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‘Little Hercules’ The Kid Bodybuilder, SHOCKING Then and Now Photos

Such a shame he let himself go after all these years.

Richard Sandrak was a different kind of child star. He began bodybuilding and weight training at an extremely young age. Thanks to his intense training sessions and a strict diet, he had an incredible physique very early on in his life.

After pictures of the impressive muscles on his little body started gaining popularity, people got really interested in how he could achieve such a physical feat. He insisted that he loved training and never did anything he didn’t want to do.

Richard is the son of martial arts champion Pavel Sandrak and an aerobics instructor Lena Sandrak. His father took charge of his training, often using additional reps as a form of punishment for his child.

Richard was born in the Ukraine but his family moved to Pennsylvania when he was young in the hopes of providing Richard with more opportunities. He was kept on a strict diet and not allowed to eat a lot of the junk food and sweets most kids his age could enjoy.

Richard’s family hired a trainer named Frank Giardina to help with publicity for their son. Giardina owned one of the gyms that Richard and his father worked out at.

Richard started promoting nutritional products and made several public appearances on talk shows and TV. He was also given the starring role in Little Hercules in 3D.

Eventually, Giardina quit as Richard’s trainer after disagreements with Richard’s father about his parenting. His father apparently threatened to kill Giardina. If that wasn’t enough, Richard’s father was arrested and jailed when Richard was only 11-years-old for domestic assault. After the attack on his mother, Richard stopped training and cut all ties with his father.

Richard, now 24, lives in Los Angeles, California. To stay in shape, he runs stairs and skateboards. Long gone are the days of intense, all-day gym sessions and weightlifting.

Richard works as a stuntman for Universal Studios Hollywood. There, he gets set on fire and shot at, and plunges into the water several times a day as part of the WaterWorld: A Live Sea War Spectacular show at the theme park.

Richard has come a long way from the boy with under 1 percent body fat who spent hours in the gym and was never allowed to eat anything remotely unhealthy. Even if his current physique is no longer as freakishly impressive, his willpower and spirit remain extremely strong.

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