Fitness enthusiast David Lyons, Founder, MS Bodybuilding Challenge and Co-founder, MS Fitness Challenge (MSFC), is globally renowned for his work in both the entertainment and fitness industries. The owner of the OPTIMALBODY fitness brand and President of Lyons Entertainment, David with his wife Kendra, has dedicated his life to helping people with MS understand and be educated on the importance of fitness in their lives. Besides, he is a sought-after motivational speaker and a faith-based author dedicated to helping others by sharing the lessons gained from his life experience.
The Inspiring Journey from a Survivor to a Successful Entrepreneur
In 2006, David Lyons was hospitalized and diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 47. David was a bodybuilder and health club owner, who 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 made it difficult for him to coordinate movements and they affected his balance. The lesions in his brain caused cognitive problems affecting his concentration. And the lesion by his optic nerve, at times, caused 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?
At the age of 50 David Lyons decided to compete in the NPC Bodybuilding Competition! David’s doctors all told him that his pursuit of competing in a bodybuilding contest was sheer madness, especially at 50 years old…but if anyone could do it – he could. On august 22, 2009, David competed in the Florida State Bodybuilding Championship Where he was awarded an impressive trophy for the most inspirational bodybuilder! And, the victorious journey begins…
More about the Brands
MS Fitness Challenge aims to provide guidance and support to people with MS and fitness professionals worldwide in an effort to educate and train them in the benefits of exercise, nutrition, and mindset in winning the battle against Multiple Sclerosis. MSFC pays for these programs through the donations of its supporters. Here, the main focus is on fitness programs.
OptimalBody is a fitness brand that caters to the market of those “challenged in fitness”. Whether you have a chronic condition such as Multiple Sclerosis or you are over 40 and seeking to get in the best shape of your life, OptimalBody has a program that will fit your needs and goals.
Clients & the Unbreakable Faith
“My clients range from those battling MS to people over 40 wanting to exercise properly. The many awards such as Most Dedicated MS Fitness Expert the past 3 years and being voted as one of the Top 100 Healthcare Leaders in the world, coupled with my lifelong commitment in the fitness industry and my induction into the National Fitness Hall of Fame gives my clients the foundation of faith. And with thousands of success stories over the years and many testimonials, trust in me is never an issue”, asserted David.
From the Founder’s Desk
I believe my faith in God has enabled me to achieve all the success and acknowledgment I have received in the fitness industry, the MS community, and life’s entire journey. It is by His strength, guidance, and grace I am where I am today. Aside from my faith, the support of my family and especially my wife Kendra over the years has kept me grounded, motivated and focused.
The biggest challenge I faced was inexperience with social media and the internet. I’m a dinosaur at 63 years old and the digital world has grown tremendously throughout my career in fitness. Fortunately, my son, Deric, is my partner in my fitness endeavours and internet, social media, and marketing genius!
A Day in David Lyons’s Life
When asked about his daily routine, David shared, “I am up at 6 am (most days) and head to my home gym for my own workout. After that, it’s time to review the emails and messages that came in overnight and reply. Then I start my day of training private online exercise students, mostly those with MS. After the 6-8 hours spent on the one-on-one students, it’s now onto reviewing social media and posting/responding to requests for both my MS Fitness Challenge charity and OptimalBody fitness company.”
He continued, “When there is time between students and management of the companies, I then shoot educational, instructional, and training videos for OptimalBody and do whatever writing I need to for blogs, books, and interviews. Most often that is left to Saturday when I keep my private student workouts to a short schedule.”
The Reset Plan by Shanna Ferrigno
MS Fitness Challenge will continue to bring the most educational and worthwhile no-cost fitness programs to the MS community through its non-profit cause. OptimalBody will continue to develop and release the most comprehensive fitness and exercise programs available to the “challenged” market of chronic conditions and over 40’s fitness enthusiasts.
Accomplishments & Achievements
In 2013 David received the Health Advocate of the Year Award with Lou Ferrigno. And in 2015, at almost 57 years old, he was the only person with MS to receive the Health Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award from Arnold Schwarzenegger as well as the Lifetime Fitness Inspiration Award in Feb 2016, next to bodybuilding legend Mike Quinn at the Global Bodybuilding Organization’s International Fitness Expo.
In January 2017 David received the Special Recognition Award from the National Fitness Hall of Fame and later in the year he was honored as a Founding Partner of the organization’s Institute for learning. David is considered the face of MS and fitness worldwide and his fitness book, Everyday Health & Fitness with Multiple Sclerosis was a #1 New Release on Amazon while his MS Fitness Training Specialist certifications partnered with the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) and MedFit Education Foundation educate trainers internationally on how to work with MS clients. David is the Creator and Director of the OptimalBody Training Program for MS and is the Vice President of Adaptive Sports for the United Intercontinental Bodybuilding Fitness Federation (UIBFF). David Lyons is a 2019 inductee in the National Fitness Hall of Fame for his work as a fitness educator. He has appeared on Good Morning LA, FOX News Orlando, and other TV and radio show nationwide as well as in print media.
A Piece of Advice for Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs
Female entrepreneurs should see themselves as equals despite the discrimination they sometimes face in the business world. If they set their sights on the many very successful females in business who have far surpassed men in accomplishments and use those examples as their role models, there is nothing they cannot accomplish.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Muhammad Ali