Latest Updates

November 5, 2011
"The Biggest Loser Resorts is delighted to

be supporting your upcoming MS Bodybuilding Challenge and the ongoing MS Fitness Challenge. We shall provide a complimentary 1-week stay package at the Malibu Biggest Loser Resort as a prize for the winner of your fundraising contest."

 

October 5, 2011
The MS Bodybuilding Challenge is proud to

announce our newest sponsor High Energy Labs and President Mark Webb.

 

 

 

Testiment to David from Big Luke Wood

"David let me tell you, you are my hero
and to thousands of others! You are right you are not in my league but in a LEAGUE of you own! A much higher league than I will ever get to! Mr. Olympia is not even in your
league. You are a true Warrior and God Bless you in this incredible fight that I know the Lord will always put you first, my man!
You already showed me that you can move mountains and we will get those abs! You can overcome anything! Me and you and God brother! David you are my hero man! There are people who complain and moan all their life and have really nothing to complain about! Let them walk in your shoes for a day!" -Big Luke, Mr. Australia

Rest in Peace old friend.

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Sponsors & Supporters

 

BioTrust Supports The MS Bodybuilding Challenge

 

The MS Bodybuilding Challenge and MS Fitness Challenge welcome BioTrust as our newest sponsor/supporter. Co-Founders Joel Marion and Josh Bezoni are supplying David with their revolutionary Low Carb Protein, delicious Protein Cookies and all the BioTrust products to assist him in the challenge and training to his next bodybuilding contest with MS. Tim Skwiat, Head Nutrition & Exercise Specialist for BioTrust, has been working hand in hand with David on this journey. "A spiritual and physical rock, David Lyons and his story are a true inspiration to everyone. David's Goliath is an amazing tale of one man's journey against a crippling and devastating disease in which he chose to fight the battle. A model of perseverance, strength, and faith, David is a remarkably special soul, and his gripping story will absolutely light a fire of passion, encouragement, and determination in your life."

          ~ The BioTrust Nutrition Team

 

 

 


Click the logo to visit BioTrust's website.

 

Marni Deckter - National MS Society
 

“In 2006, when David Lyons was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of forty-seven, he resolved to not let this chronic, unpredictable disease get in the way of his dreams. David’s MS Bodybuilding Challenge and his challenge to others, the MS Fitness Challenge, help to increase much-needed public awareness regarding MS. They inspire others to keep moving regardless of their ability or mobility and also encourage others to get involved in the National MS Society’s efforts to someday achieve an MS-free society. "

 
Matthew & Eddy J. Midyett - Owners of Powerhouse Gym
 

“The Southern MECCA” Powerhouse Gym Downtown Tampa Bay and it’s over 4,000 members, are proud to sponsor and support David Lyons on his road to victory! The MS Bodybuilding Challenge is a great way to show awareness for this disease and bring some much needed attention to find a cure. As a competitive athlete, David Lyons, should be applauded for his efforts! We look forward to a long relationship with The MS Bodybuilding Challenge and we and our 35,000 plus sq ft facility are here if we can help in the future.

David's Story

 

In 2006, David Lyons was hospitalized and

diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 47. David, a former bodybuilder and health club owner, exercised regularly and lived a healthy
lifestyle. He was devastated by the diagnosis and frustrated by the physical limitations of his
condition. His initial MS attack left him with partial paralysis, tightness, pain and numbness
in his extremities and back. These common symptoms of MS come and go without warning.
The multiple lesions in David’s spinal cord make it difficult for him to coordinate movements and they affect his balance. The lesions in his brain cause cognitive problems affecting his concentration. And the lesion by his optic nerve, at times, causes vision impairment and blackness when seeing out of his left eye. David also lives in a constant state of fatigue caused by this disease attacking his nervous system.

While in the hospital the doctors told David he would most likely leave in a wheelchair and
would not return to his normal workout routine. They also warned him that MS is a disease
that most often progressively worsens and to prepare for his limitations as he ages.

So what does David do? Give up and sink into depression? Grab a walker to steady
himself? Retreat to bed to conserve his strength?

NO...AT THE AGE OF 50 DAVID LYONS DECIDED TO COMPETE
IN A NPC BODYBUILDING COMPETITION!

David knew he could not do this alone, so he assembled a team he calls The Challenge Team. Putting this team together was no easy task. David needed dedicated, talented experts on his side to make this challenge a reality.

