News: Being strong and being fit, two different things
In 2009, he maxed out pushups and sit-ups, but barely passed the running portion of the PT test. His run time was 13:10; the Air Force standard is 13:36 for his age bracket. This was the turning point for this senior arman who could bench press 385 pounds, but could not run to save his life.
He recalls eating around 7,000 calories a day which included eating rib eyes for snacks to gain size and mass. His workouts were solely based on heavy lifting and his passion to get bigger was not unproblematic. I had a hard time scratching my back and I was spending several hundreds of dollars a week at the commissary, said Senior Airman Ralph Debiase, 92nd Medical Operations Squadron medical technician.
His decision to transform his body from heavy weight to a body builder started after his test and he became deeply committed to all aspects of physical fitness, maintaining perfect balance of cardio, diet and weights.
Its 2:30 pm at the Fairchild base clinic, this is a pre-workout meal time for Debiase. He pulls two small chicken breasts out of the fridge, heats them and up and devours them. This is meal four of six for Debiase, who is training for the Empire Classic bodybuilding competition in Spokane. This is his very first competition.
At first glance of his 5’11 chiseled frame, it’s hard to imagine the long road he has traveled to get to where he’s now.
He’s read books by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jay Cutler to understand the mechanics of lifting weights and how muscles work. Once he grasped the concepts of strength and anatomy training, his diet soon followed.
His diet now consists mainly of chicken breast, salmon, brown rice, broccoli and potatoes. He admits he has one cheat day to battle cravings, but for the most part maintains discipline.
“I almost cried when I ate a scoop of orange chicken from Panda Express because it tasted so good,” Debiase jokingly said.
He loves bodybuilding, but it has not come without a price. He injured his shoulder and had a back strain, which almost caused him to give up. The Conneaut, Ohio, native credits his wife Krystle, also in the Air Force, with pushing him to succeed when facing adversity.
"I’ve always wanted to push my body to get stronger and faster and now I have a safe vessel to do so. My determination and work ethic in the gym transcends into my daily life."
Debiase has shed a minute and 10 seconds off his PT run time and continues to strive for a faster time.
“Always have a plan and ask a doctor first before starting to body build”, said Debiase but always remember being strong and being fit, are two different things.”