By Ryan Horne
As a child growing up in Guelph, Ryan Lapadat loved the idea of becoming a super-hero – someone with the strength to lift cars, pull airplanes and, most importantly, help people.
It’s not often that a child’s dream becomes a reality when he or she grows up.
Meet Ryan “6-Pack” Lapadat.
“If that kind of dream can come true and that’s what I get paid for now, to help people with my strength, then no dream is impossible,” he said during an interview.
As we sat on a couch at Stayfit gym in Guelph, almost every person who walked by yelled something like “Hey 6-Pack, what’s going on!” This is something the 33-year-old is just going to have to get used to.
Just over a year ago, the five-foot-nine, 210-pounder was working at the local hospital in medical supplies. Now he’s a rising celebrity after making it big on the television series
Canada’s Got Talent and his new show Get Stuffed, which airs on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN).
“In the past year I went from a dude at a hospital to doing crazy things like this,” said the strong man who likes to rap on the side. “I would be crazy not to walk through all these open doors.”
The ball started to roll for “6-Pack” when 1.5 million people witnessed Lapadat lift a bleacher filled with Toronto Argonaut cheerleaders as the last performance on a episode of Canada’s Got Talent. He also towed an airplane to get past the first round earlier in the competition. He didn’t end up winning the Canadian spinoff series, but the impression he made through his strength and personality changed everything.
“As soon as that show hit the air, life changed,” said Lapadat.
Then came the endless number of radio and television appearances, such as on Citytv’s Breakfast Television, where he flipped over a car live on air. Before he could comprehend what was going on, Lapadat was offered a spot on OLN’s Get Stuffed. The show centres around Lapadat and three other TV personalities as they compete in oddball competitions, with the loser having to “get stuffed” from eating a oversized meal of local cuisine. “
The show is quirky games mixed with a food show,” said Lapadat.
Some of the competitions include the World Redneck Games, World Pizza Games, ostrich racing, chicken egg Russian roulette and the Testicle Festival. You’re just going to have to watch the show to find out what that last one is about. Even though the show is for fun, Lapadat said he goes out there to win every time.
“I’m super laid back normally, but if you challenge me to any type of competition, I want to win,” he said.
The show airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on OLN.
According to Lapadat, a big part of his success is because he took marketing at the University of Guelph, which has helped him create a persona, or an alter ego in super-hero terms. The name “6-Pack” came from the National Power-lifting Championships when he drew a makeshift six-pack on his stomach with chalk. The next day the nickname Ryan “6-Pack” Lapadat was in the papers and the name has stuck ever since.
He also has a couple of Guinness World Records in the books, including the most squats (123,000 pounds) and dead-lifts (95,000 pounds) lifted in one hour. He did both the same day on July 16, 2010.
Alex Drolc, a professional weight-lifter himself, was the man who mentored Lapadat. They worked out together in the same gym, but it wasn’t until Lapadat saw Drolc in the newspaper after winning a power-lifting competition that he believed he could make a career out of it. At 27, Lapadat approached Drolc for the first time and since then he has helped “6-Pack” get to where he is today.
“Having him is like walking into a fight with your big brother,” said Lapadat.
With the rising fame, the world records and numerous power-lifting titles, Lapadat hasn’t forgotten what it means to be a true super- hero – helping people. Lapadat has worked closely with Sick Kids Hospital by raising money through his weight-lifting appearances.
“I’m a strongman, but the super- hero image holds something bigger to a lot more people,” he said. “My biggest thing is to get people motivated.”