The Little Hercules Boy Doesn’t Look Like This Anymore


Who could ever forget Little Hercules? “When Inside Edition first met 8-year-old
Richard Sandrak, he was The Strongest Boy In The World.” “Back off!” In the early 2000s, this pint-sized bodybuilder
probably made you feel awfully inadequate. And these days, we imagine you’re wondering:
Did The Strongest Boy In The World grow up to be The Strongest Man In The World? What does this short stack of shredded muscle
look like now that he’s in his twenties? For the uninitiated, here’s a little bit of
background: In 1994, when Richard Sandrak was only two-years old, his parents moved
from Ukraine to Pennsylvania…and reportedly, they were already drilling him on his strength
and flexibility at that extremely tender age. Infact, they may have started even earlier
than that. In 2004, Sandrak told the Sunday Mirror: “[I] was six months old when I started working
out.” As the Guardian reports, the Sandrak family
eventually moved to California in the hopes of getting their son some publicity. Makes sense: He must have made quite a splash
on Muscle Beach. But as Richard’s muscles and fame grew, so
did concern from his doctors. Many professionals suspected Richard’s muscles
were the result of steady steroid abuse, definitely not the kind of juice a growing boy needs. “Having seen footage of the boy at age six,
it would be highly unlikely that anyone could achieve that type of physique without artificial
enhancement.” Of course, his parents denied any drugs were
involved. They said it was all about the workouts. According to the Guardian, “[Richard endured] six- or seven-hour training
regimes.” Tensions rose in the Sandrak household as
Richard got a little older. Richard’s father Pavel tried breaking into
the fitness supplement market, which probably made those skeptical doctors even more skeptical,
and even more concerned. Meanwhile, Richard’s trainer, a man by the
name of Frank Giardin, also became worried about the parental choices being made. So he quit training Richard. Pavel was eventually sent to jail for assaulting
his wife, he allegedly broke her wrist and nose. As The Guardian reports, “It was Richard who called the police, asking
them not to use sirens, for fear of how his father would respond.” Richard then took a break from training, which
proved to be a rude awakening. “I got kind of puffy. I got kind of puffy. And I got not very happy about that.” Despite the problems at home, Little Hercules
had plenty of good times, too. Here he is at the premiere of 2005’s Get Rich
or Die Tryin’, posing with none other than professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. In 2009, Sandrak made his first feature film,
Little Hercules in 3-D, which co-starred Hogan and Elliott Gould. “But Father, I’m half-mortal, half-Olympian. Isn’t it time for me to learn more about my
human side?” “You have the best tutors in the world. You’ve got Socrates.” The film wasn’t particularly well-reviewed,
nor did it make a whole lot of money. But the filmmakers seemed to know exactly
what kind of movie they were making. “Hercules! Yes, Hercules, it is I.” “Lord Zeus!” In 2007, the Guardian dutifully reported that
Little Hercules had lost much of his signature build, writing that “[Richard looks] almost disappointingly normal. [He’s] short with a puppyish face.” The article also revealed that: “He trains five times a week, 90 minutes a
session, but only when he has to get in shape for a part.” Meanwhile, his old trainer, Frank Giardin,
was back in the fold, and Richard was once again enduring an intense gym regimen. In 2009, Richard had a rather robust YouTube
presence. “Hey, what’s up, everybody? It’s Richard. Today I am at a local gymnasium just working
on my martial arts and my gymnastics.” “Hey everybody. It’s Richard. I’m at a local public pool right now doing
one of my most favorite exercises. Which is swimming.” Coincidentally, that was the same year he
endured what might be the world’s most uncomfortable interview. “That’s remark…May I touch your muscles?” “Yeah, go ahead.” “I just want to reassure you I’m happily marr—” “Yeah, go ahead. Hehe.” Meanwhile, it sounds like Richard is totally
at peace with his peculiar childhood. As he told Inside Edition in 2015: “I’m very proud of my past. It’s not something I don’t want people to
know, it’s just that I’m not going to be stuck living in it.” In that same Inside Edition story, we learn
that Richard worked as a stuntman at Universal Studios Hollywood’s “WaterWorld” show, routinely
being set on fire and diving into water from a 50-foot drop. And you gotta admit: He’s looking great these
days. “It’s Little Hercules, all grown up. With a beard and a ponytail.” As the then-23-year-old proudly told Inside
Edition, “I don’t lift weights anymore. If anything, it just got boring to me.” And it sounds like his priorities have changed,
too. Asked what he considers his dream job, he
wasted no time before replying, “Quantum scientist. For, more specifically, maybe even an engineer
for NASA.” And though he may have lost some of his muscles,
Richard certainly hasn’t lost any self-confidence. Asked if he really thought such a profession
was within reach, he immediately responded: “Absolutely. There’s no reason that it couldn’t be.” Oh, Little Hercules. You’re our hero. “But Father, I want to learn about being human.” “NOOOOOO!” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Nicki Swift videos about your
favorite celebs are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
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49 thoughts on “The Little Hercules Boy Doesn’t Look Like This Anymore

  1. You missed the part where both of his parents were Ukranian athletes before coming to the U.S.. What they may have been given could have influenced the genetic makeup of the child.

  2. I remember the episode of inside edition when he was on. I think I started trying to lift weights my dad had hanging around afterwards.

    but looking back as an adult those parents were raising that kid to make money off him.

  3. You can’t even look like this little kid natty. Just don’t even try working out for aesthetics if you don’t plan to juice because you’ll never have it.

  4. Oh he's doing well!
    And is very well adjusted too!
    That's a relief!
    I was worried about him not having a normal childhood and an abusive father!

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