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Four years ago I was involved in a car accident and as a result lost the use of my legs. I’m in a wheelchair and have recently decided to begin lifting weights. I’m only 21 and was thinking of competing as a wheelchair bodybuilder. Any advice?

First of all, let me congratulate you on your fortitude. Lesser men might have given up after finding that they could not walk again. But not you. In your chest beats the heart of a champion!

Needless to say, I am wholly supportive of your decision to become a wheelchair competitor. Although a relatively new sport, it has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade, enabling hundreds of men and women the chance to show their hard-earned muscles onstage.

As for advice, I would encourage you to start slowly. This goes for anyone, regardless of their degree of mobility. All too often your guys get into the gym and feel the ego kick in right off. Invariably they try to lift weights that are too heavy, often with dangerously poor form and to no good end.

So I would tell you to read voraciously – bodybuilding books and magazines – and ask questions of those who have experience first. Then, approach exercise with focus and diligence, and the results are guaranteed to come. I hope to see you onstage one day!