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BODYBUILDING: Jason pumped up to defend British crown
THERE are just seven days to go until Weymouth bodybuilder Jason Harding goes all out to defend his British title.
North Yorkshire spa town Harro-gate is the venue for this year’s national championships and 47-year-old Harding is up for the challenge of retaining his crown.
Harding became British champion for the first time in 2012 and has been training hard at Herrison Health Club & Spa in Charlton Down to make sure he is in the best shape possible for next Saturday’s competition.
And while Harding looks for a repeat performance in the athletic class, Sean Ferguson, a former Mr Great Britain based in Dorchester, tries his luck in the over-40s’ category.
The format for this year’s event has changed, meaning Harding will also be familiar with a number of other entrants having overseen their qualification at his gym.
In the past, competitors travelled to one specific venue to try to qualify but now anyone can make it to Harrogate if they pass the qualifying standard – 15 chin-ups and 25 dips.
Phil Armstrong, Ian Turnbull, Pete Lewis, TJ Hayter and Alex Glover have all made it through to the championships after achieving the req-uirements at Harding’s training base.
“You used to have to go to a specific qualifier for the British champs but it’s not being done like that now,” said Harding. Anyone can have a go at qualifying and we’ve had a few meet the standard at our gym.”
Harding’s victory in Manchester 12 months ago meant he had automatic qualification this time around and he is looking forward to trying for back-to-back titles. I’ve never not qualified for the British finals when I’ve entered, but quite often I’ll win my class in qualifying but not do it in the finals,” he added.
“I wasn’t that confident last year but ended up winning it and I want to put up a good defence of my title this time and I’m quite confident going into it.
“The athletic class is made up of 50 per cent chin-ups and dips and 50 per cent physique assessment.
“I always push myself to the limit in competition and won last year with 37 dips, which I may well have to beat next weekend.”
If you would like to try and qualify for the UKBFF British Champion-ships, telephone Herrison Health Club & Spa on 757200 for details.