A Linslade cobbler-turned-bodybuilder has struck silver at a natural bodybuilding contest.
Dan Watkins, 29, from Wingrave, has ran Linslade shoe repairs for the past six years and he has worked as a cobbler for 12.
His real passion however is natural bodybuilding which he has competed in for the past fouryears.
And his latest achievement was to win second place in the British Middle Weight title of the Natural Physique Association (NPA) Britain contest 2017.
Dan said: “Coming second place at the British finals is my best achievement to date but now I’m working towards taking the title next season.”
The fitness enthusiast discovered bodybuilding after trying his hand at numerous sports, including martial arts, snowboarding and long distance running.
He said: “Eventually I found a sport that just clicked with me and as the years went on, I got the competitive bug to try and be the best that I can .
“Strength training in itself builds great character attributes ... patience, humility and discipline.
“I’m really passionate about doing the sport naturally because it’s amazing to see what your body is capable of on its own with just hard work, research and patience.”
To prepare for the contest, Dan underwent a gruelling nine month regime of slowly dieting while striving to get stronger in the gym.
He added: “I won’t say the diet is strict as I still allow myself a pizza here and there but I will say that it’s very hard as we still bring the calories very low.
“This causes not only hunger issues but your body goes through changes... I strive to find a healthy balance.
“My total weight loss was 40lbs and I reached around 10% bodyfat at 157lbs.”