FORT KNOX, Ky. – He is a natural competitive body builder serving as a paralegal with the 1st Theater Sustainment Command with his ‘sights set’ on earning his professional bodybuilder card soon.
Staff Sgt. Cyril Peters, paralegal and administrative law NCOIC, staff judge advocate office, 1st TSC, primarily helps with investigations. “I assist investigating officers and file records into the online records systems and assist all of the attorneys at the 1st TSC get actions in front of the commanding general for signature,” he explained.
Peters is a lean, 6-feet tall, 206-pound Soldier possessing less than 10% body fat. When he competes for his professional body building card in a few months, his goal is to be at only 5% body fat. “This sport is not for the faint at heart,” Peters said. “It takes a lot of work and commitment.”
He achieved these high fitness standards, naturally, focusing 70% on diet and 30% on fitness training, which includes weightlifting and cardio training.
The staff sergeant claims Huntsville, Alabama as his hometown, but moved around a lot as a military child. “My father served in the Army, so I lived in Germany for six years and all over the Southern United States,” Peters said. He followed his father’s path.
After joining the Army about 10 years ago, Peters began taking fitness a lot more seriously. “It started with regular gym sessions 4-5 days a week, and then about three years ago I decided to compete in body building,” Peters said.
He met his best friend and trainer, Taurean-Diaz Coleman, when he arrived at Fort Knox three years ago, and Coleman provided him a new nutrition plan. “I’ve been meeting my nutritional goals every single day for the last few years, maximizing building and maintaining muscle,” he said.
He credits his trainer for sponsoring and training him to win in multiple categories at the National Physique Kentucky Open Amateur Body Building Competition, August 19, in Lexington. This was his first contest and he placed first in the hero class, second in the open class D, and second in the state class D in the men’s physique category.
How did the paralegal prepare for this competition? “I had a total of about 16 weeks to prepare,” Peters explained. “I lost my father during this time, and it devastated me.”
“Then it encouraged me to push on because I wanted to make him proud,” he said. “I wanted to achieve something professionally on the side that was my passion.”
For seven days a week Peters followed his meal plan and did deliberate work outs that were perfectly set up to allow him to present his body. He consumed more that 3,000 calories a day. Then he put himself into caloric deficit as low as 1200 calories a day to gradually cause his body to lose fat and slowly get into competition stage condition.
“A lot of my prep was doing poses and mirror shots,” he said. He also practiced doing vacuum poses to control his body on stage. His workouts focused a lot on his shoulders and back.
This competition qualified Peters to compete at the National Physique Competition this December in Irvington, Texas. There he’ll be competing against first and second place state champions from throughout the country. All of them will be competing for their professional cards.
The National Physique Competition is the premiere amateur physique organization in the world. Since 1982, the top athletes in bodybuilding, fitness, figure, bikini, and physique have started their careers in the NPC. Many of those athletes graduated to successful careers in the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation and Professional League, a list that includes 24 Olympia and 38 Arnold Classic winners.
Peters just received his new nutrition plan to prepare for the National Physique Competition from his new coach. “I’ll be consuming 3,700 calories per day,” he said. “I’ll eat 370 grams of protein every day, eating up to seven meals a day.
“It’s a lot of work,” Peters admits. He is closely monitored and does not recommend high intake protein diets for someone not preparing for a competition and under supervision.
He had complete bloodwork done to check every part of his body when he started training.
“I also have weekly check-ins that include progress photos and current weight.
“You must meet your macro nutrients along with your branch and essential amino acids every single day to help assist in your recovery,” the body builder added. “All these things tie into your bloodwork and organ stability. if you don’t have the proper balance, you’re going to have health issues,” he explained.,
Nutrition plays an important role in recovery, which Peters says is just as important as the workout itself. “Ample sleep and rest days are essential also with recovery,” he said.
Peters recommends that athletes put in just as much effort in the kitchen as they do in the gym to prevent their bodies from going into survival mode. “Your body will burn fat and build muscle when you show it that you’re going to give it all of the nutrients it needs,” he said.
Peters believes that he can compete naturally because of his genetics. “My genetics predisposes me to be able to display a muscular look that’s considered big enough and round enough to be competitive on a body building stage,” he said.
Peters got here because of his diet, drive, consistency, and his commitment. “I want it so bad that it’s like second nature to me. It’s like breathing. That’s how much I want to be successful,” he said.
It’s his same drive and commitment to service which allows him to balance being a Soldier and enjoying his hobby. Additionally, bodybuilding doesn’t require him putting on a lot of bulk and he is at his leanest and fittest when he competes. “If I take the Army Combat Fitness Test around this time, I’ll do very well,” he said.
Once he earns his pro card, Peters hopes to have a career in bodybuilding in addition to serving as a Soldier.