Hulking Steven Brown has the Italian job on his hands after he made it to the finals of a bodybuilding competition.
Steven, came second in the IBFA British finals recently, meaning he will take part in the world finals in Rome this coming October.
The 38-year-old married dad-of-three finished second in the 85kg category and also finished third in a Mr Tyneside competition.
He is now entering a period of intense training over the next few months, accompanied by the strictest of diets.
Steven, of Tunstall Road, told the Echo: “I didn’t think I would do as well as I did to be honest.
“I really wasn’t expecting it.
“It would be brilliant if a lad like me from Sunderland could win the competition.”Steven Brown
“I even beat someone who had finished higher than me at another competition a few weeks before.”
Now he has his chance on the world stage however, Steven, who trains at Fitness 2000 in Roker, says he is determined to make the most of it.
“I’m now starting another 16-week diet and training harder than ever.
“There’s a lot of preparation goes into it and the diet is very strict so I have to have eight meals a day.
“It’s oats and water on a morning and then turkey, broccoli and sweet potato.
“It’s very clean, so I can’t have a cup of tea and a biscuit or anything.”
Steven’s rapid rise in the bodybuilding world comes alongside him working as a hod carrier on building sites.
“I’ve only been doing bodybuilding for four years and competitions for the last year” said Steven, who is married to Gail, 40, and dad to Katelyn, 17, Kimberley, 15, and Mason, six, from a previous relationship.
“I just felt like it was a challenge that I wanted to take on.
“A lot of people get into it for the wrong reasons, but I just wanted a good reason to train for.
“I’m an ‘80s kid so I’d always watched actors like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger and want to be like them.”
Steven is hopeful that the type of events he competes in could come to Wearside one day.
“I was hoping to take the year out next year and try to get the IBFA to bring a show to Sunderland, as we don’t have anything like it here at the minute,” said Steven.
“There is an appetite for it though.
“The IBFA UK president Martyn Yates-Brown is trying to take the sport back to the grassroots which is something I agree with.”
Steven is also on the lookout for a sponsor to help with the costs of his trip to Italy.
“With the food and the supplements I’m looking at having to pay £3,000 from now until October so it’s quite a lot of money,” he said.
“If anyone can help out with sponsorship it’d be really appreciated.
“And it would be brilliant if a lad like me from Sunderland could win the competition.”
Businesses or individuals interested in sponsoring Steven can call him on 07979722809.