A FORMER Haverfordwest man has tasted both national and global success after resurrecting his sporting career.
Renzo Algieri, 54, competed to a high level in both karate and body building before retiring at the age of 32.
He has since moved from Pembrokeshire to St Mellons, Cardiff, and was prompted into a comeback by his wife, Julie, early last year.
“Julie suffers with a degenerative back condition and remarked how sorry she was that she had never been able to watch me compete,” explained Renzo.
“She asked if I would compete just one more time, so I said I would give to a go.”
So Renzo returned to body building training in May 2013, basing himself at the Peak Physique Gym on Rhymney River Bridge Road.
His original target was the Welsh Championships in Barry, allowing himself 12 months of preparation time.
But a month prior to that event, he entered the Hercules Olympia competition in Colchester, for what he intended to be a ‘warm up’ show.
However, not only did Renzo win the over 50s Super Masters category, we went on to win the overall title as well, beating a host of younger competitors in the process.
He then promptly secured the Welsh over 50s ‘Mr Wales’ title in Barry, before travelling to Greece to take part in the World Championships.
Again he exceeded all expectations, finishing second in the over 50s category.
“I really surprised myself and I never expected things to go so well,” he admitted.
“Going to the World Championships was not on my mind, but I qualified courtesy of my win in Colchester.
“The feedback I have had from competing has been brilliant.
I’ve picked up a host of new clients to train in the evening’s - and more than a 1000 new friends have added me on Facebook,” he joked.
But Renzo, a regional manager for a sports nutrition company, insists he his now retired for definite.
“I only ever meant to come back for one show but everything went beyond my expectations,” he said.
“It was brilliant for Julie to be able to watch me win in Barry, and I can now go out at the top level after finishing second in the World Championships.
“I can definitely say I won’t be coming back again.”
Typical training day during Renzo's preparation:
5.30am - Hot water with lemon, followed by one hour of fasted cardio work.
7am - Meal one: 100g chicken, 100g salmon, spinach cooked in coconut oil
10am - Meal two: 150g fish, 100g rice, six asparagus sprigs.
1pm - Meal three: 150g fish, 100g rice, six asparagus sprigs (same as meal two).
4pm - Meal four: 200g chicken, one tablespoon of almond butter.
5pm - Body building training (taking amino acids during training). Followed by a protein and carb drink, followed by 45 minutes of cardio work.
7pm - Meal five: Steak and boiled green vegetables, 100g rice.
10pm - Meal six: Scrambled egg whites.
Intake of six-eight litres of water per day.
Renzo followed this routine almost every day for six months from January 2, 2014.