Bodybuilder muscles in on Welsh title
EATING the same food day in day out and getting up at 4.30am each morning is not an easy thing to commit to.
Bodybuilder Neil Andrews from Beverley Street in Port Talbot trained for five months for the Mr Wales competition which was held at the town's Princess Royal Theatre.
But the punishing schedule was definitely worth it as the 33-year-old came first in the intermediate over 90kg class and was crowned the overall winner, Mr Wales Champion 2012.
"It was unbelievable," he said. "To compete in the town and win was amazing. I am the first person from the intermediate category to win the entire competition.
"It is known to be the hardest qualifier in the country and people come from all over for it."
Mr Andrews, who has been competing since 2004, said he has returned to bodybuilding after a four-year break because it is so demanding.
"It is 24-hours-a-day and it is so regimented," he said. "I have to eat every two hours. I get up at 4.30am and straight out of bed I walk around the streets for 45 minutes. I then go back home and have porridge and water.
"I then go to work for a 12-hour shift. After work I go to the gym for an hour and half and I go on the running machine for 45 minutes.
"All my meals are brown rice and tuna. I have been doing that seven days a week for the past five months. I'm lucky as my girlfriend makes all my meals.
"I've had no bread, milk and no alcohol since April. It is so demanding."
His next competition is the British Finals on October 20 and 21 in Manchester where he will be representing Wales in a bid to become British Champion.
"I can't wait," he said. "I am looking forward to representing Port Talbot and Wales.
"I've had a two days off since the Welsh competition where I had a MacDonalds and a bit of junk but now I am back on the diet for the British Championships."
He added that he wanted thank his trainer and Bodytalk Fitness in Neath.
"Marc Robinson who owns a supplement shop in Cardiff is my mentor," said Mr Andrews.
"He is a massive help and I could not do it without him. Bodytalk in Neath have also been really good to me. I really would like to thank them both."