles, Serge Zavala, Natural Vitamins, Derik Farnsworth, Jay Sailor, Marcus McDonald, John Kotler, Versa Gripps, Zed Unapproved, Unapproved Clothing, Myansusa Suppelments, Jennifer Rankine, Kandace Hudspeth, Steel Gym, Darren Favacho, Ken Hunt, Tiffany Shockley, Nichole Thompson Williams, The Bodybuilding Lounge, Rick Roffeld.


3 responses to “Manning Up to the Challenge

  1. Great interview. I really enjoyed reading it. The Iron Coalition is going to be big. I’m looking forward to it.

  2. Kimberly Myles

    That was an AWESOME interview! I haven’t known Manny for a long time but I have to say he is one of the coolest most down to earth people I have ever met. The one comment he made in the interview about being a BIG DAWG ” is a person (male or female) who can do more than a normal person can in the gym and still be nice to other people!”……that is EXACTLY the type of person Manny is. All of the bodybuilders I have met at the gym I go to out in California are not very friendly at all……….and Manny takes time out of his very busy life to talk to his friends, help with advice and supplements, etc………….and in general is just a very friendly person. I feel blessed to know him 🙂

  3. Manny Kirby is truly a genius

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