We're back with globetrotting badass Ryall as she shares her adventures at the 2016 Arnold Classic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Find out more about what she's been up to this summer, starting in Columbus, then jetting across the world to Australia. In the fourth part of our series, Ryall tells us all about the next stop in Brazil! Ryall arrived in Brazil a week before the first day of the Arnold to prepare and get a lay of the land. While she was originally supposed to perform with just fellow IFBB pro Michelle Blank, a last-minute change in events led them to expand to a group of 5. Ryall has competed (and won) at the Arnold in Brazil numerous times before, but this time it was different. Instead of competing, she and the other women were invited to guest perform their respective pro fitness routines. As a result, it was much less regimented than her previous experiences, which allowed her to enjoy it in a different way than ever before.
Marta Aguiar, IFBB pro from Uruguay, went the extra mile, making carnival outfits for everyone – in green and yellow to match the Brazilian flag, of course. They practiced all week and opened the show with a choreographed routine, surprising the audience by coming in from behind them. Marta brought the popular Brazilian dance music she knew the crowd would go wild for, while Ryall and some of the other performers incorporated a mix of American dance music.
Dinner with Arnold himself, however, was easily the highlight of the trip for Ryall. She was able to see his level of passion and dedication to the sport first hand, which was truly motivational. "It's an exciting time to be a part of this world," she said. "He is building a legacy and he's doing it by taking this festival to every single continent. He's on fire!"
Ryall's many talents don't just stop at pro fitness and personal training, though. She's also in the process of launching a fitness clothing line – the RyFit Collection – a dream she's slowly been chipping away at since her first trip to Brazil. (Remember when she told us all about taking it to Paris for Fashion Week?) With the line now in its final stages, Ryall traveled to South Brazil post-Arnold to put the finishing touches on the collection herself. Not only was she able to be present for custom fittings and work face-to-face with the passionate team on the project, but she also hand selected gorgeous fabrics for samples herself, right there in the textile districts.
Ryall inspires us in so many ways! From her clothing line to her career as a trainer to her many years spent competing at the Arnold, Ryall embodies what it means to take control of your own destiny and live the life you've always wanted to live. Want more Ryall? Of course you do! Check her out on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and her website! You also will NOT want to miss part five, in which Ryall tells all on the Arnold in South Africa!
Not only was there less pressure from the lack of competition, but the women were asked to do something unique for the introduction to the show as well. Typically, performers are introduced to the crowd without much of a fuss. But this year called for something different. The president of the Arnold said to them, "Give me something I haven't seen before. Surprise me. Make it exciting." So they did.
"Usually it's hard to relax until after the competition, but Brazil felt like one amazing celebration after another as soon as we arrived."
"Everyone collaborated and it was fun to feel like there was no pressure," Ryall added. With the ability to focus on entertaining instead of competing, they were able to really let themselves have fun. Kai Greene, who won the show, even got in on the fun. "He started doing the Locomotion on-stage while we were performing," Ryall stated with amusement. "The crowd loved it!"
"The show had never been opened like this before! Everyone was up on their feet dancing and cheering."
"The people made Brazil special and magical."
Snapchatting with Arnold!Overall, it was great for Ryall to be able to be a little more involved with events behind the scenes, including IFBB dinners. So much goes into setting up these events, and it was especially exciting to meet and work with all the intensely hard-working people behind the scenes.
One-of-a-kind watches designed by Arnold and given as unique keepsakes for the athletes!Beyond the festival itself, every day in Brazil was a new adventure for Ryall. Eating healthy was almost too easy, with an abundance of clean, grilled proteins, including fresh fish, as well as heaping piles of fresh, local vegetables. Ryall noted that she never saw a single fast food place; instead, churrascarias are the name of the restaurant game. In these eateries, meat is cooked in the churrasco style, which is essentially a Portuguese barbecue. She did, however, enjoy one cheat meal in a unique churrascaria – one that exclusively served pizza, from tuna and salmon to the ultimate cheat meal in the form of dessert pizza. (Who wouldn't cheat on their diet with a Nutella and banana pizza?) "You have to flex your willpower muscle," Ryall explained. No one is superhuman; even the hardest working individuals should allow themselves a break every now and then, an important lesson for anyone to keep in mind.
"At one point, you will feel, 'I just want to relax. I just want to enjoy a piece of pizza.' So you let yourself have that moment. But then it's right back on track the next day. It's hard, but the key is moderation. You have to have a balanced approach."