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"I might have cerebral palsy or hemiplegia and there might be people with limb difference, but we keep pushing the same as everyone else."
Matt Elson is proof that physical fitness is for everyone. A bodybuilder with cerebral palsy, Matt has not let his disability hold him back from succeeding on stage.
I recently travelled to Bristol to train with Matt at his home gym, Anytime Fitness Clifton. His usual training split follows a typical bodybuilding routine with a separate day for chest, back, legs and so on.
However, on our training day we hit a full-body workout with one exercise for each body part:
His journey into fitness actually began quite early, and was spurred on by becoming a dad.
"It started by wanting to lose some weight and stay trim so I could run around with my family."
But when Matt first began working out, there was no disability category within bodybuilding. Athletes with a disability had to get up on stage with everyone else if they wanted to compete.
Matt sourced inspiration from his peers who went down this route.
"My good friend Josh Goodfellow, Paul Dean Betts and Jay Vincent - they were the ones that went up on stage with able-bodied competitors regardless of having a limb difference, cerebral palsy or another disability.
"These guys went up there and showed they had the same training capabilities and the same drive and determination to get up on stage. That really spurred me on to do what I do here."
This inspired Matt to embark on a bodybuilding journey that he has since succeeded in. He placed in the top five in the PCA World Mixed Disability category in October 2018.