Karen Mullarkey

Fitness modeling is a career that requires a really fit body, well-toned muscles, and a lot of diligence. The muscular-built physique is indeed an extraordinary and exceptional form. It has a very affirming power; it provokes astonishment and admiration.
IFBB Figure Pro Karen Mullarkey is a fitness model that promotes a wholesome and healthy lifestyle. In the interview we have discussed about various topics that encompass fitness, competitions, beauty and success.

Author: Jonathan.L, owner Models Observer
October 2010

1. Karen, how are you?

Karen Mullarkey: I am doing wonderful and thank you so much for this opportunity! You have an amazing website and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

2. Please tell me about your childhood. Were you educated to diligence, commitment to your goal until you achieve it and physical excellence as you show on stage?

Karen Mullarkey: I was raised in the great city of Louisville, Kentucky. I have two amazing parents and two older bothers. I was the first girl to be born in an extended family of all boys, needless to say, I had no choice but to be a tomboy. Being raised with all boys, I learned very early in life that if I wanted to hang with them then I had to keep up. As far back as I can remember, I was involved in athletics.

My parents instilled in me that nothing comes easy and if you want something in life than you better work for it. I think that has pretty much been the story of my life.

3. So far in your Figure journey, what have been your favorite, most inspirational moments?

Karen Mullarkey: Earning my IFBB pro card was probably my most inspirational moment. I had worked so hard and had been on the national circuit for 2.5 years. I felt that I had certainly earned it. I will never forget when they called me out in 2nd place at Team Universe in NYC, I almost fell over! It was certainly a shock that my dream had finally become a reality.

4. Why do you like competitions?

Karen Mullarkey: I am naturally a competitor! I love to compete because it not only satisfies my competitive drive, but the competitions keep me in shape year round. Fitness modeling is my main goal right now, so I use competing as a tool to keep me photo ready. You never know when you are going to get a modeling opportunity and you better be in shape!

5. What are the biggest challenges of getting fit and weight loss?

Karen Mullarkey: The biggest challenge for me is dieting, which means lack of social life. I am a very social person and it is hard to go out and not be able to have a glass of wine or a bite of yummy food. Over the years dieting has certainly gotten easier for me because it is just a lifestyle change. I try and balance the best I can with cheat meals on the weekend. It gives me something to look forward to.

6. Who are your role models in the fitness industry or otherwise?

Karen Mullarkey: Monica Brant is my main role model in the bodybuilding industry. She not only has an amazing physique, but she knows how to market herself. She has made a career out of fitness and that is what I intend to do. I am very passionate about the fitness industry and I plan to make a solid living from doing what I love!

7. What were the challenges that you faced during figure competitions?

Karen Mullarkey: The biggest challenge for me was going from a solid top 5 national competitor to at the back of the pack in the IFBB. I have competed as a pro in the IFBB for 3 years and my best placing has been 15th. I work my tail off for each competition and I feel that I am always consistent with my conditioning. Although, it has been frustrating it is also an honor to know I am on stage with the best physiques in the world.

8. How do your preparations for fitness modeling differ from preparations for a figure competition?

Karen Mullarkey: As far as preparing for shoots, my workouts stay the same.....INTENSE! I only know one speed and it is all out for every workout session. The diet is very similar as well. The only difference is that I do not pull water for modeling and I do not have to be as hard. In order to do well in modeling you have to be marketable. There is a fine line of being too hard, which takes away your marketability.

9. Tell me about the planned switch from figure to bikini.

Karen Mullarkey: Due to my lack of placing well in IFBB figure, I have decided to make the switch to bikini. One reason is that I needed a change and the other is that I do not have to worry about putting on more muscle. Donít get me wrong, I love the sport of figure but it is certainly time for me to move on. I just had my IFBB bikini debut a few weeks back at the Tournament of Champions in CA. I think with a little work on my stage presence, I will move up the ladder in my next show. Keep your fingers crossed!

10. Why are women afraid of building muscle? How do you get it through to your clients that they need to build muscle in order to burn fat and see their abs?

Karen Mullarkey: Most of my female clients believe that if they lift heavy they will get big. I am sorry ladies, but that is just not in your genetic makeup. I tell my clients that there is a method to my madness and to just trust me. Itís the ones that actually trust their trainer that get the best results. The more muscle you have, the faster you burn fat!

11. What other challenges do you enjoy tackling as a trainer?

Karen Mullarkey: I love the marketing side of training and promoting my own business. Since I decided to start my own business two years ago, I have never been happier. I can honestly say that I LOVE what I do. So many avenues have opened up with me since I started to market myself nationally and internationally. The sky is the limit, baby!

12. Have you ever struggled with your own weight?

Karen Mullarkey: When I moved to Arizona in 2001, I weighed 133 pounds which is a lot for 5í2Ē frame. I took one look around at all the gorgeous in shape women in Scottsdale and knew that I had work to do. A year later I was a happy and healthy 120 pounds and I have never looked back.

13. What is a typical day of Karen Mullarkey like?

Karen Mullarkey: The alarm goes off at 4:30 am and I hit the ground running. I train clients all morning and somehow manage to get in my cardio and weight training. I come home in the early afternoon and send out endless emails for modeling work and respond to emails from potential clients. Then, I head back to the gym to train my evening clients. I always make sure to somehow get my meals in every 1.5-3 hours. Life is Good!

14. What or who motivates you daily, and why?

Karen Mullarkey: My trainer, Ernie Villegas helps to motivate me on a daily basis. I have been training under him for the past 7 years and have learned so much from him. He is the one that continuously pushes me in each workout. He is the BEST!

15. How do you balance career and family?

Karen Mullarkey: My husband and I both run our own businesses so during the work week we hardly see each other. We make sure that we spend time on the weekends together. Life is too short and you have to be able to put work aside for family. We try and take long weekends every few months and travel somewhere so we can get away from work and reconnect.

16. What bothers you the most about what is happening in the world today? Why?

Karen Mullarkey: Obesity in the United States is very upsetting to me. When are we going to learn that we have to change our ways? What is even more upsetting is that children are now learning from the adults and have obesity problems themselves. This cycle has got to stop. It is time to open your eyes, America!

17. What would you like to change in yourself, and why?

Karen Mullarkey: I would like to work on having more patience. I am the definition of a type A personality and it is hard for me to slow down. My husband always says that I have no patience. It is certainly something that I am working on. Maybe I just need to move back to a small town in Colorado so I can slow down? That doesnít sound like a bad idea (smiles).

18. As someone who sculpts her body, do you like art and statues?

Karen Mullarkey: I am more a fan of art than statues. I have loved finding art work for our home. I am definitely a fan contemporary art and glass. I have glass blown art all over our house. I love the colors and clean lines.

19. Where do you see yourself in five (or 10) years?

Karen Mullarkey: I hope to be running a very successful training business and to hopefully have a collection of magazines that I have been published in. I am not going to lie that I would love to be an Oxygen Cover Model. Only time will tell........

Thanks so much for this opportunity and keep up the great job with your website.


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