Here's why so many veterans and active servicemen choose bodybuilding as their sport
May 25, 2022
The demands of keeping fit in the military can’t be understated. The need to be both mentally and physically focussed and the high demands it places on your all-round toughness, means that you need to be at the top of your game 24/7. It’s the ultimate commitment you can make.
It will come as no surprise then to hear that so many servicemen and women choose bodybuilding as their sport as it also requires total focus, dedication and discipline.
Roy Evans is a case in point. The former intelligence specialist supported counterterrorism operations and also counter-insurgency operations around the world. He served for three years, finishing with an E-5 ranking. He received included the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal amongst others. After seeing many comrades fall, he decided that life was too short and he was going to play everything to the max. He trained hard and worked his way up the bodybuilding ranks. In 2017 he earned his pro card as a Classic Physique competitor.
Cedric McMillan was also a Champion Bodybuilder And Army Veteran. After serving over 20 years in the US military, he went on to win many professional bodybuilding competitions, including the Arnold Classic in 2017.
But it’s not just for the body. Bodybuilding helped military veteran David Cuff to overcome PTSD and the gym became his “safe place”. He was able to battle through the demons in his head and used his emotions to get both physically and mentally tougher. He told ABC, "If anybody is out there going through something like depression, just find a hobby like the gym or something like that, and keep your mind off that," Cuff said. "If you are feeling depressed, get into that. It can be a great hobby and enough motivation to get off your shoulders."
Army Staff Sgt. Bryan Osorio is a member of the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. He won two first place trophies at the Europa Games Bodybuilding Championships. He trained for 12 weeks in preparation for the games, which meant getting to the gym at 4am for cardio work before weight training. He lived on a high-carb diet including egg whites, chicken and rice and was drinking up to 2.5 gallons of water a day.
Senior Airman Terrence Ruffin, 21, became the youngest professional bodybuilder on the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness circuit in 28 years, winning a 150-pound lightweight category at a competition in Miami. His dedication to bodybuilding saw him join the Air Force’s honour guard. And because he showed so much dedication and discipline in his bodybuilding regimen, Ruffin earlier this month joined the Air Force's honour guard.
"When I went to the gym, all the worries and trials and whatnot, they all just sort of left," Ruffin said in an interview. "It was kind of a therapy. You can get out any frustrations, and you're too tired to worry about anything afterwards."
He basically worked off all of his worries and frustrations in the gym and came out a better person for it.
Randy Lloyd is another example of an ex-veteran who shifted his focus from serving his country to focusing on his own personal development. He came home from war with both physical and emotional injuries. He is now an elite PT helping others with their own personal fitness journeys.
Of course, the only way these results have been enhanced by the right choice of diet and natural supplements. Servicemembers know that steroid use is illegal and is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as listed under Article 112a. Use can be punishable by actions such as a reduction in rank or expulsion from the armed services.
In addition to this, the side effects of taking steroids or sarms include
- Increased appetite, which can lead to eight gain
- Changes in mood
- Muscle weakness
- Blurred vision
- Lower resistance to infection
- Decreased testicular size
- Skin conditions such as acne
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