Ethan Schneider started lifting weights competitively when he was only 16. He did well in the sport of powerlifting for four years. He was always passionate about the sport even before he started competing competitively. Unfortunately, he fell off the roof of his house on November 15, 2003. He was 20 years old and a junior in college. The fall left him with a traumatic brain injury which put him in a coma. His neck broke in two places, and he severed his spine in two places. Schneider was in a coma for 2 ½ weeks and doctors gave him a 0% chance to live. At the time of the injury, Schneider weighed 195lbs. He had been training hard, so his body was all muscle. However, he left the hospital 2 ½ months later weighing 125lbs. His healing was miraculous with all things considered. He started training and taking supplements to regain his muscle and strength. Before long, he started to gain back his muscle and did not let the setback stop him from competing. Taking care of his health had always been one of the most important things in his life.
He got back into competitive powerlifting a few months after leaving the hospital. Ethan did well despite the fact that he was the only disabled person in his organization. He was a T6 paraplegic due to the accident. Doctors had to remove two vertebrae from his spine to stabilize it. Despite the challenges, he managed to compete against able-bodied contestants and set a few state records for his organization. He had a successful career until April of 2006 when he had to stop competing for numerous reasons. He had a few surgeries and had to stop training which led to a loss of strength, and he also needed to focus on finishing college among other things. However, he did not give up on the sport. He continued to lift weights as best as he could and then got certified as a judge for the powerlifing organization.
At that point, he did not realize that he could still have a bright future in wheelchair competitions. Then he met a pro bodybuilder in the WNBF. This man could see that Ethan still had a lot of potential. This motivated him to pursue a new sport despite being a T6 paraplegic. He used his knowledge in human nutrition to switch up his diet because a different diet was needed compared to what he was doing to be a powerlifter. Ethan is a personal trainer and has a degree in Human Nutrition from The Ohio State University, so he knew what to do without much trouble. He competed in his first bodybuilding competition in April 2011 and won third place.
He competed again in September of the same year and took first place because in that short time, with great effort into getting into bodybuilding shape and getting leaner, his work had certainly paid off. While rolling off the stage after the night show of this second competition, he received a standing ovation. His story and performance wowed the audience. Ethan feels that having an impact on the lives of people and bringing thoughts of Jesus Christ into their lives is the most important thing for him. He attributes his success and his existence to God.
On October 29, 2011, Schneider had another near-death experience. He had a drug interaction between his daily medications and a fat burner sample that he tried that day, had multiple seizures, and went into another coma. Thankfully, by the grace of God, he awoke the next day and had no permanent brain unjury from the seizures. Doctors released him from the hospital the next day.
In 2012, Ethan competed in the NPC Wheelchair Nationals after receiving an invitation from Mr. Frank Dalto. He won third place in the open class. A month later, he competed in the INBF Buckeye Classic for the second time, won first place, and with that received his Pro Card. He competed in his first WNBF Pro contest in 2013 and won second place. After that competition the other WNBF wheelchair pro retired, so as far as Ethan knows he is currently the only WNBF wheelchair pro. The organization has not contacted him since, and since he is the only wheelchair pro in the organization he has not competed since then. In 2015, he tore a ligament in his wrist and was unable to train because doctors could not figure out what was wrong and it was too painful. It was not until October 2017 that he found a doctor who figured out the problem stemmed from a torn ligament. In December of 2017 the doctor performed a carpectomy, which means they removed 3 bones in his wrist. They did this because the ligament had been torn so long ago that it could not be repaired. He began working out again with light weight in July 2018. At that time, he had lost quite a bit of muscle mass because he was unable to work out for over two years. He is not sure what lies ahead of him as far as competitions go. He is still only able to do light weight because of more issues that have started with the same hand, having to do with the surgery that was performed. It seems the WNBF has given up on the wheelchair class so once Ethan gets back into competition shape he plans on first contacting Mr. Frank Dalto again and trying an NPC competition.
Ethan has had strong religious beliefs before and after his accident. He believes that he is alive to give hope and improve the lives of other people, just like Jesus gives him hope and helps him get through life every day. Schneider says that his ability to perform and win comes from the desire to show people the glory, strength, light and mercy of God. He says that Jesus is the bodybuilder, not him. He hopes that his success encourages people not to give up regardless of what they are going through. According to Schneider, everything is possible for those who have faith in God.
