ON Saturday when 54-year-old farm worker come bodybuilder Craig Christopherson steps on stage for qualifying rounds of the International Natural Body Building Association of Australia competition at Castle Hill in Sydney, it will be a culmination of determination and discipline.
Mr Christopherson says his efforts are evidence that age is no barrier to improving your health and fitness.
“I got in to fitness and bodybuilding when I realised that my body just couldn’t handle my work any more.
“When you are dealing with livestock and working on the land you need to be strong,” he said.
“I was only 69 kilos and I felt worn out.”
His trainer for the competition and mentor Darren McGregor said Mr Christopherson has proved to be the exception when it comes to dedication to his goal.
“If he doesn’t come in the top three in this competition I will be very surprised -its all about self belief,” Mr McGregor said.
“The temptations are out there not to stick to an eating plan - every time you walk down a street there are shops with cakes displayed everywhere,” he said.
Mr Christopherson says he’s disciplined when it comes to planning his meals for the week.
“It is all about preparation and planning,” he said.
Mr Christopherson made a decision six years ago to cut sugar out of his diet and in the weeks leading up to the competition a typical day’s meal plan would include broccoli and chicken for breakfast, tuna for lunch and a lean steak for dinner - all served with plenty of green vegetables.
“Really it’s all about green vegetables, I eat a lot of broccoli,” he said.
“I also drink a lot of pomegranate juice - any of the dark grape food varieties,” he said.
Mr Christopherson trains four nights a week after work and can now boost a strength and fitness he has never known before.
“I can lift my own body weight plus about 20 - 30 per cent more,” he said.