A YORK man in his 70s said he is in the "best shape of his life" after working with a body coaching firm in the city.

Local man Mike Howard will be celebrating his 73rd birthday in the new year. He has always been passionate about his weight training, but his real love for it began in his early 40s. But this year he has stepped it up to another level - and he's done it for a reason. 

Mike has linked up with trainer Justin Shepherd at Definition Body Coaching in Nether Poppleton, with the aim of attending an annual photoshoot the firm hosts.

Mike and Justin have worked together on and off for 18 years, so this year Justin challenged Mike to take part in Definition's photoshoot. Many of the clients at the personal training studio attended the day this year.

York Press: Mike Howard has been working hard in the lead up to the photoshootMike Howard has been working hard in the lead up to the photoshoot (Image: Definition Body Coaching)

Mike said: "It was great to be asked and gave me some real purpose for the year."

Mike has been putting in the training hours over the spring and summer with this target in his mind. 

Justin said: "Mike is quite an inspiration to many of us. His work ethic and commitment you can only take positive energy from. He is remarkable. To do a photoshoot like this at 72 is not something I've seen before. The outcome was really good."

Mike has been married to his wife Penny for 46 years - and they have five children and six grandchildren. He said his inspiration has always been to keep up with his young family members.

Mike said: "I want to be able to keep up with my grandchildren and hopefully inspire them to keep fit and to look after their bodies." 

Mike is also a businessman - and he has owned insurance business UKi direct in Easingwold for 27 years. 

Mike's background has seen him spend 12 years in the army in the Royal Engineers, as well as living in Germany for 13 years. He said discipline and commitment have always been core traits of his and a big part of his life.

York Press: Mike has always been passionate about keeping in good shapeMike has always been passionate about keeping in good shape (Image: Definition Body Coaching)

Mike regularly trains five times a week alongside his busy family and business life. 

Mike added: "Commitment, application and dedication are vital to me. My exercise every session is a mixture of weight training and cardiovascular work. I'm also very careful with my diet.

"Age is just a number and you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Surround yourself with positive thinking people."

Earlier this year, Definition Body Coaching celebrated 10 years of supporting people in the York area. The team said they are proud to be a personal training studio lead by three trainers with over 45 years fitness industry experience combined.