Just when you think you're tough enough


Man without legs aces CrossFit and Powerlifting

CrossFit Man without legs
Zack Ruhl has qualified for the US Paralympics team for Powerlifting

Have no legs? Have no fear. American Zack Ruhl is refusing to let a wheelchair slow him down, and has powered up with Powerlifting and CrossFit instead.

Ruhl is making it his life’s mission to show others that you can cross any barrier with hard work and determination. If you’re looking for excuses, the Crossfit Uncontested in Texas, USA is not the place for you.

“You’re not going to use ‘can’t’ in my gym first of all,” said Zack Ruhl.

Ruhl was born with a leg deformity and had both legs amputated at age two. His mom was his first coach. He also played high school football, psyching out his opponents with his low scramble.

“The center looked like he’d just seen an alien. He didn’t know what to do, he didn’t know how to block me and I actually got a sack the first play I was in,” said Ruhl.

Image from video
Image from video

Now Ruhl brings that intensity to his gym. Crossfit Uncontested. Since opening the gym a year ago on the far east side of town, he’s gotten used to the questions.

“You’re going to train my legs too right? Like yeah, dude I don’t have them, but I know how to work them out.” Ruhl said of a conversation with a client.

Ruhl can bench press 445 pounds and even climb a rope with his wheelchair strapped on.

“If I say ‘Oh man my legs are hurting, my ankle’s hurting, my foot hurts.’ He’s like, ‘I wish I had a leg to hurt.’ Wouldn’t that make you stop complaining?” said client Mohshai Carter.

Carter is part of a growing side to Ruhl’s business. She has cerebral palsy and Ruhl now offers free training to anyone with a disability.

“If you have a disability and you feel like you can’t reach your goal, that’s not the case at all,” said Ruhl.

When Carter first started training a year ago, she could only jump about four inches. Now she’s all the way up to a foot, but it’s her confidence that’s really taken off.

Furthermore, Ruhl just made the U.S. Paralympics team for power lifting, but what makes him most proud: “Being helpful. If it can change somebody else’s life around for the good then I’m happy.”

Leading by example, for anyone strong enough to follow.

This should motivate you to get that pull up done, even if it’s your first.

And if you think push ups are getting too easy for you, try this.

Read the full story on KHOU.