Military Bodybuilder Of The Month: Corrie E. Perdue
The United States Department of Defense and the U.S. Army work hand-in-hand to defend borders and coordinate military actions. Corrie Perdue worked in both.
Corrie is part of the modern military. He's been to Iraq and Afghanistan. He understands a definition of sacrifice that most people only get at surface levels. It's not just life and limb; it is about time, and years away from family and home.
We honor our military at every step at Bodybuilding.com, but we realize that what we do is trifling compared to the efforts of the military. We thank you for all you do. And we honor Corrie Perdue as this month's Military Bodybuilder of the Month.
Name: Corrie E. Perdue
Age: 28 Height: 5' 7" Weight: 185 lbs
Years Bodybuilding: 2 years
Branch of Service: U.S. Army / Department of Defense
Years of Service: 11
Tours of Duty:
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
Sep 2004 - Feb 2005;
OIF Sep 2005 - Sep 2006;
OIF (DoD Contractor) Jan 2008 -
OIF (DoD Civilian) Apr 2010 -
Operation Enduring Freedom
(Afghanistan) June 2011-Dec 2011;
Rank: U.S. Army SGT (E-5) / DoD Civilian GG-13
MOS: 96B / 97B
Awards, Medals, Decorations:
Army Accommodation Medal, Global War
on Terrorism Service medal, Joint Civilian
Service Achievement Medal/Award,
Article 5 Nato Medal
I began lifting weights in high school because I was skinny and wanted to gain weight. It was more recreational at the time, but it took on a new level during my second tour to Iraq. When you are isolated in the Middle East from your family and most of your friends, the gym becomes a stress reliever. It's like a sanctuary, if you will. You take your problems there, you work them out, and you leave them there. Due to my work schedule I was usually in the gym two to three times per day. It was the perfect outlet for me to release my frustrations.
I had two lifting partners, Kelly Lewis and Ashbel Benjamin. Going to gym became our daily ritual and we stuck to it for our entire deployment. It was our way of not only socializing but staying in shape at the same time. We supported and motivated each other to go a little further.
After departing the military I began to deploy as a government civilian for the Department of Defense and decided I wanted to take my body to next level. I began to lift heavier, more frequent, and study the body so I wouldn't be trying things, aimlessly hoping to get results. After I returned from my fifth deployment in 2010 I encountered several people who asked me if I was a competitive bodybuilder. I had never really given competing any serious consideration but I was eventually talked into giving it a shot.
I went ahead and registered for a small National Gym Association competition in Annapolis, Maryland, and eventually went on to compete in the heavyweight novice division, where I placed first. The main take away from the experience was how significantly your diet can change the appearance of your body. It gave me a newfound respect for competitive bodybuilding. I learned that most of your progress happens at the dinner table instead of in the gym.
The hardest part of my transition was getting used to the daily routine. Your days become an exact regimen and since you are a soldier 24 hours per day, you have to be prepared to be wherever you are required usually on short notice. Eventually your body becomes used to the early morning workouts and long days.
In the military I was an all-source intelligence analyst and counterintelligence specialist. This involves a variety of intelligence activities that vary in nature but primarily deal with the security, analysis, collection, and dissemination of national intelligence information.
After my second tour to Iraq, I began to look at fitness as another tool I had available to me that would make it easier for me to make it home. In a combat environment you never want to find yourself in a situation where you can't do something because you simply aren't physically capable. If my life or the life of my comrades was ever dependent on me being able to run miles non-stop to get help or strong enough to lift them and carry them, I never wanted to be physically unable to do so.
I wasn't physically in harm's way on daily basis, but if or when I was I wanted to be prepared. The most honest statement in the military is that we do things for the soldiers we serve with. You build lifelong friendships and relationships that are virtually impossible to break. It's those types of relationships that drove me to want to be fully capable of saving the lives of my friends if needed.
Prior to going into the military I really wanted to be an architect. It was a dream and I likely would have pursued that instead of going into the military if I didn't hate physics so much.
The biggest obstacle is the constant moving. You find yourself at a duty station for years. You get used to the location, the people, and begin to settle in really well. However, as soon as that happens, it is usually time to go to your next duty station.
Fitness is sacrifice. I don't really think it could be put any simpler than that. You have to be willing to push yourself a little further, sacrifice time in the gym to get the results you want, and have the will to live a life that is centered on your desire to be and stay physically fit. My diet isn't always appetizing; I am often tired and would rather be asleep than working out, but the greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward.
I think it is easier. You are usually physically active to some degree, you are afforded time on a daily basis that is only for physical fitness, and you have a vast amount of resources available, which are usually free, for you to achieve your fitness goals. I am afforded a lot of the same opportunities with my current employer, however, most of my fitness-related expenses come out of my pocket. When it becomes harder is when you are faced with varying schedules, deployments, and training. That seriously takes away from the time you have to stay in shape.
My plans currently are to gain mass, stay fit, and maybe compete again sometime in the future.
When I was a soldier it kept me motivated, disciplined, and in shape for all physical activitites that I had to perform.
Have discipline and have patience. Building muscle doesn't happen overnight so you will need both to obtain your goals.
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Just read your article man...good stuff! Just started getting into this stuff (having no lifting experience whatsoever) about 4 months ago at the start of my Kuwait rotation. Tracking progress, and seeing changes.
Hey Corrie, BB gives a brief database of the exercises you told them were a part of your program, I'm just wondering if everything there is proper and correct cause I would like to try this out, for ex) Day 4-Dumbbell Rows, could be Barbell Rows and its a mistake, is there anything you do differently and how long are your rest periods!
So on the days where you were lifting twice/three times a day how did your workout vary on that day? For Ex on a back/biceps day what would be different if i was performing a two a day?
I break my days up by major by weight training, cardio, and circuit training. So on a two or three a day I will do like back and biceps, second workout will be 45 min to 1 hour of cardio and abs or calves, and the last workout will be a crossfit style workout.
I've got mad respect for anybody in the military, but I have even more respect for people like Corrie who are bound and determined to be the best that they can possibly be. Thanks for the amazing article and tips, and thank you for your service.
Thanks for your service and the article. Looking to give your workout a world starting today.
What does you ab workouts/cardio consist of and when do you normally work them into your schedule?