Pic- Peter Batai - Gren Guards Band

Forces Talent: Army Musician and Bodybuilding World Title Holder

Peter has no trouble with the weight of his oboe when on parade.

Pic- Peter Batai - Gren Guards Band

Lance Sergeant Peter Batai is the principal oboe player in the Grenadier Guards Band and is also a two time world champion title holder in Natural Bodybuilding.

He fell in love with the sport after quitting smoking which resulted in him gaining excess weight. Peter said:

“The reason for starting was very simple. I quit smoking and started to replace tobacco with food, like many quitters do. I started to pile on some significant amount of weight within a very short period of time.

“So, I went to the gym to get rid of that extra weight and get fitter, it was then that I fell in love with weight lifting and bodybuilding.

“I did not know anything about the complexity of bodybuilding and it took me years of research and trial and error to get where I am today.

“Nothing happens overnight.”

lance sergeant peter batai grenadier guards

After a gruelling 13 hours competing against 300 other athletes in Athens, he was crowned overall winner.

The win means he now holds the title of the 2016 Drug Free Athletes Coalition (DFAC) USA, and the 2019 International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) Athens.

The musician explained what it is like to perform music in front of HM The Queen and the public at other events across the world. Peter said:

“Trooping the Colour is the absolute pinnacle of what we do. It never gets old. I was told when I first joined, ‘once your boots hit the gravel at Horse Guards Parade with Her Majesty being present, you will know it is something special’.

"I must admit, after doing the parade eight times, I still have goose bumps every year.

“It is a privilege to perform alongside and within one of arguably the best military massed bands in the world in during such a fantastic spectacle.

“I sincerely hope that Her Majesty and other members of the royal family along with the public enjoy this occasion and the music we play at least as much as I do.”

Lance sergeant peter batai grenadier guards

Peter joined the British Army just eight years ago, but he started bodybuilding around 15 years ago and said his proudest moment is winning Young Musician of the Year award. adding:

"My proudest moment in sport were clearly winning the world titles, but my proudest moment was being presented with the Cousin's Memorial Prize Medal and becoming Young Musician of the Year.

"Both happened whilst my parents were visiting from Hungary and were able to witness the presentation after watching me changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

"The little ceremony happened in front of everyone in the band. That was just unbelievable."

lance sergeant peter batai grenadier guards

The world champion said he looks to find inspiration everywhere in every day life, adding:

“I look up for everyday heroes. We are all surrounded with wonderful individuals who fight their battles every day under very challenging conditions.

“I feel closer to those people more than made up stars forced on us by the media.

“Leading by example is what keeps me inspired, it is being done by so many.”

lance sergeant peter batai grenadier guards
Lance Sergeant, Peter Batai, Grenadier Guards Band

Peter went on to mention that being in a full time job as a military musician makes it particularly tough to juggle that and his bodybuilding, adding:

"Pro athletes usually do very little else but focusing on their chosen sport. Eat, sleep, train, repeat. I clearly cannot do this as I am  not willing to neglect my responsibilities within the Army.

"The need of the Army comes first, bodybuilding is close second.

"Winning these titles were my absolute dream to achieve. I  am now, due to the latest title, a certified Pro Elite Athlete.

"This now enables me to compete in the league of the ultimate best professional athletes of natural bodybuilding."

Peter now plans on taking a year out from competing to make further improvements in order to become a force to be reckoned with on the pro stage.

The British Military is packed full of amazing people with an array of talents, from musicians, to dancers, and artists to Olympians.

Some of the public only see the uniform and forget that underneath the uniform are our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers and everything in between.

Forces Talent hopes to show you another side to the men and women including their family members who choose to serve our country within the British Armed Forces.

If you know of someone, or you have a hidden talent … (keep it clean) then please do get in touch.