Military Bodybuilder Of The Month: Jane Grieme

Jane is a standout member of the Air National Guard. Her dedication to fitness helps her aim higher toward a career after the service.

Whether she is administering PT tests for colleagues, at the gym lifting for herself, or standing on a competition stage, Jane Grieme takes fitness seriously. She is a second-generation soldier and is married to a guardsman. Everything she does is somehow connected service to her nation.

Jane is a modern woman in a modern military. She kicks butt on the base, and has also competed in beauty pageants and figure competitions. Jane has scored a near-perfect score on her PT tests, but she continues to reach for that perfect score. If she doesn't work harder, how can she tell others to do the same? She lives the military lifestyle and the fit life.

How did you get started
in bodybuilding?

I fell in love with my brother's bench set and weights. I started working out at Powerhouse Gym when I was 16 years old. I loved the atmosphere of the gym, the ability to push myself and build myself. And I love the stage. It was love at first exposure! It's funny because I am actually a trainer now at that same gym where I got my start. I knew I wanted to compete since I first joined my gym. The rest is history!

What inspired you to join
the military?

My dad worked in the same area that I joined. My husband was enlisted. And I just love my country! I always wondered if I had it in me to get through basic training, and I was proud to do my small part for our nation.

"The hardest part for us is always separation. It takes a strong marriage, trust, and commitment!"

Since I am only in the Air National Guard, I serve one weekend per month and two weeks per year, so there is thankfully not a huge amount of transition for me. However, since my husband is also in the military, he also has training and deployments. The hardest part for us is always separation. It takes a strong marriage, trust, and commitment!

You oversee PT testing for the Air Guard. Can you give a general assessment of fitness in the modern Air National Guard?

Yes, I do oversee the PT testing. Although we have increased the difficulty of our standards and the integrity of the PT testing, I am a little disappointed in the Air National Guard's commitment to excellence in PT. We should be "fit to fight" at all times. Although we only serve on a part-time basis, I feel strongly that this is simply essential and we need to take more pride in it.

I have been blessed to have only been to Canada and around the United States, but my husband has been deployed around the world. I have a strong understanding of how physical health is essential to a military member's ability to not only survive, but to thrive and excel in their job. It is not a matter of having a six pack, but again, being fit to fight!

How many bad G.I. Jane jokes have you heard? Any other examples?

Oh dear. "Is your first name Mary?" "I'm Tarzan, will you be my Jane?" It has been pretty funny! I take it in stride, and honestly, not a lot of people give me crap. Overall, I'm proud of it and say, "Yes, I am G.I. Jane! Do you have any questions?"

"I kicked her as hard as I could, and ... she tapped out because she thought I cracked her rib!"

You've done both ultimate fighting and beauty pageants. What made you take on this unique combination?

I love the stage, and I love the challenge of fighting! I participated in ultimate fighting three times. I have a background in taekwondo so I always wanted to see if I could actually fight. My dad did it, and so did my brother. My first two fights finished as draws [neither fighter tapped out], but my third one, I was fighting an ex-Marine chick. I kicked her as hard as I could, and in the first 30 seconds she tapped out because she thought I cracked her rib!

As far as beauty pageants, I was proud to be in the Miss South Dakota pageant, where I got first place in evening gown presentation. I was also in the Mrs. South Dakota pageants, which I didn't win because they thought I was "too sweet."

If you hadn't gone into the military, what occupation would you have pursued?

I knew from when I was 15 years old that I wanted to be a personal trainer, so I did it. I wanted to join the Air Force, so I did it. I set goals, and I go get them. I now have bigger goals and am excited to accomplish them. The only other occupation I considered was horse trainer. I grew up riding and training horses, so they will always be a huge love of mine.

How has your AFSC positioned you for a career after the military?

I was able to attend Coopers Institute and am now certified as a group fitness instructor, and I am a certified fitness specialist in the Air Force. That extra education has only enhanced my fitness career.

For now, it is part of my job is to be there as a resource to help soldiers who are not passing their PT tests. Sadly, not many come to me for help. I do have a few military members as clients, though. I love helping them succeed! The bottom line is this: We can give all the advice and tips in the world, but until they do it, my words are useless. People have to want to change.

"We can give all the advice and tips in the world, but until they do it, my words are useless. People have to want to change."

Gender roles are changing in the military. How does that affect you?

Women do have more authority and are taken more seriously. But I feel that also falls partly on us. We can't act like dainty, petty girls, and just expect respect. We must step up to our jobs and can't expect the men to do things for us. If we want to be treated the same, we must do our jobs the same.

However, I don't believe in equality. Women and men are not equal. We are different. Men and women have totally different strengths, so we need to understand those and work together to get the job done. I love my job. The only downside that I don't like is the crass and disgusting "humor." It's unnecessary and disrespectful!

"I don't believe in equality. Women and men are not equal. We are different. Men and women have totally different strengths, so we need to understand those and work together to get the job done."

You are married to a military man. Does that make it easier for you both? Can you empathize more with the schedule?

Yes, we have been married almost nine years, and yes it is so much easier for both of us to be in. Military jobs, lingo, structure, and training are hard to explain to civilians. He was in the Air Force active duty as an enlisted member and now he is a 2nd Lieutenant, so he has a huge knowledge base of the Air Force. My training helps me be a better wife to him so I can understand what he is going through!

Which nutrition plan works best for you?

Meal 1: 8:30 a.m.
Protein Pancake
Meal 2: 11 a.m.
Meal 3: 1:30 p.m.
Meal 4: 3:30 p.m.
Meal 5: 5:30 p.m. - Post-Workout
Meal 6: 7:30-8 p.m.
Meal 7: 10 p.m.

You've competed in the model category at the Fitness America weekend. How did it feel?

I loved being on stage! I had an amazing but different experience from NPC shows in the figure division! The Las Vegas stage was huge and amazing, with competitors from around the world.

I was not completely satisfied with my physique; I need to work more on my abs, delts, glute-ham tie-in, and stage presence. They flipped the stage when we got there, so my routine had to be the opposite of what I practiced—in huge heels, those turns are no joke! I didn't feel as comfortable as I wanted, and I placed 20th out of 24. I was disappointed, but I look forward to improving.

Can you give us an evaluation of your experience with Fitness America so far?

It is one well done show. Spectators just love it. I love the pageantry, stage, fitness level of the contestants, and diversity of the shows. My friends, family, and clients just loved watching it. I would highly recommend it to others. I also appreciate the "closed/narrow" stances—no super wide bikini posing is allowed. I feel this is much more appropriate.

Who are your favorite bodybuilders?

I highly respect Jamie Eason, and her ability to eat clean and stay so lean. I love Sophie Guidolin's incredible physique and her amazing recipes.

What one tip would you give other bodybuilders in the military?

Keep up the awesome work! Bodybuilding, when done right, will really set you up to learn, understand, and continue building your body. Be an example to others, we need that.

Do it right. Don't do silly fads, crazy diets, or pills. Make clean gains, get clean cuts, and get the job done right!

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