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Bodybuilder with m s: Former Bodybuilder With Multiple Sclerosis Creates Fitness Programs Specifically Designed for Patients

Former Bodybuilder With Multiple Sclerosis Creates Fitness Programs Specifically Designed for Patients

David Lyons

David Lyons has made a career out of sharing fitness with the world.

After his multiple sclerosis diagnosis, he decided to take his extensive knowledge about fitness and focus it toward helping those with MS maintain their mobility and independence. He’s created The MS Fitness Challenge, a nonprofit that provides free fitness programs for patients living with MS as well as nationally recognized certifications for trainers who want to teach his specific method for assisting people with MS.

HealthCentral chatted with David, a 2019 inductee into the National Fitness Hall of Fame, to learn more about his background in fitness and his future plans for The MS Fitness Challenge.

HealthCentral (HC): It seems like fitness has been a part of your journey for a long time. How did you get started with fitness and bodybuilding?

David Lyons: As far as I can remember I was either in a boxing ring, a martial arts dojo, or a gym. From a young age I always wanted to be fit, but my first love was fighting so I went down that road until an injury in my early twenties caused me to rethink the hits to the head. I figured that since I was more interested in sports that relied only on my performance for success, bodybuilding was the natural shift.

It was then I walked into a health food store in Queens, N.Y. to understand the nutrition and training involved. That store happened to be owned by the then Mr. America Anibal Lopez. After many hours picking his brain for guidance, he invited me to train at his home garage gym. He was and still is a wealth of knowledge and the time spent with him was priceless. My next stop was going to hardcore bodybuilding gyms where champions trained so I could get perspectives on fitness and bodybuilding from some of the top competitors at the time.

These were champs like Lou Ferrigno, Mr. America Tom Terwilliger, and Mr. USA John DeFendis. Watching and learning from the best enabled me to do all I could to be my best. Naturally, for me as an entrepreneurial person, this all led me into the fitness, nutrition, and gym business. And, by the way, I am still friends with all these guys who helped me get to where I am today.

David Lyons

HC: How did your diagnosis of MS impact your bodybuilding career?

David: Since I was in the business of bodybuilding and not the competitive side, MS did not derail any competitive hopes, but what MS did was make bodybuilding, as my day-to-day life, very difficult … at first! I had to adjust everything I did in the gym to work around my limitations until those limitations were no longer dictating my training. MS caused many injuries as I pushed past limits and had to learn when I was going too far. That was a huge learning curve for me because I am naturally very strong and like to lift heavy weights instead of doing lots of reps.

Once I understood just how far I could drive myself without injury, I was able to train as if I was getting ready to compete, which I did in 2009. I made my point, showed the world that MS cannot stop me as a bodybuilder, and turned a negative into a positive impact. Now, instead of focusing on me and competing with MS, my bodybuilding career is now focused on how I can help others with MS conquer this disease through the MS Fitness Challenge charity and our new Every Rep is a Step program with Shanna Ferrigno (Lou’s daughter).

David Lyons

HC: Why do you think so many MS patients struggle with fitness?

David: MS comes with a variety of symptoms and causes many MS-ers to be limited in movement with pain as a side effect. We are also told, in most cases, to take it easy and limit our activities so we do not have exacerbations. When you add this all up it becomes an uphill battle to get a MS patient to engage in a fitness program. We get in our heads and start believing that fitness is a thing of the past for us. I struggled with this myself the first year after my diagnosis. Being told I would end up in a wheelchair shortly, feeling the symptoms and hearing the negativity — it was a recipe for defeat. All MS-ers have this same challenge. But people with MS need to understand that with the CORRECT fitness program like the one I have created, fitness can and will be part of the MS lifestyle. It all starts with mindset and once that is in place, any realistic goal is attainable.

HC: How do you personally manage your MS?

David: I practice what I preach and first start every day telling myself I will use MS to my benefit and to the benefit of others. I do not allow MS to control my feelings or to limit my goals. Next, I eat correctly with an anti-inflammatory diet by following Dr. Terry Wahls who is supportive of my fitness program and stick to her Wahls Protocol modified to fit my needs. Adaptation is important with MS and each one of us is an individual with our own specific symptoms and solutions. And last, I am a gym rat and spend six days a week showing the weights that I am stronger than they are!

HC: How can MS patients get involved with MS Fitness Challenge?

David: The MS Fitness Challenge offers several programs to help MS-ers live a lifestyle of fitness. You can find out all about what we have been doing in the MS community since 2012. We also have a Facebook Group called MS Fitness Challenge GYM that offers our free Every Rep is a Step program with mindset, exercise and nutrition advice, education and training. And of course, we always can use help in the fundraising aspect since we are a nonprofit charity that provides ongoing fitness programs free of cost to MS-ers worldwide.

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A Bodybuilder Battles Multiple Sclerosis

In 2006, over the course of three months, David Lyons went from experiencing a sharp pain in his left shoulder during a workout to intensifying agony and numbness in various parts of his body. Stubborn by nature, David assumed it was nothing more than a pinched nerve, and he followed his natural inclination that it wasn’t a big deal. That is, until it got so bad he could barely move.

When he was forced to consult a doctor, the initial—and incorrect—diagnosis was terrifying: brain cancer. This first doctor, a brain surgeon, told David that the operation he needed provided only a 50 percent chance of saving his life with a near 100 percent likelihood of lifelong paralysis. David wanted a second opinion.

Over the course of his five-night stay in the hospital, his neurological specialist explored other possibilities. After a six-hour MRI, a spinal tap, and extensive blood tests, this doctor came back with another diagnosis: multiple sclerosis (MS). The death sentence had been commuted to life without parole; MS is both degenerative and incurable. The drugs approved to treat the condition can only manage it at best, and they come with serious side effects and health risks of their own.

“After a six-hour MRI, a spinal tap, and extensive blood tests, this doctor came back with another diagnosis: multiple sclerosis (MS). The death sentence had been commuted to life without parole; MS is both degenerative and incurable.”

David prepared to face new challenges. First among them, his specialist told him that he’d need to use a walker at all times and that he’d be wheelchair-bound in the very near future. David refused to accept this fate. Instead he put his faith in God and the only kind of physical training he’d ever known: bodybuilding.

Understanding MS

Did you know there are 4 different disease courses in MS?

  • Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS): Characterized by defined inflammatory attacks (relapses) of worsening neurological function, followed by partial or complete recovery periods. RRMS is the most common disease course at the time of diagnosis, with approximately 85 percent of people with MS initially diagnosed with RRMS.
  • Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS): This course occurs in people who initially had RRMS, and is characterized by steady progressive nerve damage or loss, with or without relapses.
  • Primary-progressive MS (PPMS): Characterized by steady worsening of neurological functioning without distinct relapses or periods of remission. Individuals with PPMS tend to experience more problems with walking and more difficultly remaining in the workforce.
  • Progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS): This is the least common for the four disease courses and occurs in approximately 5 percent of people with MS. People with PRMS experience a steady decline in neurological function, with occasional relapses like those experienced by people with RRMS.

Today, at age 56, David is not only still able to walk without the assistance of a walker, but he continues to train like a bodybuilder on a daily basis despite the symptoms he battles with MS. He’s published a book, “David’s Goliath” (Leafwood Publishers, 2013), and is working on another aimed at people who face obstacles but want to be fit. He’s also launched the MS Fitness Challenge, a global initiative that supports others diagnosed with MS. Last March, David was awarded the 2015 Health Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Fitness Expo in Columbus, Ohio.

David sat down with Bodybuilding.com recently to tell us more about the MS Fitness Challenge; what’s it like for a life-long bodybuilder to contend with such a progressive, debilitating disease; and what drives him to persevere.


Most people have heard of MS, but they may not know what it does to people. How would you describe its pathology?

Multiple sclerosis causes your body’s immune system to attack the protective sheaths around your nerves. Without these lipid protectors, called myelin, your nerves are vulnerable, and they begin to “rust” like exposed metal left outside in the elements. Lesions begin to form at these points on your nerves, and this damage is irreversible.

This nerve trauma then causes slow but progressive deterioration in your ability to move and function. Many people with MS also have short-term episodes, or relapses, in which they experience profound, debilitating flare-ups. The good news is that you can often improve from these occurrences and regain much—or perhaps all—of the function you had before one of these unfortunate events. The important thing to understand, though, is that MS only hibernates for a while; eventually it resumes its attack on the body. The long-term effects of this disease can be devastating.

Tell us about your condition when you were diagnosed.

Before I suffered the traumatic event that led to my diagnosis, I thought I was healthy in every way. But when I went to the hospital, I had no feeling from the chest down. I had to use my arms to pull myself out of the hospital bed. I could only maneuver through the room by stabilizing myself with anything I could grab. Otherwise, I was unable to control my body.

