Success comes easy to the resolute. Typically, however, that rung-climbing ambition is not clearly identifiable until early adulthood. But MRI frontman Kyle Clarke is not one for wasting time — or conforming to the status quo. The best evidence of this rushed determination can be found in his early gym efforts.
“I started taking weight gainers at age 7,” Clarke says. “But I could never put on any size. I would do push-ups and sit-ups but still stayed very skinny.” He toted the sting of that perceived failure with him into the gym as a teenager, when he got serious about his weight training.
“The machine I remember the most was the preacher curl,” he says. “The concept fascinated me. If I continue to put weights on this bar and force myself to curl it with perfect form, I thought, eventually I will be able to do more weight and will be bigger and stronger. I haven’t taken a break from working out except for vacations and injuries.”
But his commitment to excellence extends well beyond the walls of the gym — to the studio, to the set, to the battlefield, and on and on.
How did you make the decision to go to the Army?
I’m very independent and like to do everything on my own. A buddy of mine who was a year ahead of me got a full-ride scholarship through the Army to attend the college of his choice. They pay for your entire college, give you a monthly stipend, and when you graduate, you immediately get commissioned as an officer in the U.S. military. It sounded like an incredible idea.
What was your job in the Army?
I was a 21B, combat engineer. I went through training to blow stuff up, rebuild things, search for IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and many other things. I also went to Airborne School and jumped out of airplanes for a while. As an engineer officer in this “new Army” era, you end up taking on whatever task is thrown at you.
You had a degree in civil engineering and had a good career in the Army. So why the tug to come home and go into fitness and entertainment?
I wanted to serve my country, so I spent five years active duty. I never planned on doing 20 and retiring as an officer. Captain is the best rank you can wear, in my opinion. When I went back to Las Vegas, I realized I couldn’t spend my life behind a desk working a 9-to-5, and my love for fitness had grown immensely. Although a lot of people didn’t understand my career choice at the time, I went against the grain and decided to move to Los Angeles, become a recognizable name in the fitness industry with a positive reputation, and then study acting and do the same thing in that industry.
Here’s the workout Kyle Clarke uses for a few days ahead of a shoot, audition or acting gig. “I like to simplify my gym training in this manner in order to focus on other aspects of the role,” Clarke says. “I train hard 365 days a year, so my body is already where I want it to be. I’ll do this workout, doing as many sets as it takes to reach 100, resting minimally between sets or segments.”
100 Bench Presses
100 Leg Lifts
*Army Strong: Clarke usually completes 40 pull-ups on his first set.
See Kyle Clarke discuss his MRI supplement stack on his YouTube channel: