Little Hercules, now only known as Richard Sandrak, took the world by storm. As a child, he blew away the world with his impressive muscles. There are many remarkable kids worldwide. Children like Daliyah Marie Arana who read more than 1000 books before she was 5 years old. 10-year-old Addisyn Goss decided to help change the world. She did this by promoting ways to help homeless people by making Snuggle Sacks filled with blankets, clothes to foods, and toiletries. However, few have reached the heights of physical ability as Little Hercules (Richard Sandrak).
In this article, we will take a look at the impressive life of Richard Sandrak and how he became the world’s strongest boy. We will learn a little about the people who shaped him and what it took to achieve so much at such a young age. Most importantly, we will find out where Little Hercules now is and what he has been up to.
Many men and women worldwide achieve impressive bodies with dedication, self-control, and determination. You see men like Terry Crews, Hulk Hogen, and Arnold Swarzenegger. They all achieved remarkable bodies and blew away the world with their muscular physique. However, it’s exceptionally outstanding when a kid gains muscles, strength, and a physique that puts most of us to shame.
About two decades ago, Little Hercules (Richard Sandark) made headlines with his insane muscle-packed body at only 8 years old. Over the course of a few months, we saw Little Hercules all over the place from tv, interviews, magazines, and anywhere else you can think of. You could even find Little Hercules in 3 movies including one with Hulk Hogen. Unfortunately, it was not long before Little Hercules (Richard Sandrak) completely vanished from the media. Since then, many have wondered where is the 8-year-old Little Hercules now and how his life shaped out.
Young Richard Sandrak
To understand how he got where he did, we must take a look at his past. Born in Ukraine in 1992, Richard Sandark got a taste of exercise and fitness from his parents. His parents stayed very active. You could often find them working out and training.
His mother, Lena Sandrak, was an acrobat by profession, and his father Pavel, an international level martial arts practitioner. This meant young Richard was brought up in a very healthy and fitness orientated environment. While watching his parents push their limits, Richard Sandrak was inspired to achieve the unachievable. Taking on his parent’s exercise regimes, and the equipment his parents used to train, he instantly took to their active lifestyle. Little did his parents know, he would take it to a whole new level.
Becoming Little Hercules
When most kids are carefree playing and goofing off. Richard was focused on achieving the next goal he had set for himself. While most parents feel their kids are unique, Richards’s parents soon could not deny that their kid was exceptional. To help him achieve his dreams, his parents moved from Ukraine to Pennsylvania, USA.
Once they settled in, they returned to their active routine. This was when Pavel decided to take Richard with him on his training sessions. Teaching him more about workout ethics and techniques. Learning more about Taekwondo, Richard came face to face with one of his greatest masters.
It did not take Pavel Sandrak long to realize that his son has something special. As not every kid takes this well to martial arts at his age. With exceptional balance and control, Richard was able to get through various training sessions with less hassle than most trained adults. Showing not only physical strength but extraordinary mental resolve as well.
Picking up on every new aspect of martial arts, Richard Sandrak became the perfect student. Pavel, who never expected such talent from a kid, decided his kid was ready to take things to the next level. Introducing Richard to weight training and some technical stretches to his daily routine. Once he saw how quickly Richard Sandrak could build up muscles and add more resistance, he gradually helped his kid achieve something shocking and unique. This when Pavel decided it would be best to move his family to California.
The Best For His Child
Pavel was an avid martial arts practitioner and knew precisely how to shape his son’s career. This is why he decided to bring in a skilled professional trainer. He needed to find someone that understood the talent Richard possessed and his unnatural ability to achieve impossible standards. After searching high and low, Pavel finally found trainer Frank Giardina.
Frank Giardina was an experienced professional who owned his own franchise gym. An expert bodybuilder who possessed the talent, knowledge, and tools needed to help Richard Sandrak achieve the next level in becoming Little Hercules.
