A BODYBUILDER from Burnley muscled his way to the finals of the British Bodybuilding Championships.
Super-heavyweight Steven Taylor (36) came up against the biggest boys in the business during the UKBFF tournament at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham.
Seventeen stone Steven, who owns the Excell Gym in Accrington, was the smallest competitor in his weight class but still managed to clinch an impressive fourth place.
The colossus has set his sights on winning the coveted “pro card” next year which would see him catapulted onto the world stage to shows won by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Steven said: “It is a massive event, the biggest in Britain. It is a really good standard. I was happy to get where I was.”
His journey started in March when he powered through the field at the Mr North West competition to claim first place and a shot at the Mr Britain title.
Then, in the build-up to the country’s top bodybuilding contest, he began a gruelling 12-week training regime to pile on muscle and cut down fat. For three months, Steven lived on a strict regime of chicken, rice and jacket potatoes six times a day, cutting out crisps, chocolate and bread.
He spent hours every day in the gym pumping weights and doing cardio sessions to get him in prime condition.
“I think it is the hardest sport in the world as you are working 24 hours a day. After 12 weeks I am in peak physical fitness.”
With legions of fans behind him, including his wife Joanne, Steven finally took to the stage at the British Bodybuilding Championships weighing 107kg with an astonishing 3% body fat.
“It is tough. You can only hold it for two days before you get ill. You are at your limit. On the day, going up on the stage is one of the biggest buzzes you’ve ever had.”
Steven vowed to come back stronger next time, saying: “I am going to train harder, put more muscle on and come back bigger. That’s what bodybuilding fans want to see.
“I am hoping to get my pro card which means I will be able to compete on professional shows. I want to compete over in the US - it is the Mecca of bodybuilding. Mr Olympia is the biggest one.”
He wants his bodybuilding swan song to be a big show in America before he retires from competition.
“I would just like to do one pro show. People compete until they are 60 but I think it is too much to carry on past 45 or 50. But I will never stop training and never stop helping people train.”