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​How This 3’7” Bodybuilder Forged Major Muscle

19-year-old Caleb Mutombo weighs just 78 pounds, but he can outlift men twice his size


If you don’t believe that big things come in small packages, Caleb Mutombo would like to have a word with you. The 19-year-old from Johannesburg by way of the Congo weighs 78 pounds and measures just 3’7”, but the budding bodybuilder has six-pack abs and sleeve-busting biceps, and has no trouble out-lifting men twice his size in local fitness competitions.

Mutombo suffers from a disability that prevented him from growing at a normal rate, and he completely stopped growing by the time he was 14 years old. But that didn’t stop him from learning to lift at age 12, picking up virtually anything he could—“from coffee tables to bags of books,” according to The Daily Star. By 16 he moved into the gym, and hasn’t stopped lifting since, participating in bodybuilding competitions and recently placing third in one local contest. “I love to see my body grow and feel full of energy and fit at the same time,” Mutombo said. “I wish to inspire people in general to work to stay fit and healthy.”

When Mutombo first started lifting, “a lot of people didn’t believe I could do it,” he told reporters. “I faced negativity and prejudice.” But when Mutombo is on stage during competitions, he ignores the proverbial haters and just keeps flexing the muscles he’s forged. “I focus on doing my best and not measuring myself against other people’s best,” he said.

Mutombo, who spends 5 days a week in the gym, is studying to become a personal trainer and wants to become a professional bodybuilder like his idol, Arnold Schwarzenegger—size be damned. “I have come to realize that my disability is my ability to inspire,” he said.

Jimirasire

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