A Tadcaster bodybuilder is celebrating this week after booking a place in the IBFA world championships this October.
Tree surgeon Stuart Monkman lifted the British bodybuilding title at under-80kg at Gateshead last weekend.
The 23-year-old said: “I was up against tough opposition and didn’t expect to win at all.
“The guys I was up against were a lot older than me and had been doing competitions for a lot longer.”
Stuart, who trains at the Magnet Sports Ground-based MBS gym, said he has been training for 18 months but has only been working towards the British title for eight weeks.
“I have to eat very earthy foods - anything that comes out of the ground - and chicken.
“It is then time spent every single day lifting weights and cardio training.”
Since starting bodybuilding Stuart has won numerous trophies including Mr Tadcaster last year, and finished third in the junior Mr Yorkshire.
But Stuart, who is now aiming for the IBFA World Championships in Rome in October, said he was not destined to achieve such status in the bodybuilding world.
“I was a skinny kid at school and when I left the Army recently,” explained Stuart.
“I then started bodybuilding and liked it.
“Down at the gym Paul (Summers) saw something in me and said I should have a go at bodybuilding. He saw my potential.”
MBS gym owner Paul Summers said: “Stuart keeps to a quite strict regime, working out five to six days a week and has a very controlled nuitrition plan.
“The shape of a bodybuilder is important. They have got to be symmetrical and balanced and more so when competing at international level.
“I could see that he had the potential and just needed a bit more coaching and a bit more time.
“I am expecting great things of him in Rome.”
Stuart said he is now working to become more conditioned for the World Championships in Italy.