Leanne Hurst has muscled her way into international bodybuilding faster than you can say “abs-fab.”
Less than five months after starting out in competition she is world No 3 and admits: “It’s been an amazing whirlwind - I still can’t believe what’s happened to me so quickly.”
Leanne is just back from Los Angeles where, as a contest novice, she shook the world by finishing third. Now the 31-year-old solicitor is allowing herself some Christmas down time before getting back to pumping iron, aiming to be No 1 this time next year.
“It’s been tough, but when I look back on my first few months on the competition circuit I really have to pinch myself,” said Leanne, who lives with hubby Graham in Hoghton.
“I’ve gone from strength to strength since that first competition in Scotland back in July. Third in the world in five months. Phew.”
Leanne, who used to work at Forbes Solicitors in Preston and Chorley, only started bodybuilding in July 2015. Prior to that she described herself as a “cardio bunny” pounding the treadmill at the gym while Graham was lifting weights.
He persuaded her to join him on the barbells and she became hooked. This July, a year after she starting training, she made her debut in competition in the Caledonian Classic in Scotland and stunned herself by coming first. Three months later she went to the UK and International Figure Finals and won them both.
A special invitation to Los Angeles followed and, up against the 11 best in the world, she finished third.
“I’d love to go back next year and win it - that’s my ultimate goal,” she said. “At the moment I don’t know what’s next on the horizon after Christmas. I’ll have to sit down with my coach and have a chat.
“Graham has been an absolute saint over the past year. He has been absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t have done this without him. So I think we’ll probably treat ourselves and have a weekend away just to get some quality time together and relax.
“I honestly didn’t expect to get as far as I have in such a short space of time. I’m competitive and I always want to win everything I’m in. So these past few months has been unbelievable.
“I don’t have to qualify for the British finals next October because I’ve been in the worlds. That gives me plenty of time to get myself into a better condition and come back better than ever. I’m happy with the way I look, but everyone thinks they can get better .”