If I didn’t know any better, I would have chalked this up to a proficient Photoshop user with too much free time. In fact, these photos are the real deal. Meet Giuliano Stroe, 9, and his little brother Claudiu, 7. These little Romanian boys want to grow up to be body builders, and clearly they are on the right track.
Lovingly dubbed “The Hercules” by friends and family, the boys lift 4 kg, or almost 9-pound, dumbbells and heavy weights for two hours a day. I’m willing to admit that these pre-teens have way more time and drive to devote to exercise than I’d care to commit. Iulian Stroe, 35, is the father of the boys, and the coach behind their daily workouts. Both boys have been pumping iron since they were toddlers.
To date, Giuliano has shattered two world records for 90-degree vertical push-ups and for maintaining a grip on an upright pole like a human flag. Claudi, for his part, is already mastering handstand push-ups on a bar and is beginning to practice the human flag maneuver. The images and footage of these youngsters is causing some discord, as many claim subjecting children as young as these to such grueling exercise could be construed as cruel.
Both Mr. Stroe and his wife, Ileana have publicly defended the boy’s strict training regime. Mrs. Stroe says “They have a natural ability for this, nothing is forced. It is what God intended for them.”
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