14-Year-old goes from overweight to champion dead weight lifter

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PHOENIX - A year and half ago, 13-year-old Alex De Soto was extremely overweight. He was addicted to XBOX and never wanted to stop playing. His dad said he never got off the couch.

One day Sergio De Soto, Alex’s dad, convinced him to go with him to Die Hard Fitness in Peoria AZ, a workout facility that boasts having “dumbbells up to 210 pounds, plenty of free weights and machines, and just enough cardio equipment to keep some of you aerobics princesses pleased.”

Alex took up his dad up on his offer, and tried working out with dead weights a couple of times, but struggled. 

“It was tough, I didn’t want to come back,” Alex said.

During that visit, the personal trainer and owner of Die Hard, Tim Sparkes, took a special interest in Alex and encouraged him to come back.

“Tim began to build Alex's self esteem by building on his small successes in the gym. He encouraged Alex to compete in power lifting,” said Sergio.

Within a few short months, Alex broke the world record taking home the World Championship medal in dead lifting in his 13-year-old age group last November. He has also earned national records and currently holds three Arizona state titles.

“Alex is a success story for overweight boys who need to get off the couch,” said Sergio.

Sergio encourages parents to introduce kids to new things when it comes to being active, because you never know, it can change their health and their lives.

Alex has lost nearly half of his body fat index. He plans to continue working towards more awards.

As for the XBOX, “I don’t even play that much anymore,” Alex said.

For more information about Die Hard Fitness, log onto www.diehardgym.com