David is a courageous man who has rallied the support of many who know what he faces.
David’s doctors all told him that his pursuit of a bodybuilding title was sheer madness,
especially at 50 years old...but if anyone could do it - he could. David’s team is behind him
100% and they are pushing him all the way.

On August 22, 2009, David competed in his first competition where he was awarded an
impressive trophy for THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL BODYBUILDER!

David Lyons will keep competing, beat this disease and will not give up his dream. As David states, “The two most important people in my life during The MS Bodybuilding Challenge will always be my wife, Kendra, who gives up her husband while I train and diet for these events and is willing to keep doing it until I retire (which, won’t be in the near future!). She is an inspiration to me as she has the compassion to deal with sick people all day as a nurse and then come home to help me shows the heart of a rare woman and a true blessing.

And God who, without His grace, love and strength, I could have never made it out of the hospital and on to that stage in 2009 and onto others. It is never by my might or power but by His will that I push forward.

"I might never win a bodybuilding contest with multiple sclerosis but I will win the
battle against MS.

This is not about me winning contests, it's about motivating other MS patients
to take control of their lives, get fit and beat the odds in every way possible. Not
everyone has to compete in a contest to win. You win by just getting up and
fighting.

People assume that, if I could change my outcome in life, I would rather be
healthy again and not have MS. The fact is that if I didn't have MS I would not be
here today inspiring others and helping change lives. So, don't assume I would

rather not have MS. These are the cards I've been dealt and I accept this fate, I
would not change it and I will continue to make a difference until the day I die.

We all have a choice, no matter what trials we face, to either lay down and lose
or challenge the obstacles ahead and win. I choose to win. I encourage you to do
the same." -David Lyons

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Dave getting ready for his next bodybuilding competition in 2013. Watch for the release of his book in January 2013, DAVID'S GOLIATH, by Leafwood Publishers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the MS Bodybuilding Challenge

 

In 2008, David recruited independent filmmaker, editor and former NBC TV
producer, John Morris who filmed David’s first promotional video.

 

Click here to listen to Bud Hedinger interview David Lyons - 2008.

Click here to listen to Bud Hedinger interview David Lyons - 2009.

Meet the team

Meet the Team behind the MS Body Building Challange here.

About Us

 
The MS Bodybuilding Challenge (MSBC) is more than the founder, David Lyons’, battle to

beat multiple sclerosis. It is a challenge for all those that have this disease and others to take charge of their lives, get fit and battle like a warrior.

The MSBC is dedicated to helping others fight and win by educating and inspiring MS patients and their families. We are passionate about empowering the MS community through health & fitness. Through events such as Mike Torchia’s Shape Up America/NBC’s 4 Your Health Expo and our vision of working hand in hand with MS patients across the nation, The MSBC will reach millions of people and help change lives.

Our fundraiser, The MS Fitness Challenge, enables The MSBC to bring Certified Fitness
Trainers into the homes of MS patients, free of cost, and coach both patient and family
members how to fight this disease through health & fitness.

David, the President and Executive Producer with Andrew Bishop, CEO and Executive Producer of Bishop-Lyons Entertainment (BLE) have a feel for Hollywood and a desire for publicity. Bishop- Lyons Entertainment director and filmmaker John Spagnola has taken the reigns as he films David’s daily life struggle with MS and his grueling workouts in the gym. BLE plans to use this footage to convince millions around the world that anyone with an intense enough desire can overcome even the most catastrophic challenge. In addition, David is writing a book which will be published as the companion to the film and will bring it to market.

Make a donation to The MS Bodybuilding Challenge today and help us
strengthen bodies, build will power and change lives.

 

Mike Torchia Fitness Trainer


"I met David over 35 years ago when I was working out with Lou Ferrigno at R&J Gym in

Brooklyn, New York.  David was a very powerful young man who was training like a dynamo and radiated with self confidence.  Our paths recently crossed since that day in Brooklyn and he still possesses the same powerful physique, attitude and energy.  The only difference is that he now has MS and is battling this crippling disease.  I truly admire his mission to inspire other people around the World who also have MS to become more physically fit and active.  I fully support The MS Bodybuilding Challenge and I am incorporating David's powerful and meaningful movement with The Shape Up America National Tour." -Mike Torchia

Michael Torchia is a quintessential, cutting edge fitness advocate and leader, whether

working with children, or adults of any age.  To this end, he has created a multi-disciplined, lifestyle conglomerate, the first in its category that focuses on every phase of the lifestyle process including physical fitness and nutritional solutions, along with the design of fitness apparatus and spa centers throughout the world.  

