Bodybuilders limber up at Southsea

‘I felt absolutely stupid and sick over how easily I got conned...’

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A seafront became muscle beach as bodybuilders went through their paces..

Some fine physical specimens were in Southsea to kick off the UKBFF South Coast Bodybuilding Show.

Body building competitors are ready to go for this Sunday's UKBFF South Coast Competition at Portsmouth Guildhall '(left to right)  James Kennedy (32) from Fareham, with Kerry Bexon (31) from Ryde IOW and Jamie Allen (28) from Havant ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (14978-4930) PPP-140904-154320003

Body building competitors are ready to go for this Sunday's UKBFF South Coast Competition at Portsmouth Guildhall '(left to right) James Kennedy (32) from Fareham, with Kerry Bexon (31) from Ryde IOW and Jamie Allen (28) from Havant ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (14978-4930) PPP-140904-154320003

Organisers expect record numbers at this year’s event, which attracted 140 bodybuilders and more than 1,000 spectators last year.

Entrants are each given a minute to muster as much applause as they can on stage at Portsmouth Guildhall on April 27.

Fareham bodybuilder James Kennedy, 32, said contestants weren’t called upon to lift anything, merely to pose and look their best.

He said: ‘It’s all about aesthetics. We’re judged on balance, symmetry and proportion, how lean you are, and, for the guys’ category, muscular size as well.’

Kerry Bexon, 31, from the Isle of Wight, is taking part in a women’s bikini category and said: ‘My little boy just turned one.’

‘I’m also a Type 1 diabetic, so there’s a bit of proof that there’s no excuse for not be able to do anything.

‘It’s not just about the body – it’s also about your hair and your make-up.’

James said keeping a strict diet was one of the most challenging parts of preparing for the show.

He said his protein-rich diet required him to eat every two or three hours and avoid burgers, pizza and chips.

James’s breakfast is five eggs and a spoon of butter taken with two shots of espresso and coconut oil.

He said: ‘We all indulge when the show’s over, but my focus is bodybuilding and my passion for that outweighs my passion for food.’

Havant bodybuilder Jamie Allen, 25, said there were different ways of building a muscle-bound figure.

‘Everybody’s got their own strategy. It’s about finding what works for you.’

Event promoter Paul Smith said the show always had a fun, family atmosphere.

He said there were no strict rules for what contestants had to do on stage.

‘They’ve got 60 seconds to show off their body to the best of their ability,’ he said.

‘Some of them might do a robotic routine, or we’ve had bodybuilders before who can do somersaults so you never know what you’re going to get.’

‘There’s also a fun posing competition for the kids to get up on stage.’

The show is a qualifier for a national bodybuilding contest in October.