Written by Ron Harris
07 July 2022

 vlad slider7722





Rising Star

Vlad Suhoruchko

25-Year-Old Ukrainian Beast!


By Ron Harris



Another Former Soccer Player Gets Huge




In the USA, we tend to see a large portion of pro bodybuilders who were standout football players and wrestlers in their younger years. In Europe, soccer is the most popular sport. OG mass monster Markus Rühl was an excellent footballer (the USA is the only place that sport is referred to as “soccer”), and UK star Nathan De asha played semi-pro soccer for 10 years for the Liverpool Football Club before transitioning to bodybuilding. Vlad’s story growing up in Ukraine isn’t so different. “I played football from age 10 to 16, and it was my biggest dream to play in the Premier League.” Not only is soccer wildly popular, but the money ain’t bad either. Its athletes are the fourth-highest earners in professional sports after the NBA, MLB and NFL, and ahead of ice hockey, golf, tennis, auto racing, and boxing. Nathan De asha had his start in the weight room as a soccer player, and so did Suhoruchko. “The coach told all of us on my team that we should devote more time to strength training,” he says. At first, they only hit the weights once a week. That’s when the iron bug began to bite Vlad. “I was so excited about training, and I liked it so much that I asked my coach for more training days.” One workout a week turned to two, then three, and like anyone with elite genetics, the results began to manifest. “Everyone from the team started noticing the changes in my body, and that just made me more motivated than ever,” he says.


Off the Field, on Stage


Not long after, some guys from his gym began preparing for a regional bodybuilding contest. Vlad’s interest was piqued, and he decided to go check it out and see what the level of competition was like, secretly wondering if he was ready himself to put his newly built muscles under the scrutiny of judges. “I remember every detail of that day, sitting and watching that competition,” he says. “I knew immediately I could do well, and I promised myself I would be on that stage the next year.”


The very next day, he returned to the gym with a new drive and purpose. “I already knew I was finished with football, and all my focus from that day on was to improve and prepare to win.” True to his word, Vlad did compete in that same contest a year later. You will be surprised to know that he was not an immediate success like so many men and women who go on to pro status. “I placed fifth in the Junior category at age 19,” he tells us. “I didn’t have a coach to help prepare me, so I just did what I thought would work.”


I’ve seen the photos of him in that contest, and Suhoruchko actually got into very decent condition. Still, his excellent potential wasn’t apparent at the time. “No one believed in me,” he says. “Not my friends, my family no one. They all said I was wasting my time. But I didn’t care what they said or what they thought. I had such a strong love and passion for bodybuilding that I was not going to quit even if no one encouraged me.”


Though that was just a few years ago, Vlad already feels redeemed for staying the course despite the naysayers who discouraged his dreams. “I am so happy because everything I have in my life right now is because of bodybuilding,” he reveals. “It gave me so much more than big muscles. Bodybuilding gave me a strong character and mentality, and now I know there is nothing I can’t do if I believe in myself and work very hard.”


Joining the Camel Crew


Vlad did fairly well on his own, but after winning the Dennis James Classic in 2019 and earning his IFBB Pro League pro card, he knew he needed expert guidance. He reached out on Instagram to Oxygen Gym Kuwait’s head trainer, Ahmad Askar, coach to many but notably two-time 212 Olympia runner-up Ahmad Ashkanani and the aforementioned seven-time pro champ Nathan De asha. To his surprise, Askar responded and was thoroughly impressed with the then 23-year-old’s vast potential. After conferring with the patron of the Camel Crew and owner of all the Oxygen Gyms, Bader Boodai, Vlad was on a plane from Ukraine to Kuwait to begin transforming.


After landing and settling into his apartment in the complex literally across the street from Oxygen Gym Jabriya in Kuwait City, he would undergo trial by fire. His first workout under Askar, fondly nicknamed “The General” by his athletes, was a back session with De asha himself. Though it wasn’t easy for him to adapt to the Oxygen Gym style of training with heavy weights for higher reps, which doesn’t even make sense when you say it, Suhoruchko’s body thrived and grew. The day he arrived in Kuwait he weighed 268 pounds at 5-foot-10. Just 21 days later he tipped the scales at 294, an incredible gain of 30 pounds of muscle, an average of nearly a pound and a half of lean tissue every day of those first three weeks.


Now a full-fledged member of the prestigious Camel Crew stable of elite bodybuilders, Vlad made his pro debut at the 2020 Europa Pro in Alicante, Spain, placing out of the top 10, in 13th. A new game plan was put in place, and weeks later he managed to finish runner-up to winner Regan Grimes at the Romania Muscle Fest. 2021 saw him place fourth at both the Mr. Big Evolution show in Portugal and fourth again at the same Europa Pro event he’d debuted in. The points from Spain allowed him to edge out the third-place point leader and secure his spot on stage at the 2021 Mr. Olympia. Alas, visa issues at the eleventh hour prevented him from being able to travel to the USA, but there is little doubt this giant of a young man will find his way to the Olympia in 2022.




Quick Stats


Name: Vladislav Suhoruchko

Nickname: Vlad the Impaler

From: Kiev, Ukraine

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 260-290

Age: 25


Instagram @suhoruchko

YouTube: Vlad Suhoruchko IFBB Pro


Contest History


2019 Fitparade, Hungary - Second, Heavyweight

2019 Dennis James Classic Germany - Heavyweight and Overall Champion

2020 Europa Pro - 13th Place

2020 Romania Muscle Fest - Second Place

2021 Mr. Big Evolution Portugal - Fourth Place

2021 Europa Pro - Fourth Place

2021 Romania Musclefest - Second Place


Ron Harris got his start in the bodybuilding industry during the eight years he worked in Los Angeles as Associate Producer for ESPN’s “American Muscle Magazine” show in the 1990s. Since 1992 he has published nearly 5,000 articles in bodybuilding and fitness magazines, making him the most prolific bodybuilding writer ever. Ron has been training since the age of 14 and competing as a bodybuilder since 1989. He lives with his wife and two children in the Boston area. Facebook Instagram