David Lyons was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2006 at the age of 47. A bodybuilder and former owner of fitness centers, Lyons made the choice to fight MS head-on through bodybuilding. He founded the MS Bodybuilding Challenge in 2008, and in 2009, at age 50, competed in his first bodybuilding contest with MS, winning a Most Inspirational trophy. He went on to be presented with the Milestone Award by the National MS Society for his accomplishments. In 2012, Lyons and his wife, Kendra, a registered nurse, created the MS Fitness Challenge to support people with MS in their efforts to stay as fit as possible, overcome limitations, and keep their bodies moving. The cause also educates trainers on fitness for MS.
In 2013, Lyons received the Health Advocate of the Year Award alongside fitness icon Lou Ferrigno and in 2015, he was honored by bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger with the Health Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016 Lyons received the Lifetime Fitness Inspiration Award from the Global Bodybuilding Organization, an international fitness federation, and in 2017 was acknowledged by the National Fitness Hall of Fame (NFHOF) with a Special Recognition Award. Later that year he was asked to be one of the Founding Partners of the NFHOF Institute for education and in 2019 David was the only fitness expert with MS to be inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. Lyons has been named the Most Dedicated MS Fitness Expert worldwide by both Global Health and Pharma and Global 200 in 2019, 2020, 2021. He was voted as one of the Top 100 Healthcare Leaders by the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare in 2020.
Lyons is the author of David’s Goliath, an autobiographical story of his journey with MS, and his fitness book, Everyday Health and Fitness with Multiple Sclerosis, a #1 New Release on Amazon is for anyone who wants to get in top shape while battling physical or emotional obstacles to getting started.
David is engaged in many fitness initiatives for MS, including being the author of the MS trainers’ courses for both the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) and the MedFit Education Foundation; and speaking on MS and fitness at the nationwide Medical Fitness Tour.
In his latest branding venture, David has created a unique fitness website for the MS community under his OptimalBody brand called the OptimalBody Training Program for MS. This interactive platform educates and trains people with MS in his one-of-a-kind Training Methods that creates neuroplasticity, muscle fiber activation, and brain-to-muscle reconnection.