A LEEDS bodybuilder is facing months on a rigid regime as he prepares to take on the world in a bid to be named Mr Universe 2014.
Carl Ruston has already made his intentions with regard to the title once famously held by Arnold Schwarzenegger clear by finishing fourth in the World Bodybuilding Championships in Belfast last weekend.
But, if he wants the top slot, Carl knows he’s has to up his game - and that means intense self-discipline and a strict diet between now and the finals on October.
“A lot of people don’t realise that more than 75 per cent of a bodybuilder’s regime is based on diet and nutrition,” he said. “Eating regularly and properly are really important and, over the next few months I will need to eat every two hours.”
As a result, Carl will be working his way through significant quantities of white meat such as turkey and chicken, fish, egg whites, potatoes, rice and vegetables.
“Of course, exercise and proper rest are part of it too but not as much as you might think. I’ll be doing about an hour in the gym for times a week - which some might find surprising. But it’s not just about the amount of time you spend in the gym; it’s more about what you do while you’re there.”
Born in Leeds, Carl, 45, from Castleford works as a rep for Selby-based Gold Standard Nutrition and is currently training for qualifications as a gym instructor. His interest in exercise and fitness began with karate when he was 12 but he only began bodybuilding in 2006.
However, he admits - despite his impressive physique - he’s never seen himself as particularly confident; the thought of public speaking, for example, makes him nervous.
“But body-building has helped to give me self-confidence - but it’s also great for self-discipline,” he said.
And, for anyone keen to improve their own figure, Carl insists it’s not necessarily about having to give up on treats.
“The problem is that junk food is just too easy to get hold of and, as a result, many of us just end up eating too many carbohydrates,” he said.
“Everything in moderation is good advice - and even little changes can make a big difference.”