2010 Military Contest Top Winner -
A good story isn't worth telling unless the ending is rewarding. My life has been full of challenges, but that is no different than anyone else's life. My story is unique because I took control of my life and started pursuing what I believed in. My journey all started with the Bodybuilding.com website, an order for about $100, and a workout plan from a friend on BodySpace.
As I surfed the web and read interesting stories of bodybuilders, I realized that they all had one thing in common; they all overcame adversities. Bodybuilding not only builds a strong body, but it also creates a strong mind. This contest has given me the confidence to pursue bodybuilding further.
Good health is essential to a quality body. The first step to embarking on the body transformation journey is the diet. If the diet is the first step, then Bodybuilding.com is the first website. Bodybuilding.com's supplements, diet plans, and tips by the pros are what made my success possible. In the Army no one makes a success of themselves on their own. If you choose to take the next step and transform your body, Bodybuilding.com will be your best friend. If you do not have a BodySpace account, I suggest you get one today. Then look me up - sean.hardge!
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One of the great things about bodybuilding is that most of the research has already been done for us. All we have to do is tailor the information to our schedules, body types, and situations. We do not have to reinvent the wheel. There is some personal research that must be done, but all that we need is a pen and a pad of paper. It is critical to write down the work you get done in the gym. This is one of the many tips I received on Bodybuilding.com.
To all my brothers in arms in all branches of service; I dare you to take the next step!
Sean Talks With Bodybuilding.com About His Fitness Journey
You said that your fitness journey started with Bodybuilding.com - could you tell us the story behind that?
I am currently stationed in Afghanistan, and when you are deployed supplements are limited in the PX. Everyone becomes a gym rat, which means the shelves become empty very quickly. My buddy told me about a website called Bodybuilding.com that had the cheapest supplements on the net. What made Bodybuilding.com extra special was they were accustomed to dealing with military orders.
I eventually visited the site, and I have to say I was completely amazed. It was not just a store but more of a supersite. It had everything from workouts to blogs from professional bodybuilders. I knew if I was to achieve my goal I needed to study the information thoroughly. I spent all of my free time at the MWR checking out all Bodybuilding.com had to offer.
My workout plan might seem very familiar, and that is because it is a combination of 3 different Bodybuilding.com workouts. I accredit my knowledge of bodybuilding to Bodybuilding.com. Without this site I would still be going in circles and looking in magazines wishing I looked the way the other guys did. Then there's BodySpace, which allows you to meet people who are on the same fitness journey as you. I met several bodybuilders who taught me a lot. I watched several videos of one BodySpace member that displayed really unique training techniques. I copied a lot of his training, and it worked for me. BodySpace is a site every bodybuilder should visit. I am always being asked for advice, and every time I see a new individual starting the same journey that I started, my first tip for them is to visit Bodybuilding.com.
How do you think winning the Military Spokes Model contest will affect your life?
I have been receiving numerous emails about lifting and training. My first question for people who email me is, "Do you have a BodySpace account?" If they say no then I tell them to get one. Get one now!
I feel that military people will seek me out, which means I have to spend more time researching bodybuilding. I'm currently seeking a degree in Sports Science, and I plan to help soldiers who deal with weight issues. I feel honored to be in the military and to be representing the Bodybuilding.com team. This win is a stepping stone to becoming a bodybuilder. So many people were surprised that a contest like this existed. A lot of people want to participate in events like this, but they do not know where to start. Being a member of Bodybuilding.com affects my life every day. I constantly learn new information, I meet new friends who give me advice, and I get exposure as an amateur bodybuilder. This contest gave me the confidence to go all the way with bodybuilding.
What's your favorite thing about the Bodybuilding.com website?
My favorite and most helpful thing about Bodybuilding.com is the Exercise Database where you can see detailed explanations of exercises. I had always wanted to switch up my routine with some different exercises, but I did not know what exercises would benefit me. With the Exercise Database, you can click on a body part and all the exercises for that body part come up. What's even better is the exercises are rated based on their effectiveness. That is outstanding! Where else can you go to study something and all the research has already been done for you? This site is amazing, and I can see myself using it forever.
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I Constantly Learn New Information, I Meet New Friends Who Give Me Advice, And I Get Exposure As An Amateur Bodybuilder.
What is one of your favorite memories from being in the Army?
I served in Hawaii, and my favorite memory by far is training at Block Arena with my shipmate Lenroy Williams. I owe this guy so much. He introduced me to powerlifting. Before I met him I never even considered lifting as heavy as I could. He also had a variety of exercises he liked to do.
I served on the U.S.S. Port Royal CG73, which deployed on West Pacs. Visiting all the different countries made the military exciting for me, and I will never forget those experiences. When I joined the Army, I was sent to one of the toughest bases in the Army. Fort Campbell is hardcore, and I enjoyed my time there. My best memory this year was working with my SGM. She actually focused on training me in detail on my MOS. I now feel confident in bodybuilding, school, and my job. I have really been blessed this year.
Was there a time when being in great physical shape helped you do your job in the military?
My physical condition helped me during my previous deployment. I would connect up with these large tires for military vehicles. Every time I had to participate in manual labor I would turn it into a workout. I remember working with my battle buddy in Camp Speicher Tirkrit Iraq. We were tasked on a Sunday, which is usually an off day for our section to break down a guard point. The Forward Operating Base (FOB) was building a metal structure for individuals on guard duty to post guard in. The one previously built was made of wood. We had to break the wood posts down. At first we were really pissed about having to do it, but my buddy Alexander starting making it a competition. Who could move the fastest, and who could break down the most wood. I don't remember who won, but I do remember breaking that entire post down in less than an hour.
The military is very physical. All branches require that you be in shape, because you never know when you will be tasked with manual labor. That day taught me to embrace hard work. My job is a desk job, but I am always willing to get my hands dirty.
One more thing, in the Navy I was a Boatswain Mate. Anyone who has served in the Navy knows that that job is all manual labor, so being fit can make the job a lot easier. There were many days spent lifting heavy chains, ropes, and moving equipment from the lowest deck to the highest. I would not trade any one of those experiences. They made me who I am.
What are your goals for 2011 and what do you have planned?
My main goal is to step on stage and participate in another competition. I want to continue working on my degree in sports science, and I thought I would give fitness modeling a try. This entire year is about training, and I hope I can recruit some people to do the same thing. I would love to train someone. Fortunately I have that opportunity because I am a Staff Sergeant. I have soldiers under me, so I can influence them with my bodybuilding. Now I feel like I have something to back up my words. Winning this competition will make people trust my advice. Like I said before, my first piece of advice to any beginning bodybuilder or person trying to gain a better fitness level is start using Bodybuilding.com
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This Entire Year Is About Training, And I Hope I Can
Recruit Some People To Do The Same Thing.
View Sean's 2010 Military Challenge submission complete with his nutrition and training programs Here.
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