Planning His Future
From the beginning, Sandrak and Frank Giardina were ready and set to turn Richard into the youngest bodybuilder the world had ever seen. Coming up with a particular plan, they worked Richard to his limits, shaping up his body in the years to come. By the time Richard was 6 years old, he had a body like no other 6 years old on the planet. Little Hercules now had started to take shape.
At this point, Pavel was more than determined than ever to achieve fame through his son. He wanted to make sure he stood out in every aspect possible. Pavel began cutting him away from every familiar setting. He made his life all about bodybuilding. Creating the impression that Richard will grow up as a child bodybuilder and continue to grow his strength to achieve impossible standards even for adults.
His pumped body soon got him noticed and was on showcase everywhere for its form and shape. At first, most individuals did not believe that a kid carried the body of a ripped man. A muscle packed body that had the tone and definition of a bodybuilding veteran. He was known only as Little Hercules now. This was the point that changed Richards’s life and got him under the spotlight that many have dreamed about, but few ever reach.
Proving His Abilities
The world could see how strong Little Hercules was now. However, the world wanted to know how his appearance matched his actual strength. At the age of 6, he was able to bench 180 pounds. Meaning he could lift an average adult male.
This was just the beginning. As Richard Sandrak continued to train for the next 2 years, he eventually reached a point where he could easily lift 210 pounds. Think of an 8-year-old lifting 30 bricks with ease. There was no struggle – just a quick pull up that left the world amazed. He was officially now the world s strongest boy.
The Other Side
While the world only saw Richard showcase his incredible strength, no-one saw the work he put into achieving his goals. With endless workout routines and every aspect of his life strictly controlled, Richard missed out on a normal childhood. While working out every day after school, he missed a lot of normal childhood. Yet, Pavel and Frank Giardina pushed little Sandrak harder every day.
His after school workout sessions were not the only activity in his day. When he got home, Richard took on 300 squats, 600 push-ups, and 600 sit-ups every day. This regiment created an unbalanced routine. It only allowed Richard to focus on building his body.
There came the point where Richard Sandrak had no time to spend with kids his own age. This left him with very little friends growing up. All to ensure he stuck with his insane routine without focusing on games or other fun and normal childhood activities.
The obsessiveness also made way to his meals. He was on a strict diest to boost his strength and appearance.
Motive & Goal
With the growing buzz, more and more people started to question Richards’ life away from the camera. Yes, it’s impressive to see someone of his age achieve such an excellent task, but one does wonder how the little one achieved such a body at his age and at what cost. The question being raised now was if Richard had a say in the matter.
While his parents repeatedly denied the accusations, and at a certain point, even Richard stepped up. He stated about his training ‘I’ve never been forced to train or do anything against my will,’ and defended his father in the best possible way. He also has said “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.”
By the time Richard was 10 years old, he had reached extraordinary heights of fame. He achieved worldwide fame. His story was been told through films, plays, and interviews. Showcasing his face around the world, just the way his father wanted.
While it may not be easy to make your way to the top, it’s even more challenging to hold your position once you have reached the peak. Unfortunately, Richards’ success was short-lived. His fame started to crumble only in a matter of years.
Richard finally came to a point where he no longer wished to workout every day. Even trainer Frank Giardina decided to back off when Pavel started to get too aggressive. What made the matter worse was Pavel’s arrest for domestic violence.
With Pavel behind bars, Lena Sandrak was the only one left to take care of Richard. While still encouraging him to keep up with bodybuilding, she never forced it on Richard. She was a lot more mellow than Pavel. However, they were eventually forced to face some questions that they may not have wanted to answer.
Was it Healthy
It came to a point where health professionals started to directly contact the family to explain his routine’s negative impact. After a thorough checkup, doctors determined that Richard only had 1% body fat, meaning he was at high risk for some significant health complications. Focusing on a healthier and more well-rounded lifestyle for little Hercules now, the doctors laid down a new life plan and goals for Richard.
