After sifting through hundreds of entries, Men’s Health has selected the 5 finalists who have trained religiously to compete for the iconic title of Cover Model 2012. Meet the Men's Health Cover Model 2012 finalists...
For Ben, fitness was a matter of life or death.
He was born with cystic fibrosis and in 2009 the unimaginable happened.
His lung functions plummeted to 65% (normally 100%) due to an unknown bug, he was admitted to hospital for 3 weeks with an IV drip.
'This was completely foreign to me and for the first time in my life I realised how life threatening my illness could be,' he said.
Nothing could help him, and he was desperate to get back on the treadmill but doctors were reluctant.
Eventually they allowed him to exercise and his lung functions improved by a staggering 72% within a few days, doctors were amazed.
His lungs will never be back to normal but after three years of hard exercise, they are currently at 98%. Exercise saved Ben's life.
Charles Powell, 30, Army Officer from Berkshire
Charles will appeal to all the women who like their men in a uniform.
He has trained at the prestigious Sandhurst, where he built his toned physique and prides himself on his ability to strap 100lbs of kit to his back and fight in any environment in the world.
'If that does not embody fitness I don’t know what does,' he says.
His level of fitness has helped him to complete two physically demanding tours of Afghanistan and he has pushed himseld to his physical limits.
He said: 'It's extremely important for my job to be fit, as a Captain in the Infantry, I am expected to lead my men from the front in extremely arduous and dangerous conditions. Being fit in my job can quite literally save lives.'
Mark Mills, 32, Lecturer from Mexborough
Mark will touch the hearts of the sensitive women out there.
As a 16st 6lb young adult, Mark started training hard and came to find himself heavily involved in sport.
However, his passion abruptly came to an end in his early twenties due to injury and life circumstances.
But that didn't stop Mark and after discovering Men's Health he rediscovered his fervor for fitness and nutrition and there was no looking back.
Mitchell Tovee, 23, Health Coach / Personal Trainer from Watford
Mitchell is a fighter.
He has battled a lymphatic disorder that directly affects his immune system, making him susceptible to all types of common illnesses.
He has overcome three operations to remove oversized lymph nodes and does his absolute best to ignore impingements he has.
His current training regime consists of a series of metabolic circuits to hit his fat mass which he mixes up with 10k once a week, a mile swimming and 40mile cycle route - all in preparation for 'Tough Mudder' in July.
Richard Edwards, 31, Engineer from Stourbridge
Richard posesses both beauty and brains.
Not only is he a fitness guru, he also helps build nuclear submarines for a living.
Over the years he has discovered a passion for new fitness goals and thrives from entering fitness competitions, always aiming to improve himself.
He maintains that with age, he has revealed a whole new man thanks to fitness.
'I'm now 10 years older than when I first started training, and in the best shape of my life,' he said.
The winner will be announced at a special dinner hosted by Men’s Health in London where the winning cover will be revealed. The competition winner will be featured on the October issue of Men’s Health.