A student nurse from Corby is juggling her studies with training to become a champion bodybuilder.
Hannah Butler, a final year student at the University of Leeds, manages to fit in training six days per week alongside her intensive degree, a job in the gym, nursing agency shifts and competitive bodybuilding.
The dedicated 21-year-old started working at Xercise4Less when she moved to Leeds to study and went from cardio-obsessed gym junkie to champion bodybuilder.
Hannah had always previously had a cardio-heavy fitness regime, focusing on being super skinny, but that soon changed.
She said: “One day I was running in the gym and noticed a personal trainer training this lady who was muscly but still looked really feminine and I was like, ‘I want to look like that.’”
Hannah began to move away from following Instagrammers who were promoting being skinny and eating salads for every meal and towards those who were promoting a ‘strong, not skinny’ lifestyle.
A couple of years down the line and Hannah is now competing in bodybuilding competitions.
“I had put off competing because I couldn’t afford it and university took up a lot of my time but in the end my personal trainer persuaded me, and she really believed that I could do it, so I agreed to start prepping in May 2018 ready for my first show which was September 2018,” she said.
“I competed in PCA (Physical Culture Association) Manchester on the 8th September, Junior Bikini, and I came first.”
Hannah has been a member of Xercise4Less since 2016 when she moved started university in Leeds and started working on the reception desk. She uses the gym to maintain her gruelling training regime six days per week.
“I loved the look of the gym, so I started training there after my shifts.
Hannah’s mindset on training has completely changed since she started competing, as has her body shape and she has learnt so much about exercise and nutrition.
“I am currently in a building phase, and a lot heavier than my competing weight, at 62/63kg. My calorie intake is a lot higher and my cardio is lower so than I can gain a lot of muscle ahead of my next competition,” she said.
This year, Hannah is hoping to have a great competitive season and wants to become a PCA Pro while completing her degree.
Hannah says she has also learnt a huge amount her diet and the importance of certain food groups.
“I was uneducated around nutrition when I started out and didn’t have a great relationship with food,” said Hannah.
“Since December 2017, when I started training with my current PT, my relationship with food has improved massively.
“My next goal for 2019 is to have a great competitive season. I’m aiming to start my prep around May 2019 to compete in two September shows with PCA. I will then be competing in the PCA British Finals in October and hope to become a PCA Pro this year.”