Robert lands UK bodybuilding title

A LOCAL bodybuilder has said he is “elated” after winning a prestigious UK title.

Robert Allen pictured at the NABBA finals in Southport, where he won the Mr Novice UK title.

Robert Allen, who lives outside Cullybackey, scooped the Novice Mr Northern Ireland title which earned him the right to compete in the British finals in Southport.

There, the 30-year-old locum pharmacist produced another top drawer performance to top a list of 20 competitors, drawn from regional qualifiers held by the National Amateur Body-Building Association throughout the UK.

“I said before I went that I wasn’t expecting much and that wasn’t just a case of trying to play down my chances – that was what I genuinely believed.

“Between the Northern Ireland title and competing in the UK finals, I had cut down on my cardio and had doubled my intake of carbs – that might sound like a lot but you’re talking about 20 grams up to 40 or the equivalent of two slices of toast rather than one.

“I was just trying to focus on my own performance rather than what any of the other competitors were doing and trying to listen to advice from Alistair Smith and Paul Stewart who have years of bodybuilding experience.

“I was in the centre of the last call-out which suggested maybe a top six finish or even top three but when I was announced as the winner I was elated, over the moon.”

Robert’s achievement has now earned him an invitation to the world championships in Italy this weekend.

“I will be up against people who have been at the top of the sport for years but to be on that world stage, even for a weekend, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he added.

Robert has thanked Alistair Smyth, Paul Stewart, his family and friends, as well as Sarah Simpson and all the staff at Simpsons Pharmacy for their support during my competition prep; and also Darren Allen and all the staff at Allens Pharmacy and Performance Nutrition Plus.