Sunderland bodybuilder wins Mr Universe contest

Body builder Shaun Joseph-Tavernier has taken the Mr Universe title
Body builder Shaun Joseph-Tavernier has taken the Mr Universe title
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A Sunderland bodybuilder has followed in the footsteps of Arnold Schwarzenegger to win the Mr Universe title.

Shaun Joseph-Tavernier has brought one of the world’s biggest bodybuilder awards back to Wearside after posing his way to glory at the NABBA Universe competition, in Birmingham.

The 41-year-old, who lives in Grindon with wife Kelly, competed with the best of the best from around the world and says lifting the trophy has been the pinnacle of his career.

“I’m not sure I could ever top Mr Universe, this was a major goal for me,” said the bodybuilder who hones his physique at Fitness 2000 gym in Roker.

Shaun, who juggles competing in international bodybuilding contests with being a personal trainer, added “This title is the biggy, it’s the one everyone has heard of. Hearing my name being called was amazing, it’s the best feeling in the world.

“Arnold was the most famous person to win it and I remember watching my first Arnie film, which was Conan the Barbarian in the ‘80s. He was an inspiration but I would say what really got me into it was my uncle, who was a bodybuilder in the West Indies.”

Shaun in competition mode

Shaun in competition mode

The award caps off a busy year for Shaun which has seen him compete in South Korea, Kuwait, China and Australia, and winning titles including the PCA Bodypower Expo.

Speaking about his routine to prepare for a show, he said: “It’s very regimented every day and I train for three hours a day. I’ll get up at 5am and do an hour of cardio, then I prepare my meals for the day and train clients. Then I do an hour of cardio and an hour of weights each night. After Mr Universe one of the first things I crave is cake as that’s my favourite food.

“I’ll be giving myself a break now over Christmas then get back into training next year and get back to the grind. I’ve been invited to a seminar next year in New York with some of the biggest names in the business, then I have shows in France and the USA lined up.”

Shaun’s food diary

Shaun has a strict diet when preparing for a show. This is a typical daily food log which he eats every day, with the odd variation of switching meat for fish or rice for potatoes. It also includes one cheat meal at the weekend.

Breakfast (meal 1)

100g oats, 1 scoop of Chronicle iso whey protein powder.

1 scoop of chronicle prime aminos, Amino acid drink.

Meal 2, 3 & 4

These will generally contain around 100g of basmati rice, wholegrain pasta or 500g of white or sweet potatoes and 300g of fish, chicken, turkey, lean burgers or mince.

Meal 5

Fillet steak, broccoli, asparagus and basmati rice.

Meal 6

1 scoop Chronicle iso whey protein, spoonful of natural peanut butter and 1 banana.

Shaun also drinks five litres of water per day