There was a time, seemingly not so long ago, when internet users both young and old could open an email with roughly 19 “FWD”s in the subject line and see, to their amazement, a child who could effortlessly crush them to death with his hands. That child was known as Little Hercules, and inexplicably, he was not a Harvey Comics character brought to life by a lonely little boy’s very special birthday wish.
No, he was Richard Sandrak, a rippling pile of physical excellence whose Atlas Man physique gained him international fame in the mid-2000s. At the age when most kids are largely sustained by a diet of their own boogers, Richard’s caloric intake was being carefully monitored by his parents. According to the Guardian, he slept on the floor to “maintain his posture” and performing hundreds of squats, pushups, and other exercises on a daily basis, all in the name of becoming “The World’s Strongest Boy.”
Today, he looks an awful lot like a norman guy, and has spent a good chunk of his life getting set on fire for money. Overall, it sounds like an improvement.
Little Hercules: smoke on the water
An Inside Edition interview with Richard Sandrak from 2015 shed some light on what the lapsed vitruvian cherub had been doing with his life since falling out of the international spotlight – getting set on fire and jumping off of a building, sometimes five times a day. All of this came courtesy of a job working as a stuntman at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Waterworld show.
Considering some of the stories that came out of Sandrak’s childhood, the gig sounds relatively relaxing. Per the Guardian, his father, the man responsible for his kid’s strict training, was arrested after beating Richard’s mother, breaking her wrist and nose. Stories about Richard’s lifestyle during the swole years raised eyebrows and inspired mutterings about child abuse, though Little Hercules himself has frequently stated that he had “never been forced to train or do anything.”
Nowadays, Sandrak doesn’t even lift, bro. “If anything,” he stated, “it just got boring.”
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