A CHILD weightlifter who appeared in a TV show for his athletic ability is unrecognizable six years later.
Gage Gregurich was the star of a 2016 documentary Baby Bodybuilders on TLC that profiled the young athletes participating in competitions.
The eye-opening show featured then-11-year-old Gage and his father Bryce as he prepared for competition.
In the documentary, Gage claims, with a spiked Mohican, that he has won since his ninth weightlifting competitions.
“I can lift more than any other child who is 12 and under and weighs 66lb in this universe or another universe,” said the ancestral boy.
He went on to say that he started powerlifting when he was nine “because my dad went to sports school and I wanted to too”.
No. 17 and in high school in his native Nebraska, Gage explained what it was like to be a child weightlifter.
“I was originally involved in bodybuilding with one of HBO’s junior powerlifters at the Junior Olympics, and she loved my personality and character, so she eventually made a documentary about me and she fell through,” he told The Sun. Online.
“But through some of the people we met during that documentary, we met the people from TLC who wanted to do a documentary about me.
“So I actually got into bodybuilding through powerlifting. I always did a lot of sports, then I played football, wrestling and also basketball.”
At just nine years old, Gage explains, “I was deadlifting three times my body weight, which would be 171 pounds.
Still hitting the gym, he can now deadlift a whopping 395 pounds, squat 355 pounds, and bench 265 pounds.
Asked about his unusual upbringing, he went on to say: “Yes, my childhood was very different from the average child.
“It was a lot of exposure, but I enjoyed all the experiences and learned a lot from it.
I deadlifted my body weight three times, that would have been 171 pounds
“I’m not talking to any of the other kids [from Baby Bodybuilders] because I could not find any of their social media accounts. “
But, he says, “Powerlifting has all started. I have 18 world records and 60 American records in it and I am now committed to going to university for that.”
He is currently applying for a wrestling scholarship to study at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska.
His father Bryce said in the documentary that he and mother Ricci were not intrusive parents, but let him do it because he loved it so much.
But his mother admitted that she was competitive and loved to see her son win.
“He’s like our little animal,” she said. “He does things that other children do not want and can not do, even when they are trying.
“People who do not fully understand powerlifting are very critical of it. They believe children should not lift heavy weights, but I’m sure what he does is safe.”
Other children featured in the documentary included Bo Ice, 11, and his brother Cap, eight, from Roanoke, Virginia.
Their father Bobby talked about how he woke his sons up every day at 8am to train, and she covered them with fake tan and oil for bodybuilding shows.
“Some would say it’s weird to put oil on your boys, but I do not,” he said.
“This is a league.”
Another of the families present was former Lord Universe Phillip Ricardo and his children Ethan, 11, and Sanali, eight.
Their father, a retired Marine Corps Master Sergeant and Professional Natural Bodybuilding Champion, said he wanted his children to follow in his footsteps.
“I use the military-style training I have learned in the naval core on my children,” he added.
“Our kids are into bodybuilding mainly because they see their mom and dad doing it. Being fit and healthy is a lifestyle for us.”