What did you do when you got over the shock of being diagnosed with a degenerative, lifelong disease?

Having talked to so many others with MS, I’d say that everyone responds differently, but after the normal “why me?” period of self-pity, I went into what I’d call stubborn denial. I refused to give in to my prognosis.

I was determined to live a “normal” life, despite my condition. That’s when I met my perfect companion, Kendra, on Christian Singles. She also happens to be a registered nurse, so she knew exactly what she was committing to when she married me in 2009.

Together you then founded the MS Fitness Challenge (MSFC). Tell us about that.

We founded the organization in 2013. I want other people with this disease to get off the couch and take an active role in fighting it with the help of a qualified support team. Over the last two years, we’ve reached people all over the world. The purpose of the MSFC is to raise awareness about the importance of fitness in helping people overcome the challenges that come with the disease and slow its progression.

“The purpose of the MSFC is to raise awareness about the importance of fitness in helping people overcome the challenges that come with the disease and slow its progression.”

We’re focused on educating people on the benefits of health and fitness in combatting MS. In addition, we provide certified fitness training, nutritional advice, and supplements. The MSFC pays for trainers and provides free membership at a fitness center for local individuals with MS who participate in one of our 12-week challenges. We rely on donations from supporters and business sponsors to fund this—many people with MS can’t afford this on their own, and medical insurance doesn’t cover gym memberships or personal training.

Beyond the financial limitations, are those with MS reluctant to exercise on their own?

It’s not that they’re reluctant, exactly. But many people with MS have experienced a profound physical decline, and they may be fearful of going to a gym and lifting weights or performing cardio on their own. In fact, some simply aren’t capable of doing this on their own.

Those of us with MS tend to have trouble with balance, and we have nerve damage, which makes it difficult to fully experience the sense of touch. In fact, I injured myself in 2008, tearing my pectoral while bench pressing because I wasn’t aware of feedback from my body. Having a qualified trainer provides someone with not just a spotter but an educator. This can help someone with MS train within their boundaries while reducing some of the risks and maximizing benefits.

What benefits can those afflicted with MS derive from training?

Because a person with MS doesn’t get as much feedback from their body as other people do, they’re prone to muscle atrophy. But strengthening muscles helps improve balance and coordination as well as helping to increase muscle mass, which also helps decrease body fat.

Depression also can be a very real part of life with MS. People with this disease have to face the reality that tomorrow may be the day they will never walk again. We have to deal with the uncertainty of changing symptoms, unpredictable pain, and numbness. But when someone with MS begins an exercise program, a sport, or any form of daily activity, they’re taking their mind off the disease and engaging in something positive. Nothing is more psychologically healthy—and ultimately, physically beneficial—than pursuing something that draws attention away from the condition.

How many MSFC events have you held?

Upcoming MS Fitness Challenges

  • El Paso, TX; Gold’s Gym: August 2015 (TBD)
  • Elizabethtown, PA; Elizabethtown Fitness Club: Sept. 12, 2015

We’ve already held five challenge events in gyms, and we have a few more scheduled later in 2015, with two follow-ups in Aurora, Colorado, and Orlando, Florida. [Previous MSFC events have been held in St. Cloud/Sartell, Minnesota; Orlando, Florida; San Diego, California.] Ahead of the events, we enroll people online who have MS, and Kendra conducts personal interviews to make certain they can attend the challenge in their city. MSFC is promoted with the outreach of the National MS Society. This organization has been a tremendous ally. But we also have the support of local MS groups and an MSFC ambassador in each event city.

What happens at these events?

We start with a kick-off day to launch the 12-week challenge. This includes media coverage and meet-and-greet booths in which sponsors have the opportunity to share their products and services with the local community and their families, fitness enthusiasts, MSFC supporters, and gym members.

MSFC participants are matched with trainers who meet their needs, and they work one-on-one for the course of the 12 weeks. Many of our trainers have worked with MSers before, and others have years of fitness experience and the patience to become a part of this program. There are no winners or losers in the challenge—just a platform for people with MS to challenge themselves in the gym.

“I love bodybuilding and wanted to make a career with it, but competing doesn’t pay, so I spent my time opening gyms and running them. I finally did step onstage in the early ’80s in Massachusetts, placing fourth.”

