Amputee strongman and power lifter

Moving from adaptive sports to mainstream sports - strongman and power lifter Dan (picture courtesy of Dan Nunnelly)
Moving from adaptive sports to mainstream sports - strongman and power lifter Dan (picture courtesy of Dan Nunnelly)

An Amputee That Constantly Pushes The Limits

Pulling a 45,000lb fire truck isn’t the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the hobbies of the people around you. And this thought is even more impressive when the person you are thinking about is an amputee. But that is exactly what Dan Nunnelly from Dallas/Texas did. He is one of the growing number of strongman (men and women) and power lifters who are amputees. Here is his story, which was originally published by yoocan.



It All Started With A YouTube Video

On November 10, 2014 I was on my way to work riding my motorcycle as usual. A few blocks from my house, a driver ran a red light and broadsided me.


The accident left me with a broken neck and ultimatly the loss of my lower left leg. Lying in the hospital I started watching YouTube videos to keep myself entertained. (There is only so much reality TV that one man can take).


During my video searches I stumbled on a video of North America's Strongest Disabled Man. I was blown away watching these guys achieve these feats of strength. This was when I knew what I wanted to do.



Transitioning From Adaptive Sports To Mainstream Sports As An Amputee

My first day back at the gym was devastating. I couldn't benchpress an empty bar, and curling a 5 pound dumbbell with my left hand just wasn't happening. The nerve damage in my spine had affected me a lot more than anyone had realized.


I refused to let this stop me. I started with an online program from and followed that to a T. At the end of the 12 weeks, I felt myself getting stronger.


In June of 2015 I decided to hire a personal trainer. I found a trainer who not only had competed in the sport I was looking to compete in, but he refused to underestimate me despite the fact I was still on crutches.


Fast forward to April of 2016. I competed in my first strongman competition, North Americas Strongest Adaptive Athlete in Columbus, Ohio. I came in 4th place.


I have been competing in strongman competitions ever since. I am currently training for my first power lifting competition, and 2018 was the year that I made the transition from adaptive sports to mainstream sports.



Guest post by Dan Nunnelly. Dan is a competitive strongman and power lifter who happens to be an amputee. He is from Dallas/Texas and you can follow him on Instagram. "Feel free to contact me on instagram if you have any questions. Best via Instagrm's DM!"