John Winter was born in Yorkshire , England in 1935 and by the age of 16 started lifting weights to boost his size and strength as well as improve his appearance. He progressed rapidly and began entering physique competitions. He always thought that the legendary Reg Park looked awesome and possessed a physique to aspire to. John did well, winning several regional titles and a 2nd placing in Mr North-East Britain in 1958. He combined heavy weight training with a gruelling job as a bricklayer. He then got married, emigrated to Western Australia , had 3 children and had to ease himself away from the gym. He did, however, keep himself in excellent shape and retained much of his hard earned muscle for many years. To this day, at 74 years of age, has the appearance of a much younger man.
John’s first son Craig always ogled at the size of his father’s chest and biceps and was amazed how he could wiggle his huge pecs and pretend to puff up his baseball-like biceps by blowing into his thumb. His calves were always a sight to behold resembling two massive cuttlefish skeletons shoved under the skin of the back of his lower legs. Craig would spend hours looking at his father’s old bodybuilding photographs and muscle magazines. Besides his father, his obvious idols as a young boy were bodybuilding greats like Frank Zane, Chris Dickerson, Tony Pearson and of course Arnold Schwartzenegger. Craig began his obsession with the iron game at 18 years of age with his father John giving him his first programme. Within the first year of training he began to notice changes particularly in terms of added shoulder width, a wider back and bigger arms. His friends also noticed these gains and started training themselves which created a great atmosphere in the local gym. The environment was both competitive and fun and this spurred Craig on even more. Gains continued to happen with hard training combined with constant improvements to his nutrition. Leg training was always the hardest but eventually proved to be one of his strongest bodyparts.
Craig continued to train over the following years, enjoying both the stress relief of working out as well as the gradual improvements to his physique. The gym proved to be a salvation for Craig, an excellent diversion from his demanding daytime profession as a high school mathematics teacher. He always wanted to compete in a bodybuilding contest and follow in his father’s footsteps. The only stumbling block for Craig was the fact that at the time the only contests on offer were not drug tested and he did not want to dabble in the use of anabolic steroids.
As luck would have it, in 1994 Perth held its first natural physique competition with both urine and polygraph tests used to create a level playing field. So at 29 years of age Craig entered this contest and tied 1st place in a quality novice men’s line-up. Craig enjoyed the experience immensely and was bitten by the competitive bug. He then continued competing all the way through his thirties with several wins and top three placings at state and national level.
They say 40 years of age is the old 30. Well this proved to be the case for Craig. The year he turned 40 ended up yielding his best condition. He won both the state and national masters titles in the INBA and ANB federations as well as the overall Mr Western Australia . He then followed on from this with 3 more state titles, 2 more national titles and a swag of top 3 placings in contests that were not drug tested.
So now in 2009 Craig is still very determined to try and beat last year’s model and achieve his career best condition. But until ‘father time’ catches up with him he will still continue to do battle with the iron on a daily basis. The benefits are far reaching even if you remove the physique contests from the equation. The sense of well-being, boosted meatabolism, lower bodyfat, anti-aging, increased bone density, joint stability and support, stress relief via endorphin and adrenalin release and finally the old adage “look good, feel good, am good”. Craig has always firmly believed that the pay-off for just 1 hour a day in the gym is certainly worth the effort.