An Andover mum of two is stepping out of her comfort zone by setting herself an impressive fitness challenge – to take part in a local bodybuilding competition.

36-year-old, Liz Murray, has been through 12 weeks of intense strength training and strict eating in preparation for the event which is set to take place on Saturday 25th March at Andover Leisure Centre.

Exercise has always been an interest of Liz’s and she has even made a career out of staying fit, working for leisure trust, Valley Leisure. But she has decided to take on a bigger and more exciting challenge.

Liz said: “The thought of turning 37 this year makes me feel closer to 40 and with it has made me think I need to do something now… I also wanted to train for something and to take myself out of my comfort zone so though that the Expo would provide that something to train for and also be that scarily exciting event. I contemplated doing the Expo last year but backed out.”

Liz Murray practicing her poses for the ALC Fitness Expo

“Since getting back into weight training in about 2011 after the birth of my son I have found a real passion that I absolutely love. Not only am I getting some time to myself to do something that I enjoy and that makes me happy and that gives me the most amazing sense of personal achievement, I also have met some great people who are brilliant to be around and make me laugh. There is a really sense of belonging in the strength gym that keeps me motivated and coming back every day!” she added.

Liz’s husband, John, is taking part in the powerlifting element of the competition, and the two have been supporting each other with their exercise and eating habits.

“I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the support, motivation and encouragement provided by my friends, not only those who train in the gym with me at 6am but also my work friends at Valley Leisure who have been amazing and to whom I am extremely thankful to” Liz said.

“During times that I feel terrified and a bit of a fool for doing this, my friends have picked me up, reminded me how hard I am working towards this goal and got me back on track and feeling positive and believing in myself and giving me the sense that I can do this as everyday there is a part of me that wants to bail out” she added.

The Fitness Expo is taking place on Saturday 25th March in the main gym at Andover Leisure Centre. The event is free for anyone who would like to watch.

Liz Murray preparing for the Fitness Expo at Andover Leisure Centre