There’s a saying among firefighters: “Firefighters can’t save lives if they can’t save themselves.” Because lives are on the line, firefighters must always be proactive in maintaining peak physical fitness for one of the most physically demanding jobs out there.
For Kevin Roy of Sudbury, Canada, these words are a mantra that he’s lived by for nine years. During that time, Kevin has been both a wildland firefighter and a fitness model. The two occupations nearly go hand in hand. Wildland firefighters must be physically fit in order to fight wildland fires safely and effectively, as well as to avoid injuries. Firefighters, strike team leaders, line scouts and others assigned arduous duty must be prepared to work in steep terrain and in extreme temperatures, altitude and smoke – while maintaining reserve work capacity to meet unforeseen emergencies.
The challenges with maintaining peak physical condition as not just a wildland firefighter but as a fitness model are the time and travel demands that accompany both jobs. Kevin has been all over Canada on deployments for 20 days at a time, on average, at base camps. Most of the time he has no access to a gym for training at these locations, and often their isolation makes it impossible to even drive to a commercial gym.
For some this would be an easy excuse to slip into maintenance mode, that dreaded no-man’s land between making and losing gains – one that many often fall into when life’s demands begin to chip away at their time and will to grind through day after day of training and dieting.
Not for Kevin. When he first signed with MuscleTech®, he was on deployment in the Northwest Territories – situated above the Arctic Circle – where small communities are often isolated from others and accessible only by air. For three months in summer, sunlight is almost continuous. In winter, however, darkness sets in and the light of day is barely seen for a quarter of the year.
After being signed, Team MuscleTech wanted to shoot him as soon as possible to appear in the latest marketing campaign! Despite being in one of the most sparsely populated areas of extreme northern Canada, Kevin went to work on dialing his physique for the shoot. “I built pull-up bars on trees,” says Kevin. “I brought a TRX Suspension System to attach to trees and, if possible, did cardio using it when there were no roads or other spots to run.” Like fictional boxer Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV, Kevin trained during his deployment in the Northwest Territories, utilizing his creative mind to find new ways to train get into photoshoot shape. After working 14- to 16-hour shifts, Kevin would train using bodyweight exercises, his TRX, a homemade pull-up bar and other creative exercises using his firefighting equipment and other heavy objects at the camp.
“I was able to prep while I was away and brought a great physique to the shoot!” he says. “This shoot was published in numerous magazines and other advertisements on social media. The long hours, base camp food and workouts after my shift were well worth it!”
Now Kevin is on a new career path in law enforcement – one that his days as a wildland firefighter have prepared him well for. “It’s a complete opposite uniform but still in the emergency response service. I’ve worked really hard to make this transition through vigorous processes, but the end result was for the best because recently I reached that goal!”
“For me, fitness is always going to be a big part of my life. I believe in health and longevity. There are no shortcuts, temporary fixes or fast results in this sport,” says Kevin. “It’s about consistency, effort and being persistent. Bodybuilding has taught me many things life. Despite the situation you face, it’s important to give your 100% in everything that you do in life.”
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Kevin is a 27 year old Natural Bodybuilder from Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. He remembers the first day his Dad brought him to the gym and he was hooked. He looks up to him in many ways. From his work ethic, his lifestyle and how he puts 100% in everything that he does in life. “One day I told myself that I wanted to be exactly like him”, said Kevin. Still to this day, they train together when he visits home. He competed in 5 bodybuilding shows and the last show he won 1st place in Men’s Classic Bodybuilding and Men’s Middle Weight at the OPA Cobourg Naturals. He believes fitness to be a lifestyle, not just a 12 week prep or bulk the other part of the year. He much prefers to stay leaner and be an all around athlete. With his current career, it’s important for him to be agile and quick on his feet. He’s had various coaches over the years and he’s learnt a lot with each one. The knowledge he’s acquired and still learning is more science based to nutrition and training. His approaches have changed drastically for the best. Kevin is always going to live this lifestyle because it taught him to put his 100% in everything that he does in life, from career, friendships, relationships, fitness and goal searching.
|“The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger|