Home' Army News : November 12th 2009 Contents 15-27 November 2009
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"2007 & 2009, Go Back to Back Red Men"
Army November 12, 2009
HAVING spent nearly six months
worshipping his body like a
high-maintenance temple, Sgt
Jason Stafford is relieved to have
"rejoined the human race".
A strict diet and training regime
had seen him through his most pun-
ishing program of bodybuilding com-
petitions, culminating in the World
Natural Bodybuilding Federation's
(WNBF) Asia-Pacific Championships
in Sydney recently.
A win in his light-heavyweight
category would have entitled him to
an all expenses-paid trip to New York
for the world titles. He came second --
and, he admits, that might have been
a blessing in disguise.
"I honestly don't think I would
have been able to make it," he says.
"I have just done the same number of
competitions in 5½ months as I did in
the previous two years and I'm feel-
ing really burnt out."
Sgt Stafford, a PTI at RMC
Duntroon, had decided to tackle com-
petitions in parallel federations. With
an eye on the international arena,
he was interested in trying out the
International Natural Bodybuilding
Association's (INBA) program.
That meant working his way
through to the International Olympia
on the Gold Coast this season, while
completing the regular WNBF pro-
gram at the same time.
He recorded two wins, two sec-
onds and a third in the six competi-
tions he entered.
His result in the International
Olympia was "not worth mention-
ing". "But at least it gave me an idea
of what I'm up against and where I
need to be in an international con-
text," he says.
Yes, despite his present state of
exhaustion, Sgt Stafford still plans
to take on the world, after a break,
in what can be a dissatisfying, albeit
"When you think you do all that
work and preparation so you can
stand on stage for five minutes in your
budgie smugglers in front of a group
of strangers who don't know anything
about you and whose sole job is to
pick flaws in your physique -- poten-
tially, there is a very little reward for a
lot of sacrifice," he says.
But after 10 years of bodybuilding
and three of competition, the 35-year-
old is not quite ready to give up the
life of extreme discipline.
The serious preparation starts
about 16 weeks out from competi-
tion, with a month of cutting out the
junk and making the transition to a
Then comes a couple of months
of high-carbohydrate eating (cycling
between high-, moderate- and low-
calorie menus), and finally three
weeks of carbohydrate rotations
before a week of finely tuned diet
At his peak, Sgt Stafford puts in
six one-hour cardio sessions (at 5am)
and six hours of weight training a
week, and sets the clock to eat every
"Although my wife didn't leave
me over the last few months, there
were probably a few times when she
thought about it," he jokes.
Ain't easy being lean
Definition of definition:
Sgt Jason Stafford
strikes a pose at the
Photo by White Knights
IN THE "achievement of my life", Cpl
Renee Nicholls finished 20th among
the women in last month's Hawaiian
Ironman, putting her on top of the
world in the 25-29 age group.
Cpl Nicholls, a PTI at HQ LWC
Kokoda Barracks, Canungra, over-
came a crippling cramp in the mara-
thon running leg of the gruelling
event to finish 20 minutes ahead of
her nearest age-group rival.
She said the race, held in hot and
windy conditions, required intense
mental discipline. "I have never been
The race was a test of the world's
best and her result "didn't feel quite
real", she said.
an iron will
Unreal: Cpl Renee Nicholls in
winning action in WA earlier this
Photo by www.fusesports.com.au
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