The bright lights of Los Angeles were never in the sights of former BSSC student, Ethan Ban, when he first decided to compete on the bodybuilding circuit.

Ban kicked off 2018 by stepping on stage at the LA Fit Expo where he gained third place in Classic Bodybuilding.

Divisions at the National Physique Competition were based on height and weight.

Ban, 20, was the youngest in a field of eight which vied for the title in the 87kg (190 pounds) and 174cm (5’ 8”) class.

“It’s one of the biggest shows for NPC in the United States, and was an incredible experience,” said Ban, who hails from Mildura but spent a few years in Bendigo as a member of the Bendigo Pioneers Football Club squad.

“To step up at international level and against far more experienced competitors was awesome,” he said of his latest bodybuilding show.

“A placing was amazing,” Ban said from his Sydney home.

Ban won a South Australian championship when based in Adelaide in 2016 and then went on to the nationals.

“I took time off from competing last year to focus more on my business and helping others achieve their fitness goals.”

The lead-up to the LA show was intense he said of training and dieting.

 “I put on 13 or 14 kilos, but the focus is not on being the biggest.”

Training is more than just lots of bicep curls, squats, leg presses, and bench presses.

“Diet plays a really important part.

“There are weak points to work on,” Ban said of the build-up to more shows, which are likely to be in October or November.

Ban tipped the scales at 67kg when he started training at Feelgood Fitness or at Doherty’s Gym in Bendigo when a Year 12 student at Bendigo Senior Secondary College.

Weight training was part of his routine for the then 16-year-old who was with the Bendigo Pioneers in AFL Victoria’s TAC Cup under-18s program.

A midfielder-forward, Ban played for Red Cliffs in the Sunraysia Football League, but opted to pursue more time as a bodybuilder and fitness trainer.

By being on-line, Ban can help clients, no matter where he is.

“Some have or want to compete, others are about transformation, or just improving their fitness and health.”

A hard-earned rest after the LA show included time in Hawaii.

Ban has more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, and clients around the world.​

 Bendigo Advertiser 29 January 2018