After endless study and research, the doctors found out that some boys produce more testosterone as they grow, helping them achieve muscles at a young age. Richard being one of the first to be highlighted in the news, became the focus of their attention. Focusing on studies and developmental tracks that could help other boys who faced the same body issues.
First, they determined no illegal substances were used to bulk his body up. Then they decided to help him achieve a new normal. Even after the doctor’s results, it was hard to shake away the rumors surrounding the family. It was equal to the fame the boy had achieved. The negativity surrounding them came to a point where Little Hercules now no longer wished to take part in working out.
It took a few years, but Richard Sandrak decided to create a more balanced lifestyle. Finally, a proportion that called for work and play. Stepping into everyday teen life, Richard Sandrak spent his days with his mom and friends. He even started enjoying foods he was previously not allowed.
Rather than cutting his ties from the gym, Richard Sandrak decided to balance it all out and build a healthy body rather than a buffed-up version. Cutting away from bodybuilding was not an easy task. It had been his entire world from a very young age. Still, Richard Sandrak managed to make it work in the hope of achieving a normal life.
Little Hercules Now
Working through life after bodybuilding was not easy. Richard eventually found his calling as a stuntman. He found his place at Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular. Here Richard Sandrak hangs from open flames in a fire-resistant suit. Jumping from one burning building to another and dodging fireballs as he made his way to safety.
Working as a stuntman was his own choice, and that is all that mattered to Richard. Finally, he was leading a life that is his own. In 2015, during an interview with Inside Edition. Richard Sandrak talked about his first day as a stuntman. He spoke about the safety precautions that were taken to ensure a fun yet safe show and how it was a bit overwhelming at first. Richard decided to give it a go. Lighting himself on fire, he jumped into the water below him.
Breaking away from little Hercules was not an easy task for Richard. Still, like everything else in his life, he decided to focus and work his way towards his end goal. It was all about building a new career at this point in his life, which made him happy and still called for some much-needed action in his life.
Every time Richard Sandrak spoke about his childhood, he made it clear that he took the experience to learn more about life. While he did miss out on a great deal of his childhood. He will never forget the love he received from the world. Every turn of his career as a learning experience, something he will carry with himself for years to come. Enjoying all that the world has to offer and is ready to keep on doing what he loves.
He is not known as Little Hercules now. But that does not mean he has given up on his body. Richard has finally achieved the perfect balance to stay healthy and in good shape for his work. Rather than letting his body go, he keeps on an average weight ideal for his health.
He is not spending much time lifting weights anymore. Now you can find Richard running, climbing stairs, jogging, and even skating on the boardwalk.
A New Richard Sandrak
After making his name and gaining fame as a bodybuilder, Little Hercules now is completing his education. He feels he missed out on a great deal and is ready to conquer the world of knowledge. Currently, Richard Sandrak is working to make his way into NASA. He wishes to become a space programmer or a quantum scientist. While these dreams might sound far fetched to many, nothing is impossible for Little Hercules now.
Richard has already proven that he can achieve whatever he puts his focus towards and has inspired many in the process. From bodybuilding to NASA, Richard has never sold himself short. He understands that believing in yourself is the first step. Once you achieve self-confidence and tell yourself, you can do it. You will be able to achieve anything in life. Richard Sandraks story has been a testament to this.
Someone who holds the physical and mental strength to go through such a great deal in life. Can quickly achieve anything they put their mind towards, rather than questioning his ambition. Maybe we should all work to achieve the mental ability and power to set a goal and push every fiber in our body towards the goal.
Currently, Richard Sandrak is working on inspiring others in every other aspect of their lives. Pushing towards mental and physical health, rather than strength. His presence and story are a great way to remind everyone of what matters the most. Once you are healthy, all you need is to ensure you hold onto your confidence and work towards achieving any goal you have set for yourself.
The story of Richard Sandrak has taught me that the only one who should be calling the shots about your future is you. Once you have decided what the best route for you is in life, push yourself to every possible limit to achieve what you have chosen for yourself.
Image Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/news/102072/little-hercules-grows-up-to-be-an-average-joe/