In the last 25 years, Michael has been developing systems for safe, highly motivating fitness programs. He began as a competitive bodybuilder, achieving such honors as “Teenage Mr. New York,” “Teenage Mr. America,” “Mr. Collegiate USA,” and “Mr. California.”  The genesis of Michael’s journey began over 40-years ago when, in his own words he made a promise to himself, “I will never be fat again.” He vowed that he would never be perceived as an underdog or under achiever ever again, resolving to be fit both physically and mentally.  Michael never lost sight of this vision, and leading by example, became a personal trainer to a succession of executive business suits in New York City. This culminated in the profession of personal trainer to celebrities in Los Angeles with such luminaries as Kevin Spacey, Matt Damon, Al Pacino, Kim Cattrall, Ralph Lauren and John Galliano.

After being commissioned to design the fitness facility at “The Castle” in Tarrytown, NY, Mike and his team went on to develop top fitness facilities around Los Angeles.  He was appointed Fitness Specialist at the world-renowned “Beverly Hills Hotel” and the prestigious “Hotel Bel Air.” He then developed the Youth Fitness Program at “The Sports Club LA” and recently established the new business protocol and complete operations overhaul for the “Aroma Resort” in downtown Los Angeles. After years of giving his support and expertise on a "one to one" level Torchia felt it was time to expand his services.  He’s now providing an elite team of personal trainers and nutrition consultants that are available 7 days a week at 24-hour notice that can offer a broad spectrum of sports activities and fitness conditioning programs.  His goal is to provide safe and effective ways for guests to maintain their fitness regime and have fun, while traveling.  

Now, through the development of the Shape Up America CampaignHolistic Health Foundation, and Children's Fitness Academy, and with the success of Operation Fitness™, Michael intends to use this incredible opportunity to reach children and adults across the nation, helping them achieve a more positive self-worth and body image

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Pictures & Training

 

Follow David's journey with pictures of The MS Bodybuilding Challenge and of David working with his trainers on fighting his disease in every way he can.

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Against All Odds

 

An article recently released by John Rowley in Powerhouse Gym Magazine:

The crowd erupts into a standing ovation as this unlikely warrior finishes his posing routine. Though he is out-muscled by 50 pounds or more and not nearly as cut as others or as he wanted to be, the crowd is uncontainable. Backstage all the competitors are hugging him and thanking him for being an inspiration. His name: David Lyons. His challenge: Multiple Sclerosis (MS). His answer to the challenge: Fight!

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Personal Motivation

 

Another article recently released by Powerhouse Press in recognition of David Lyons' incredible story:

In 2006, David Lyons was hospitalized and with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 47. David, a former bodybuilder and health club owner, exercised regularly and lived a healthy lifestyle. He was devastated by the diagnosis and frustrated by the physical limitations of his condition.

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"David Lyons' amazing life is an unwavering and truly uplifting fight filled with triumph that will enlighten you and hit you profoundly. David teaches us to handle the 'Goliaths' in our own lives."

—Tomaczek Bednarek, award-winning producer and singer-songwriter

 

 

 

"David is an inspiration to our team and is a man who was built to fight. He is a physically strong and courageous man, but he will tell you that his spirit to fight this awful disease and make a difference is only by the grace of God. . . . David is truly fighting his Goliath, but as Sir Isaac Newton once said, 'If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.' David is my giant and I can clearly see further because he is in my life and the future looks brighter for us all."

—Andrew Bishop, CEO/Executive Producer, Bishop-Lyons Entertainment

 

 

 

"I truly admire David's mission to inspire other people around the world who also have MS to become more physically fit and active. I have committed to help David through every step of the way to realize his dream of becoming a champion bodybuilder once again. I fully support the MS Bodybuilding Challenge and his newly formed MS Fitness Challenge. Together we can make a big difference."

—Michael Torchia, former champion bodybuilder, Mr. Teenage New York and Mr. California, founder of Operation Fitness

Celebrities & Athletes

 
Ed Corney, Champion Bodybuilder
The Master Poser
 

As a champion professional bodybuilder that has trained for over 40 years, I know the drive, determination and intensity it takes to train and compete in the sport. It is amazing that David Lyons, diagnosed with MS and almost 50 years old, is able to push himself thorugh this vigorous and exhausting regime that even for a young, healthy man would be difficult to undertake. 

