A TEAM of bodybuilders are pumping iron as they prepare to tackle strongmen in the Mr Britain competition.

Michael Bostock, Steve Graham and Gary Phillips have all won through to compete in the challenge.

The trio train at Bodies - Health and Fitness Gym, Spennymoor, and they are gearing up to compete in Merseyside in June.

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They train at the gym for two hours seven days a week and they are in the middle of a strict diet to create a peak performance.

Stephen Brooks, gym owner who has taken part in the World’s Strongest Man, said: "They have really worked hard for this.

"They have been training very hard for the competition since January and I’m proud of them."

Mr Bostock, 25, a Spennymoor bricklayer, has been lifting weights for four and a half years.

He said: "I began as I was interested in weightlifting. I’m very proud to be taking part and I’m looking forward to it."

Steve Graham, 26, a toolbuilder, began to seriously body build in 2007 and has won in large local competitions.

He said: "I’m optimistic but I know that the best of the best enter these competitions.

"I know the quality of the guys who go in for these events but I’m still aiming for a top six finish."

The third entrant Gary Phillips, 38, of Brandon, near Spennymoor, took up the sport after his friend Kevin Brown died from leukaemia.

He said: "I began training to try to win the Kevin Brown Memorial Trophy which was created.

"I just carried on from there and carried on competing. Then ten years ago I had a few nasty injuries and I started to train again four years ago.

"I’m feeling good about the competition and it’s a chance to prove myself and I’m excited to be involved."