Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Body builders muscle up for contest

A Christchurch couple plan to flex their muscles for New Zealand at the world bodybuilding championships.

Annette Gallaher, 40, and her partner, Richard Parnham, 33, are already officially Mr and Mrs New Zealand after their success at the national competition in August. Gallaher and Parnham will compete in individual disciplines at the Universe Championships in Alicante, Spain, as well as the mixed pairs.

"It is a sport that is not well-known," said Gallaher. "We have done so well this time, though, and we are up against the best of the best."

Muscle men and women from all over the world will take part at the competition, which runs from November 23 to 25. They are required to strike different poses individually and in pairs to show off their physiques. "We have been competing for six years," said Gallaher. "We both have really good sporting backgrounds. I used to do a lot of running, but I started going to the gym and doing weights. I suppose we got addicted."

Gallaher, who weighs 55kg, and Parnham, 83kg, a personal trainer, have kept up a punishing routine for the past six months.

"We will arrive in Spain a week before the show and go into decarb, which means eating no carbohydrate," she said.

"At the moment we do one hour of cardio in the gym in the morning, which is cross-training or biking.

"Then we do one and a half hours weight training. In the evening we do another one to one and a half hours cardio."

The couple, who live in Shirley with their four children, have also been on a strict diet.

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