Many bodybuilding fans know Logan Franklin as one of the rising stars of the Classic Physique Division of the IFBB Pro League. While he enjoys being a part of his sport, this was not the career he would aspire to in his childhood. He knew that when he grew up he would have a higher calling - to serve his country.
“That was on the way from a young age. Everyone in my family served in the military, ”Franklin said. “My grandfather was awarded two Purple Hearts in the Vietnam War. My uncle was an airborne ranger. My father was in the army. My mother both served in the Army National Guard. So I have a lot of family history in the military. "
Logan Franklin knew college wouldn't be the path he personally needed after his sister died as a teenager. He admitted that during this period he did not take his grades as seriously as other students. His parents obviously mourned the loss too. Joining the army marked the next step in his life after high school. He too felt called by the events of September 11, 2001.
“I remember seeing that in fifth grade. It was one of those things that made me serve again, ”he explained. Franklin would actually fulfill a year of his engagement in Afghanistan, which was considered to be the stronghold of al-Qaeda. Franklin was in Afghanistan when Osama bin Laden was captured in Pakistan. There has been much debate about whether American troops should be in this part of the world at all after that, but Franklin said they ignored that while they were there.
“I knew there was gossip, but I got the feeling that people saw that Afghanistan was the origin of the Taliban. That is where they came from when they attacked us on American soil. I wouldn't care what people thought we were there. You don't see what we see when we're down there. "
Courtesy Logan Franklin
place is like home
When asked about the first positive memory of his ministry, he remembered the feeling of returning to the United States after doing his part to protect America.
“One of the most beautiful days of my life. t many days are the same as the day you land on American soil, ”Franklin recalls. He even remembers touching grass again when he got home. "The grass, the fresh air, in my opinion this is my greatest military memory."
Franklin served five years of active service, the last part of his career in Seoul, South Korea. As a child, Franklin was an athlete and trained to stay in shape during his playing days. However, the thought of bodybuilding never crossed his mind. He focused more on "going" than "showing".
"I just trained to be as deadly a soldier as I could be," he says. As my ministry neared its end, I discovered social media, especially Instagram, and that's where I was introduced to the fitness world. "
After Logan Franklin learned about fitness, he followed the late Greg Plitt, who had served in the armed forces himself. Franklin called Plitt, who died in a tragic accident in 2015, his "O.G. Fitness inspiration. ”Plitt's service and career inspired Franklin to find his own way to notoriety in the industry.
“I didn't have parents who competed. I didn't go to the gym or have any magazines when I was 12 or 13, ”he admitted. "Social media helped me get started in bodybuilding."
His first major connection to competition came when he attended the 2014 Mr. Olympia to take part in photo shoots. Before that, he had never thought of going on stage. It was this trip to Las Vegas that made him rethink.
“I've seen the best guys in the world on this stage. I saw the passion and felt the energy. I remember looking at the Men & # 39; s Physique section. My physique was comparable to these guys and I thought, 'You know what? I'll try it.'"
From battle-tested to ready for the stage
He started his career in Men & # 39; s Physique and turned pro by taking overall victory at the 2014 NPC Nationals. He would return to Olympia two years after that fateful first trip, but now it should be next to the bodies he saw on stage. He finished that show in ninth place. He won two pro shows before joining Classic Physique in 2019. Logan Franklin is one of a handful of athletes competing in two divisions on the Olympic stage. He stated that he had decided to switch to Classic after the 2019 Arnold Classic.
“I just had the feeling that I wasn't better placed. I kept bringing my best look for Men & # 39; s Physique and to be honest I didn't understand why I wasn't ranking better. It seemed to me that it was pretty much an abs show. Some of these guys had better abs than me, but I felt like my physique was better overall. I decided to take the plunge. "
The move was worth it. At the Arnold Classic Physique 2021 he took third place and also took home the “Best Poser” award. He recently won the 2021 Shawn Ray Classic in Hawaii which qualified him for the 2022 Olympics. He looks forward to taking a year to prepare for this competition. However, preparing for him is not that difficult compared to what he did during his time in the army.
“That never-ending attitude that burns inside me came from my ministry. This mindset of 'you're not done until the job is done' and 'you can always do more' has been carried over to my mind. "Franklin explained. "The discipline of waking up at 5:40 a.m., flying the flag at 6:30 a.m., then running three to five miles in formation at a six-minute pace and ignoring the weather, even if it's freezing or raining, If it's snowing or it's over 100 degrees outside and you've got a 75-pound jolt with gear and a gun - this is how bodybuilding prep feels easy. "
When he completes this preparation and returns to this stage, he will attempt to dethrone reigning Classic Physique Olympic Champion Chris Bumstead. Logan Franklin has no plans to compete before the Olympics next year.
“I have 12 months until the Olympics and I can be healthy and make the progress I need. I want to be the guy to take out the guy everyone says can't be beat. If I take the time and put everything into this show, I'll have the best opportunity. "