CHIBA, Japan – Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bradley Garrett is no stranger to accountability and a strict regimen, serving as both property book officer and fitness trainer with the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade; he also aspires to be a top bodybuilder, placing fourth out of more than 150 contestants in a bodybuilding competition here May 3.
“I competed in the ‘Men's Physique’ division,” said Garrett. “The overall goal was to place sixth place or better to become eligible to compete at higher classes in future shows. All things considered; I was happy to place fourth.”
To make things even more challenging, Garrett is vegan, meaning, he consumes no food (such as meat, eggs, or dairy products) that comes from animals.
“It is a misconception that you are weak and malnourished if you are a vegan; this is proof that you can cut fat and build muscle on a plant-based lifestyle,” said Garrett. “This was a non-drug tested show, so I wanted to challenge myself as a natural, vegan bodybuilder. I had plans to compete last year and the year before, but COVID caused cancellations.”
To counter the gym limitations during the global pandemic, Garrett designed a series of Pacific Guardian Fitness videos to guide Soldiers and family members through do-it-yourself virtual workout videos tailored to help train for the Army Combat Fitness Test and assist with weight control.
“Garrett’s body-building aspirations and accomplishments inspired all of us in the S4 [budget, supply, and logistics] shop to eat healthy and exercise,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 River Mitchell, 38th ADA food service technician and fellow fitness trainer. “Working with Garrett throughout his training leading up the event was astonishing to observe such a high output of work coupled with exhilarating training in both his exercise and diet. He is a professional both on and off duty and a model for others to emulate.”
Both Mitchell and Garrett challenge each other and their Soldiers regularly to strive for excellence in anything they apply themselves to.
“Working for the [38th ADA] brigade has always been a learning experience in logistics, property, and supply operations because of the various training exercises and moving pieces,” said Spc. Antonio C. Chua, unit supply specialist. “Watching my supervisors accomplish their professional and personal goals makes me realize I can achieve all my life goals: they push me to do better and apply myself.”
Garrett started his six-month advance preparation in December at 20 percent body fat and was able to step on stage at just eight percent body fat.
“Hunger is by far the biggest challenge: sometimes I would go to bed early just to not feel hungry,” said Garrett. “I found that most of my time was spent in the kitchen or in the gym. I ate foods that made me feel fuller but have low calories. For example, I would eat a large bag of spinach just before bed. Even though it was only 30 calories, it made me feel full long enough to go to sleep.”
Garrett attributes his discipline to his more than 15 years of active-duty service with the U.S. Army, his spouse and co-workers, who played a major part helping him adhere to his training and nutrition regimen.
“My job entails tremendous amounts of detail, organization, and accountability, which I apply off duty as well,” he said. My wife Courtney is also preparing to compete, which made it easier as we are eating the same foods, which helped prevent temptation.”
Garrett’s hard work paid off when he walked on stage and placed in the top five.
“A lot was going through my mind,” he said. “Surprisingly I wasn't nervous. I was more concerned with rather or not I did a good enough pump up prior to and that my posing was well-practiced.”
Having extensive knowledge and experience in the Army's property management and supply system procedures, processes and regulations translated into applying the same critical thinking, diligent preparation, and rehearsals necessary to excel in bodybuilding competitions. Garrett continues to prove that perseverance pays off both on and off duty.