Bodybuilding brothers face-off

Bodybuilding brothers Tom and James Poyner. Picture by Fivos Averkiou photography / @showshoots on instagram
Bodybuilding brothers Tom and James Poyner. Picture by Fivos Averkiou photography / @showshoots on instagram
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A pair of buff brothers competed in the British National Bodybuilding Federation Championships – against each other.

Tom and James Poyner, 27 and 30, from St Annes, both took part in the middle weight category in the BNBF finals in Liverpool earlier this month.

Bodybuilding brothers Tom and James Poyner. Picture by Fivos Averkiou photography / @showshoots on instagram

Bodybuilding brothers Tom and James Poyner. Picture by Fivos Averkiou photography / @showshoots on instagram

Tom, a junior doctor, took home the second place prize, meaning he will go on to compete in the world championships in Miami.

James, who works for the Kier Group construction company, achieved sixth place.

Tom said: “We have always been really supportive of each other no matter which way things go, and it has been good to have someone competing at the same time because you go through your doubts during the preparations, so it’s been good this season that we have both been doing it together for that bit of support.

“It was a massive competition. There was over 150 in the whole show, so it was a big show, and in their own right they are all champions.”

Both Tom and James take part in ‘natural bodybuilding’, a form of bodybuilding that means participants are not allowed to take any performance-enhancing drugs.

Tom began training 13 years ago, when he was still in his teens, while James took up the sport 10 years ago at the age of 20.

Tom said: “There’s a lot of misconceptions about bodybuilding.

“The BNBF is a drug-tested competition. We do urine testing and we do a polygraph test before.There are federations which do not test and that’s their choice.

“You can compete with those federations if you want, but they you have the BNBF which does have an intensive drugs testing process.

“We train obsessively year-round. Weight training never really stops. We tend to train with weights between five and seven days a week.

“When you’re preparing for a competition the aim is to reduce your body fat while maintaining your muscle to achieve that ripped, defined look, so we start introducing cardio for fat burning.

“I wasn’t bothered about placing or winning, my big goal was to qualify for the world’s because I competed last year.

“It’s such a good experience because it’s a big team that goes out there and it’s a really good cameraderie and a good atmosphere.”