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Face of Defense: Soldier Strives to Become Pro Bodybuilder

By Army Staff Sgt. Rauel Tirado
U.S. Army Central

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait, Oct. 7, 2011 – When not deployed, Army Capt. Flossie Jeffrey's day starts at 4 a.m. She goes to the gym for a morning workout after dropping her daughter off at school, and also manages to squeeze in another workout during her lunch break.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Capt. Flossie Jeffrey is a semiprofessional bodybuilder who finished second at the Desert Classic V Bodybuilding Show at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Sept. 25, 2011. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Rauel Tirado

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

After work, Jeffrey attends courses to earn a master's degree and often doesn’t get home until 11:30 p.m., only to do it all over again the next day.

But her passion for the sport makes the long day worth it, she said. The captain is a semipro bodybuilder and a member of the National Physique Committee.

“As a semipro bodybuilder, I get paid during the season to be in shape and compete," said Jeffrey, who is deployed with 3rd Army/U.S. Army Central as a collection manager in the intelligence section. "What better way to earn money and maintain great health?"

The captain has continued her workout routine while on deployment.

Jeffrey started working out for cheerleading in college. Her workouts soon sparked an interest in weightlifting.

In 1997, she joined the Army and was stationed at Fort Benning, Ga. While there, she met Linda Murray, who was the reigning Miss Olympia. Jeffrey was inspired to start competing.

In 2007, the captain competed in the North American Sport Federation All Forces Bodybuilding Military Show in Chesapeake, Va. She placed first as best poser and finished in the top three in her division.

Jeffrey recently competed in the Desert Classic V Bodybuilding Show here and placed second in her division.

"Jeffrey's routine definitely showed a stage presence of someone who has been in bodybuilding competitions before," said Patrick Wyatt, Desert Classic V Bodybuilding Show coordinator and one of the six show judges. "She has a very nice physique and drew a great crowd reaction."

Wyatt said choosing first place in Jeffrey's division was difficult. It was a tie between the judges.

"It came down to points, and Jeffrey missed first place by one point," said Wyatt. "It was a matter of one pose and one judge's view against her favor. The competition was that close."

The competitors have to come into competition in peak form, Wyatt noted. But with service members being stationed overseas, training is more difficult because of missions and limited food selections.

Jeffrey also faces similar challenges. She manages a workout in the evenings and mostly eats fruits and vegetables from the salad bar.

Prior to the show, she followed a strict diet plan of six meals a day and worked out twice a day. A week before the competition, Jeffrey began a diet plan of three meals a day and started chewing ice chips instead of drinking.

"To get muscle and body cuts to stand out during the competition, you must dry out the water in your body," Jeffrey explained. "Chewing ice chips lowers water intake, allowing your skin to become tight around the muscles. It's a method called shredding, which is used by professionals who are skilled in nutrition."

Jeffrey said she does not recommend shredding to amateurs due to the risk of dehydration. During her spare time, she assists soldiers seeking help in proper diet plans and workout routines.

Jeffrey, who also is a military Level 1 Modern Army Combatives instructor, will continue competing as a bodybuilder when she returns stateside. Her goal is to earn a Pro Card, which would make her a professional bodybuilder.

"One day I would like to be a full-time bodybuilder," she said. "To wake one day, knowing my job is to work out and bodybuild would be awesome."


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