LYME Regis fitness fanatics Jesse and Aneesa California are heading to the UK Ultimate Physiques national finals after winning top places in the regional competition, and hope to make it to the international stage.
On Sunday, the couple competed in the Southern championship in Bedford, with Aneesa taking first place in the ultimate bikini model category and third in the fitness model class. Jesse was also placed highly, winning second place in the ultimate men’s physique category and third for fitness model.
The competition was open to all athletes in the bodybuilding industry, broken down into male and female categories, as well as a beginner’s category and one for athletes who have previously competed.
Jesse and Aneesa, who have a baby daughter and run California Fitness together, trained for 16 weeks before the competition, including a strict diet in which they had to count and track the exact amount of calories eaten per day. They also weight train for one hour and complete 7km of cardio every day, or the equivalent of 15,000 steps.
During the last week of preparations, they both had to decrease their intake of carbohydrates and water to ensure their bodies shrunk back to show off their muscles. They also had to apply a dark tan and complete a specific routine on stage with several mandatory poses.
Having won top places, both were invited to compete in all their categories at the British finals and they are now preparing for their second competition of the season, in Bridgend in three weeks with Next Fitness Model, where they hope to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Texas to compete in the Mr and Miss Atlas world championships.
Aneesa said: “I first competed last year, eight months after having our daughter, and came third and fourth with this same federation.
“Jesse has competed twice previously since 2014. This time round was extra special for him as he never placed in his past competitions but came away with second and third placings this time.
“Our placings mean we automatically secure a place in the British finals competing to win our Pro Cards.”