What It Means to Be a Kid Bodybuilder



kid body builder

Bodybuilding might be the art of building big muscles, but even kids and adolescents can get involved. Muscle hypertrophy isn’t exclusively for adults, and some kids prove it. Kids are the pride of parents, and some have gotten seriously dedicated to getting fit.

When it comes to being strong, healthy and happy, some youngsters even outpace the adults! In fact, some kids have done so well they’re recognized internationally.

Before taking a look at some of the world’s strongest bodybuilding youngsters, let’s take a minute to consider what makes a healthy lifestyle at a young age particularly cool.

Kid Body Builder Guide To Strength Training

You’ve probably heard about strength training for younger generations, but is it actually healthy? Definitely. In fact, strength training is safer than most sports for the younger crowd—even when it comes to bodybuilding.

Experts believe that strength training, when done correctly, offers numerous benefits to youngsters. Bodybuilding isn’t only for adults looking to feel and look better: It’s a timeless practice anyone can get involved in.

Those who lift weights early in life can craft a successful path towards peak health and fitness—a path carved from supreme dedication.

It’s All About Fitness Balance

Even if a kid takes on a bodybuilder’s appearance, a lot of their training consists of building strength—rather than a muscular physique.

Lifting heavier weights to create large muscles isn’t necessarily the best for young athletes—as their cartilage and tendons haven’t grown into growth plates yet. This is especially true when proper technique is sacrificed for heavy lifting sessions.

Instead of lifting heavy weights for maximum hypertrophy, some of the world’s most impressive younger lifters have simply adopted lightweight exercises which prioritize healthy muscle gains over time.

For kids, even light resistance exercises—when paired with controlled movements—are awesome for growing muscle.

Proper technique and safety, of course, should be prioritized. In some cases, consistent bodyweight exercises, and even resistance cords, can lead to great results.

kid body builder

The Benefits of Early Strength Training

When done correctly, strength training can boost a kid’s muscle and endurance alike—prepping them for most sports engaged in elementary and middle school.

Lifting at a young age can protect their muscles, joints and cartilage from high-impact competitions—and it can also buffer them from the daily dangers of active lifestyles.

So, when it comes to sport performance, strength training is a particularly useful tool. Many benefits from strength training stem from the development of proper techniques—which foster a good work ethic and dedication. While strength training isn’t only for athletes, it tends to be a great complement to athletic performance.

Kids who strength train also tend to have stronger bones. They also have much healthier cholesterol levels and blood pressure, later on. If they stay at a healthy weight, their athleticism can grow even more.

Strength Training, the Safe Way

For kids who’re ready to get involved in organized sports, strength training around the age of seven can help them develop good body balance and control.

Still, any strength training program approached by a youngster should prioritize safety. Exercises should be completed with good form, and instructions should be followed with great care.

A kid’s strength training program doesn’t necessarily be a scaled-down version of a grownup’s weight training regimen, either.

It just needs to focus on education, proper form and consistency. Regardless of age, nutrition and rest need to be prioritized—making a youngster’s training program quite similar to those approached by even the most seasoned athletes.

For this reason, kids who begin strength training should have consistent guidance from gym, school and sports trainers who’re well-read in the art of strength training. In most cases, certified strength training experts are an invaluable resource.

Strength training programs tend to be safe, and they won’t damage growing bones if they’re approached carefully.

Of course, it’s a good idea for a youngster’s parent to talk with a doctor before their child begins their strength training journey. If a child has conditions related to heart problems, uncontrolled blood pressure or nutrient absorption, it might be a good idea to hold off on rigorous exercises.

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The World’s Most Successful Kid Bodybuilders

Kids might have a faster metabolism and growth potential than adults, but a select few display a particular knack for stacking muscle.

The world’s most successful kid bodybuilders all began with bodyweight exercises, then transitioning into the world of weightlifting. Below, we’re covering some of the most impressive kid bodybuilders around.

Richard Sandrak

At the age of 11, this kid bodybuilder was named the World’s Strongest Boy. Also known as Little Hercules, Sandrak’s journey 15 years ago would expand into the world of acting, martial arts and dedicated fitness.

He was born in a small, Ukrainian village as the son of a martial artist world champion and an aerobics instructor. He began his training soon after moving to the United States, taking on Taekwondo, stretching and light weight training to achieve a great physique and mental fortitude.

Upon moving to California, Sandrak pursued a career in showbusiness. As his bodybuilding training grew in intensity, Sandrak maxed out at a 180-pound bench-press at the age of six. By age eight, he was bench pressing 210 pounds.

