Bodybuilding champ has Becks and pecs

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FROM beer pumps to pumping iron, Craig Don does it all.

Landlord of The Grange, Craig Don won 1st place at the National Amateur Body Builders Association in the North Area Show in the First Timers category, pictured with his trainer Lesley Haswell.

Landlord of The Grange, Craig Don won 1st place at the National Amateur Body Builders Association in the North Area Show in the First Timers category, pictured with his trainer Lesley Haswell.

The 31-year-old juggles running one of Sunderland’s most popular pubs with his hobby as a bodybuilder.

Now, the landlord of The Grange Hotel, in Newcastle Road, and has claimed first prize in a body-building competition.

Craig took time out from behind the bar to compete in the National Amateur Body-builders Association (NABBA) North Area Show.

And it proved a worthwhile break, after the landlord picked up top spot in the First Timers category.

Craig said: “I’ve been seriously training just over a few years now. I was going to compete last year but then I was offered the job at The Grange. It has always been my dream pub to run, so that took priority.”

To get in shape for the competition Craig was doing over an hour of cardio training and over an hour of weight training a day.

But, despite all his training, the landlord said his diet was the most difficult thing to stick to.

“Diet is the main thing and I had to do a really strict one for the 16 weeks leading up to the competition.”

Craig ate nothing but turkey, broccoli, sweet potato and porridge made with water to make sure his muscles were at their best for the show.

“It was really hard to stick to for a pub manager. I would see the food in pub going out to customers all the time and it was really hard.”

But Craig, from Whitburn, said it was worth it when it came to the competition, held in Hartlepool.

“It was brilliant,” he said. “I think it’s the feeling of achievement and it’s you pushing yourself forward every time. Everything you put in you get out of it.”

Craig puts a lot of his success down to friend and trainer Lesley Haswell, from Fulwell, who runs Physique Management.

“My trainer was a real asset. It would not have went the same without her. She helped me in the right direction.

“Just before I went on stage she was hand-feeding me to make sure I had the energy I needed to last,” said Craig.

Craig’s success in the NABBA North Area Show has resulted in an invite to compete in the British Final in June.

“I’m looking forward to doing more competitions but I can’t wait to get back in the pub and have a few drinks with the regulars,” he added.

Twitter: @sunechohannah