MSFC and its director of trainer certification, Mark Mueller, are working hand in hand with the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA) to offer an MS specialty certification. This course will be specific to educating trainers on the daily and fluctuating challenges of those with MS, as well as the most effective and safest ways to work with these clients. This certification is groundbreaking in providing a credential to trainers who have the desire to work with MSers. Our organization calls these professionals ‘Trainers with Heart. ” We expect this course to be available this summer with further announcements on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and the AFPA website.

Fitness And MS: What You Should Know

Exercise is an important component to managing MS symptoms. Studies have confirmed the benefits of exercise for individuals with MS, including improved physical fitness, cognitive function, and quality of life. Here are some specific tips for exercising from the National MS Society. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

  • An exercise program needs to be adjusted for your capabilities and limitations. It may have to be adjusted over time as your body changes as well.
  • Exercise should be timed to avoid the hotter periods of the day, to prevent excessive fatigue. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Exercising in water may provide unique benefits and allow you to move in ways you might not be able to on land. Besides feeling lighter in water and supporting weak limbs, movement takes less effort and you move more slowly through water. The water temperature may also help keep your core temperature cooler.
  • Keep cool by dressing in layers so you can be comfortable without overheating.
  • Find an activity you enjoy; you’re more likely to stick to it. Breaking your physical activity into 20-minute segments is one way to achieve the benefits of physical fitness.
  • Avoid exercising to exhaustion. Take breaks to recharge if you feel the need.
  • Training with weights is an option for many people with MS. Modify exercises and weights as needed.
  • Because MS can affect balance, training with an exercise ball can help your body’s stronger systems compensate for its weaker ones as they relate to coordination and balance.

Tell us a little about your own bodybuilding story.

I started training when I was in my early 20s, and I’ve been training almost every day for more than 30 years. I love bodybuilding and wanted to make a career with it, but competing doesn’t pay, so I spent my time opening gyms and running them. I finally did step onstage in the early ’80s in Massachusetts, placing fourth.

At my peak, I weighed 230 pounds at 5-foot-10, and I was ripped at 210. That was pretty big back in the day. I’ve always had tremendous respect for competitive bodybuilders because I understand the sacrifices they have to make. Despite my lifelong devotion to bodybuilding, I didn’t compete again until 2009, three years after I was diagnosed with MS.

That was the MS Bodybuilding Challenge, a show you organized. What happened there?

This was my personal challenge to prove I could beat MS, and I was competing at 50 years of age against many healthy men far younger and bigger. But the admiration I received and the brotherhood I felt overwhelmed me. When I posed, the crowd cheered me on despite my unstable legs and rough routine. I was presented the Most Inspirational Bodybuilder trophy.

After the contest, a number of competitors approached me with words of congratulations and thanks for inspiring them. I walked away a winner in my heart.

That led to publishing your first book. How did this come about?

I didn’t set out to write a book, but I was approached by Leafwood Publishers, a faith-based publishing company. They thought my story was worth telling. That opened doors to other people, including [television personality] Montel Williams, who has MS and endorsed the work. “David’s Goliath” can be purchased through outlets including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

As a longtime bodybuilder, how big a deal was it to receive the Health Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award from Arnold?

I prepared for the ceremony like I was prepping for a contest! I trained, dieted, tanned, and pumped up as though I was going to compete. With MS and now 56 years old, I was undertaking a huge challenge. But when I got to Ohio, I was in great shape thanks to the help of my coaches, IFBB pro bodybuilder Chris Williamson and pro natural bodybuilder Eric Broser.

Is there a message you’d like to leave Bodybuilding.

com readers with?

When I was first diagnosed with MS, I couldn’t follow my doctor’s advice to take it easy. My gut told me I had to move, and I had to continue my training even though I was lying in a hospital bed numb from the chest down. I wanted to get better, and I wanted to inspire other people with MS. I firmly believe you have to fight back. Otherwise, MS can have a devastating effect on your emotional and physical well-being. I encourage everyone with MS to fight back against this disease through fitness and health.

To support the MSFC please visit http://msfitnesschallenge.com/donate.html. To find out more about challenge events please visit www.msfitnesschallenge.com.

“Any athlete understands all the risks”: why bodybuilders die early

In mid-April, 44-year-old bodybuilder Cedric McMillan died in the United States after suffering a heart attack in the gym. He was not the first bodybuilder to pass away due to heart problems. This gives the layman a reason to think that bodybuilding is dangerous. However, master of sports Stanislav Lindover is sure that this sport does not harm the cardiovascular system. Gazeta.Ru figured out what happens to the body if it is developed to the maximum.

