From pool to Pro

New Zealand-born Kurt Dell has been competing in Men’s Physique since 2012, but he started his athletic career in a far different place to a bodybuilding stage – the pool.

“I started swimming at a young age,” says Dell, who is also a fitness model. “I played rugby growing up but I fell in love with swimming when I was about 10 and made it my main focus.”

Dell competed in swimming for another six years, winning a couple of national titles along the way.

“My main stroke was breaststroke, as I always had a solid frame,” he says. “I remember one of my coaches calling me ‘Mini Arnie’ as a kid!”


But when he stopped swimming at the age of 16, Dell didn’t take up any other form of exercise, and it wasn’t long before he became out of shape.

“I was a slender 16-year-old when I stopped swimming and although I can’t be certain what I weighed then – I’m guessing 70-75kg – I still remember getting on the scales at one of those pay-and-weigh machines at the mall and getting a reading of 92kg, which was certainly not muscle!” Dell says.

He decided it was time to join a gym.

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