A BURNLEY grandad proved he is fighting fit at 50 after impressing at his first ever bodybuilding competition.
John Waite, of Palace Street, starred at the NAC Bodybuilding Championships just 10 months after first stepping foot in a gym.
The father-of-two had challenged himself to get in shape for his 50th birthday and went through a gruelling training regime which saw him lose almost three stones.
The amazing transformation saw John shed the pounds and pack on the muscle to compete against several former Mr UK bodybuilding champions.
John missed out on the top spot but says the experience has change his life.
He said: For someone at 50 it has been a long hard struggle. Health wise it has definitely been life changing. I have never felt as fit and health as this. It is the best I have looked my whole life.
“But it goes to show that anyone can do it.”
The father-of-two explained that he had hoped to do something extraordinary to mark his 50th birthday this year.
He first stepped into the gym on January 2nd
“I turned 50 in October and I wanted to do something to remember my 50th by. I had ideas of jumping out of a plane or doing a car or biking racing day but it sounded just like everybody else.
“But my son and his friend Andy Ellis who does bodybuilding competitions said ‘why don’t you try it?’.
“I had been a sportsman all my life - football, cricket and a bit of boxing training - but I had not done anything like this before. So I joined the gym.”
He started off training at the Fitness Factory six days a week. He got help from coach Colin Tyson at the Burnham Gate-based centre as well as guidance from champion Burnley bodybuilder Paul Thomson and Andy Ellis.
“I had never done anything like it. I had picked up the odd weight but nothing like this. The workouts were tough and the diet was intense - everything was measured down to the gramme.
“It is absolutely painful in all sorts of ways. The diet, the training and everything is incredible.”
“It has nearly finished me off,” he joked.
His strict exercise programme saw him drop from 13st 10lb down to a lean, mean 11st 2lb since he started out in January.
“I sacrificed a lot. My partner Diane was brilliant about it all. The last 14 weeks was tough. No drink, eight pints of water a day, rice chicken and fish to eat. It was not easy but it was worth it. I have never had a buzz like it. It has really lit a flame in me. I am going to keep the fire burning.”