This month Te Awamutu's Team Trainstation sent a five-strong Mike Smith-coached team to the National Amateur Body-Builders' Association/World Fitness Federation New Zealand Nationals.
The local competitors had all qualified at regional events and worked all year towards this prestigious event — and the results were exceptional.
Smith says he can't think of any other gym in the country that has more than one national champion at any one time.
"We claimed three on one night."
First up was Victoria Wells, who a month earlier had competed in her first bikini show. She spent the time between working hard on a couple of weaker points and perfected her stage presence to become the new New Zealand Junior Bikini Champion.
"She later went on to the overall showdown where she looked stunning and, with another years training under her belt, will be a serious contender for it next year," says Smith.
He reported that Sinead Kingstin White again made short work of her division, and is making a huge impact on the scene.
She was crowned the new New Zealand Junior Sportsmodel Champion.
She also made the overall showdown and Smith believes it would have been a close decision for her to be pipped at the post for the title.
"Sinead has had a huge first year on the scene and has turned a lot of heads nationally and internationally. Watch this space," says Smith.
Her mother Michelle Kingstin White was up next in Senior Sportsmodel, backing up well from just four weeks ago to maintain a low body fat level and perfect her routine, giving her a good win against season competition and well deserved New Zealand title.
Coach Mike Smith returned to the stage to win the No.3 ranking in New Zealand Pro Bodybuilder. Photo / Paul McSweeny
Sean Henry had changed his look drastically in the four weeks since his last show after experimenting with a heavier, fuller look and decided to go leaner, dropping 5kg for this show.
Smith says the look suited him well.
"His stage presence had also grown and he was possibly unlucky to settle for second in New Zealand Beach Model, but his potential is the ceiling," says Smith.
"He is one of the most dedicated and structured individuals I have ever met.
"Next year will be his year."
In a surprise announcement by the coach just days earlier Smith returned to the stage in the first Pro Division ever at the New Zealand nationals.
"I basically decided four weeks out I wanted to really lead by example as coach and couldn't think of a better way, so I grasped the opportunity with both hands," says Smith.
As a result he picked up a No.3 ranking in New Zealand Pro Bodybuilder.
"I couldn't be any happier with the result," he says. "I came third to some talented international bodybuilders and achieved some important personal goals."
Asked what it was like being back up.after an 15 months hiatus, he said it was like being home again.
"I love the sport and I love the passion involved."
Team Trainstation was supported by team member and co-coach Rachel Underhay.
"We were definitely the toast of the entire tournament with our teamwork and support for each other," says Rachel.
Team Te Awamutu's Ashleigh Wells went solo to represent the club at the IPLNZ Powerlifting event in Tauranga, picking up second overall after equalling her personal best for bench and deadlift.