Aaron McCormack isn’t your typical funeral director.
A conservative suit-and-tie man during the week, the 43-year-old strips down to almost nothing on the weekends and flexes alongside his bodybuilding rivals.
And if his burgeoning trophy case is any indication, McCormack must be good at what he does.
Despite having only his first serious crack at bodybuilding two years ago, the former army physical training instructor won his second straight NSW Masters title last month in Sydney and also claimed a medal in the open division.
McCormack achieved the same double at a masters event in Canberra and is confident of more success.
‘‘The amount of response I’ve got from fellow competitors, spectators and officials has been phenomenal in the last few weeks,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve been weight training on and off since I was 13. I always had a passion to give bodybuilding a go and talked about it for many years. Christmas two years ago, I decided it’s time to get into it.
‘‘I hit it pretty hard, dieted down and competed for the first time in April last year as a novice, and I won my first contest.
‘‘I knew I was in pretty good shape but I didn’t expect to have success so early.
‘‘The feedback has been fantastic and it just fuels the fire to go on to bigger and better things.’’
McCormack runs a funeral parlour in Kiama and lives on site.
He has just launched a health and fitness business and takes pride in being 100per cent free of steroids and other synthetic muscle-enhancing substances.
‘‘There’s nothing fake about me. I’m completely natural,’’ McCormack said.
‘‘There’s a lot of people that will claim they are natural but they might be taking all sorts of crazy stuff in the off-season. All the supplements I take are all-natural.
‘‘In fact ASADA tested me only recently when I stepped off stage in Canberra.
‘‘I know plenty of people that are on the stuff. Their physiques will be the same in 10 years. They won’t look any different.
‘‘I’ve learned a lot more this year and been specific on what I’ve done, and brought my physique up to a completely different level compared to last year.’’
McCormack says a lot of gym junkies aren’t educated or don’t believe in the benefits of a specified diet.
‘‘They all try and look for the quick fix, but it’s not about that,’’ he said.
‘‘They might think ‘yeh I’m looking good and I can lift heavy for three months’, but after they go off it they go back to the way they were and they still eat like crap. People just don’t understand how much nutrition plays an important part in this game.
‘‘I’m so focused on the diet and the training that my physique will change from year to year, based on the type of work I do.
‘‘You’re your own worst critic. You look at your body and you think ‘I could do this and that better, I’m not quite in the best shape I could be’. But looking back at the photos – fantastic.’’