A Dromore man has emerged as the very model of success in his first competitive outing.
Curtis Harrison swept up no fewer than five titles at the Northern Ireland Fitness Model (Europe) Championships at the La Mon Hotel recently.
Curtis clinched the titles of Mr Physique over 21s category winner, Mr Physique overall winner, Mr Muscle over 21s category winner, Mr Muscle overall winner and Mr Northern Ireland Fitness Model Show overall winner.
Curtis’s proud dad, well-known local man Paul Harrison, said: “Curtis had never competed in anything before and was a total novice.
“He has been quietly training and preparing for a long time, not making any fuss.
“We didn’t really know what to expect to be honest as we had never done anything like this before and the nerves where pretty well up there as well.”
Working full-time as a production supervisor for Thomas Ferguson in Banbridge, Curtis, who lives in Dromore with his fiancée Nicole, is also a qualified personal trainer and operates a small business called Push PT, working out of Banbridge’s Columbia Gym.
“He decided to compete in the show about three months ago,” said Paul.
“He has always trained to a pretty high level and decided to give this a go.”
In the run-up to the event Curtis adopted a regime of training some four or five times every week and underwent a major diet and nutrition plan.
Preparation entailed eating maybe five or six times a day, loading or depleting in specific food or nutritional groups, avoiding alcohol and even missing out on family occasions because the food on offer was ‘off the menu’.
“You have to be very disciplined in your mind and body to keep this up for maybe two or three months prior to competition,” said Paul, who is understandably “chuffed” with Curtis’s achievement.
“When he trains it is very specific,” he said, “different body parts on different nights and each training session to the point of tearing and exhaustion.”
For a competitive novice to achieve so much in his first event sets the bar high for the future but, not content to rest on his laurels, Curtis is checking out the competition circuit.
“This was the first competition Curtis had entered,” said Paul.
“Now we are looking at other shows and will consider what is out there and the timescales involved.”