Bodybuilding is a real family affair

Yesterday and today, from left, James, Tom and Chris Poyner
Yesterday and today, from left, James, Tom and Chris Poyner

Brothers who reached the top of the natural body building world are to compete together in the same competition.

Tom Poyner, 26, and his brothers Chris, 28, and James, 29, became interested in the hobby in their teenage years and are now big names in the sport.

They are polygraphed and urine tested at all events to make sure there is no steroid-taking

Natural bodybuilding is a branch of the sport where competitors are banned from using artificial performance boosters such as steroids.

The brothers went to Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School in St Annes and St Bedes in Lytham.

James went to Lytham St Annes High School for his A Level studies while Chris and Tom went on to Cardinal Newman College in Preston.

Tom, a doctor, was the first to take an interest in the pastime when he was around 14, and his brothers soon followed suit.

Eldest brother James is an analyst and middle brother Chris works in the financial sector.

The hobby has helped the brothers stay firm friends, said mum Janet, who lives in Lytham.

She added: “It is a good brotherly thing.

“They help to support each other at all of the meetings and it is still a hobby for them. “When they were at home they co-ordinated their protein shakes and cooking chicken and rice every few hours.

“Thankfully they are so disciplined they just got on with it. It is all natural. They have proved it can be done naturally.

“They are polygraphed and urine tested at all events to make sure there is no steroid-taking.”

All three have won bodybuilding events – Chris won in Preston in 2013, before taking a national title.

He has since been to a natural bodybuilding world event in Miami.

Not to be outdone, Tom topped the field in an event in Perth.

Tom and James have competed again this 2017 season.

But will face each other as competitors in the British Finals in Birmingham in October.

Tom said: “We don’t usually compete together in the same competitions so facing off in the final will be an interesting experience.

“Chris doesn’t compete as much these days but James and I will continue to take part.

“Preparing for a final can be very demanding, it is all about shedding as much body fat as possible to be as defined as you can for the competition.

“As the date for the final looms, you can find yourself becoming tired very easily, but we are both looking forward to October.”

What is natural bodybuilding?

• Natural bodybuilding is a bodybuilding movement with various competitions that take place for bodybuilders who abstain from performance-enhancing drugs.

• This categorically excludes the use of substances like anabolic steroids, insulin, diuretics and human growth hormone.

• If a bodybuilder meets the requirements of the sanctioning body that they are competing in, then they are considered to be “natural”.

• Doping detection methods include urinalysis and polygraph testing, and federations typically conduct these tests on the day of competition, or shortly before. 
• Out-of-season testing, although less common, may also be used.

• Each organizsation will specify within its rules the length of time that its athletes should be drug-free, which may vary from testing clean on the day of the event, to being drug-free for a number of years, right up to a lifetime natural requirement.

• Since natural bodybuilders avoid using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, they seek to optimize their training, diet and rest regimes to maximize natural anabolic hormone production, thereby accelerating recovery.

• Certain legal supplements may also be used to aid recovery and promote muscle growth, although diligence is needed as some over-the-counter products contain ingredients that are banned by natural bodybuilding organisations.