Know Your Strength: Airman Embarks on Bodybuilding Quest

By Katie Lange
Defense Media Activity

Whether you’re an overachiever or an underachiever, we all want to better ourselves from time to time. We all have goals, and we all gain motivation from something.

Becoming a bodybuilder might not be on most people’s list of goals, but for soft-spoken Air Force Staff Sgt. Leticia Allen, it’s something she’s wanted to do for a long time.

“I never thought I could do it,” Allen said. “But I wanted to prove it to myself – that ‘Leticia, you can do this.’”

So what did she do? Went and did it, of course.

The Phoenix native trained for 18 weeks to prepare for the Clash of the Titans bodybuilding competition at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.

One of the first hurdles she faced – learning how to pose and walk onstage.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Leticia Allen works out during her training.

“The hardest thing is teaching people how to pose,” said Air Force Tech Sgt. Antonia Williams, Allen’s posing coach. “What do I do with my arm? Where do I put my foot?”

After a few weeks, the challenges came down to the diet more than anything else.

“The diet is the hardest thing that I’ve ever done in my life, and he [personal coach Kenny Marrero] does not make it easy on me,” Allen said. “That’s been consistently the hardest thing to stay on top of.”

Becoming A Warrior

Bodybuilding takes strength, dedication and hardwork. SSgt Leticia Allen shows us how it's done.

Posted by AFN Incirlik on Friday, December 1, 2017


How did she make it through? With lots of meal prep, including measuring the amount of protein she’d get each day. While that sounds tedious, Allen said it was actually helpful because your meals are all set for the day, making it easier to resist some temptations.

And then, of course, there were the grueling workouts.

By the time the competition was a few days away, she felt ready, mentally and physically.

“I’ve come such a long way. I’m just excited to get on the stage and say I did it,” Allen said, mentioning that part of her motivation was her family, who watched her progress on Instagram. “They completely backed me 100 percent. They said, ‘I know you can do it.’”

Air Force Staff Sgt. Leticia Allen gets ready to hit the stage!

Next thing you know, it was show time!

“It was amazing!” Allen said. “I’ve never felt anything like that before. It was totally worth it … every emotion and hardship that I went through.”

So how’d she do? You’ll just have to watch the videos above to find out!

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