First-up win for firefighter
Luke Schembri strikes a pose on his way to being named Mr
Junior Sydney at the 2003 Australasian Natural Bodybuilding
Association Sydney Titles at the Castle Hill RSL. Photo
by Richard Gregorio Photography
SUCH was the preparation for his first bodybuilding competition
that Leading Aircraftman Luke Schembri took a week off work leading
up to the event as he knew he would not have the energy to do his
The firefighter from RAAF Base Richmond drained himself of energy
so that his skin literally shrank on to his muscle-bound figure.
However, the ripple effect it created paid dividends when he was
named Mr Junior Sydney at the Australasian Natural Bodybuilding
Association 2003 Sydney Championships at the Castle Hill RSL on
You end up looking good, but youve got nothing as far
as energy goes, so I had to take the week off, LAC Schembri
In the 12 weeks leading up to the event, he could eat no fat and
what he did consume was strictly calorie controlled.
I drank three litres of water a day and basically ate lots
of wholemeal rice, corn, fish and veges so that my body actually
held zero fat, he said.
And then theres the weight training, with high repetitions
of light weights followed by low repetitions of heavy weights, with
some more light weights to provide the finishing touches.
On the day of competition the heavyweight action began when entrants
were waxed and fake-tanned before the rigorous process of performing
for the judges.
Facing six entrants in his division, LAC Schembri poised himself
for pre-judging where eight compulsory poses are performed, followed
by a symmetry session where judges checked for muscle definition.
A free-posing routine to music completed the judging, with the winner
being the one with the fewest points.
LAC Schembri finished with a convincing victory on seven points
from his nearest opponent on 15 points, both being mates from the
same training gym, Plus Fitness at Northmead.
I thought I had a good chance but didnt want to get
too far ahead of myself, LAC Schembri said.
Three months of preparation all goes into one moment, so I
was pretty psyched for the event. On stage it was all a blur really.
But he wasnt finished there, with winners of each division
recalled to decide the overall champion.
Following another judging routine, LAC Schembri placed second overall
and received high praise from officials who said he should definitely
aim for the Australian titles in October.
I was pretty drained by the end of it all and actually put
on 4kg of fluid that night (thanks to a couple of well-earned beers)
and I put on 10kg in the week after, he said.
He was naturally elated with the first-up win and, as a former rugby
league player and amateur boxer, described the experience as being
on par with playing either sport.
A broken nose and subsequent operation made him rethink his chosen
sports. He came across bodybuilding after doing weights for a couple
LAC Schembri joined the Air Force in September 2000 and after completing
his initial training, has been at RAAF Base Richmond ever since.
Being four days on and four days off is perfect as it gives
me the flexibility I need to train and compete, he said.