I am excited to be part of the MS Bodybuilding Challenge team and look forward to seeing David successfully compete at the NPC Florida State Bodybuilding Championhips in August 2009.

“David, here are your choices, train harder or train harder. Why not? ‘Cause you can!” - Ed

Ed Corney is widely regarded as the greatest poser that the sport of bodybuilding has ever known. Ed won the IFBB Mr. America, IFBB Mr. Universe, IFBB Masters Over 60 Olympia (twice) and as a member of the IFBB Hall of Fame. As a classic bodybuilder of the Golden Age, he continues to serve as a spokesman and ambassador for the sport.

Ed was born November 9, 1933 in Hawaii. In 1950, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and, after serving in New York City, moved out to California. It was there that he met bodybuilder Millard Williamson who encouraged him to begin weight training. At 160 pounds and age 33, Corney entered and won his first contest in 1967, the Mr. Fremont, held in Northern California. His wins the following year included Mr. Heart of California, Mr. Northern California and Mr. Golden West. Ed continued to climb the bodybuilding latter with impressive wins at the 1970 Iron Man, the 1971 AAU Mr. Caifornia, the 1971 IFBB Mr. USA, the 1972 IFBB Mr. America and the 1972 IFBB Mr. Universe that was held in Baghdad, Iraq.

Corney achieved even broader public recognition as a result of his appearance in both the book and movie versions of “Pumping Iron.” He was pictured on the cover of the book and on the posters for the movie. In the film we see Ed not only training along side Arnold Schwarzenegger, with an absolutely mind numbing intensity, but also flowing flawlessly from one of his classic and unique poses to the next as Arnold comments, “Now that’s what I call posing.” Coreny’s pioneering posing transitions distinguished him from his peers at the time, and his incredible stage performances are still revered and imitated to this day. 

In 1994 Corney returned to competition. He won the 60+ division of the Masters Olympia in both 1994 and 1995, placed 11th overall in 1996 and took second in the 60+ division in 1997. He also competed in 1998 in the only Masters event ever to be held at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic.

Flex Wheeler - IFBB Pro & All American EFX Director of Media/Public Relations
 
 

"I’m honored to be part of the team supporting David Lyons. I know all too well what it’s like to face a life-threatening disease. So it’s the least I can do to help David with a worthy cause like this. All through my professional career I fought one epic battle after another just to make it on stage. David is a fighter just like me. So I have no doubt his ‘never quit’ attitude and his determination to overcome this will push him through to victory. All American EFX and I have your back, so the competition better guard their rank!"

 

Clay Walker - Nationally Acclaimed Recording Artist
 

The MS Bodybuilding Challenge thanks country music star Clay Walker for his support. Clay, a nationally acclaimed recording artist who has MS, established BAMS Foundation in February 2003, because he wanted to help others living with the same disease he has battled since 1996. Now he is supporting David Lyons in his challenge against MS. With different approaches to battling MS they are both fighting to find a cure.

 

 

Greg Favors - NFL Linebacker
 
 

The MS Bodybuilding Challenge welcomes former NFL linebacker Greg Favors to our team of supporters. In his eight year NFL career, Greg has played for the Kansas City Chiefs, the Tennessee Titans, the Indianapolis Colts, the Buffalo Bills, the Carolina Panthers, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has played in the NFC Championships and Super Bowl.

 

John Hansen - 3x Mr. Universe

  "It's so inspirational to see someone like Dave Lyons compete in a Bodybuilding competition   despite having to fight the battlewith Multiple Sclerosis. Competing in a Bodybuilding contest   requires battling against the weights and being disciplined enough to follow a restrictive diet.   Dave battles MS every day and he took it upon himself the further challenge of pushing his body   to the limit to compete in a contest in which the most developed body is awarded. I congratulate   Dave Lyons on his amazing accomplishment and I thank him for the inspiration he has provided   to the rest of us who have witnessed his incredible willpower and determination." 

