A STRONGMAN from Runcorn who once pulled two trucks weighing 25 tons is set to take on the world.

Niall Jones, aged 26, is travelling to Uzbekistan to compete in his first World Strongman Federation event.

He is hoping for a podium finish, but his old classmates at The Grange Comprehensive would probablybe amazed to see him competing at all.

“I was a pretty skinny kid and was only 5ft 10in when I started to go to the gym,” he said.

“I doubled my body weight in two years and was training six days a week and eating all the time.”

Niall is currently Cheshire’s strongest man and has already competed at a national level. He currently stands at 6ft 2in and weighs more than 20st – the result of 11 years of lifting weights.

During the two-day competition in Uzbekistan he will take part in six disciplines that involve pressing a ‘log with handles’ weighing 150kg above his head, lifting a huge dumbbell with one arm and pushing an enormous 350kg wheel around a circuit.

“There’s nothing better than lifting a weight you’ve never managed before or winning one of these competitions and that is why I do it,” he said.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wanted to win in Uzbekistan, but I am against some of the world’s best.”

Niall trains at Body FX in Runcorn and trains for strongman events in Blackburn with Mark Felix and Jack Mcintosh – both former World’s Strongest Man competitors.

After five years of strength training he is now looking to qualify for the UK’s Strongest Man contest on May 5.

“The other great thing about these competitions is the comradeship,” said Niall.

“You’re competing against these lads, but if you’re missing a piece of equipment or run out of chalk they will be the first to come over and help you out.”