The streets of Paris are home and gym to Jacques Sayagh.
The dramatic YouTube video depicting the hard daily life and workout routine of the homeless French bodybuilder has gone viral since it was originally posted Dec. 4, receiving nearly a million views to date.
“Bodybuilders are futurists,” the 50-year-old Sayagh says in the subtitled short film that was shot by director Julien Goudichaud. “They dare everything. It’s a world that I like.”
Sayagh’s world is a short stretch of street in Paris, where he lives and sleeps with his dogs, panhandles and works out by doing push-ups off the pavement, pull-ups with belts suspended from lamp posts and bicep curls with elastic bands attached to iron fencing.
“People do not understand why I sleep on the floor, but I never feel cold,” says Sayagh, who states that he doesn’t want to live in a small apartment. “I knew drugs. I slept with prostitutes. In the morning, you see corpses, thieves, people who want to fight with knives, but I always had a sporting spirit.”
Continues Sayagh: “If I didn’t have [my body], I could have died.”
Sayagh still competes in bodybuilding contests despite a diseased liver from his days of alcohol abuse, according to Business Insider.
But there is one thing that fuels his passion in the face of the overwhelming odds against him.
“I have grandchildren,” he says in the video. “I don’t want them to think that their grandfather is an ass—-.”
Concludes the bodybuilder: “I want them to be proud of me. That’s all I want.”