Jim Charles

Mastered: Fitness and body building
Location: Dudley

One of the best known names in the world of fitness and body building Jim has been recognised with a Lifetime achievement award at the National Fitness Awards.

Jim, who runs Jim’s Gym in Lye, Stourbridge, is an international judge for the National Amateur Body Building Association and its longest serving member. Over the years he has become a friend of many of the stars of bodybuilding, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former Mr Universe.

The fitness fanatic, who still does three sessions at the gym every week, as well as playing table tennis almost every day, got into bodybuilding after being struck down with acute rheumatism and rheumatic fever in his teens. He spent two years in hospital suffering from the condition and his parents feared he may not pull though. But gutsy Jim did bounce back and turned to pumping iron as a way of building up his strength.

His now legendary gym started out as a physical culture club at the old Wordsley Institute on Wordsley High Street in 1958 - before moving to an old school building in Chapel Street, Lye, where it has remained for the last 43 years.