At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kyle Richardson weighed 98kg.
Now, he weighs 58kg and is the proud winner of two gold medals recognising his stunning bodybuilding achievements.
His mum, Dolores, says Kyle’s transformation has not just been physical – he’s gone from being highly introverted to being a confident extrovert.
Dolores says the metamorphosis has been made possible thanks to funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme that has allowed Kyle, who was born with Down Syndrome and has survived leukaemia, to access gym sessions, a dietician, hip-hop dancing and cooking classes.
“If it wasn’t for the NDIS he wouldn’t be kicking goals,” Dolores says.
Strict training routine
Kyle during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She says she was stunned in January when Kyle, 21, announced to Burpengary World Gym trainer Sam Emes that his goal for the year was to take his workouts to the next level and compete as a bodybuilder.
“He’s been training an hour and a half a day five days a week, and then outside of that he’s got his other sports,” Dolores says.
“He’s a member of the Moreton North Special Olympics Club and plays soccer, ten pin and tennis.
“He also does swimming and went from a state medallist to a national medallist - he swam in Tasmania at the National Games and achieved a gold, silver and bronze in his events.”
Among Kyle’s other achievements has been learning to skip and he recently set a PB of 68 skips in a row.
Sam says Kyle’s commitment to his goal of competing in bodybuilding has been outstanding.
“I knew it was going to be a long road, but he absolutely nailed it,” Sam says.
“It was a little bit easier because he had already been training for a year and a half but he had a challenging time with the food.
“He just wanted to get Taco Bell as a reward (after competing).”
Time for a treat
Kyle’s regime consisted of a five-day program that included walking on the treadmill, a day focussed on shoulders and back, another on legs and another on full body.
He claimed two gold medals at the weekend at the ICN (I Compete Naturally) Queensland State Championships – in the Men’s Physique Physically Challenged and in Physically Challenged and Transformation.
Kyle says he enjoys posing and skipping, but cutting out sugar has been difficult.
“I miss eating KFC,” he laughs.
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