A MIGHTY muscleman who chomps his way through 6,000 calories a day will attempt to pull an 86-tonne train for a mental health charity.

Human juggernaut Leon Pegler, 39, from Braintree, will be joining 30 other strongmen at Finmere Railway Station, in Milton Keynes, for an afternoon of pulling train carriages with their bare hands.

The titanic feat, known as the Big Pull, aims to raise money for the Lucy Rayner Foundation, a support service for young adults with mental health challenges.

“I’m going to be pulling a 36-tonne train and then I’m pulling an 86-tonne train,” Leon said.

“I started training about four years ago.

“I was overweight, not happy, and I walked into a local gym in Black Notley and ended up losing eight stone.

“I just got really strong.”

Leon will be hitting the track on August 31 with musclemen and women from around the country.

Last year, the brawny bunch staged a Big Pull at the Beeb’s Top Gear test track in Surrey, taking turns hauling articulated lorries along a runway.

To date they have raised a whopping £7,000.

“It’s brilliant – it’s such a community,” Leon said.

“In Strongman, everybody tries to help everyone else along.”

Leon works out at Leman’s Fitness, in Halstead, and runs the south Essex branch of the official Strongman group.

“I do a lot of dead lifts, a lot of squats and in my gym I do sled pulls,” he said.

“Anything fitness-related starts in the kitchen. I try to eat five or six thousand calories a day.

“It’s a lot of calories and a lot of training.”

Leon also does monthly training sessions with Andrea Thompson, from Suffolk, who was crowned the World’s Strongest Woman in December.

Andrea will be joining him at the competition in Milton Keynes.

By pulling the 85-tonne train, she hopes to break the world record for the heaviest vehicle ever pulled by a woman.

Leon said: “When it comes to charity, every penny counts.

“The charity was started by Lucy Rayner’s parents. She took her own life due to depression.

“They get people talking. Mental health is a big thing at the moment and it should be a big thing all the time.”

He added: “My partner has suffered with depression, as we all have in life, and it’s been a taboo subject for too long.”

Leon is almost halfway to his £400 target.

He also says there are plans for next year’s Big Pull event, which could see a large boat dragged by a long rope.

To donate, visit virginmoneygiving.com and search for Leon Pegler.