Julia Waring should be known to fans of the IFBB Figure Division as a decorated champion who competed at the Olympics on three different occasions. However, your greatest accomplishments may not come from the stage but from service.
Captain Julia Waring served as a member of the U.S. Army for five years. The first day of their commitment to the country took place at West Point in 2008, and it was here that the reality of their situation became apparent.
"When we got there and stood in line and our parents left us - head forward, mouth closed - it got serious," Waring recalls jokingly. "I thought to myself: 'What did I sign up for?'"
Part of her service included serving the community while she was stationed in Hawaii. They and their other service members have made positive change everywhere. Waring looked back on those moments fondly.
"We would go to Thailand and the Philippines to build schools and clinics for local communities," she recalls. "I think that was definitely a highlight of my career."
Another part of the world Waring was sent to was Baghdad, Iraq. She became the leader of an all-male platoon that put her leadership skills - both physically and tactically - to the test more than once, she says.
"There was one case where we were sent to build living quarters for an incoming infantry unit," she says. “Already half of the base was occupied by 1,000 male Iraqi soldiers. I had nowhere to go, including the bathroom. It was a tough time, but I was blessed with a great team. "
Courtesy Julia Waring
Build team and body
Another thing the unit had in common was their commitment to training. Julia Waring felt that this served her well while they were stationed together.
"I think they enjoyed having an executive who loved fitness because it allowed us to continually build camaraderie and reduce the stress of being in a combat zone," she says. "From turning over loader tires to making optimal use of a small fitness studio equipped with a marine unit, we've done everything."
Waring, who is also an ordained minister, credits her belief in God for helping her fulfill this role to the best of her ability. Even though she had a train with her, she still felt alone. During this time she appealed to a higher power to move her forward.
"My relationship with God gave me this supernatural power to get through these months emotionally," she said. “That helped me develop a relationship with my team. It eventually became like family, which made that time a lot easier. "
Over the course of her five year career, Waring has received many honors, including the Meritorious Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Iraqi Campaign Medal. Waring earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering while at West Point. In 2013 she was honorably discharged. Her retirement from the military was a decision she was seriously considering because she wanted to achieve more with her degree.
“I loved the military, but I wanted to focus more on the technical side of engineering,” she says. “It was bittersweet, but I was able to switch to a civilian military role. So I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I can concentrate more on the technical side and at the same time support the troops. "
Courtesy Julia Waring
Never stop exercising
She also started pursuing another passion - fitness. Aside from getting certified as a personal trainer and becoming a fitness nutrition specialist, she took to the stage for the first time in 2017. Waring didn't pursue bodybuilding in her past, but she eventually became a figure competitor. Unlike many others who competed, she did not have a favorite past or present athlete to go into her first competition.
“I got into bodybuilding out of my own inspiration,” says the Maryland native. “I didn't know any of the really big names. I just knew it was a sport that was out there, I was just looking for something to get involved in. It was literally just my love of weightlifting that introduced me to the sport of bodybuilding. "
She would win her Pro card in 2017, and she made her professional debut at the 2018 Pittsburgh Pro, where she finished second. Her first professional win was this year's Chicago Pro, which earned her an Olympic qualification. After a 13th place, she skipped the 2019 Olympics. Julia Waring has four professional victories and has now appeared on the Olympic stage three times. Her best result was 11th in 2021. For fans who aren't aware of what it feels like to be part of the sport's biggest weekend, Waring says there is nothing quite like it in her sport.
“It is literally a dream come true. Everyone who turns pro dreams of getting on the big stage. To be able to do that was simply breathtaking. "
Courtesy Julia Waring
“Sizing” until 2022 for Julia Waring
She hopes to come back to the Olympia in 2022, when it will take place on the weekend of vember 15-18. December returns to Las Vegas. She has to qualify for it, but she has a plan to make it happen.
“My plan for 2022 is to actually do a full offseason to gain some size. That's the feedback I get all the time when it comes to the Olympics, ”revealed Waring. “I plan to do a show later in the year. Maybe next year in vember I would go on stage at the earliest. "
As with her military career and other aspects of her life, she will rely on those who helped her achieve the position she now has in her life.
“Fitness is a talent and a passion that God gave me - it's my service,” she says. “This enables me to show His love and grace. My family has also been great supporters. I strive to not only educate, inspire and motivate my followers on social media, but also those who are closest to me and my community. "