A TEEN bodybuilder who's been training for seven years has opened up about how he's gone from strength to strength.
Leon Hawkins, 15, has been named one of the top in the country for his age and says he even looks better than some of the men years his senior.
The Middlesborough teen has poured the last seven years of his life into training, but only recently decided to give bodybuilding a go.
And after landing second place in his local competition, Leon took part in the IBFA British Finals.
Now, he's vowing to keep paving his own way in bodybuilding – especially after wowing judges and crowds with his physique and age.
The teen told TeesideLive: "I've been going to the gym for seven years now.
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"About seven or eight months ago I started training at Steel City Gym in Middlesbrough.
"I started training and then someone from the gym said there was a local competition – so I did that."
Leon said he was up against people from all around the country in the under-24 category.
He continued: "In Billingham, I was doing the under-24s and this was against quite big lads. I came second and I was up against three.
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"I trained with my mates and a few others. I go to the competition with my family, my brother and my girlfriend.
"There were also a few people from the gym who competed so they were there to watch."
Leon said everyone was "amazed" when they found out he was just 15 – but he says the placing didn't come easy.
The Year 11 at Unity City Academy said he was training either six or seven days a week for at least an hour and a half.
Leon said: "I have always thought of bodybuilding but I didn't think it was possible.
"When they knew I was just 15 years old everyone was quite amazed."
Bodybuilding has become a popular sport as years have gone on.
Sherolyne France recently opened up about how she went from 224 pounds to being a competitive bodybuilder.
The 38-year-old, from Northampton, England, has competed in eight shows since she first hired an online coach back in 2020, with the goal of shedding her excess pounds.
She boasts over 1,000 followers on Instagram, where she documents the process of sculpting her enviable figure.
A 13-year-old also said he was taking up the sport – despite not being able to join a gym.
Eric English, from Fredericton, Canada, has been making waves on social media with his Hulk-like physique.
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The youngster has amassed over 500,000 followers on Instagram through his impressive fitness videos where he shows off his toned body
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