POWERLIFTING: SOLIHULL has a new British Champion in the form of powerlifter Leon Newman.
The 46-year-old stormed to victory in this year’s British Powerlifting Championships, and he already has one eye on global success in 2018.
His rise to the country’s top step has been far from orthodox though.
Two years ago, Newman suffered from a heart attack while competing at a strongman competition in Birmingham.
The incident has forced Leon to wear a mask when sleeping and he immediately had to put a stop on competing in strongman events.
But every cloud has its silver lining, and Newman’s exit from the strongman world led him to powerlifting – where he is now ranked No.1 in the country.
His success came just eight weeks after he finished runner up in the European Championships.
Speaking to Observer sports editor Shaun Reynolds, Newman – who pulled a tendon in his knee during the final – said he still has more to offer.
“The British Championship was tough as it took place eight weeks after the European Finals,” said Newman.
“Normally we take 12 weeks to prepare for a championship, but because the way the calendar fell I had to stay in peak condition for 20 weeks.
“That’s what caused the injury and it was a battle to finish. But I’m very pleased with the result.
“I think I had more left in me at the British Finals, but in the end it didn’t matter.
“I broke the squat, deadlift, and total record – something I’m very pleased about.”
A champion breakfast
Newman’s brutal schedule means he’ll now enjoy a period of ‘downtime’ before focusing his attention to the World Championships next year.
The personal trainer’s idea of downtime is a little different to others, though.
He’ll continue to bench 180kg and deadlift 300kg on a regular basis while consuming his usual breakfast of oats, a bowl of cereal, two pieces of toast, and six eggs.
All of this happens to ensure he meets his requirement of consuming 6,000 calories a day in the build up to a competition.
He said: “Next year I want to try and win the triple – that’s the British, European, and the World titles.
“It’s okay for the guys in their 20s, they can hold up okay. But I have to take it easy.
“I’ll have a good rest between now and Christmas before stepping back on the gas in the new year.
“My rest time means working at 80 per cent, it keeps me ticking over and in good condition.”
But the events of two years ago continue to play on Newman’s mind.
He revealed: “What happened in Birmingham will always be there.
“Sometimes during training I will stop myself and think ‘hang on, be clever here’.
“Wearing a heart rate monitor is part of analysing that.”