Solihull's UK bodybuilding champion Sophie Birch sets her sights on world title - The Solihull Observer
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17th Aug, 2022

Solihull's UK bodybuilding champion Sophie Birch sets her sights on world title

Catherine Vonledebur 11th Nov, 2019 Updated: 11th Nov, 2019

A SOLIHULL bodybuilder will take on the best in the world next year after being crowned national champion.

Sophie Birch won the toned figure class at the Physical Culture Association’s Grand British Finals in Hull in October, and is now building up to the PCA Worlds on May 24, 2020 at Birmingham Town Hall.

The 25-year-old, who took up serious training three years ago, said: “The ultimate dream now is to win the Worlds.

“Bodybuilding has completely changed my life. I am far more confident now and it’s definitely changed the way I eat for the better.

“I started going to the gym, but I didn’t really know what I was doing. I wasn’t a confident person and I wanted to look better, so it started as a hobby.

“I researched training techniques and nutrition and it became more serious within a couple of months.”

Since then she has twice been crowned Midlands champion in Birmingham, as well as taking top spot in her class and the overall title at the PCA Jersey in September.

Sophie has always enjoyed fitness and used to compete in horse riding, but after graduating from university she began lifting weights and was soon hooked.

Sophie, who works as a senior administrator for a central heating company in Tamworth, said: “I wasn’t sure friends and family would understand because there are a lot of myths about what female bodybuilders look like.

“I kept it quiet for the first year before telling everyone and then it was a case of working out which federation and class I wanted to compete in.”

She chose toned figure, which sits between the bikini and athletic figure categories.

It promotes a healthy lifestyle, with competitors required to be recognisably fit and show evidence of training without being excessively defined or dieted.

They pose and are judged on symmetry, balance and proportions, along with conditioning and presentation.

“I love training every day and never struggle for motivation, but like a lot of girls I was worried that eating more would make me fat, which held up my progress,” she said.

“It’s a scientific sport and probably more mental than physical, but now I eat every three hours.

“There was a lot of trial and error ahead of my first show, but everything went well.”

Since then it has been non-stop success for Sophie, who is always cheered on by her mum Karen – she also regularly joins her daughter for gym sessions.

“Seeing how proud and happy she looked in the crowd was one of the best parts of the whole experience,” Sophie said.

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