HOW A HOBBY BECAME A PROFESSION

The journey to become a professional bench presser has not been an easy one for Sami. When he was 18 years old he was severely injured in an accident where his lower back and hips received major trauma. Despite the setback, he continued with his training as much as the injuries and pain allowed. However, in 2004, the level of complications due to the trauma brought Sami to be bound to a wheelchair for five years. During these five years he continued with his traning, although at a lower frequency. Not only was the physical pain a restricting factor in the training, but the mental challenges from coping with the circumstances took their toll as well.

Finally, in 2008, a decision to perform bilateral hip replacement with prosthetic hip implants being inserted, was made. Sami learnt to walk again, and six months after the second operation he returned to the gym in 2009. Surprisingly, Sami´s muscle strength was at a high level, and Sami began to train bench pressing more seriously. He received useful tips and advice as to how to improve his technique, since the lower back trauma didn´t allow forming an arch. Against all odds Sami qualified first in the bench pressing championships of Southern Finland in 2011. In 2014 he qualified first in handicap bench pressing in the Finnish Championships.