Ripped
Staff Sgt. Darius Simpkins showing his stuff at ?"The Panhandle Showdown" in Pensacola, Fla., in 2012.

Staff Sgt. Darius Simpkins' body of work speaks for itself.

An avid health enthusiast, Simpkins is on a journey to win bodybuilding contests.

"Eventually I want to move up from physique to muscle model and on to lightweight or middleweight class," said the 719th Contingency Contracting Team contracting noncommissioned officer currently stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. "I've always worked out since I joined the Marines when I was 17. I got really serious about five years ago."

Since committing to an even healthier lifestyle, Simpkins has been on a mission and he's not going to think about stopping until his mission is accomplished.

"I set a goal when I was 30 to compete in a bodybuilding show and I accomplished that goal when I was 33. Now my goal is to win a show in my category," said Simpkins, who is in the process of transferring to the 409th Contracting Support Brigade in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Simpkins said his health habits are something he probably picked up from his mother.

"It started as a kid with watching my mother hit the gym faithfully. She is truly embedded in the foundation of why I do what I do," said the 33-year-old married father of six. "I also find that much of my inspiration is tied to the people I encounter that make the daily decisions to remain physically fit, as well as those that are striving to live a healthier lifestyle and get into better shape.

"My mom was a single mother so when she went to the gym and track, my sister and I had to join her. She was either in the gym working out, at the track running or at home doing aerobics. I remember peeking in the weight room when she would be working out and I would be in awe seeing the big bodybuilders. I think it was then that the bug bit me."

Simpkins stays in shape by maintaining a loose but consistent training regimen.

"My daily fitness routine normally begins with 30 to 40 minutes of interval training around 5:30 a.m., followed by a variety of abdominal exercises. I use my lunch break to do weight training," said the Georgia native. "I normally focus on one body part each day to really focus on it more and not feel rushed in the gym."

His training also includes some untraditional push-ups and sit-ups.

"I don't do push-ups and sit-ups daily. I train push-ups once a week at the end of a full chest workout," said the six-foot-tall Simpkins. "I'll do between 200 and 300 push-ups, doing sets of 50, with a one minute break in between. As far as sit-ups go I normally do a lot of core exercises focusing on my abs at least three days of the week."

To date, Simpkins has competed in one show, "The Panhandle Showdown" in Pensacola, Fla., in 2012. He said it's the first of many more to come.

"I remember going into the show telling myself that I was competing against myself. I simply wanted to walk out and belong on stage. I didn't want people to look at me and think what is this guy doing here."

Simpkins said his concentration on obtaining symmetry, muscularity and conditioning with his body is more than a way of bettering himself.

"I am an ambassador of fitness and nutrition. I truly believe that the discipline it takes to maintain proper fitness helps you in all aspects of life. It is easy to succumb to poor nutrition," said Simpkins, who eats an average 6 meals a day while sporting a size 34 waist. "You are more likely to find a fast food restaurant than a healthy alternative. While eating healthy may seem difficult, the health benefits will be worth the sacrifice."

Page last updated Thu April 10th, 2014 at 11:34