AN electrician from the district has become the country’s number two amateur heavyweight bodybuilder.

John Gair, who lives at Bardon Mill, has evolved his muscular body over the past eight years.

The 30-year-old has returned from the British Championships at Nottingham, where he finished second in the heavyweight class, for competitors up to 100kg.

His impressive performance came weeks after John won the over 90kg class at the United Kingdom Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (UKBFF) East of England Bodybuilding championships in Leicester, to qualify for the final for a second time.

“It feels great to do well in a national event,” said John, “I don’t think I was too far from winning.

“You have to present your physique on stage with as much muscle mass as possible, and everything on your physique has to be as symmetrical as possible.

“I know what I need to work on to get even better, so I’ve got plenty of motivation to keep improving.”

The accolade means the self-employed electrician will automatically qualify for next year’s British Championships.

He has also been invited to compete in the 2019 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic bodybuilding event in Barcelona, Spain.

John’s journey to the top of his sport, at amateur level, has been a disciplined one.

He trains two or three times a day, seven days a week, and travels to Gateshead to work alongside his friend Ian Morgan, a professional bodybuilder who runs Morgan’s Powerhouse Gym.

“It’s very intense training, lifting weights at high intensity,” said John.

“I’ve had tremendous support from Ian.

“My wife Terri-Louise Gair has been a massive support, and so have my parents. It’s a big commitment to run a business and also invest as much time and effort into my bodybuilding.”

Nutrition is vital to John’s success, and his disciplined diet includes dishes based around chicken, steak, fish, potatoes and rice.

John, who grew up in Hexham, started weight training as a teenager at Hexham’s Wentworth Leisure Centre.

He added: “I’ve been competing at a high standard for eight years.

“I have previously qualified for the British Championships, but this was my first time as a heavyweight.

“I would like to become a professional, but I need to keep working hard and hopefully stay healthy and injury free.”