The 34-year-old Turner retired from the international athletics circuit last year after a glittering spell as a 110m hurdler in which he won gold medals at the European and Commonwealth Games, a bronze at the World Championships and competed in three Olympic Games.
But he felt he needed some form of training routine to fill the void. And drawing inspiration from his older brother, Garry, who is a fitness model in Australia, he decided to see if he could get into similar shape.
With a revamped diet, which includes six egg-whites and two egg-yolks for breakfast, and a new gym-routine, he has put on 10kg of muscle, with roughly the same body-fat, in just under six months. He says it has taught him more about exercise, nutrition and his body than he ever expected.
“I’ve always been slim because of running, but I’ve never been able to hold on to muscle and be lean at the same time,” Turner said.
“I wanted to see if I could take my body to a level it’s never been at before. I never believed I could get into the shape that guys on the stage are in. But to know I’m on my way there is quite thrilling.
“I’ve learned that I should have paid more attention to nutrition as an athlete. I’m still eating ridiculous amounts of protein, but now I’m eating lots of carbohydrat As far as my training goes, I’ve found that the most effective methods for muscle growth are compound exercises -- squats, bench presses and overhead presses. It’s all a completely different feeling, and that’s what is motivating me.”
Turner works as a personal trainer and runs his own exercise club, Antics Fitness, in his home town in Surrey. But don’t be surprised to see him in the sporting limelight again soon.
“In terms of bodybuilding, Garry is in the Premier League and I am in the Conference,” he said. “But he’s planning everything out for me and I’ve told him I want to compete in two months’ time. I want to keep my competitive nature.”