Meet Ukrainian child bodybuilder Richard Sandrak
Child prodigies have been known to lose their way as they progress into adulthood. Some fell into the rut of the normal life and some are burdened by their own talents and many real and potential prodigies have either left what made them famous or killed themselves. Today we revisit a similar child prodigy who made quite a splash some 20 years ago in US thanks to his unique looks and his body, “little Hercules” Richard Sandrak. Let’s see what he has been upto nowadays and if he still maintains that killer bod.
Richard Sandrak, the child wonder
Richard was born in 1992 in Ukraine and both his parents Pavel and Lena were martial arts champions and began training their son as soon as he was out of the diapers. Pavel began training Richard from the age of 3 with light stretching and aerobics and acrobatics regimens. As he grew, he progressed to light weight training. Richard slowly began to garner attention and Pavel hired a physical trainer Frank Giardina to train Richard and give him a body building physique and started a show business with Richard as the main attraction. By the age of 8, he could press 210 lbs easily.
His immense popularity and hard life
Richard;s popularity soared as his photos hit the internet and people began to marvel at this wonder kid who had better physique than many body building veterans. At the age of 11, he was declared the strongest boy. But all the glam and popularity had a real ugly story backstage. In the age of playing with his friends and doing kid stuff, Richard was trained hard by his father and trainer. He used to do upto 1000 pushups and 600 squats and had to follow a strict dietary regimen. This meant he couldn’t gorge on burgers, pizzas, soft drinks or any of the childhood diet at all. He didn’t have any time to make friends and he never had a normal childhood.
What he does now?
Richard went separate ways at the age of 11 after his father was arrested and sent to prison for domestic abuse towards his mother. He stopped body building and now at the aged 24, works for Universal Studios as a stuntman. He no longer lifts weights, but is still in great shape thanks to running and cardio workout. “I’m very proud of my past. It’s not something I don’t want people to know, it’s just that I’m not going to be stuck living in it,” he explained.
He says now lifting weights is nowhere close to on his agenda and he prefers lighting himself on fire or jumping off a building at his job more satisfying than anything else. Richard has reunited with his physical trainer Giardina and together they still workout and stay fit. On being asked if he regrets anything of his past he said, “I’ve never been forced to train or do anything against my will,’ Sandrak confirms. ‘My parents used to train all the time and I wanted to join in. It was mostly my choice. It’s just what I grew up doing. I was never forced. It was never an issue.”