A BOLTON solicitor has shocked her colleagues after swapping her desk for the world bodybuilding stage.

Russell and Russell criminal lawyer Leanne Hurst only started competing as a bodybuilder earlier this year but she has already taken the sport by storm, coming third in the world finals.

The 31-year-old said it had been a “whirlwind” since she decided to start competing.

She said: “The last few months have been crazy, it has been a amazing, never for one moment did I think that I would be third in the world.”

Leanne, who lives in Hoghton near Preston, said she started weight lifting three years ago when she met her husband Graham.

She said: “I have always been active but doing more cardio than weights, but my husband persuaded me to start doing weights.

“At the start of this year I got in to it properly and I got an online coach.

“I was following people online who I really admired who were competing and I asked my coach if he thought I could do it.”

Leanne competed in the figure category and came first in the British qualifiers in Scotland in July.

Following that she won the British Finals in October and was then chosen to represent the UK in the world finals in Los Angeles last month where she was up against 11 of the best women in the world.

She said: “Going to LA was amazing, it is the mecca of bodybuilding. I never expected to come third, the last few months have been crazy.”

After her success it was back to the day job for Leanne.

She said: “Everyone at my work was quite shocked, they’re all really supportive but they were surprised when they found out.

"When I go to work I am in my suit so they just thought I was a normal person who is a bit of a gym bunny, so they weren’t expecting to hear that I go competing on stage in a bikini!

"There is a lot of banter because I work with a lot of men and they joke that I have got bigger biceps than them.”

Now Leanne is planning to take it easy over the festive period before ramping up the training next year.

She added: “It has been really hard work this year but it has been worth it. I am enjoying having a break but then it will be back to training. My aim is to be number one in the world, knowing how far I have come this year who knows what could happen.”