Francisco Rocha was born in Salvador, Brazil, but now lives in London. He began boxing in his teens and then moved into bodybuilding. At 38, Rocha says his physique looks better than ever. “The key moment came five years ago when I competed for the first time,” he says. “I had moved to the U.K. and wanted to see how far I could push my body. I tried classic bodybuilding, but my best result was third. Then I tried men’s physique and won the London and South-East Championships. I’ve won eight competitions.”

Two years ago, Rocha won the British masters division, which is reserved for competitors age 35 and over. “This year I thought it would be fun to see how I could do in the open category against younger guys. So far I’ve won two shows. I think I will look better at 40 than I did at 20.” Here’s how he has made it happen, in his own words.