Strength Motivation: Zack Ruhl Doesn’t Believe in Excuses

Zack Ruhl, 26 years old, or @pitbullruhl as he’s known on Instagram, is the strength motivation you need in your life. He’s just like your normal CrossFit® gym owner and coach, but with one major difference. Ruhl was born with a rare bone condition in his legs, which led to his legs being deformed. At the age of two years old, both of his legs were amputated.

What most see him as lacking, he’s gained in extra motivation. Ruhl has more drive than the average person. His passion is easily seen in his work and coaching methodologies. A recent inspiring video shared by CrossFit covers Ruhl and his story.

One of the most moving parts of CrossFit’s video is around 3:05 where Ruhl discusses his childhood. He talks about his mother never telling him “no” growing up, even when he wanted to play football. After, he talks about the lessons his mom taught him about working hard to achieve what you want…no matter the circumstances.

To give an example of this, he discusses his experiences with his first powerlifting meet. While the meet allowed him to lift, he was unable to break records because he couldn’t maintain five points of contact.

So what did Ruhl do? As he laughs in the video, he talks about making homemade prosthetics to make him eligible to break records. At a weight of 155 lbs, Ruhl broke the national record with a 451 lb bench press.

To conclude CrossFit’s video, Ruhl talks about how the training methodology has helped him reignite his love and passion for fitness. The timed, competitive nature, CrossFit-style workouts offer is something Ruhl has truly come to love and excel at.

A video posted by Zack Ruhl (@pitbullruhl) on

Ruhl is the type of athlete that has the natural ability to motivate those around him. To give a little more context into the person Ruhl truly is, he offers free training to other amputees at his CrossFit gym in Houston, Texas.

It’s athletes like Ruhl and KC Mitchell that multiple people everyday find motivation to get in the gym. They not only motivate with their passion, but with their undeniable will to succeed – no matter the circumstances life has dealt them.

Feature image: @pitbullruhl Instagram page.  

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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