Richrad, who is no stranger to success having previously won Mr Athletic UK, come tenth in Mr Universe, is two times Overall North of England Natural Body building Champion and three times come second in Britain, with the British Natural Bodybuilding Federation (BNBF).
However, 38-year old has only been competing for the past five years which makes his achievements to-date all the more impressive and he is very keen to point out that it is all done unassisted and totally drug free.
Having worked in the leisure industry for most of his working life, Richard decided to explore the world of body building as he explains; “ I have always been involved in the fitness industry from teaching classes to lecturing and I had always participated in sports like judo, Amercian football and rugby. When I got to 32-years old I started to think I was getting too old to continue to compete in those sports and as I have always had an interest in the scientific side of sport I decided to try and compete in body building.”
With gruelling and stringent training schedules and diets needed to be maintained in order to compete in the sport, it takes an enormous amount of dedication and commitment from a competitor.
“To be honest I find the training the easy part,” added Rich. “It’s enjoyable but the dieting is the hard part. Usually for a competition you are dieting for between 12 and 20 weeks. I qualified for the Worlds by competing in the British Championships at the start of October and so it was easier just to manitain my diet in preparation for the worlds. Essentially I have been dieting for 30 weeks now.”
The DFAC (Drug Free Athletic Commission) World Championships are the pinnacle of natural bodybuilding and all natural pros from recognized drug-tested natural organizations are welcome. Amateurs must qualify by placing top 2 in their class at DFAC competitions, or by placing 1st in other recognized drug-tested natural organizations.
“I have applied to compete at the worlds three times and this is the first time I have been accepted,” added Richard who trains at Atlas Gym, Coleraine. “It is a massive honour to compete in Miami and it’s absolutely brilliantr to be part of the Great Britain team.
“Obviously the standard will be exceptional but I have training and prepared myself to the very best of my ability and I just want to go there and do myself and my country proud.
“I am hoping to make the top five and if I do that I might just attempt a few back flips to celebrate!”
Richard is a natural bodybuilder and that means no steroids, no growth hormone just eating the right things at the right times and training properly. Natural Body building is not a new phenomenon. It is widely accepted that in order to compete at the highest levels in bodybuilding certain substances are taken by athletes in order to maintain massive muscle growth and mass. However there are athletes that do not indulge in that side of the sport andRichard is one of the most well known names in the natural bodybuilding world.
Training drug free is something Richard is exceptionally passionate about.
“There is a common misconception that to be in good shape you have to be in the gym for hours upon hours, but anyone who knows me will tell you I spend a lot more time in the kitchen that in the gym! It’s about eating the right foods at the right time. Train hard, eat smart, rest easy.
“I am trying to make people in Northern Ireland aware of the sport of Natural Bodybuilding. In England it is a massive growing sport and people are very receptive of it and I have to say I have met quite a few assisted athletes who are very respectful of what I do.
“I am hoping to get a round of the BNBF qualifiers staged in Northern Ireland. This will be the first Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness show ever held in Northern Ireland and will showcase what is achievable without drugs!
“What shocks me is the number of young lads who are training and dabbling in steroids and that’s just so they can look good when they go out at the weekend, its not even about competing. What is even more shocking is the number of females taking illeagal fat burners without realising what they are actually putting into their body.
“My aim is to educate them and to get them at a young age before they start to dabble. Hopefully by seeing what I have achieved through training properly and eating the right foods they will begin to realise that you can be in the best shape possible.”