A former Banbridge Academy student is celebrating after winning two separate bodybuilding competitions on consecutive days.
James Gibson was named the overall winner at IBFA Ireland 2016 before claiming the same prize 24 hours later at the first ever PCA Ireland.
“I feel very happy after my achievements at only 24 years old,” James said. “To claim two overall Irish titles within 24 hours of each other is an achievement by anyone’s standards.”
The Dromore man placed third at UKBFF in August but feels he has come a long way since that show.
He said: “I weighed in at a very deflated and unhealthy 84.4kg for the under 90kg category. My body isn’t designed to be that light.
“This show I stepped on stage at a more healthy 95-96kg. There was only eight months between the two shows however I obviously did not gain 11-12kg of muscle.
“I just had the muscle I have more filled out and storing more water and glycogen which adds more weight and I think made for a better look on stage.”
James explained the dedication required to compete at that level of bodybuilding.
“I do fasted cardio in the morning, seven days a week then go to work Monday to Friday after cardio,” he said.
“I do very intense gym sessions six times a week after work then once on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday I do cardio but no gym session.
“If you want to compete and compete at a decent standard you need to want this more than just a background thought. I love what I do people don’t seem to understand I don’t do this because anyone is forcing me or I’m forcing myself.
“I enjoy eating my meals doing my cardio and going to the gym. If I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t do it. People find that hard to grasp.”
James, who is training to be a chartered accountant at ASM (N) Ltd in Newry, has no plans for any further shows at the moment.
“I have chartered exams in June then FAEs next year so after achieving two overall titles I will slip into the shadows so to speak and focus on work studying and growing.
“I’d like to thank Avenches Biotech for their continued support and of course my wonderful partner Lucy McKinley. She is an unshakeable bedrock.”