Norwich dad named England's Strongest Man

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith inside Big Andy's Gym in Dereham. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith inside Big Andy's Gym - Credit: Brittany Woodman

By day city dad Leeroi Smith drives a digger - but after hours he's the one doing the heavy lifting. 

And the 12 hours a week that the 30-year-old from Brewers Court spends pumping iron have finally paid off.

The dad-of-one has been named England's Strongest Man at an Elite Strongman Promotions event in Durham at the end of June.

He will now be gunning for further glory as he represents his country at the World Championships in Florida in November having finished fifth last year. 

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith inside Big Andy's Gym in Dereham. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith inside Big Andy's Gym in Dereham - Credit: Brittany Woodman

The Norwich-born strongman and dad to one-year-old Lincoln, said: "I just love the buzz of competitions.

"I used to watch World's Strongest Man on the television with my dad and I have now found I am very good at it myself.

"No matter who you are or where you come from, when you put your mind to it you can achieve high." 

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To become England's Strongest Man in the under 90 kilo category, Mr Smith - who eats 4,500 calories a day - had to take on six different weight challenges.

This including deadlifting 280kg within a minute, pendulum pressing 120kg and stone pressing 90kg.

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith inside Big Andy's Gym in Dereham. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith showing off his guns - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Training at Big Andy's gym in Dereham, Mr Smith recalled how he has pushed himself to the limit in the past.

He said: "There are instances where I get nosebleeds and blood vessels pop in my eyes and across my chest but you just carry on with it.

"I was a bit sceptical about it happening at first but then I did a bit of research. 

"You do not really feel it burst. It is only the following day when the redness starts to appear." 

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith inside Big Andy's Gym in Dereham. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith flexing his muscles inside Big Andy's Gym - Credit: Brittany Woodman

The buff has praised his wife Samantha and Big Andy's owner Andy Clarke for keeping him going during dark days.

And he often has to apply his weightlifting to daily tasks.

"My father-in-law probably makes use of it the most - in the nicest possible way," Mr Smith joked.

"He is a self-employed carpenter and we sometimes work on the same site. When he has a job that involves heavy lifting, nine times out of 10 I am the person he calls."

Training to be England's Strongest Man

Mr Smith's routine is a regimented one.

On Tuesday he will go through squat and leg exercises at the gym before pressing his shoulders and triceps on a Wednesday. 

Thursday entails deadlifting and back weights. He then enjoys a well-earned rest day on Friday before taking part in competitions on Saturday.

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith inside Big Andy's Gym in Dereham. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith at Big Andy's Gym in Dereham for training - Credit: Brittany Woodman

He will have two more rest days on Sunday and Monday.

Mr Smith said: "Diet is crucial. I am now signed up with a nutritionist who has a PhD in micro-nutrients and he put me on five meals a day."

This will begin with Weetabix, protein powder and nuts in the morning.

At 10am, he will tuck into chicken and rice, or chicken salad with a wrap.

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith inside Big Andy's Gym in Dereham. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

England's Strongest Man, Leeroi Smith inside Big Andy's Gym - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Yoghurt, banana and more nuts will be consumed at lunchtime then a protein shake will be gulped down before a gym session alongside electrolytes. 

He will then round off the day with meat mince and rice or white fish and potatoes.