Retired Marine Philip Ricardo Jr. Continues Coaching to Be Service Match


While you see an image of Philip Ricardo Jr., or should you see him in particular person, you’re not solely a longtime bodybuilder, you’re a retired United States Marine. There have been some individuals who noticed him and will have questioned whether or not he’s nonetheless energetic. That’s due to the form he has saved himself in for the stage and life.

“I take delight that I used to be within the Marines. So, I don’t need anyone asking ‘you had been within the Marines?’ I need them to nonetheless see that Marine in me.”

Ricardo grew up in Brooklyn, New York, however he would ultimately transfer to Chicago, Illinois. All through his childhood, he admired bodybuilders and he was an enormous fan of Lou Ferrigno because the Unbelievable Hulk.

“I at all times cherished watching Bruce Banner remodel into the Unbelievable Hulk,” he mentioned. “I used to be in awe of Lou Ferrigno. I used to be in awe of him competing in opposition to Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

He additionally performed soccer with excessive hopes of constructing it to a school staff. Sadly, that didn’t occur for him. After talking along with his father, they got here to the choice that becoming a member of the US Armed Forces could be in his greatest curiosity.

“A Marine Corps recruiter got here to our home. We talked, and we got here to the conclusion that becoming a member of could be the perfect route for me to go,” he recalled. “For me being a bodily energetic man, I believe that was the perfect problem for me.”

On December 28, 1989 the 18-year-old Ricardo reported to his first day of boot camp, and that might be the beginning of a 21-year profession as a Marine. Regardless that he felt like he was disciplined and structured at a younger age, the primary era service member credited his time in service for serving to him develop and evolve much more due to how he needed to rise to challenges reminiscent of operating 25-mile rucks and dealing varied jobs all through his time in service. He could be stationed in Japan at one level, and it might be there that he would make his means onto a bodybuilding state for the primary time.

“On the bottom I used to be at, that they had a contest that they known as a Friendship Day competitors. Friendship Day was when the Japanese nationals would come on base and see among the tools and issues that had been there. On the similar time, they’d host this bodybuilding present.”

Ricardo had already been coaching laborious whereas he was there. So, he would enter that present after a present put his title in it, and he received the middleweight class. He mentioned he misplaced the general to somebody who was shredded and had extra stage presence. Nonetheless, Ricardo obtained bit by the bodybuilding bug.

“It was good to get a person trophy for what I did,” he shared.

As for Ricardo’s navy profession, he went over 17 years with out being deployed abroad, however ultimately Ricardo could be despatched to Iraq in 2007, It was by selection, although, as a result of he truly went rather than a co-worker who was an anticipating father.

“I truly volunteered to take his spot and go over there,” he defined. “For me, that was an enormous deal as a result of I had my family clearly. I simply felt like I had to try this and volunteer so he might be there for his household.”

Ricardo labored as a Particular Operations chief on that mission, and he could be part of two deployments earlier than his profession led to 2011. Whereas he was not on energetic responsibility, he continued to compete in bodybuilding competitions, and he would ultimately get forged to be part of a film, “Era Iron: Natty 4 Life.” Now, like Ferrigno who was in Pumping Iron, Ricardo was part of a bodybuilding film.

“I grew up with Pumping Iron. Each single film that had something to do with bodybuilding, I used to be watching it,” he defined. Era Iron: Natty 4 Life featured former M&F cowl mannequin Mike O’Hearn and chronicled a number of bodybuilders all through their prep for contests. For Ricardo, it was a spotlight in a profession that has spanned a number of years.

“I by no means thought in one million years that I might’ve had the profession I’ve had, and it took till later in my profession to have it. However God works in mysterious methods.”

Apart from coaching himself, Ricardo additionally works as a private coach. He sees himself as an advocate for health not solely to his shoppers, but additionally to different veterans. He desires to be an instance to indicate others that they should concentrate on self-improvement for themselves in addition to their households and pals.

“If it weren’t for bodybuilding, I might most likely have extra well being points,” mentioned Ricardo. “This life-style has actually helped me with my well being, which I take severely as a result of I’ve household and youngsters. The very last thing I need is to depart them early. I believe people who served ought to take that very same form of mindset.”

Ricardo hopes that his story might be a optimistic instance for the era arising as nicely. Youngsters popping out of highschool have many choices, however there may be additionally numerous points they face that different generations could not have. Ricardo feels {that a} profession in service could be helpful for younger adults now and nicely into the longer term. Apart from dedication to their homeland, it might be of their private greatest pursuits.

“The Marine Corps really modified my life. I obtained to go in and study a commerce that lots of people simply don’t get. I’ve pals in each New York and Chicago, they usually’re in the identical conditions, simply older now. They could not have first rate jobs, however they aren’t as worldly or completed as you can be within the navy. The navy will educate you a lot extra that nothing else on the market can.”

Observe Philip Ricardo Jr. on Fb and on Instagram @ricardos_legend.

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