JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
Being physically fit, going to the gym and living healthy is a way of life for Army Staff Sgt. Bryan Osorio, a member of the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
Osorio, a 470th MIB counterintelligence special agent, trains hard every day to keep himself in shape, whether it’s lifting weights, walking several flights of stairs or doing other types of cardio.
The many hours of dedicated workouts and training paid off for Osorio when he won two first place trophies in a bodybuilding competition at the Europa Games in Dallas June 16-17. The competition was put on by the National Physique Committee, one of the largest amateur bodybuilding organizations in the nation.
In participating in his first ever bodybuilding contest, Osorio finished first in both the novice category, consisting of 14 contestants, and in his class in the open category, consisting of 11 competitors. The novice category was for first time participants at the bodybuilding competition.
“It was pretty exciting,” said Osorio of the moment when he won the competition. “It was more of a ‘Wow! I did it.’ These weeks of hard work paid off.’”
Osorio trained for 12 weeks to prepare for the competition, a workout schedule that included getting to the gym at 4 a.m. to do an hour of cardio before physical training and weight training at lunch. In addition, he ate six meals of day on a strict diet consisting of carbohydrates including egg whites, oatmeal, chicken and rice, and he stayed hydrated by drinking 2.5 gallons of water per day.
Building up muscle through weight training was especially important since the Europa Games competition emphasized physique. Contestants were judged on various parts of their physique including upper torso, shoulders, abdominals, back and “V-line,” the shape in the midsection of the body between the oblique muscles and hip flexors.
Osorio said he decided to enter the Europa Games bodybuilding competition in February, after completing Fitness Operatives, or FITOPS, a four-week program that helps service members and veterans become certified trainers.
“I’ve always wanted to compete,” he said. “It’s always been a dream of mine. Something was always going on between deployments, being TDY (temporary duty) or just making excuses. I decided now was the time to stop playing games. It was time to pursue this dream. I hired a trainer and went after it.”
Osorio said his commanding officer, members of the 470th MIB team he works with, friends he graduated with in the Fitness Operatives and his wife supported and encouraged him to take part in the Europa Games.
At first, Osorio wanted to compete in a local contest, but his personal trainer, Louie Diaz, persuaded him to compete in the Europa Games, one of the biggest bodybuilding shows in Texas.
“My trainer said, ‘You got the physique for it. Let’s go for it,’” Osorio said.
By winning at the Europa Games contest, Osorio qualified to compete in a national competition next year sanctioned by the International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness, the international governing organization for bodybuilding.
If he wins or places at the national competition, Osorio could then compete at future competitions as a professional.
Osorio said he got into working out and weight training in high school. He said going to the gym has become a big part of his life and daily routine.
“It’s just something I love to do,” he said. “I’ve been doing it for so long now if I don’t do it, I don’t feel right.”
Osorio leads the reconditioning program for the 312th Military Intelligence Battalion, Charlie Detachment, the unit within the 470th MIB he is assigned to. In that role, he oversees both the overall and remedial physical training programs for the Soldiers assigned to the detachment and helps them with questions they have about nutrition, dieting, working out and how to live a healthier lifestyle.
As a certified personal trainer and head of the program, Osorio said he gets satisfaction out of helping servicemembers achieve their fitness goals.
“I like educating, seeing people improve and being that mentor,” he said. “Everyone needs to start somewhere. You don’t need to be the person lifting the most weights, just knowing the fundamentals and having confidence to be in the gym.”