 
Darren Barnes - Workout Trainer
 

“As a trainer, I have always enjoyed the challenge of helping people reach their fitness goals and improve their health. While I’ve had many clients in the past who each had different and unique goals, David Lyons presented a challenge like no other. When he first approached me and told me that he wanted to begin a training program to get in competition-level shape while battling Multiple Sclerosis, I hesitated briefly and asked myself if I was the right person to take on this task. Was I out of my league with a challenge like this, or was this an opportunity to both help David and challenge myself?

The more David and I talked, the more I knew I wanted to take the challenge and fight this disease with him head-on. The passion David had for making his dream a reality and his determination to succeed came through in his words. He had such conviction in his voice as he described success as if it had already happened. It made me believe that if anyone could do this, it was David.

Not knowing exactly how to begin, David and I decided to train as though there was no disease and figure out how to deal with the obstacles as they presented themselves. Those obstacles turned out to be many ranging from the neuropathy in his hands and an inability to feel the weights to muscle tears caused by the fact that he was often unable to feel when he lifted too heavy or stretched too far. From minor injuries to major muscle tears, these injuries often forced us to make adjustments in his training. During chest workouts, David suffered many minor tears in his pectoral muscles while performing pec flies in the machine. That forced us to adjust in order to reduce his range of motion and focus less on the stretch, allowing him to perform the movement with a lighter weight and while squeezing the muscle at the front of the movement for maximum contraction. But, as you have read or will read in the book, as stubborn as David was in his insistence on lifting heavy, he pushed himself to the max one day while training without me, which led to his severely torn pec that couldn’t be repaired. At times like those, even when the training seemed to be going smoothly, we were given powerful reminders that the MS was there in the background threatening to derail the progress.

I remember a time during leg training when David was working with an intensity that would have made even the healthiest athlete question his ability to continue. While performing grueling sets on the leg press, I saw a glimpse of fatigue and extra effort on David’s face as it seemed to take all of his remaining strength to pull himself out of the machine. The hesitation was temporary, and he immediately regained his focus as we moved to the leg extension and completed the compound set.

Through it all, David never showed signs of second-guessing his decision to compete. Instead, each setback seemed to make him more motivated to find a way to keep moving forward and finish what he started. With each workout that passed and each obstacle that was overcome, it became clear that it was only a matter of time until David’s dream would become a reality.

David didn’t think small. He felt that the best way to bring attention to his cause was not only to compete, but to do it on the biggest stage that the Florida could provide, deciding to compete at the Florida State Championship. It was a Level 5 competition in which he would share the stage with approximately two hundred other “healthy” athletes from across the state.

I would like to think that I taught David a few things about training during our time together, but the truth is that he taught me more than I could ever teach him. Each day was a lesson in character and perseverance. To see David reach his goal and step on stage was one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced in my fitness career. When I stood backstage with him and watched as athlete after athlete approach him to tell him what an inspiration he was, I felt a sense of pride for having been a part of his success. It seemed as though many of the athletes had heard about his challenge and looked forward to meeting him. Others only learned that day of his story by hearing the buzz that seemed to grow backstage and felt a need to approach him and give him their support and best wishes for his ongoing struggle. Through being part of this challenge with David, I have grown as a person as well as a trainer. I am proud to call David a friend, and I truly enjoy watching him continually make strides in his battle against Multiple Sclerosis. "

 
Eric Maroscher - 2x World Powerlifting Champion
 

“Let me begin by saying that your video blew me away, and it did so for several reasons. First, I have always said that there are two pains in life: the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. A few  years ago I wrote an article for Monster Muscle magazine called “The Choice of Two Pains.” Your video gives a clear illustration of a man who chose the pain of discipline instead of sitting idly  by and letting the tide choose the path. You made your own destiny and created your own opportunities. That, my friend, is why there are sheep and shepherds, followers and leaders. I love that you are making your future yours. Coincidentally, my phraseology in the closing of my letters for years has been Ever Onward. You are clearly living your life by that mantra, and that is  beyond impressive. "

 
Jimmy Page - Director of Health & Fitness - Fellowship of Christian Activities
 

“Every great competitor loves to be told the words, “It can’t be done.” At the heart of every athlete is the desire to do the impossible, to overcome the longest odds, to face the greatest opponents…and win. Those four little words—it can’t be done—provide all the fuel necessary to stoke the fire within. That’s why we love the upset, the underdog and the game-winning buzzer-beaters.

