SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- --
Meeting the Air Force standards of physical fitness does not require one to be a bodybuilder, but for Senior Airman Guillermo Martinez, program manager, 17th Test Squadron, the two go hand-in-hand.
A bodybuilder for three years, Martinez has participated in numerous competitions both locally and statewide.
His journey to bodybuilding evolved from his love for fitness.
“My dad originally got me into weightlifting. I was always working out before but it wasn’t just lifting, it was running and getting fit,” he said. “I lost fifty pounds one summer. Then, I found out about bodybuilding and I immediately began training for my first show.”
From there, Martinez’s passion grew, and he soon aspired to sculpt his body to the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and other well-known bodybuilders.
“I’m looking into getting into classic physique competitions, like him (Schwarzenegger),” he laughed. “Back then, it wasn’t as competitive as it is now. Now it’s all politics; you can have the best physique in the world but if your name isn’t out there it’s going to be hard to be recognized.”
Staff Sgt. Samuel Stone, operator, 4th Space Control Squadron, who trained with Martinez for three months for a competition, said his passion and work ethic are impeccable.
“He’s a hard worker,” he said. “We would train seven days a week, he’s the one who got me interested in bodybuilding.”
For his first time training for competition, Martinez was his own coach, formulating a diet and schedule.
“I sacrificed too much and shut a lot of people out,” he said. “I realized I needed to become better at balancing life and regimen.”
Martinez said he over–exerted, and now recommends seeking a coach to help.
“Have a coach right off the bat,” he said. “Even if you think you may know your body and what you are doing, it’s always better to have an outside perspective just so you don’t stress or overwork.”
His self-training led him to place fifth in his class for his first show in 2016.
After coaching, he improved to third in his class for his second show in 2017.
Stone said Martinez helped him place during competitions as well.
“He (Martinez) was very supportive, he did a competition beforehand so he had a bit more experience,” Stone said. “There was a lot I didn’t know that he helped me out with. When you do these competitions, you don’t really go out to eat or really enjoy yourself; he was there all the time so it was nice having someone understanding what you are going through.”
Martinez said his favorite aspect of participating in competitions is the feeling of pride standing on the stage and meeting new people.
“It’s great to have the satisfaction of being on the stage knowing what I had to go through, the sacrifices I’ve made, the days where I didn’t want to do it or felt awful,” he said.
For Airmen seeking to embark on their own bodybuilding journey, Martinez listed his most important factors for them to consider to achieve success.
1. Handle Stress
Learn how to control your stress – mental and physical. The more you stress, the more your hormones will be imbalanced and it makes an impact.
2. Get sufficient sleep
If you don’t sleep, you don’t grow and you don’t recover.
3. Train hard
Make sure you train hard, giving it your all every day, don’t leave anything up to question.
4. Maintain a proper diet
With a diet you can get lean and manipulate your food intake to get a desired look.
Each aspect influences the other, (with little sleep, you can’t train as hard, with high stress, sleep can be difficult, etc.) but the one constant Martinez highlighted aspiring bodybuilders need to maintain is consistency.
“There’s going to be days where you take one step forward and two steps back, it’s human nature,” he said. “You have to keep on going and be consistent as best as you can.”
While he’s taking a break from competing, Martinez says he hopes to further his success in the future.
“When I step on that stage, as long as I do better than I did before, I’ll be happy,” he said.