On the Internet you can find a huge number of articles with the title “Bodybuilders who died of a heart attack.” The latest high-profile case that was discussed in the media involves the death on the treadmill of 44-year-old bodybuilder and Arnold Classic winner Cedric McMillan. According to the fitness publication Generation Iron , the athlete’s heart stopped. Due to the same health problems, 46-year-old bodybuilder Sean Rhoden, who went down in history as the oldest athlete to win the most significant international competition, Mr. Olympia, died in November last year.

Bodybuilder Stacey Cummings, 31, bodybuilder Tom Prince, 52, and Ashley Gearhart, 37, died of various health-related causes earlier this year. After the death of the latter, the bodybuilding community was shocked, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, seven-time Mr. Olympia called this sport “the most dangerous” in the world.

“There are no easy ways here”: there is a seasonal influx of people who want to lose weight in gyms

Less than two months are left before summer, so many Russians are concerned about the condition of their bodies…

April 04 20:53

Bodybuilding is a sport in which the human body develops to the limit. An increase in muscle mass, strict diets, heavy physical exercises – all this leads to an increased load on the heart, kidneys and other organs. In 2017, two high-profile deaths of bodybuilders forced the community to pay attention to the excessive use of drugs that increase endurance, but at the same time severely damage internal organs.

Then, at the age of 26, one of the most promising bodybuilders in the world, Dallas McCarver, died. At autopsy, it was found that his heart was three times larger than that of an ordinary person. Three days after McCarver’s death, award-winning bodybuilder Rich Piana passed away. Experts found that his heart and liver were twice as large as normal organs.

According to Andrey Kiselev, a cardiologist of the highest category and head of the diagnostic department of the Central Clinical Hospital “RZD-Medicine”, when doing bodybuilding, the heart experiences a double load – it pumps blood to overweight and receives additional anaerobic physical activity.

“Myocardial exhaustion occurs over time,” says the cardiologist. – This can develop into chronic heart failure, which leads to dilatation of the heart, an increase in its size. Many weightlifters and the same Arnold Schwarzenegger have dilated cardiomyopathy. He has already undergone several heart surgeries.”

As Stanislav Lindover, master of sports in bodybuilding, Russian champion in this sport and absolute champion of Europe, tells Gazeta.Ru, professional athletes train six days a week, two workouts a day. He believes that bodybuilders are aware of all the possible health problems that may threaten them, but at the same time he clarifies that deaths caused by cumulative factors are single cases out of millions.

“My training experience is over 30 years. The same Cedric McMillan, who, unfortunately, passed away, had more than 20 years of training experience. All this time he was engaged in bodybuilding without interruption and was familiar with all potential threats. And any athlete, making such a choice, naturally understands all the risks. Weightlifting, being an Olympic sport, has much more negative consequences for health,” notes Stanislav Lindover.

If doctors unanimously claim that bodybuilding is harmful to the cardiovascular system, then Stanislav Lindover is sure of the opposite. At 44, he was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, but by that time he had been training regularly, participating in competitions and winning awards for decades.

“Pounced on sausage and chips – lost the whole point of unloading”

The idea of ​​spending one day a week eating only buckwheat or alternating cottage cheese and kefir is popular among those…

April 06 16:56

“What does this say? About the fact that I started and did not track my health, which was the reason for the restrictions that I received. And when I came to a sports cardiologist, the first thing I heard was that you should never give up strength training. Iron heals, iron prevents, iron makes us healthier. And those accidents that we meet – we do not know their causes. Everyone says that this is the cardiovascular system, but in fact, these are our speculations, ”the master of sports in bodybuilding believes.

Meanwhile, cardiologist Andrey Kiselyov compares the heart condition of professional bodybuilders with obese people. “Both there, and there the pump (heart) pumps to excess body weight. Naturally, changes begin in the heart. Why do fat people live longer than bodybuilders? Because at least they don’t give themselves such a strong physical load, ”explains the doctor.

Among the health hazards associated with bodybuilding, Yuri Poteshkin, PhD, endocrinologist, chairman of the scientific council of the Atlas clinic network, notes the possible development of osteoarthritis (accelerated joint destruction), diabetes mellitus due to taking drugs that increase insulin resistance, blood lipids and accelerate atherosclerotic processes.