Even more inspiring, though, is the story of the athlete who is dealt a blow so impossible that it threatens not only their competitive career, but also their life. In 2006, my friend David Lyons was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord resulting in loss of muscle control, vision, balance and sensation. With MS, the nerves of the brain and spinal cord are damaged by one’s own immune system as it mistakenly attacks normal tissues.

David was told by doctors that he would quickly deteriorate, need a walker, and eventually end up in a wheelchair. But he decided to fight back. He responded by setting the impossible goal of competing in a bodybuilding competition at the age of fifty. Everyone said—you guessed it—“It can’t be done.” His doctors told him he was crazy and that intense physical training would be detrimental to his condition. But to everyone’s amazement, David made it to the stage, receiving a standing ovation for his performance along with the Most Inspirational Bodybuilder trophy.

Now, if that was the end of the story, it would be a good story, but not a great story. A good story only becomes inspirational when it’s about something bigger. David wanted his trial to produce a testimony about the greatness and goodness of God. He knew that the test had the potential to  both transform him and encourage others, and he began to trust not only that everything happens for a reason, but that everything happens for us to reason. There was truth to be discovered, and David chose to believe that there was purpose in his pain.

“Count it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

 

In order for God to truly transform us, three things are required: time, pressure and heat. That’s how diamonds are formed out of carbon. God uses trials to make us unshakeable and Him unmistakable. Under pressure, our faith is forced into the open to show its true colors.

Through his challenge, my friend David discovered a renewed sense of urgency to pursue Christ and make Him known. He reconnected with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and began telling his story at local high schools, colleges, camps and events. He became a passionate and inspirational writer, authoring several FCA daily Impact Play devotions, which are read by thousands every day. His writing has also been featured in the FCA Athlete’s Bible. He has inspired thousands to seize the day, trust in God and live for His glory. He has a passion for using the platform of sports to lead others into a relationship with Jesus. The more “heat and pressure” he feels, the more “heart and presence” of God he relies on. He lets the power of God push him to train while also comforting him in his pain.

All of us will face our own tests and trials. No one is exempt from hardship. However, how we respond to that kind of adversity reveals our character, which is uncovered in crisis and formed in the fire. It is both revealed and refined. When we are squeezed, whatever comes out reveals what’s inside.

I know David as a great man of God and an overcomer. His story will inspire you to be the man or woman God designed you to be, and when you face an adversity so big it scares you and everyone tells you “It can’t be done,” you can just smile and remember this one thing: nothing is impossible with God. "

 
Frank Duran - Certified Fitness Trainer
 

“My story is nowhere near that of David Lyons, but I do know what it means to struggle. When I started working out, I was battling significant weight issues and my health was at risk. Through bodybuilding, I have recaptured my life and am now a certified personal trainer. But that is nothing compared to what Dave must go through in his battle with MS. My weight was controllable and I was only fighting myself. Not so much so with MS. It’s an incurable disease that can’t be dropped or alleviated by physical effort and discipline. It sets your body at work against itself so you’re up against far more than your own willpower.

Dave and I have been training partners for a while now, training together four to five days per week. I’ve trained with so many people, but Dave definitely stands alone. Despite having MS he gives it one hundred percent, and he is the most intense training partner I’ve ever had. He doesn’t talk much and focuses on his workouts and on spotting me on my sets. His knowledge and training experience have definitely helped me take my training to the next level.

Bodybuilding is a lifestyle and it involves understanding your body. It is important to train correctly,  and Dave knows how to push me while he pushes himself through proper form and intensity. One thing Dave has helped me to realize is how important it is to feel a muscle as it is working. Everybody says they want to feel the muscle while training, but as a trainer I rarely see them doing it. You have to think about every set, every rep and every contraction from the first rep to the tenth. I’m still not sure how Dave does it considering the numbness he experiences with  MS, but he focuses on every movement and every rep and makes me do the same.

Our workouts don’t last long—just under an hour—but when I’m done my body and mind are totally fried. They say eighty percent of your training results come from diet, but what about the mind? I will tell you that it’s a lot more than twenty percent. With such focus and determination, Dave and I push to limits I never would have imagined. And all of this is training with a guy who is twenty years older than me and has MS!

