By Jane Harris
A desire to stay fit and strong after retiring from playing football, has resulted in outstanding success in the sport of bodybuilding for Barraba man Luke Urquhart. Luke, 40, is a Works Programmer with Essential Energy, and along with wife Ebony operates the DMF Centre, Barraba’s popular gym.
At the recent ICN Coffs Classic held in Coffs Harbour Luke had spectacular success. The Coffs Classic is the premier bodybuilding, bikini and fitness show in Northern NSW which organisers say attracts the best of the best of bodybuilding athletes.
At the Coffs Classic Luke gained first place in 40+ Bodybuilding, and third place in the overall Open Bodybuilding. It was Luke’s first time competing in ‘Classic Physique’ bodybuilding and he came away with a first in the 30+ division as well as a first in the overall ‘Classic Physique Open’.
A gift of a home gym set more than 25 years ago from parents Garry and Pam was the start of Luke’s journey in the sport. “I have been working out with weights since I was 14 when I got my first home gym set from my parents as a present. I continued on doing weights throughout the next 13 years to help me be physically fit while I played Rugby Union,” says Luke. “Since I was young I’d always followed bodybuilding and read plenty of bodybuilding magazines.”
Luke retired from Rugby at 27 after having two knee operations and wanted to maintain his fitness. “I increased my weights training program and decided to challenge myself further with Bodybuilding. I have been competing in bodybuilding for 11 years now, generally competing in two separate shows a year.”
Luke says owning the DMF Centre on Queen Street has complemented his training well. “Turning my hobby and interests into a business has obviously helped in preparation for the competitions,” says Luke. DMF stands for “Dynamic Muscle Fitness” and the gym is open 24/7 to members. “We feel very fortunate and grateful that we can offer this facility in our town.”
It’s obvious that Bodybuilding cannot be easy, but what exactly does it take? Luke says, “Bodybuilding involves a lot of hard work, consistency in training and diet and living a healthy lifestyle to ensure the body gets what it needs to be at its best at competition time.”
“Like Football there is an off season where you will build yourself up as much as possible and then diet down, shredding as much body fat as possible to be as defined and hold as much muscle as possible.”
For this year’s contests Luke has been dieting down for over six months. “Diet and training change along the course of the prep,” says Luke. “At the moment I complete two weight training sessions a day, along with two cardio sessions walking approximately 6 kilometres a day. I also practice posing once a day. I’m eating five meals a day ensuring I get enough protein, fats and carbs to fuel my body while still cutting fat from my body.”
Luke admits the process is extremely hard but adds it is also very rewarding. You learn a lot about how the body and mind works and how little things such as stress, sleep, and certain foods affect it and how to optimise the body and your mind to overcome the challenges.”
Wife Ebony, and children Felix, Dexter and Lavana couldn’t be prouder of Luke’s achievements. “The three first placings and a third at the Coffs Classic, and the winning of the overall Classic Physique category is a direct reflection of the hard work that Luke has done over all the years,” says Ebony. She adds that this includes the lessons from all the losses as well.”
“The family really enjoys helping Luke and being involved and cheering for him at the competitions and it was a special occasion to share the win as a family on stage with him,” says Ebony. Luke in turn is motivated by his family, saying “The biggest thing for myself is the challenge and discipline bodybuilding requires and proving to myself I can improve each year. I also work hard to be the best role model I can for our kids and to also represent Barraba and the gym.” Luke is currently preparing for the next event to be held in Sydney in October.