Student bodybuilders to vie for title of UKs best built at Leicester Students Union

Over one hundred competitors and muscle enthusiasts will descend on Leicester Students’ Union for the regional qualifier of the MASS Student Physique Championship on 8 March.   

The MASS Student Physique Championship is backed by prominent partners, including Microsoft and LDN Muscle, and categories this year include ‘Men’s Fresher’, ‘Men’s Physique’, ‘Women’s Athletic’ and ‘Women’s Bikini’. There will also be a round dedicated to the brawn of mature students.

Judges will decide which entrants will advance to the next round of the competition by assessing the hopefuls on their physique, showmanship and personality. The individual journey of each competitor and their future ambitions will also be taken into account when judges score entrants.

The competition is the invention of David Bissell, a University of Leicester aerospace and engineering graduate, and University of Swansea students Sean Lee Rice and Max Kalu.

David was inspired to organise the health and fitness competition in an effort to challenge unsavoury perceptions of students as being lazy and unhealthy. 

He started MASS at Leicester with support from the University’s Career Development Service who encouraged him to apply for a place on the Enterprise Inc. programme back in 2012.

Enterprise Inc. offers a £2,500 bursary to final year students and graduates and provides training to help start up their business venture.

David said: “The University was fantastic. I probably wouldn’t be where I am now without Enterprise Inc. and the support they gave me.”

The MASS Student Physique Championship, formerly known as ‘Mr University’, ran for the first time last year. Hosted at the University of Leicester O2 Academy, the event consisted of over 40 finalists, and attracted the attention of a 32,000 strong audience who watched the event via live stream.   

Establishing a UK wide university fitness championship was a natural progression for David, who co-founded MASS (Muscle and Athletic Sports Society) with Sean and Max in 2011. MASS is a student society that promotes health and fitness, and has an active network of members in universities in the UK and US.

Student bodybuilders participating in the East Midlands regional competition who are victorious on the day will then have the opportunity to compete in the MASS Student Physique Championship grand finale, which will take place at a later date.