It’s not a sport for the fainthearted, or for those who might visit a gym once or twice a week.
Bodybuilding is about definition, perseverance, and mental fortitude, pushing through a months-long training program to attain the right physique for competition.
Bodybuilder and fitness coach Chris Beck is preparing to take part in his first competition, the NABBA/WFF AWA Tasmanian Classic on Saturday.
After training and preparing a number of bodybuilding athletes through to competition, Beck said he decided it was time he took part in a bodybuilding competition, to better understand what his clients go through in the mentally challenging, high-intensity last few weeks of training.
Beck originally stepped into bodybuilding as a means of recovery from a minor back injury, but what started out as physical therapy quickly became an obsession, and his own business Alpha Team Training. He now competes alongside his girlfriend and fellow bodybuilder Claire Hayes.
“Even if it wasn’t my business, I’d still be doing it,” he said.
“I decided to do this competition so I could learn what it was like and what clients went through in their contest prep, and to prove to people that when you’re middle-aged you can transform your physique if you want, if you’re willing to work hard enough and sacrifice.”
The long process of physical transformation to attain a body honed to competition fitness levels means Beck endures some less than pleasant days, on a strict diet and drinking plenty of water.
“The process to build muscle and change your body is particularly hard, and it’s the sort of thing that if you don’t stay strict at it, the small gains you make you’ll lose,” he said.
“So it’s a thing of persistence, discipline, motivation and all those things are very rewarding if you stick at them.
“And of course good health is the best thing you can have.”
The AWA Tasmanian Classic will be held at the Country Club on Saturday, from 10am. Tickets at the door.