Two Stornoway gym owners are celebrating becoming Lewis’s bodybuilding power couple after Jack Renfrew received his bodybuilding pro card and joined wife Jenny in the professional ranks.
Jack’s awarding of his card came after the couple both tasted victory at November's Pure Elite World Championships held in the Swan Theatre in High Wycombe. The competition was Jack’s first time formally competing.
In a big day for the pair, who opened Warehouse Gym on Bells Road in August, Jenny was named overall female fitness model champion. The overall title was a result of claiming first place in the pro fitness model category, and third in the pro fitness wellness category.
Meanwhile Jack gained his pro card from his first competition after claiming top prize in the Male Fitness Model over 75kg category. He also took third in the Men's Physique competition.
The success came as a surprise to newcomer Jack.
"With it being my first ever competition, I went into the show with zero expectations," he said.
"I didn't expect to win, I didn't even expect to place top 5. All I wanted to do was dabble my feet in the water and give bodybuilding a go.
“Having trained for it for years, but never actually competed, I felt it was time to give it a bash. To walk away with not only placing 3rd and 1st in my first ever competition, but to be awarded my pro card has left me in a bit of a speechless state!"
His wife's victory, he added, made the event even more special.
“The results from the weekend are something we could have only dreamt of. It's still very much a 'pinch me' feeling when we see our winnings from the weekend.
"Jenny gained her pro status in 2021 and the return to the stage this weekend is something she has been working hard towards since then – it feels incredible to have the months and ultimately years of training for something pay off ten fold. To take the overall win and prize money was a first for her and she still cant believe it!”
Jenny first started competing in 2018 and has now taken part in over 10 competitions. Conversely, Jack was new to the competitive circuit despite having been in training for around six years.
Training to be a bodybuilder is a multi-year endeavour, all leading towards an acute period of training 16 to 24 weeks before a competition. This final stretch includes dieting down in order to reveal muscle, with hours of cardio sitting alongside a controlled eating programme.
In Jack’s case, his final weeks involved daily doses of 20,000 steps and 30-40 minutes on a stair master, as well as his five times a week weight training, all while consuming 1,200kcal a day (the NHS recommends men consume 2,500kcal a day).
That sacrifice was worth it. It also required the discipline of training away from the main circuit, and the motivation to find competitions held far from home.
“There is next to no bodybuilding scene in the Western Isles. As far as we are aware, we are the only two competitors on the island," Jack said.
“There are a few Scottish competitions in Glasgow and one in Aberdeen per year, and the rest are across the UK, so we usually travel a fair bit to get to competitions.”
Whether the couple's success leads to more Hebrideans taking an interest in bodybuilding remains to be seen, and they stress that their gym is open to all people who simply want to get fit.
For now, however, Jack and Jenny remain Stornoway's bodybuilding heroes.