WHEN Cameron Colhoun isn't working at his full-time job of being a prison officer, he is most likely at the gym or in the kitchen.
That's the dedication it takes to be a bodybuilder.
In fact, the hours put into this lifestyle add up to almost being another full-time job for the 30-year-old athlete.
"For the food prep, I cook for about a whole day on the weekend," Colhoun said.
"And in the gym, it's up to 16-20 hours a week."
Colhoun came third at a bodybuilding competition last month, called the IFBB Gold Coast Classic.
"How it works is that from your line-up they do call-outs of who the judges want to see more of," Colhoun said.
"When they called my name, I was just really excited.
"I am 100% happy with the way my condition was going into the comp."
Competing in the open men's under 80kg section, the placing has qualified Colhoun to compete in Arnold Schwarzenegger's bodybuilding competition, the Arnold Australia Classic, in Melbourne on March 18.
In the bodybuilding world, time on stage may be over in minutes, but to get stage-ready is a journey that took months.
The Gold Coast event was Colhoun's second bodybuiding competition and he gave himself 16 weeks to get ready.
"In my first time around, I let myself have cheat meals but this time, I didn't have any," he said.
That means going through the holiday period without indulging in the never-ending stream of available junk food.
He would go on to gain 5kg more muscle than his previous competition in 2016.
"A lot of time was spent in the kitchen," he said.
"I would have 7-8 meals every day.
"The meals would go in little containers that I would carry around with me everywhere."
Social gatherings, weekend events - the containers went everywhere.
"There were definitely times I felt like eating food I wasn't supposed to," he said.
"It was a mental challenge but cheating would have been cheating yourself." The staples of his diet included chicken, rice, zucchini, and egg whites.
Following the judging, Colhoun picked pizza at Domino's as his big eat after months of clean eating.
He ate two whole pizzas.
But now it's back to the drawing board with the Arnold Australia Classic around the corner.
How does one get into a sport like bodybuilding?
For Colhoun, it was a natural progression from an interest in sport and his competitive nature.
"I've always done sport - from boxing, to rugby league and crossfit," he said.
"Body building is all about doing better than you did last time.
"And I have a competitive edge which suits."
He thanked his gym owners Jason Palffy and Bridget Dicello for their support. Colhoun also thanked partner Sara Connors for her support and for writing his meal plans.
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