Engaged couples are usually so neck-deep in wedding invitations, seating plans and bridesmaid dresses that they find it difficult to make time for hobbies they already have, let alone new ones.
But then you can tell simply by looking at them that Don Akim, 43, and Rosanna Beckett, 33, from Loewstoft, Suffolk, are no ordinary couple.
Just four months ago, the betrothed pair began bodybuilding together, and they are now celebrating becoming the first ever couple to both win world championship honours at the same event, having picked up three trophies between them at the Miami Pro World Champions held in St Albans – beating more than 200 athletes to the awards.
In the four months leading up to the world champions, the duo spent 14 hours a week in their local gym.
Ship worker Don said: ‘The judges didn’t even realise we were a couple – when we told them they were like “wow”.
‘Rosanna went up first and I was over the moon when she won. I had to wait a nerve-racking few minutes before I was chosen, but I was thrilled.’
The couple met in a night club in Norwich eight years ago and hit it off straight away. They always had an interest in keeping fit and going to the gym, and progressed into bodybuilding at the start of this year.
Dancer and mother-of-one Rosanna said: ‘I found the competition on the internet – I think I was looking for a new bikini body diet.
‘I saw the contestants and thought ‘I want to look like that’, so I signed up to the competition.
‘I signed Don up as well and told him he was doing it – he didn’t seem to mind, especially when he won.’
Don won his two trophies for male Muscle Model class A category and the male Fitness Model over-40’s category. Rosanna took home the prize for Ms Bikini tall class B category.
Don and Rosanna now have plans to enter other competitions, starting with the East Anglian Bodybuilding Championships in two weeks time.
They are then going to a World Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation event in London in November.
Rosanna said: ‘We’re already there, it’s just a matter of maintaining it now. It’s always at the back of my mind that my body won’t last forever so I want to make the most of it now.’
The couple get a buzz from the exercise they do at Nirvana Fitness Gym and although they are competitive, they find they are more supportive of each other.
Don said: ‘Going to the gym is a stress relief and it helps our relationship. If we have an argument we can go to the gym and come home feeling better.
‘We don’t go together because usually someone has to be at home with our little girl Carmen.’
But it isn’t always easy being one half of a competitive bodybuilding couple.
Rosanna said: ‘When I found out I had won at the contest I had to control my celebrations because Don was still waiting. I wouldn’t have wanted one of us to win and not the other. It would be no fun for the other one.’
The East Anglian Bodybuilding Championship takes place on 3 June 2013.
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