Not everyone gets to live their dreams, but at 6 Pack, we love to encourage everyone who tries. Ryall Graber is already living her dream in everyday life as a former dental-hygienist-turned-fitness-trainer, now living in Barbados – but this year she gets to take her passion one step further. You might remember Ryall, 6 Pack ambassador, IFBB pro, and one of Canada's top-ranked professional fitness athletes, from the awesome journey she took us on last year with her Renee Tote by her side – from Paris and Jordan to Egypt, Turkey, and Ukraine, and Belgium and Italy to Greece, Serbia, and Austria, before heading home to Barbados! All told, Ryall traveled to sixteen different countries, and now she's hungry for more. The Arnold Classic is well known among fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders alike. Every year hundreds of IFBB pros apply to compete in this prestigious bodybuilding competition, but not everyone is invited to participate. Ryall achieved IFBB pro status in 2007 and started applying for the Arnold that year. She wasn't invited to compete until 2013 – but she's been back every year since! This year, Ryall has been invited to compete not only at the first run of the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio on March 3-6, but also the second stop at the Arnold Classic Australia in Melbourne.
From Melbourne, Ryall will head over to Brazil. The Arnold Brazil Pro Fitness event has been cancelled this year due to the current economic situation in the area, but they are still holding the bodybuilding portion. Ryall was invited to appear as a guest and will be performing her two-minute routine there.
The Arnold Classic Worldwide continues into Africa in May, Asia in August, and Europe in September. Ryall has applied to compete at every single one and invited us to share her journey as she travels the world alongside the Arnold.
We caught up with Ryall before her first appearance this week to talk about how she's preparing and lay it all out as we get ready to follow along with her summer of serious bodybuilding dedication!
The first step in getting to the Arnold is applying, and they don't accept just anyone. It took Ryall six years to get invited to compete; 2016 marks her fourth Arnold appearance. She points to her consistency and commitment as key reasons she has been invited to appear repeatedly. "It takes dedication; that's what they're looking for and that's what pays off," Ryall stated.
"The Arnold is one of the most prestigious stages you can be invited to step on in the entire world. Every competitor tries to be at their absolute best when they step on that stage," Ryall elaborated. "With other events, you might not go in 100% every single day, every single time. You might only be 95% some days; you might skip that extra round of cardio. But the path to the Arnold is completely regimented."
Check out Ryall on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and her website. Don't forget to check back for our interview with Ryall post-Arnold USA appearance and tag along with us as we tag along with Ryall on her most exciting global fitness adventure yet!
Ryall made sure to note that she enjoys every single step of the journey all the way to the stage, but at the end of the day, she's there to win. "I bring my best to every single event. I come to every show, no matter what level, with the attitude of a champion," she said. But this year, Ryall actually had to reorganize her life to put her training first. She had to significantly reduce a lot of her outside commitments in order to make the time; not only did that mean doubling down on her own dedication to the craft, but taking on less personal training work as well. Training for the Arnold makes the sacrifices more obvious, and for Ryall, sacrifice is the flipside of perseverance. "I didn't want to feel at any point that I had sold myself short when I got up on that stage," she explained. "You can't expect to just be a rock star and have it all. People get disillusioned, but to truly go for it, you have to make those sacrifices."
"I've never kept to a more consistent schedule. I'm training, at minimum, twice a day. Three days a week I train, three times a day."
That being said, Ryall does have one spot open in the April edition of her fabulous Fitness Getaways. Does traveling to and training in Barbados appeal to you? You can do it with Ryall! She offers a full fitness submersion in the beautiful environment, including one-on-one training and island exploration in the sun and sand. Pursue your fitness goals in the tropics and follow your adventurous spirit on one of Ryall's Fitness Getaways!
"I don't want to just step on the stage. I want to compete."