Matt Buck gets into shape for Musclemania Universe in Miami
A PERSONAL trainer believes he can out-muscle the competition at two international events.
Brentwood's own Matt Buck has qualified to take on some of the best toned torsos from around the world.
In a discipline known as fitness modelling, the 28-year-old will first compete in Miami, Florida, at the Musclemania Universe competition.
He then heads to Iceland for the European Championships, organised by the World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation.
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Matt, a personal trainer at Fitness First in the Baytree Centre, Brentwood, qualified for the Miami event after coming fourth in both the bodybuilding and fitness modelling section of the Musclemania British Championships late last year.
As Matt explains, fitness modelling competitions are similar to natural bodybuilding events, but do feature more outfit changes, including a swimwear section and an evening ensemble.
Matt, who lives in Shenfield and is in his third year of competing, said it was hard, manual work in his teens that helped him get used to weights.
He said: "I did quite a bit of manual labour at a young age so lifting was part of it.
"I was working for my dad's agricultural business and I then started to go to the gym.
"I had been training for quite a while and I had a lot of people telling me I should compete."
As for the competitions, 5ft 10in Matt is full of confidence and ready to take on all-comers from around the world. He also hopes it can help further his career, where he combines fitness training with modelling work.
"I am in it to win it," he said.
"For me, it is more about where it is going to take me, it can lead to shoots with the major magazines.
"I do enjoy it. I am used to being on stage. I have been in a lot of bands before, so I'm quite used to being before an audience."
He added: "These competitions can be in front of 500 people, but the Universe competitions could be in front of about a thousand or maybe more at the Hilton Hotel on the bayfront."
Matt, who is being sponsored by supplement brand Maximuscle, says both international competitions have very strict drug testing policies and he gets his figure the natural way, with weights and the right diet.
He also has the support of his friends, family and his 23-year-old girlfriend Louise Samarasekera, who is travelling to Florida with him.
Matt added: "My dad doesn't quite understand it but still supports me with it. Both my parents are really behind it, they are very supportive."
He added: "I don't really change my training that much, although I do have a strict diet and that is where my girlfriend comes in to kick me up the backside."