Sandrak’s bodybuilding lifestyle stemmed from early childhood workouts—which involved doing 600 push-ups, and 600 sit-ups, per day. These exercises were paired with 300 squats, nurturing a phenomenal foundation for future growth.

Of course, Sandrak also had a healthy, strict diet enforced by his father. He never ate junk food, or even sweets. This diet, alongside consistent exercise, took Sandrak to bodybuilding competitions around the country.

Giuliano Stroe

Known as the Romanian Hercules, Stroe rose to fame via an impressive video featuring gravity-defying press ups. By age nine, he was pumping iron with his dad’s fitness program support. Every day, Giuliano would exercise with his seven-year-old brother, Claudio, to bulk muscle, trim fat and reach new fitness heights.

As one of the world’s strongest boys for his age, Stroe was also well-known for being a successful Romanian gymnast. In 2009, he was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for achieving the fastest ten-meter hand-walk, at 33 feet, with a weight between his legs.

In 2010, he beat the world record for completing 20 90-degree push-ups—an achievement which surpassed his previous record of 12 on live Romanian television. Since then, the adolescent bodybuilder has broken numerous world records for performing the human flag, human flag pull-ups and muscle ups.

Cosmo Taylor

Cosmo Taylor, the 15-year-old fitness-lover, is the UK’s youngest competitive bodybuilder. He’s followed in his father’s footsteps since age 11, focusing on strenuous cardio sessions, the bench press and a variety of bodyweight exercises.

Before school, Taylor goes on long runs. After school, he spends about an hour weightlifting. His dad, a successful bodybuilder himself, is his biggest inspiration to step on the bodybuilding stage. Like every bodybuilder, Cosmo’s diet is as strict as his workout routine—allowing for only one cheat meal per week.

As every kid bodybuilder knows, of course, bodybuilding is a tough sport—requiring constant dedication to demonstrate muscle size, conditioning and symmetry.

Cosmo’s fitness family isn’t limited to his father, however, which gives him plenty of support to reach his dreams. His sister, competitive power lifter who’s achieved gold medals, is yet another member of the strong-willed family.

Cosmo’s hard work and dedication paid off in a nationwide competition hosted in Aberdeen—wherein he took third place while being two years under the competition’s guideline age.

Varvara Akulova

Born into a Ukrainian family with a love for the circus, Varvara was a huge fan of her father’s athletic prowess. It didn’t take her long to follow in his footsteps, kicking off her bodybuilding career at just seven years old.

She built incredible strength and agility quickly: By age 10, she could lift an incredible 22 pounds—earning a Guinness World Record.

A year later, this weight increased to an incredible 670 pounds. Varvara’s family frequently struggled with money, but her rise to fame has since helped them considerably.

Despite tough financial times, Varvara still found the means to secure a healthy diet. On the average day, shed eat a slice of bread, an egg, noodles, milk and fruit juice.

The diet might seem slim, but her workout routine was anything but. With a lot of work, dedication and an eye for good form, Varvara’s  astounding fitness journey is far from over.

Andrey Kostash

Dubbed the “Ukrainian beast,” Andrey Kotash began his fitness lifestyle at just five years old. He didn’t want to be like most kids, ditching soccer and cartoons to pump iron in the gym. By age six, he could do 3,000 push-ups in a row.

He soon made it his mission to perfect his exercise techniques—making a name for himself in the Guinness Book of World Records. He’d soon achieve this goal, completing an incredible 6,000 push-ups in a row.

Kostash has since continued his bodybuilding mission, also diving into the acting world. As an incredibly dedicated kid bodybuilder, Kostash is expected to achieve even greater heights in the future.

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When it comes to intensive exercise, these bodybuilder kids have incredibly inspiring dedication. Many of today’s leading youth lifters outshine and outperform older generations in terms of prowess when it comes to pumping iron.

We can expect to see even more stellar displays of kid bodybuilding in the future, too, as the fitness world’s knowledge of performance, diet and recovery expand. Whether they’re new to the bodybuilding game or have professional guidance, these kids display truly heroic levels of work ethic. So, what do their futures hold? Only time, and plenty more lifting sessions, will tell.


-Terry Asher

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Terry Asher

Owner & Founder at Gym Junkies LLC
After changing his best friend’s life by helping him lose over 70lbs, dropping him down to an amazing 7% body fat, Terry was inspired to be a full-time internet trainer knowing he could do the same for many more. In 2010, Terry published his own diet and fitness e-book that can be purchased on this website. Let Terry help you change your body for the better!
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