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An Ilford bodybuilder came third in the world championships held in Miami, Los Angeles, last month.

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Mark Houghton, of Thorold Road, was part of the British team for the international event, after becoming the Masters British Champion in September.

Mark, 47, works as a ticket office attendant on the London Underground but has been bodybuilding since he was a teenager.

After a lull in the 1990s and early 2000s, he started competing again in 2006.

He trains at Fit4less gym in Tower Hill three to four times a week and eats a special diet to maintain his physique.

He said: “You don’t have to go mad in the gym but you do have to watch what you eat and take stuff out with you.

“Competing looks quite easy but when you’re on stage it’s about 100 degrees under the lights and it’s absolutely exhausting.”

Bodybuilders have to compete in three rounds to demonstrate the symmetry of their muscles, perform compulsory poses and do a routine to music.

Mark said he was happy with his titles from this year and is taking a break before returning to compete in 2014.

“I’ll be doing a bit more socialising this year,” he said.

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