During Robert Timms military tour – he discovered bodybuilding while training in Afghanistan gyms.

Robert Timms, also known as Mr. Classic Physique, is a standout Classic Physique competitor who showcases a lot of promise in the division. He also has had a rollercoaster past including a cancer diagnosis and some time spent in the military – including a tour abroad in Afghanistan. It’s actually during his tour in the middle east that Timms discovered his love of bodybuilding. In our latest GI Exclusive, Robert Timms explains his experience discovering bodybuilding and what it was like to train in Afghanistan.

For many of us here in the United States, Afghanistan seems like an entire different world. While some of those perceptions are likely based in stereotypes – there’s no denying it’s a country with a completely different culture. One, of course, with a very complicated history involving the US. Robert Timms was a soldier who was stationed in Afghanistan (many years ago before the complete pullout this past year). It’s in Afghanistan that he actually discovered his love of training in the gym and bodybuilding.

During our most recent video conversation, we asked Robert Timms what it was like to train in Afghanistan while touring in the military in comparison to his training life now in the United States. Timms explains how there were two gyms on base. There was the NATO gym and then the “prison gym” as he calls it.

“The prison gym was the gym that was like the old school – like it was rough. It was a rough gym,” Robert Timms states in his interview. He goes on to say that he was 175 pounds upon arriving at the base in Afghanistan.

Through his training in the prison gym – he started developing a love of the process and picked up a lot of basics and tips from his fellow soldiers. But he quickly realized that the way they trained wasn’t enough for what he was seeking. Robert Timms describes himself as a man who likes to deeply understand the very fabric on how things work. This included his body while training.

So after a small rough patch of training where he was plateauing – he decided to stop following along his fellow soldiers and start doing his own thing. While it wasn’t perfect and didn’t lead to a sculpted physique that could win shows – Timms ended up gaining 60 pounds. Bringing his weight to 235 pounds. His body instantly responded to his new actions in the gym as he broke off to explore training on his own terms.

It’s through that isolation on base that Robert Timms was able to, essentially, change his life. He found a new passion that ended up driving his entire life upon returning to the United States. He’s now a pro Classic Physique bodybuilder – and one that is still actively working to become an Olympia champion.

You can watch Robert Timms’ full comments on his experience discovering bodybuilding and training in Afghanistan by watching our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.