A BODYBUILDER from Andover is riding high after enjoying recent success to gain a place among the best.

Ash Tapp triumphed in his sixth competition at the UK Ultimate Physique, in Wales, on July 28, coming third overall.

And it was not only a bronze medal for the 29-year-old but he was also chosen to compete in the British Finals.

He said: “The competition was good, I think I deserved higher, but it is what it is, the judges made their decision.”

In the months before the contest Ash shed a massive eight stone from 21 stone to 13 in order to gain his desired physique.

And on the day the hard work continued, with a dark tan on the night before and weightlifting just moments before going on stage.

“Leading up to the show you eat as much as you are told to eat by your coach so you are eating every hour to stay full,” said Ash, who helps run ice cream parlour Twenty5.

“And then 20 minutes of pumping up so when you go on stage you look nice and full.”

Initially Ash carried out poses solo before joining others in his category to be judged by the expert panel.

“You go into comparison and straight away they moved me to the middle which usually means that you are winning.”

Bodybuilding has now become a way of life for Ash, who started two years ago after a break up.

“It is my lifestyle, I wouldn’t change anything about it.”

The British Finals will take place on October 26, and Ash is already hoping for victory.