Bad back man Matt is champ weight-lifter
AMAN with suffered from terrible back pain has defied doctors to become a weight-lifting champion.
When he was a teenager Matt Nicholson was warned by spine experts that lifting heavy weight could cripple him.
But after enduring chronic pain for a decade Matt was determined not to end up in a wheelchair.
He researched and developed a fitness regime which built up his strength gradually.
Now Matt, who lives in Wincle, has defied the odds by storming to victory in a power lifting competition.
The 29-year-old who weighs 90kg took double gold by dead lifting 180kg and bench pressing 140kg.
The achievement in front of thousands of people, including some of Matt’s weight-lifting heroes, is a dream come true.
He said: “When I was 18 off doctors told me that a disk in my spine had collapsed and dehydrated. They compared it to that of a 90-year-old.
“I was told not to lift heavy weights or risk causing sever damage and ending up in a wheelchair. There was an operation which cost £35,000 in Germany which may have helped, but otherwise I was told this would be for the rest of my life.
“After many years of chronic pain I couldn’t accept this diagnosis. I decided to help myself. I worked on techniques to strengthen my back and slowly it worked and the pain just disappeared. It was amazing. It was cured.”
The new confidence in his strength inspired Matt to enter a powerlifting competition in January and he was blown away when he won.
The victory means he has a place in the British Power Lifting Union’s finals in September.
This was followed by his double gold at the Body Power event in May.
Matt said: “Competing in front of thousands of people was an amazing experience and is something I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Matt, who is the owner of the Academy Group Transformation Centre in Macclesfield, wants to share his story to inspire others.
He said: “Everyone is unique so I cannot advocate everyone with back problems trying to lift heavy weights, but my journey was about understanding my body, my injury and developing exercises to help myself. I can now lift weights I never once imagined.”
Matt has run his fitness business at Waterside
●● Powerlifter Matt Johnson has earned himself a place in the British Power Lifting Union’s finals; left, Matt, right, with Icelandic strongman Benedikt ‘Benni’ Magnússon