A St Austell bodybuilder has returned from the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation (WNBF) World Championships in Seattle. 

Daz Stephens, a nutrition coach and wellbeing practitioner, was invited to join the Great Britain team after coming third in the WNBF British Supernaturals. He went on to place fifth in the global final at the end of November. 

“In truth, I was never expecting this to happen to me, that quiet man from St Austell,” said Daz, 54. 

“What a journey it was from St Austell to Seattle. This was the chance of a lifetime.” 

He credits his success to years of training, eight months of dedicated diet preparation and structured gym sessions. 

“I was in the best shape of my life,” he said.  

“Diet-wise, I ate my 2,000 calories a day, but it was very structured: lots of fruit and veg, pushing the boundaries on protein, keeping fat to a minimum and being mindful of carbs.  

“On stage, I was at around 3.3 per cent body fat – it’s a fine line between dropping body fat and muscle mass, which you don’t want to do. That’s where my nutritionist role came in.” 

Daz was one of 28 in the GB team, and one of only two to place in the top seven. He is now setting his sights on the 2025 contest. 

“It takes so long to get ready – 12 to 18 months of training and eating healthy foods. As you get older, it gets harder.”  

His go-to for aches and pains is an ice bath in an oak barrel, which he employs two or three times a week. 

“Last week, the water temperature was four degrees. It really helps,” he said.  

Prior to working as a fitness coach, Daz was a submariner in the Royal Navy, competing in field gun trials; and a Devon & Cornwall Police officer, to which he attributes the wisdom, reflection, discipline and resilience that led to his win.  

“For me, everything is about health and wellbeing, being your best, turning up every day and being awesome,” he adds. “Never give up on your dreams and never stop believing, because with hard work and effort, anything is possible.” 

In the meantime, work continues as usual. “I’ve just been up to Penrice Academy, at their invitation, to do a session with the Year 10 boys,” he reveals. “I ‘beasted’ them for 45 minutes – for a 54-year-old man, I think I put them in their place as regards fitness.”