As an amateur bodybuilder, I competed in my first competition in 2004. I placed 5th.
In October 2006, I had an accident which resulted in a Spinal Cord Injury, leaving me in a wheelchair. After spending 6 months at Stoke Mandeville Spinal Unit, having received major surgery and rehabilitation, I returned home. Unable to return to my job, I teetered on the verge of isolation and depression, sat at home whilst life went on as normal around me.
Eventually, I summoned up the courage to return to the Gym. I had to work out how to train again, but enjoyed being there and inevitably started seeing the physical results of my hard work.
After visiting the UKBFF South Coast Bodybuilding show in April 2008, the promotor (a friend of mine) presented me with a challenge - to train for a Guest Spot at his 2009 show. With a target to aim for and the help of family and friends, I got focussed and started to train - full on!
In the months leading up to my Guest Spot, I did my best to hide my physique from everyone. I wanted to make an impression on stage and prove to the audience (and myself) that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
My Guest Spot went down a storm. After my routine, I received a full standing ovation. What a feeling! I had no idea that in the following few days I would get an invitation to do a repeat performance at the British Finals later that same year, October 2009.
After the British Finals, I had an offer from the head of the UKBFF - to join the UK Team at the IFBB World Juniors, Masters & Wheelchair Amateur Championships, in Poland. This was the first time a Wheelchair category had been held at this level. I was honoured by the invitation and immediately accepted, pleased to have the opportunity to gain competitive experience.
On my arrival in Poland, the nerves kicked in. I suddenly realised I would be competing on stage against experienced Wheelchair champions from 9 other countries. Here was I, Dan Smith, full of enthusiasm but feeling a little inexperienced alongside such accomplished Wheelchair athletes. Of course I had prepared for the show with commitment, as I wanted to be the best I could be. I had trained tirelessly, dieted with dedication and rehearsed my poses and routine hundreds of times. I didn't want to let anyone down - especially as I had received so much support from the UKBFF team.
I had decided to enjoy every minute of the competition and it definately showed in my performance. Against all the odds, I secured straight firsts from all the judges resulting in a Gold win for me and my country. I was bursting with pride.
Following my success, I earned the right to have my IFBB Pro Card. I am now one of a handfull of fully Professional Wheelchair Bodybuilders in the world. We are eagerly awaiting our first Pro Show date, hopefully being announced for 2011.
Meanwhile, I am busy concentrating on assisting the UKBFF with the first Wheelchair category in UK Bodybuilding which was held at the British Finals in October 2010. I am keen to support the UKBFF in this initiative by encouraging and supporting other potential Wheelchair athletes so we can build an equally successfull and competitive category in the UK.
As a Professional Bodybuilder, I am able to give information, advice and support to people who are serious about using exercise and diet to improve their physique.
I can apply my knowledge and experience to both disabled and able bodied clients. No Excuses....
This is my new inspirational documentary and training DVD with photos and footage of me going through rehab and training that have never been seen outside my home, to show you the public my journey from my accident to IFBB Would Champ to IFBB Pro bodybuilder in 2yrs of leaving hospital.
The programmes I offer are tailor - made to the individual and as a result are not of a "fixed fee". I am happy to discuss your training needs with you via my e-mail address, where I can arrange the best possible package to suit you.
I am also available for: