FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Two athletes will represent Fort Wainwright at the 2011 National Physique Committee sanctioned Alaska State Bodybuilding competition and national qualifier Saturday in Anchorage. The event will showcase men's and women's fitness, a women's figure and bikini category, men's and women's bodybuilding in different categories, mixed-pairs bodybuilding and junior fitness. The winners will capture the Last Frontier title and then have an opportunity to compete at the next level.

This will be the second competition for Staff Sgt. Emily Beers, U.S. Army Garrison Replacement Detachment noncommissioned officer, who placed first in the 5'4" and under class at the Crystal Cup Fitness Expo in November 2010.

Nathaniel Missimer, a Fort Wainwright police officer, started competing in 2008 and in 2010 took first place in his weight class. He chose to be a bodybuilder because, "I wanted to continue to do something that would bring me fulfillment and continue to make my family and friends proud of me," he said. "Plus it is a challenge to prepare for something like competitive bodybuilding and I wanted to do something that was challenging for me."

"He (Nate) is a great person," Beers said. "We are supportive of each other, he gives me tips, we compare what we are eating and train on a daily basis. It's nice to have a friend that knows what you're going through."

Beers started bodybuilding when she entered the Army in 2004. "When I came in the military I wasn't the best at PT," she said, "but through the inspiration of my senior NCO at Fort Bragg I worked hard to achieve my goals."

Beers, from Emmaus, Penn., was admittedly nervous the first time around, she said, "I just knew I had to go out the on stage and show how hard I worked." As for now, "My body has gained some good muscle and I feel as if I look way better," Beers said.

This time around she has been eating higher amounts of carbohydrates on some days and always eats a high amount of protein. "I cut down my cheat meals to once a week or so," she said, "and the cheat meal consists of yogurt, protein pancakes or a protein roll (sushi).

Missimer said, "My diet in the off season is normally anything I want, but I stick to healthier food such as skinless chicken breast prepared in a variety of ways, fat-free milk, bell peppers, chocolate, etc, which brings my weight up to 225 pounds." Leading up to the competition though, he cuts out the junk food and sticks to the basics, "vegetables, chicken, whole wheat wraps, fruit and water. I space my portioned meals out every 2 to 4 hours and lean myself down to 190 pounds," he said.

Missimer has worked hard to build up his shoulders and arms since the last show and feels his shoulders are his strongest attribute.

Besides feeling that her overall physique has improved, Beers has another reason to be excited about the show. Her dad is coming to visit. "I can't wait to see him. It has been a long time. He is excited to see me and see what the sport is really about," Beers said.

Along with the change in her dieting, she says she is more focused. "I have more knowledge, dedication and desire. I think I am a stronger person physically and mentally." For the show she has turned her cardio sessions into "high-intense-interval-training sessions," she said. "I do sprints, run for 40 to 45 minutes then walk at an incline. I try to burn 600 to 700 calories each morning." In the afternoon she lifts, focusing on specific body areas and mixes in abdominal work. "I have been doing a lot of drop-sets and super-setting lately to keep my body guessing. I then finish off with another 20 minutes of cardio to burn about 200 to 300 calories," Beers said.

Since her last show, Beers attended the Army's Advanced Leader's Course and won the Distinguished Leadership Award and had a high PT score as well. "ALC was a turning point in my career," Beers said. "I met some great (people) that really motivated me to step up my game and focus on making that next rank. I always pride myself on being a strong person and showing my
Soldiers what is right." While attending the ALC she was offered a position as an instructor and accepted. Beers has already gotten orders to report to Joint Base Sam Houston, Texas.

Beers has struggled to get where she is today. "When I returned from Iraq I hit a low point going through a rough divorce," she said. I struggled mentally for about a year." Beers suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety. "I look back (now) and feel proud that I was able to work through it all and have become a better person who is more focused. I (realized I) couldn't control the past and what happened, but I could control my future as a Soldier," she said.

Beers realizes mental health issues are serious and need to be handled in a delicate manner. "Not every Soldier is the same and everyone heals differently," Beers said. "The Army has a great program to help Soldiers with mental health issues. I think any Soldier facing depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts should seek help. It is important for the command to ensure their Soldiers get the help they need and not ignore the signs of serious health issues," Beers said.

Beers is an example of that help and her future looks bright. She continues to perfect her fitness routine, is working towards a bachelor's degree in kinesiology and looks forward to taking the next step in her Army career. "After this next tour in Texas I would like to become an officer," she said, I am only 24 (years-old), I have completed seven years in the military and will most likely do 20. The people I work with at the Replacement Detachment joke around and say I am going to have a workout DVD one day and be famous."

Saturday Beers and Missimer will take their fine-tuned physiques to the Alaska State Competition, but then, she said, "We have a list of places (things) we want to eat after the show: pizza, burgers, steak and Girl Scout cookies."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16