A magazine designer will fight through the pain barrier to try and become the fittest man on Earth when he competes in the CrossFit Games.

The gruelling international open competition for fans of the high-intensity work-out sport takes place over five weeks with the final in California in July.

Scott Jenkins, 45, who owns the Crossfit Blackwater Gym in Crittal Road, Witham, came 24th in his age group last year, missing out on the finals by just four places.

He said: “CrossFit is a mix between gymnastics, weight lifting and running. It tests your physical strength, agility and cardiovascular ability, it’s practically a test of everything.

“You have to be ready for anything, they can make you run five kilometres through the hills or say how many times can you run 400 metres and then do 20 pull ups?”

The weekly workouts will be released on the CrossFit website at 5pm California time, the task then has to be completed, monitored by a CrossFit instructor and the results uploaded.

“Most of us stay up because we are absolutely obsessed with knowing what the first workouts will be. It’s a bit like Christmas morning, if you are a bit masochistic,” he said.

“I would be dissapointed if I don’t get to California. Last year I came 24th out of about 10,000, and I was the oldest.

“This year I have moved up an age group and will be one of the youngest, so I will have a much better chance.”

However, Mr Jenkin, who used to be a bodybuilder and showjumper before he got too big for his horse, is nursing an injury.

He said: “Ten days ago I completely ruptured a tendon in my thumb, the X rays showed it was caused by a triple fracture in my wrist.

“They wanted to operate but I said I can’t until after the CrossFit Games. I tested it out on everything I may need and the pain is easily tolerable.”

The overall winner of the Games stands to win £250,000, while the winner of the 45-49 age range gets £15,000.