20:29 EST, 6 March 2012
At just 4ft 5in tall, Jason Owen is the UK’s only dwarf body builder, but that doesn’t stop him bench pressing more than twice his own body weight.
The 30-year-old doorman, who works in bars around Essex and Surrey, tips the scales at 11 stone but can bench-press a staggering 26 stone – the same weight as an adult gorilla.
Known as ‘Mini Arnie’ after his hero Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason spends four hours a day working out in the run up to bodybuilding competitions.
Contender: Dwarf bodybuilder Jason Owen taking part in the under 70kg body building competition in London
Inspiration: Jason, pictured with his trainer Del during a workout session, is often told by fellow gym-goers he is an inspiration for never letting his size get in the way of what he wants to do
Jason, 30, from Mitcham, Surrey, said: ‘Pound for pound I’m one of the strongest guys at the gym.
‘People say I’m amazing but I just love the buzz of competing.
‘Occasionally I do get grief for being a dwarf when I’m working the doors.
‘I don’t let it get to me and often by the end of the night I have them over my shoulder when I chuck them out.
‘People are always surprised by my strength.’
Jason also works part-time as a bingo caller and cares for dwarf mum, Babs, 68.
But he still finds time to follow a gruelling training regime – including hours of body building at the gym and a strict diet.
Pumping iron: Jason has a strict training regime, which involves working out in the gym for four hours and consuming 4,000 calories in protein rich food and power shakes every day to help build up his muscles
He eats 4,000 calories a day in protein-rich food and power shakes to build up his muscles.
For breakfast he eats porridge followed by six egg whites and then he has up to four meals of chicken, broccoli and rice throughout the day.
He then heads to Pinks Gym in Carshalton, Surrey, where he stuns gym-goers with his incredible feats of strength.
He said: ‘I got called Mini Arnie because I had a haircut like Arnie’s and the name just stuck. He’s one of my bodybuilding inspirations.
‘I have been told by people at the gym that I am an inspiration because I never let my size get in the way of doing what I want.
Superman: Jason, who weighs 11 stone, can lift an incredible 26 stone – the equivalent of a fully-grown gorilla
Muscleman: Jason shows off his hard-earned muscles alongside his trainer Del
‘Occasionally I need assistance when my legs are too short to do leg presses – but I just get on with it.
‘I don’t get treated any differently by the other guys at the gym.’
Jason is now in training for the Kent Klassic bodybuilding competition in Gravesend in August.
He said: ‘I haven’t won a competition yet but this summer I’m hoping to get in shape and bring home a trophy.
‘I love bodybuilding because after you put your body through all the pain of training and competing, there can be a prize at the end of it all.
‘There’s a sense of satisfaction that you get from having a body you have worked hard for.
‘I do get some female attention, but often women ask for tips about losing weight.’