Nigel and Donna Randell put on a united front in building all areas of life - raising two teenage boys, running a motorcycle business, and preparing for the NAC Bodybuilding Universe Championships in Germany this November.
The Dargaville couple took out their individual classes in the national championships and the couple's division in the North Harbour regional championships last year, and received an official letter in February inviting them to compete against the world's best.
Mrs Randell said they were "stoked" at being selected, because their names had been put forward last year, too, but the need to raise $10,000 in three weeks had made it impossible.
"Our dream was shattered. We said if we got asked this year we definitely would go, and here we are," she said.
Both are on a strict diet of lean protein and clean carbohydrates to ensure their bodies are in top form for November.
The couple have every Sunday night off to indulge in such "nasties" as ice-cream and wine, but these treats will be dropped as the event draws closer.
"It keeps you sane," Mr Randell said.
"But on Monday, it's straight back to complete clean eating."
Having to peel 10kg from his off-season weight of 112kg, Mr Randell said he was ahead of schedule to get to his aim of 4 per cent body fat. He likes the aesthetic look the sport brings.
"Your muscles aren't drooping, your skin's not sagging and you're not walking around with a big stomach," he said. "Hitting the gym becomes a way of life."
Rising each weekday at 4.30am to fit everything into her day, Mrs Randell said she sometimes questioned why she was still competing, almost 12 years on.
"It's a challenge," she said. "In Germany, I would like us to get a reasonable place.
"We never go in expecting to win. You want to win, but you don't expect to and then you're not disappointed."
Teamwork was the key, said Mr Randell: "We support each other in what we do. It's makes it a bit easier because we're on the same page and know what's coming."