Zach Ruhl could make excuses why he doesn’t hit the gym or why he doesn’t even get out of bed. He has two valid reasons actually… Zach is missing both of his legs. That handicap hasn’t handicapped Zach’s ability to absolutely crush it at the gym.
Ruhl was born with birth defects that caused brittle leg bones and missing thigh bones that forced doctors to amputate both of his legs when he was only 2-years-old. But Zach’s mother Cheryl wouldn’t allow her son’s disability to be an excuse. “At just seven-months-old I would never just give him his baby bottle, he’d have to crawl in his body cast to get it,” Cheryl told the Daily Mail. “He used to ask me to leave stuff down on the cabinets for him so he didn’t have to reach up and I told him ‘No – I am not going to be here forever you have to learn to do things yourself.'”
In high school, Ruhl lifted with the football team. The coach ran a competition among the players to see who could score the biggest deadlift, squat and bench press. Ruhl said he went after the bench press title because as he so eloquently puts it, “Obviously I can’t squat for shit.” He outworked all of the football players and held the title all four years of high school, maxing out at about 365 pounds.
Zach is now 26-years-old and is a CrossFit instructor who can bench press 420 pounds. He has adapted his workout regime to cater to his body. He does box jumps with his arms, performs Olympic lifts while seated, modifies his pushups by supporting his entire body weight with his arms.
Ruhl is not only inspiring in his actions, but also in his words:
“When I am at the gym working out that’s when life’s the best. The one word you cannot use in my gym is ‘can’t.’ That word is out of your vocabulary as soon as you come in here.”
And if you even think of using an excuse to miss one of his training sessions he will call your lazy ass out. One time, a client told Ruhl that they were contemplating missing the workout because she had injured her foot. He hilarious responded, “Are you seriously asking your no-legged CrossFit trainer if you can do CrossFit with a sprained foot? I’ll see you Monday.”
I’m sorry, we’re you saying something about being too tired and skipping the gym tomorrow?