Andrew Done grew up riding horses and ended up showing them at competitions. “The horses were judged on their symmetry and proportion,” he says.

Andrew enjoyed plenty of success in the equestrian world, winning at the Horse of the Year Show, before deciding to work on his own symmetry and proportion and compete in bodybuilding.

He initially tried men's physique but found his calling when he switched to classic bodybuilding and last year he became the UKBFF overall British champion.

 Going head-to-head for the overall title at the British Championships. PHOTO: Christopher Bailey

Going head-to-head for the overall title at the British Championships. PHOTO: Christopher Bailey

Andrew Done

AGE: 26
HEIGHT: 178 cm / 5 ft 10
CONTEST WEIGHT: 80 kg / 176 lbs
BEST CONTEST RESULT: 2017 British classic overall champion
AMBITION: I'd love to win one of the Arnolds or become Classic world champion.

What's your contest history?

I started in men's physique and didn't place at the Leeds show so I tried classic bodybuilding in Warrington in 2016 and won. I didn't place at the finals that year because my condition wasn't good enough. Last year I qualified early at Warrington again then went to the finals and won.

What are your memories of last year's British Championships?

Worrying about my weight! I didn't eat for 15 hours before the weigh-in because I had to make weight. I drove from Cheshire to Nottingham with a friend who was also competing and by the time we weighed in I was running on fresh air. I was struggling to stand up in the queue. Immediately after I had some rice cakes and water and gradually reintroduced carbs.


What was it like to win the overall?

I actually envisaged myself competing against the guy who won the tall category (Jon Lofthouse). I knew his physique was aesthetically pleasing so in the run-up I focused on beating him and we ended up going head-to-head for the overall. I couldn't believe it when I won. You go to dark places preparing for shows, getting up at 5.30am to do an hour's cardio. Every day is a challenge just to get through it but I do actually miss it when it's over.

Why do you prefer classic bodybuilding?

Purely because I feel it suits me. When I did men's physique my back dwarfed some of the other guys' backs. I didn't think it was what the judges were looking for so I made the change.

How difficult is it to make the weight-to-height limit?

At the British Championships, the most I could weigh was 82 kg. In the end I was well below it at 80.4 kg but in the run-up I was constantly worried about not getting down and having to do a bodybuilding weight category. I would have had to go in under-90kg. At the moment I'm about 95 kg off-season so it does take a lot to strip it back.

What are your plans in the Elite Pro division?

I'm aiming to do a later competition in August or September. My goal is to do the World Championships. If I didn't think I was good enough I wouldn't compete. I'm a big believer that if you're not aiming to win, don't bother. I know some people think that's crazy. I compete with the UKBFF because it is the hardest and most prestigious federation.

What changes will you make to your physique?

I'd like a little more arm size and I need to work on my overall aesthetics by bringing in my waist and getting more detail in my quads.

Some classic guys do all kinds of things to make themselves taller, which means they can weigh-in a little. What have you done?

The first year I competed in the class I was just over at the weigh-in. The officials told me to go and hang from a bar because my spine might be slightly compressed so I did for a few minutes and when I came back I was a centimetre taller and able to compete. I don't want to have to go through that again.

What's your split?

Day 1: Chest and biceps

Day 2: Back and triceps

Day 3: Quads and hams and abs

Day 4: Shoulders and calves

Day 5: Rest

Day 6: Repeat day 1

How much volume do you do?

I sometimes aim for 7-8 sets per exercise but at the moment I've dropped the number of sets and do more exercises. I go with the old school approach and do plenty of volume. Most nights I train for 90 minutes, or 120 minutes if I also do cardio.

Describe a typical back session.

I like pulldowns because I think they build width. So I start with two warm-up sets of lat pulldowns followed by 4-5 working sets. I usually do 6-10 reps for working sets. Next would be T-bar rows for thickness. I do one warm-up set then go heavy on them for 3-4 working sets. From there I go to the seated pullover machine and do 4-5 working sets. If I'm not done by that stage I do single-arm rope pulls. I rarely deadlift. I just find they're a waste of effort for the back.

Most effective form of cardio

The Stairmaster is good but I also like seated bike.

Favourite cheat food

Tablet fudge.