BBC television presenter Anthony Baxter recently discovered what daily life is like for Britain’s teen bodybuilders after spending several weeks sharing their gruelling training regime.
For a special edition of Revealed Extra, which went out on BBC2 on 7 August, Anthony told the BBC2 website that he found the going tough. He said that he had always considered himself to be a fit, healthy person, taking regular exercise and eating a balanced diet.
However, just a few days into the bodybuilding programme, he found himself starting to struggle – particularly the close attention that he needed to pay to what he ate and drank.
Anthony cut out virtually all carbs from his diet, living exclusively on “chicken, white fish, egg whites and as much veg as I can eat.” Along with “four protein shakes a day as well and no alcohol,” he confessed that it was “a big shock to my system.”
Even tougher was his “ridiculously hard” introduction to bodybuilders’ weight training, with two hours a day in the gym – which left all of his muscle groups aching and burning. When he complained, he was told by one young bodybuilder that “that’s when you’re really building muscle.”
After just 10 days, Anthony was exhausted, but was kept going by the support of the young bodybuilders in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria who he was training with, and he eventually saw some tangible physical benefits.
“I have noticed some change, my arms are bigger, my abs more defined, and I like it,” he told the website, although he admitted that “I can’t wait to get back to normal and have my first sandwich in weeks.”
Anthony was left impressed at the “dedication and determination” of Britain’s young bodybuilders, both mental and physical, although he admitted that although he may keep up some of the exercises, “I won’t be competing any time soon.”