With the right diet and training regime you could have a naturally sculpted body like Richard Robinson.
The ripped 37-year-old Portrush man, known as Rich, is a natural bodybuilder.
This means no steroids, no drugs – just good eating, cardio and weights.
The British champion is on a mission to bring his healthy way of bodybuilding to the masses in Northern Ireland after taking up the competitive sport just four years ago.
Following a second place at the British Natural Bodybuilding Federation’s (BNBF) championship last month, Rich has been invited to compete in the World Natural Bodybuilding Finals in Miami next month.
A former American football player with the Belfast Trojans and Liverpool Centurions, he is a Forex trader, and also works as a personal trainer.
Among the elite athletes he trains is north coast-based big wave surfer Al Mennie.
“People want to be fit and look good and they don’t have to pump themselves full of drugs to do that,” Rich said. “I’ve got an invite to the worlds. I may do it, I may not, because I really want to get my professional card. To do that I have to win the Britains so I might just start training again for next year.
“There is only maybe 10 natural pros in the UK.”
Rich told the Belfast Telegraph he works out “a lot less than people think”. “Off season I go to the gym three times a week for about an hour,” he said.
“Four or five weeks before a competition I will do four or five weight training sessions a week, no more. And I will do two or three weight circuits too.” Rich explained body building was all about proportion and the fake tan used by body builders was a result of competitors aiming to look like a statue.
“At one of the competitions I was standing in the shower shaving my legs, listening to Lady Gaga, about to paint myself with tan and I laughed,” he said.
“You spend a fortune on razors and permatan. I can put tan on like nobody’s business!”
He hopes to encourage young people to go down the natural bodybuilding route and stay away from drugs.
“I am known for being natural,” Rich said.
“I came from a sport background rather than a purely weight lifting background.
“Vanity kept me away too, I liked my hair and I wanted it to stay there.
“When I moved home from Liverpool I realised Northern Ireland is still playing catch up.
“When you think of bodybuilding you still think steroid enhancement.
“I try to get across that natural training is the way forward.
“There is an alternative. You don’t have to go down the drug route.”
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Rich Robinson loves his grub. He eats every two to three hours. A typical day includes:
- Seven egg whites and one yolk – as an omelette on a bagel.
- Porridge with protein powder.
- Chicken, rice, sweet potatoes, vegetables, cajun or sweet chilli sauce.
- Home made nut protein cake or pancakes.
- Steak and stir fry vegetables with lots of chilli and garlic rice or pitta bread
- Greek yoghurt with some cashew nuts.