Kyle Farnsworth is like many other athletes who have a competitive drive and spirit. He has a desire to be on a field or court giving his all to win. That spirit is what helped him make it to the big leagues in baseball as a pitcher. In his 15-career, he played for nine teams – most notably the Chicago Cubs. Farnworth played as a starter and reliever throughout his career, but he may be most famous for a fight he was involved in during the 2003 season.
After his MLB career was over, he changed to football, playing in a semi-pro league for five years. Once that career reached its conclusion, he wasn’t sure about what step to take next. He was training for himself at this point when an idea came to his mind.
“Well. I’ve beat myself up in the gym long enough, and I always wanted to give bodybuilding a shot. I’m already in the gym training every day,” he said. “Why not do it for a purpose?”
Bodybuilding wasn’t a new sport to Farnsworth. As a matter of fact, he discovered it around the same time he started working out for his sport, while attending college and pursuing his first dream of taking the mound for a Major League team.
“I was first introduced to the weight room while I was in college,” said Farnsworth. “We had mandatory lifts and stuff like that, but over time, I started to like it and got more into it, though.”
During those developmental years, Kyle Farnworth saw improvements in both performance and the way he looked. He read magazines such as Muscle & Fitness and Flex to study more about training and build upon the success he already had.
“I read about guys like Ronnie Coleman, Flex Wheeler, Chris Cormier, and Dexter Jackson,” he recalled. “Training wise, I learned what to do, what not to do, and seeing the way they looked, they looked like greek gods, which I found fascinating as well.”
With the experience he had in the weight room and the enjoyment he got from reading the magazines from his early days of training, Farnsworth decided at the age of 46 to take the plunge and started preparing to enter a bodybuilding show. Even though bodybuilding is an individual show, very few go through it alone. Kyle Farnsworth knew he needed help if this goal was to come to fruition. So, he called a trainer for guidance.
“I called Kash Guidry about a year ago, and told him I wanted to do a show. He helped me with a nutrition and training plan, and we went from there.” Farnsworth recalled. After evaluating his physique, they had decided the best fit for him would be Classic Physique.
“I knew I had good lower-body development. So, I didn’t want to do (Men’s) Physique,” he said. “I’m not putting those guys down at all, but I wanted to show my legs off and I think that was my strongest suit. As for bodybuilding, I didn’t feel my upper body was big enough to compete at that level.”
The target show was the 2022 Sheru Classic NPC Southern USA National Qualifier in Orlando, Florida, which was taking place on June 25th. He started preparing for the contest three months out. He reported that he had heard stories about dieting and calorie deprivation, but his only focus was not driving his wife Maria too crazy as the date drew near.
“I was doing everything I can to not drive her nuts,” he explained. He had to apologize to her a couple of times throughout that period, but he couldn’t speak highly enough about her support throughout his prep into this new venture.
“I gotta give her props for putting up with my crap.”
Kyle Farnsworth captured a lot of attention when a photo of himself less than a week out was making the rounds online. Much like the days that he was in the MLB, Farnsworth had become the talk of the sports world leading up to the contest. He was being talked about on shows like The Dan Patrick Show, Sportscenter, and many others. The attention wasn’t new to him. He was just focused on winning on game day.
Very rare gym bathroom selfie. 4 days out to my first body building competition. Classic Physique. These past few days have been fun with no carbs! #classicphysique #bodybuilding #pitcherswholift #npc #southernnational #hardwork #tats #sheruclassic pic.twitter.com/TS1fcdzTC4
— Kyle Farnsworth (@24_7Farnsworth) June 21, 2022
“I was excited on the day of the show, definitely nervous. I think if you’re not nervous going into anything, you shouldn’t do it,” Farnsworth shared. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and that I was a newbie at it.”
What surprised him the most was the effort it took to hold poses and stay in position for as long as he had to. The judges didn’t take it easy on the new guy, or any athlete that competed on that day for that matter.
“It was definitely a lot harder than I thought it was going to be,” he says. “I didn’t realize that it would be so tiring. Even when I was practicing before the show, my coach was making me hold poses for 15-20 seconds. I was sore after the show. It was pretty much another workout.”
The prep, effort, and soreness paid off for Kyle Farnsworth. He was a part of three contests in Orlando, and he won all three. He’s now qualified to compete in national level shows, which means he is only one step away from IFBB Pro League status. He is considering taking the next step, but he hasn’t made a final decision yet.
“If Maria doesn’t kick me out of the house, then I may do it,” he joked. “I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun. A lot of people have told me I have a good shot at turning pro. So, that did light another fire in me.”
While he ponders the possibility of competing again in his now third sport, his advice for others that may be taking the stage for the first time may be sound words to follow.
“Just try to go up and relax as best as you can. Let things play out the way they’re supposed to play out.”