Northampton dad, 35, wins silver medal at national bodybuilding championships - and now he could compete to become Mr Universe

Bodybuilder from Northampton returns to competing after seven years and finishes in second place in front 1,200 people at a packed out Birmingham Town Hall

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 1:14 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd October 2021, 1:16 pm

A bodybuilder from Northampton stormed to a silver medal in a national competition after seven years out of the sport - and now he's been invited to compete at a Mr Universe event.

Leo Calvert, from Hannington, came second in the men's classic bodybuilding category at the PCA British Finals at a packed out Birmingham Town Hall on Saturday, October 16.

The 35-year-old secured a place at the coveted event after coming second at a midlands qualifying round back in September, which was his first competition in seven years.

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Leo Calvert

The chiseled star said: "Going into it I would never have thought I'd achieve what I did, and I now realise I'm better than what I thought.

"With my son being a bit older now it gave me a chance to give it a really good go.

"I didn't have expectations for the qualifiers but I pushed the winner pretty close and that gave me massive belief for the British Finals.

"It's rewarding and I'm feeling quite proud and I know it's all been worth it. I now need to set my expectations higher, because if I don't it would be a waste."

Leo finished second in the PCA English Finals

Leo said 15 members of his family - including dad Tim 'Trev' Calvert and brother Harry - 'loved it' and were there to celebrate with him afterwards.

During the first stages of the competition, 18 bodybuilders go through a comparison round which then gets trimmed down to a final six.

The final six then perform an individually pre-rehearsed routine for 60 seconds before a final freestyle on stage, with some bodybuilders doing the splits and backflips.

Leo said: "When I got called out for the final six I couldn't believe it.

Leo (left) next to the winner (middle) and third placed bodybuilder (right)

"The bloke who won it competes around the world so when I was next to him I thought, 'oh, I'm in the top two or three'. If you get into the middle [of the pack], you know you are getting judged next to the best person.

"When I got to third I thought, 'wow' and then I got second, I couldn't believe it."

So what kind of preparation goes into training as a bodybuilder?

Leo, a full-time personal trainer, revealed his six-month daily routine included six meals and 4,000 calories per day, a wake-up time of 4am for a cardio workout, and then weight-lifting at 12pm while juggling work and family life.

The father-of-one said: "It's such a long process, building muscle takes years and years. You can't do it for a couple of months. It's literally 24/7. It's a different type of sport.

"To get your body fat down to that low percentage, that's what you need to do. That's what everyone else is doing and you are competing with them across the country. It drives you on and gives you motivation. When you see the changes in your body, that spurs you on massively."

Leo has now qualified to enter into 2022's Mr Universe competition at the NEC in Birmingham in March, but it's come a bit too soon for him.

He said: "May is just a bit too soon for me to make the improvements I need to make. I'm getting married in February as well, so it just all clashes.

"I need a solid eight months before I go for it again at Mr Universe."

Leo said he hopes to instead compete at another Mr Universe next summer.

To get in touch with Leo about personal training or online coaching, email [email protected]