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Heavy hobby for chaplain
The West Australian Powerlifter Nathan Baxter carries his daughters Bronte, 7, and Gabrielle, 4, before heading off to Ohio to compete in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

A high school chaplain with a penchant for "lifting heavy things" will be one of the first Australians to compete at an international bodybuilding competition run by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Nathan Baxter, 35, will go to Columbus, Ohio, this week for the Arnold Sports Festival, a five-day event run by the famous bodybuilder, actor and more recently, politician.

Mr Baxter, whose 330kg bench press is the heaviest in the Commonwealth, will compete in the powerlift and bench press. He will join Sydney athlete Amir Fazeli, marking the first time Australians have taken part.

"Outside of the world championships, this is the event to win," Mr Baxter said.

He began lifting weights only in his late 20s and has since won eight Australian titles. The Perth father is looking for sponsors and hopes the event will lead to more international opportunities.