AN AWARD-winning bodybuilder reckons he owes his amazing physique – to Irn Bru.
Mark Taylor has been working on his body for half his life, and has won an impressive seven prestigious Mr Scotland titles during his career.
The 44-year-old trains five times a week at his local gym, and eats up to ten meals a day in order to build up muscle and stay lean.
But he says his rise to bodybuilding fame began with working for the makers of Scotland’s favourite fizzy drink, Irn Bru.
Mark, who lives in Buckhaven, Fife, took up the sport in 1994 alongside his day job – working for A.G.Barr, in the east of Scotland.
Each can of Irn Bru contains 141 calories as a result of its seven-and-a-half teaspoons of sugar so the drink is not normally associated with fitness and body building.
But Mark spent most of his days lifting heavy crates of the drink, which helped build his remarkable muscles. “It was just one of those things,” he said.
Once he began training, he was able to develop his strongman physique and began to enter into competitions.
During his 22-year career he has rarely, if ever, been out of the top three during competitions.
His most recent accomplishment was winning the UK Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BFF) event in Paisley in the light-heavyweight category of Mr Scotland.
In his under 90kg category he was judged on compulsory poses, as well as shape, size, condition and muscularity.
He also recently competed in Glenrothes at the National Amateur Bodybuilders’ Association (NABBA) contest, and is soon off to the UK BFF finals.
Mark, who is a father of two, also won an overall Mr Scotland title in 2009 and also has a third-place finish under his belt at European championship level.
He trains four or five times a week at Dowie’s gym in Leven, doing weights and cardio training, and eats ten meals a day.
He gets much encouragement from his wife Anita, and sons 10-year-old Bodhi and Dalton, 16, who now trains with him.