Final Essay

When I first entered the contest I had second thoughts about going through
with it, but luckily I surrounded myself with positive people who help
motivated me on the way.  So before I start my final essay, I would like to
thank my training partners, Jan and Kirra for keeping me on track and not
letting me stray too far off course.  I have to admit it was much harder
than I had initially expected to reach my goal.  Being deployed and having
to eat at the DFAC (which is dining facility for you non-military folks)
makes it tough to eat properly, meaning correct  portions and correct
timing.  I'm still not 100% satisfied with my results, but that's only fuel
for the fire to continue to work out and improve my physique on a daily
basis.  Looking back, I am glad I entered the contest and was able to
improve my physique and get my six-pack back before I turn 40 in a few

My training schedule was actually easy to follow, as I am currently deployed
and work pretty much the same hours every day, 7 days a week.  I built a
five day split where I worked all of my body parts in 5 days.  Day 1 was
Chest, Day 2 Back, Day 3 Shoulders, Day 4 Arms, and Day 5 Legs. I did
abdominals every other day.  Most weeks I would start the rotation over
after day 5 without taking a day off.  In my 12 weeks of prep for this
contest, I took only 3 days off, not because I was super dedicated, but
because I had nothing better (productive) to do at my deployed location.  I
would usually perform 4-6 exercises per body part with a warm up set of
15-20 reps and then 4 working sets in the rep range of 8-12.  I also
incorporated drop sets, super sets, giant sets, and rest pauses when I felt
that the straight sets didn't sufficiently exhaust my muscles.  Cardio was
done about 5 times a week for the first 6 weeks with walking on the
treadmill at the 15% incline for 30 minutes.  For the last 6 weeks, I did
cardio every day for 30-45 minutes in duration on the treadmill at a 15%

As for my diet, I carefully cycled calories and carbohydrates.  My
macronutrient ratios were 47% protein, 21% carbohydrates and 32 % fats.
Mon, Tues, and Weds were low carb/low calorie days (less than 100 gms/day
carbs); Thurs was medium carb/calories day (150-175 gms/day carbs); Fri and
Sat were low carb days again, and then Sunday was my high carb/calorie day
(200-300 gms/day carbs).  I would also have my "cheat" food item on Sundays,
i.e. ice cream or cheese cake or some Doritos. Anything I was craving was
fair game, in moderation, of course.  I averaged about 2300 calories per day
for the first 8 weeks.  The last 4 weeks, I just reduced 250 calories/day to
about 2050 and did the extra cardio to burn the last bit of stubborn fat
around my belly and back area.  In a nutshell, I ate a whole bunch of meat
and green veggies to hit my macronutrient ratios.

For supplementation, I took the MusclePharm Core Stack, which consisted of
the Creatine, MuscleGel, BCAA, and Armor-V.  I really liked the MuscleGel
Tropical Mango flavor.  It was the first time I tried a gel protein and was
pleasantly surprised.  It was very palatable, tasted great, convenient and
fits easily into my diet plan for High Protein/Low Calories.  I also
supplement with BSN's Syntha-6 protein powder, usually as a meal replacement
in between my 3 normal meals of the day and took fish oil and flax oil
supplements.  My pre-workout drink was Gaspari's SuperPump Max.  It really
helps to get me fired up for the workouts.

I think I would make the ideal military spokesperson because I strive to
exemplify the military's "whole person" concept.  Although I enjoy working
out,  bodybuilding and taking care of myself, I am also a dedicated Air
Force Captain, loving husband, and proud father of two very active young
children. I believe the best motivation is through example, and I have
dedicated my life to being a positive role model for my children as well as
my fellow brothers and sisters in arms. I absolutely love the challenge of
helping other people accomplish their fitness goals and have worked hard to
help many others. In fact, I recently became a certified fitness trainer.  I
didn't do it to find a second career, but I did it primarily for my own
education. I know I still have a lot to learn about fitness and nutrition
myself and want to be able to impart that knowledge to others who may have
physique goals that I can help them achieve.  I find it extremely rewarding
to guide and watch someone transform their current physiques to one that
others aspire to emulate.  Some people work out all the time and eat right
all the time, but still never see the fruits of their labor.  They usually
only lack one key element in their lifestyles that can help them get over
the hump.  I relish the challenge of working with those individuals and
trying to help them find that missing key element.  For some, it's education
or nutrition or workout regimen/intensity.  Whatever it may be, the
challenge of finding it and overcoming it is very gratifying.  People
frequently come to me for exercise or nutrition tips and I never turn them
away, because I am just as happy and proud seeing their progress as well as
seeing my own. The Air Force's core values are Integrity First, Service
Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do.  They remind us what it takes to
get the mission done. They inspire us to do our very best at all times. They
are the common bond among all comrades in arms, and they are the glue that
unifies the force and ties us to the great warriors and public servants of
the past. This contest was a great venue for Airmen to exercise those core
values.  I believe working out and attaining physique goals epitomize all of
those core values especially "excellence in all we do".