“Despite these factors, bodybuilding with the help of doctors can reduce some of the risks. For example, in orthopedics there is a PRP therapy technique that effectively slows down the destruction of joints. A cardiologist will help assess the current state of the heart and predict risks. In any case, bodybuilding requires a multidisciplinary approach and health monitoring with several specialized specialists, ”says Yuri Poteshkin.

Penza bodybuilder told how to prepare for the beach season

Champion of Russia in bodybuilding, student of PSU Sergey Sergeev spoke about the “chemistry” in sports, fasting training and new goals

We met in the hall. Loud music, clatter of trainers. Sports lovers polish their physical form. Sergey warns that he cannot break away from the training process now. We talk without leaving the bar. The coach now and then explains to the wards which exercise to do next.

From bar to rocker

— Sergey, how did you get into this sport?

— I have been going to the gym since I was 13 years old. The first time my father took me there. Before that, I was engaged in workout (this is when you need to perform different elements on the horizontal bars and uneven bars). He came to bodybuilding when he started training in the gym with Mr. Universe Alexei Netesanov. I saw how he cooks other guys, and I also wanted to.

When did you start competing?

— Since 2021. The first was the championship of the Nizhny Novgorod region, where I took third place among men in the weight category up to 90 kilograms. Then he performed at the Russian Cup. There he became second. I didn’t have gold for a long time – three years. That is how long it took the path to the first victory.

Are you a classic bodybuilder?

– I perform in the discipline “Classic Physicist” and just in bodybuilding, but from the next season I am completely moving into the second.

– Explain the difference.

– In Classic Physicist, with your height, you cannot weigh more than a certain number of kilograms. That is, with my 173 centimeters, I can weigh a maximum of 85 kilos. I am developing, I have pumped up muscles, I just can’t already reduce weight to such a figure. Therefore, I move to where there are no weight restrictions.

– How do you feel about the directions in which amateurs perform? For example, to the direction of “Mens Physicist”, or, more simply, to the “beach people”?

“I can’t say anything bad about them. Of course, they are less prepared, less trained. But it’s great when people can show good form.

The secret is in the food

Bodybuilders need a special diet in order to shape their bodies. Do you use special supplements or are you satisfied with the usual products from the store?

Personally, I don’t use supplements. The only thing I have is a bottle of the lightest fat burner.

But what about the bulky protein jars that are strongly associated with training in the gym?

– I don’t use it. Nutrition is based on a strict calculation of the amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It is this scheme that does its job.

Do you allow yourself to relax after the competition and eat whatever you want?

– Not without it. Once, once, I gained 20 kilograms in a few days after the tournament.

– Probably, both the weight race and the breakdowns after it affect health?

“Well, it’s clear that it’s not very good. Perhaps that is why I do not undertake to prepare anyone for competitions. And I am responsible for my own health.

By the way, Orthodox Christians are now having Great Lent. Is it possible to combine food restrictions and training in the gym?

– The body of a person who has refused eggs, meat and fish is experiencing an acute shortage of animal protein. Fully replace it with vegetable will not work. Therefore, I would recommend limiting heavy loads for this period. It is better to do something at the charging level.

All goals are achievable

I know that in the near future you start preparing for new competitions.

– Yes. I’ll be “drying”, which implies a calorie deficit. There will be two tournaments in the spring. These are international competitions named after Oksana Grishina. An important factor is that “pro cards” will be played there, which will automatically turn an amateur into a professional and allow you to compete in the most prestigious tournaments. In addition, I will perform at the Russian Grand Prix. By the way, at these competitions I will participate in a new category for myself – up to 100 kilograms.

In society, sometimes jocks are treated with disdain, hinting that they only have muscles pumped up, but not a brain. Do they get jokes like that?

– I take no offence. They say it’s fine. What can you do if a person is ill-mannered… But a smart person will not prove anything to him, he will remain silent.

What does bodybuilding give you?

—Every time you get stronger and stronger, you believe in yourself. You realize that goals that seemed impossible become quite real.

Professional advice

Spring came! We take off warm jackets, voluminous sweaters. It’s time to think about preparing the body for the beach season. I asked Sergey to choose a set of exercises for this that can be done without additional equipment.

– Our complex will begin with push-ups, – Sergey explains. – You need to do three sets for the maximum number of repetitions. The next exercise is pull-ups. If we managed to find a horizontal bar in the yard or hung it at home, then we work in the same way as in push-ups, that is, to failure.