Iris DavisProfile Photo

Iris Davis

Currently, the oldest IFBB Pro (International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation) in the United States, and more than likely in the world.

I started bodybuilding at age 22 to combat severe depression. I suffered the loss of my first child. When I was 18 years of age he died at two months old of pneumonia. When I was 22 years of age I had another son and unfortunately when he was two months old my husband died, so that’s when began my lifelong battle with depression, which I suffer from to this very day. Over the years, I have been hospitalized three times with nervous breakdowns

I was born in Ireland left at age 17 went to England I was one of 14 children. I started walking as a way of relieving my depression, and that started me going into a gym at that time in 1962 gyms were not like what we call gyms these days. First of all women were not allowed in. It was just a big fat, sweaty man with chalk all over the floor. There were no machines like we know there are today so that’s where I started and that’s where I developed my love.

Fast forward to age 50 while living in London. I entered my first competition because I was encouraged by the members of my gym. They said I looked good and I should get up on stage. However, the show I entered didn’t have any categories for females whatsoever, so I either have to get up on stage with the men or forget about it completely. Well, being young and shy, I guess I wasn’t that shy, but I got up on stage at age 50 with men between the ages of 20 and 30. There were five in my class I believe and I came second .

Seven years later and living in the United States. I met a gentleman in the gym in Florida, and he said he was looking for a female partner to enter a competition with him. I was 57 years of age. It would’ve been my second time on stage, so I agreed. I came home with first place in the women’s and I came home with first place in the mixed pairs, so that was a huge achievement and a big thrill and that’s when I really took bodybuilding seriously. That same year 2021, I entered seven more competitions that year and came first and every single one of them either would enter one a year till age 66 and I won about six or seven or eight more titles

I retired in at age 66 in 2010, time and decided to come out of retirement in 2020 at the age of 76 where I took three more first place titles several inspirational awards plus in 2020, I was awarded by the worlds women leadership Congress in Mumbai, a pioneer award for my contribution to Fitness. I had to go to Mumbai, make a speech and accept my watch, which was a huge honor.

In 2021 on and in 2022 I was very active in competing again. I won the national in Pittsburgh at the age of 77 and taking a pro card. I do guest appearances as this day I am in great demand for speaking engagements and podcasts, etc. and my year is not over yet. I have two very exciting events coming up before the end of the year when I will turn 80 and I hope to retire then.

I opened my own gym at age 75. I have clients with me for the last 13 years I have encouraged three young men to get up on stage and they all won and went on to become bodybuilders themselves. I know and encourage and mentor quite a few hundred ladies, so I’m very proud of all my achievements are considering I started with nothing very very poor upbringing in Dublin, Ireland and where I am right now I thank God every day for my blessings. I still suffer with depression daily so my daily medicine is exercise. I believe I have found the fountain of youth and I believe I’ve saved my own life many times over .

March 14, 2023

The Three Ladies

This is the story of three remarkable women - a 79 year old champion weight lifter and body builder, an 88 year old holder of the Guinness Book of World Records for the oldest working female comedian and a 103 …

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