He says that his life experiences have led him to believe that he is alive for this purpose. He thinks that Jesus is the best role model whom ever lived and that all humans should serve Jesus Christ just as Jesus Christ served God when He was on earth in the flesh. Bodybuilding is one of the many ways that Ethan tries to serve Jesus Christ, by keeping his body as a temple in reverence to Him. According to Schneider, the best part of the sport is being able to touch other people’s lives and to motivate them to keep hope and faith alive. To make them realize that no matter how hard life is there is always someone out there who has it worse so they always have to be thankful for what they have and not let the things that they don’t have get them down. He encourages other competitors to do the sport for other people and not for the fame or trophies. He says that one of the most encouraging moments was after his NPC competition. A woman came up to him and thanked him for saving her life. She had been contemplating suicide for some time before seeing his night routine. However, seeing Schneider on stage with his Christian music and his great attitude encouraged her to live and gave her a new outlook. He says that the sport has given him the chance to meet people that he would never have met. He has made some of his best friends in the process. Even though he does not have a sponsor at the moment, he has had a few of them in the past years. They include; About Time Protein, Applied Nutraceuticals, SDC Nutrition, and Top Secret Nutrition.
I fell off the roof of my house in November 2013. It caused me to sever my spine in two places and break my neck in two places. I also suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for 2 ½ weeks and doctors gave me a 0% chance to live. By the grace of God I woke up after 2 ½ weeks. The only reason I survived, besides the fact that Jesus kept me going, was because my body was basically solid muscle. Obviously Jesus made sure my body was strong enough before the accident, because He knew it was coming.
I first started training when I was 16. I started competitive powerlifting shortly after that. I set numerous state and national records in the powerlifting organization. I continued to workout when I got to college. When I went to the hospital after my accident, in November of 2003, I was 195lbs of solid muscle. When I left 2 ½ months later I weighed 125lbs, was a T6 complete paraplegic, and had basically no muscle left on my body. I started training and supplementing again as soon as I could after I got out of the hospital, to start getting the muscle back. I got back into powerlifting after that, being the only paralyzed person in the organization, and set a couple of state bench press records until I retired from powerlifting in 2006 so I could focus on graduating college. I then became a certified Judge for the organization.
I started bodybuilding in 2011 when I met a pro bodybuilder in the WNBF, and he suggested that I try it out. He thought that I had a lot of potential and he had a competition in Columbus, Ohio called the Buckeye Classic.
The pro bodybuilder I met explained the sport and the organization and I knew it would be a great way to serve my main man Jesus Christ by motivating and inspiring people because of what He had helped me get through and do with my physique.
I first focused on getting leaner because as a powerlifter I had some fat on my body. I have a degree in human nutrition from the Ohio State University so that wasn’t too hard. I continued training, kept a clean diet, and used a manual hand cycle for cardio. The manual hand cycles are very inexpensive and very effective for burning fat. They work just as well for able bodied people!
My training includes a number of exercises. Some of them are; dumbbell curls, cable curls, dumbbell shoulder press, hammer curls, incline chest press, straight chest press, decline chest press, cable triceps pulldowns, overhead triceps extensions, and tricep kick backs.
I am a Christian, and I get my motivation from God and my Lord Jesus Christ. I know that They are the only reason I am still alive on this earth and I am positive that They have big things planned for me. I have led a life full of challenges and because of Their help I have been able to overcome them.
Don’t do the sport for you. Do it as a way to reach others. Also, if you don’t have your health youre not going to be able to reach any of your goals, so you’ve always got to take great care of your diet and your body.
On that night, I went to cheer on some of my friends at a bodybuilding competition. I was trying to stay awake, so I took a few supplements that had energy boosters. Unfortunately, they had a negative reaction with the medication I was taking. I had multiple seizures, and I went into a coma. Fortunately, it was not as bad as the previous one, and it only lasted one day. I was also fortunate that the seizures didn’t damage my brain at all. The doctors allowed me to go home the next day.
Yes. I have acquired a few sponsorships even though I do not have one at the moment. I have received emotional support from other people who have also become my close friends. I also look at Jesus Christ as my greatest sponsor. He gives me the breath and energy and strength I need to get out of bed every day and accomplish everything ive been able to do.
• Amateur Contest History
2012 NPC Wheelchair Nationals : 3rd Place