Bodybuilding Glasgow mum, 68, says she's more ripped than most women half her age

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Linda Young is soon to be 70 but her flat stomach, muscly arms and toned legs see her regularly mistaken for her early 50s.

A regular gym-goer after a hip replacement aged 65, Linda "fell about the floor laughing" when her personal trainer suggested she try bodybuilding. But after consulting her family and friends Linda decided to give it a go and began her seven-week training camp.

Linda reduced her food intake, underwent muscle and strength training and even took posing classes to learn how to stand on stage. She ate salads, measured out her protein, drank lots of water and had no sugar or processed foods for seven weeks.

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She also had to buy a diamanté bikini and five-inch heels, as well as needing three layers of fake tan - to be performance ready. Linda entered the 'Women's Bikini 50+' category at UKUP Scottish Regional in Rutherglen Town Hall in Glasgow on April 28 - as it catered for "the oldest" she could find.

She strutted down the centre of the stage with confidence before posing and flexing her muscles - and even took him a silver medal. Mum-of-two, Linda, a pilates teacher, from Glasgow, Scotland, said: "When my PT suggested it I fell about laughing - I thought it was a joke.

"He told me to think about but I spoke to my husband, Peter, 68, and my kids - Jamie, 28, and Kirsty, 35 - and they said why don't I go for it. I then spoke to a posing coach and she said all I had to bring along was high heels and a bikini - I thought that was funny.

"So I had to source a diamanté bikini and these stripper-like heels - I thought I was out of my head. But I thought if I don't do it now, I'd never do it.

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"It was fabulous. People I hadn't even met before were coming up to me saying I was an inspiration. Lots of people have said they want to try it now and it's been really good. If you're in the position, go for it. Don't let age put you off."

After signing up for the competition, Linda had just seven weeks to get ready. She said: "Some of the coaching sessions were quite difficult to nail down the poses. My husband would come home from work and I'd be strutting up and down the hall practicing in a pair of four or five-inch heels.

"The food plan was reduced a lot so that was tricky too - I had protein drinks, vitamins, salads, lean protein, black coffee and no alcohol, cake or sweets.

"My treat was two squares of 70 per cent cocoa chocolate. In your prep, the week before the competition you cut out a lot and you're down to a litre a day and cutting out salt. All to see the muscles - there's a limit to how much you can show at 68 though.

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"The next thing was the fake tan - two or three coatings of some of the darkest tan in the world. Three weeks later it's still coming off.

"I had to work more on hamstrings and glutes and then more intense work on the back to show off those muscles too. Particular muscles that he knew I'd be judged on."

After all her training, Linda was finally ready for the day of the competition. She said: "I went into the venue and there's all sorts of women about with their fake tan, curls in their hair and teams around them.

"My family were amazing and my son, who lives and works in London secretly flew up saying: 'You don’t think I’m going to miss this. You look amazing.'

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"In the 50+ there were only two competitors and I came second but she was 58 and had done it before. The judge commented on stage that I was the oldest competitor they'd had. He said it in a nice way and everyone was clapping.

"You come on, you do a T-walk and they call out your number and you strut down the centre of the stage with a permanent smile. You do your front poses, do your routine, then some on the left, then to the right-hand side of the stage, more poses and then back to centre.

"You're also lined up at the front with the rest of the females. At this stage, it was my worst nightmare as I was standing next to some 35 to 40-year-olds.

"Then you have to show the glutes, the hamstrings and the lats to the judges all whilst trying to keep eye contact with the judges - it's a lot to remember."

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Despite the success of her first competition, Linda she'll likely hang her bodybuilding heels up. She said: "If I was maybe just five years younger I'd give it another go.

"I went into training for me and my health and the bodybuilding was chucked in at the last minute. Everyone there was so respectful but I still need to be realistic. I had lots of fun and learned lots about my body.

"I think you need to find the right people that build your confidence and hone your skills to go out and do it - it doesn't matter what it is, any job or opportunity. I started laughing when my coach suggested it but don't dismiss it right away. When you stop and think about it, you think 'yeah, I can do it.'"

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