Mr Uk 2016 - Allan Betty
Sitting upstairs sipping on wine at one of our local favourite spots (Piccolino’s - Knutsford) while two girls stare, both their jaws hitting the floor. It is clear they are staring at Allen Betty who is comfortably sitting across from me in a short cut vest, Mr UK himself in the flesh. Allan comes across direct, honest and to the point as he starts to explain a little of his life and this huge physical transformation that took place in his personal life. He starts by expressing his love and passion for body building and I have to laugh as he informs me that it all started many years ago, when as a child he would watch television shows and see He-Man. Allen chuckled, “I used to think, one day I will be that strong, one day I will be able to defend the earth from bad guys.” We have all had that dream at one point or another but few actually attempt it.
Curiously surprised and possibly a little envious that a little boy can go from watching cartoons to becoming Mr UK, it dawns on me that the level of will power and sheer determination far outweigh the ripped muscles. Allan begins to credit some of the major contributions that have resulted in who he is today. As a teenager, WWF wrestling was one of Allen’s major admirations, allowing him the opportunity to observe and understand just how body building and muscle transformation was possible. One of the most influential individuals was his dad, a man who Allan admired greatly and who used to regularly spend time with his son among the weights in his home gym. It is quite clear that body building surrounded him. At fourteen Allen was finally allowed to use his dad’s weights provided he looked after them and two years later he purchased his first gym membership. It was here, in the gym that a solid friendship was formed. Paul Sutton, a well known name in the body building community took Allen under his wing and showed him the ropes. It was evident that this was a major part of Allen’s life as I watched the nostalgia of his teenage years surround him.
Allan starts explaining how he began competing as early as nineteen years old, he did a few body building shows and as university was coming to an end he got settled into his career as a school teacher which he absolutely loved. Allan talks about children the way you and I would talk about our closest friends, his eyes light up with excitement. He then moved on to work as a Health and Safety Officer for M&S. One day in his early thirties Allan decided to dedicate his time to his ultimate passion and focus on professional body building. “I knew it was the right choice when I felt the stress of the working world ease off my shoulders giving me the opportunity to focus on my own body transformation.” One year later Allen competed at the NAC Great Britain and placed third, which by any standards is incredible. A few months later he attended the NAC UK and placed first. Allan describes that day as an all encompassing victory for himself and those he shared it with.
Allan briefly explains how exciting competing can be and I find myself surprised when he informs me that it is also a bit scary. When you look at him, and you see the broad shoulders and ripped muscles the last thing you expect to see is fear. As Allen explains how intimidating the room is with approximately 350 people, all watching with a panel of nine judges who are carefully examining these ever impressive competitors. “I don’t do it all on my own though, I do have a lot of help preparing for these events. I have hired a professional by the name of Pat Walner who has helped me get ready for the competitions.” The stance and the way one’s body appears on the day is extremely important. “You have to get it just right to show off all the detail of the muscles and this can make the difference between taking first place and third place.
Allen is currently training in what is referred to as, off season and trains 5 days a week at Anytime Fitness in Knutsford, he includes a vital 15 minutes of cardio exercise so that he can burn off fat. When he is not at the gym Allan loves to treat his girlfriend to a night out in our beloved town and has fallen in love with the new Brasserie Blanc where he can get some of his favourite French cuisine.
We will be catching up with Allan again 10 weeks before he attends the Union Cup this year, so watch this space.