AIMING FOR THE TOP: Body builders at Tri-o-Lavians gym in Bishop Lavis headed by Coach Trout
At the back of a small house on Bishop Lavis Drive, the clinking and clanging of barbells can be heard as aspiring bodybuilders push themselves to the limit to sculpt the perfect lyf.

And the members of the Tri-o-Lavians gym say their hard work and dedication have paid off after three of their athletes recently scooped top honours at the Pullen Classic Body Building competition held at Cedar High School in Mitchells Plain.

The humble gym was founded by JT Trout in his garage 66 years ago.

The 79-year-old, who still pumps iron, says back in his heyday he needed a place to train.

“I competed in bodybuilding competitions and later judged and did a lot of work with the Western Province Body Building Union,” he says.

Today the gym trains 50 members of all ages – the youngest member is 12 and the oldest 50 – and they regularly compete.

On Saturday three ranked in the top of their divisions, taking home trophies.

“I was so excited when I saw three of my guys winning trophies,” a proud JT says.

“I always tell them, work hard in the gym and the results will come on the stage.”

National body building champion, Zeltion James, 27, came tops in the special division for disabled athletes.

“I was very happy when I received a trophy. My family was so proud when they saw me on stage after winning,” says Zeltion.

“I don’t just win with my muscles, I [ beat] them with my mindset. If I think I’m going to win, I will win."

Rubein Bamana, 12, of Greenland Primary School started training this year and took part in his first competition on Saturday, where he won in the under-13 division.

The shy athlete said: “I was nervous, but I am looking forward to doing it again. I used to fight at school but after joining the gym, I come and fight with the weights.”

Although the gym did not win the grand prize of R3 000, JT says he’s proud of his team.

“They might not have won overall, but I am still proud of my athletes. We will have an overall winner soon,” he says.