Fitness fanatics from across the country are to descend on Harrogate this weekend - for the British Bodybuilding Championships.
Hundreds of competitors, who have spent months building up muscles for the ‘perfect beach body’ are to take part in the event at Harrogate’s International Centre.
“It’s the biggest event of the year for the bodybuilding world,” said Harrogate’s own entrant Amy Wiffen, who is delighted to be competing in her own town.
“They will all be flocking to Harrogate this weekend.”
The championship, made famous by glamour model and one-time competitor Jodie Marsh, who will not be entering this year, has never been held in Harrogate before.
Competitors have taken part in regional heats around the UK to qualify for the event, which will be judged in different classes over the course of two days this Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20.
Former Harrogate Grammar School student Miss Wiffen, who trains at the Academy Gym, will pose in the bikini-fitness class.
“I’ll be judged on hair, tan, and makeup, but on the main it’s about your physique and balance,” she said. “You’re not supposed to be too ripped.
“It’s supposed to be about the ‘perfect beach body’.”
The 24-year-old, who works in insurance during the day, trains in the gym four or five evenings a week for up to three hours.
She does a lot of weight training to get in shape and can lift up to 70kgs squatting - more than her own body weight.
She also has to monitor everything she eats.
“I eat a really strict diet; seven high protein and high carb meals a day, one about every two hours,” she said.
“It’s really controlled eating all year around, although I’m allowed ‘cheat’ meals until about three weeks before a championship.”
This will be the second time she has taken part in the championship, after placing third at the North East final in Leeds.
But it’s the first time the competition has come to Harrogate, having been held in Manchester and Birmingham in recent years.
Miss Wiffen said she was delighted to hear it would be held in her home town this year.
“I’ve always been into my health and fitness. This is just a different way of competing,” she said. “Some people think it’s a bit vain.
“But it’s just another outlet for people who want to be fit and compete, maybe don’t want to cycle or run for miles.
“It’s a lot of hours in the gym.”