BELFAST SET FOR NORTHERN IRELAND CHAMPIONSHIPS

Arnold-bound David Henderson will guest pose at this weekend's Northern Ireland Championships.

The competition is being staged by long-term promoter Stephen Graham at the Ulster Hall in Belfast on Saturday.

Competitors will battle for places at next month's UKBFF British Championships, which is the biggest and most historic event on the UK bodybuilder calendar.

And it's fitting that David, a Northern Irishman who is two weeks out from representing the UK at the Arnold Classic Europe, will be putting on a show for the crowd.

David was awarded his IFBB Elite Pro card in recognition of being a three-time winner at the British finals.

David is known for his sharp conditioning.

David is known for his sharp conditioning.

The Arnold will be his pro debut and he is going in at the deep end: not only will he be competing in front of Arnold Schwarzenegger and 2,000 fans in Barcelona, he will also be giving away a lot of weight to his rivals.

He expects to weigh about 80 kg and because the Arnold only has an open bodybuilding pro class, he will be giving away a lot of size to some of his rivals.

“Prep has been smooth so far,” says David, who expects to weigh in at about 80 kg. “I haven't been obsessed with the scales this year and have gone by weekly pictures and videos.

“I am prepping myself and pretty happy how things are going. I have added muscle this past offseason.

“I do feel I can be competitive in my up to 90 kg category. I am out-muscled in the open division but I am bringing a very balanced physique so hopefully that gives me some chance.”

It's the start of a busy spell for UKBFF / IFBB athletes.

This weekend sees the €26,000 Nafplio IFBB Elite Pro, followed by the €60,000 Arnold a fortnight later and the €15,000 Nordic Pro two weeks later.

The final international events for the $300,000 IFBB World Ranking for top international amateurs will also take place.

And the final British Championships qualifier – at Bedworth on September 29 – is also approaching.

Good luck to everyone competing this weekend and at upcoming events!