One thing I do know and will never forget is that Dave knows what he is talking about, and he didn't pick it up by reading muscle and fitness magazines. He learned from one of the best tools on the planet: experience. That’s right. Dave gets his hands dirty and gets the job done in the gym. I don’t look at Dave as a man fighting MS. I look at Dave as the best training partner I could ever have. "

 
Stan Dennis - National Director FivestarMan.com
 

“Dave and I first met years ago on the coast of Alabama when he began attending the church where I served as associate pastor. Since then, I have met very few men as driven as Dave. This has led him to succeed in many areas including business. His entrepreneurial passion has brought him great success both in creating and working with a number of top-level companies. With that passion combined with his strong desire to share the good news of the gospel, he has  become a winning combination of blessing and outreach. Currently I serve as the National Director for FivestarMan in which I travel across the country and come alongside pastors to help them resurrect authentic manhood in their churches. We accomplish this by focusing on five passions that already exist within every man, two of which are an adventurous spirit and an entrepreneurial drive. These two character traits have been paramount in Dave’s life, and I have seen them rise to the surface in his fight against MS. Dave’s response to the doctor after hearing his diagnosis clearly illustrated his adventurous spirit. He would walk out of the hospital, never be in a wheelchair, and he would beat the disease. As far as entrepreneurship, Dave has used his business and leadership skills to go public with his fight by completing the MS Bodybuilding Challenge and starting the MS Fitness Challenge. It’s authentic manhood in action. Now, Dave’s transparency in his personal battle will serve to connect, inspire and encourage others in whatever struggles they face. "

 
Avanti Fitness
 

Avanti Fitness is now a proud sponsor of David Lyons and The MS Bodybuilding Challenge. When Brian Lewallen, Avanti Fitness, General Manager, USA,  met David in September at the Powerhouse Gym Convention in Las Vegas, he immediately offered to send him their latest cardio exercise machine - the Cardio Gym 3000. Within 2 weeks the machine was in David's home. Brian didn't wait and quickly sent his top trainer, Shannon Lewallen, to give him the workout of his life. "By far, this was the best cardio workout I have had in 20 years. It was a total body cardio experience that pushed me to the limits. The Cardio Gym was safe for me to use

with MS as I didn't have to worry about losing leg coordination and falling like I have on treadmills, eliptical machines and stair climbers. I completely endorse the Cardio Gym for anyone looking for a safe, effective and butt kicking workout!", says Lyons.

 
Arney Rosenblat - Associate VP, Public Affairs of NMSS
 

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
This is to advise that the National Multiple Sclerosis Society believes there is a need for encouraging documentaries and books that highlight the positive achievements of people living with multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease of the central nervous system whose hallmark is unpredictability. David Lyons has long been interested in the challenges of body building and the lure of body building championships. When he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006, he could have decided to lower the throttle and focus solely on his many creative ventures, but instead he opened the throttle full-out to pursue his dream of competing in a NPC Bodybuilding competition and sharing that story with the world.

Mr. Lyons’ desire to depict the ups and downs that a person with MS experiences on a daily basis in order to push the envelope and continue to live life to the fullest has the potential to inspire and encourage not just people who are diagnosed hourly with MS but anyone dealing with an incurable disease. In 2009, Mr. Lyons received the Society’s Milestone Award given annually to an individual who has been relentless in their personal fight with MS.

Since establishing Lyons Entertainment in 2002, David has been creating, developing and producing original programming for the TV and film industry, garnering over 30 international awards along the way. In 2010, he merged his company with award winning producer, Andrew Bishop, to form Bishop-Lyons Entertainment, which has firmly established itself as one of the preeminent production entities in Los Angeles.

Mr. Lyons also believes that as a public figure, he has the opportunity and responsibility to provide accurate information about the disease MS with which he is challenged and he has turned to the National MS Society to be that resource. MS is a capricious disease that affects every individual differently. While the archetypal image of a person with MS is someone in a wheelchair, there are actually more people who live without visible disability from MS.

Yet for those who have been recently diagnosed, or who have been living with it for a few years, their questions about the future are voluminous and filled with fear. Firsthand, honest testimony, not colored by an agenda will be instructive for all people who have MS, their loved ones, and health professionals. It will clarify the varied personal experience of the disease.

Support for Mr. Lyons’ documentary, The MS Bodybuilding Challenge and David’s challenge to others, The MS Fitness Challenge, will also advance the mission of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, by creating greater awareness of multiple sclerosis. The more people there are who have an honest understanding of MS, the more success we will have in moving us closer to a world free of multiple sclerosis.