It’s a lot like able-bodied bodybuilding, but tougher because athletes really have to work through their disability to build strength.

It’s been more than three years since Derek Benson has been able to walk.

A motorcycle crash that almost killed him left him partially paralysed from the waist down and wheelchair bound.

But as he sat in his hospital room feeling helpless, a suggestion from a friend inspired him.

Wheelchair bodybuilding was founded in the U.S. in 2006. Five years later, the international Federation of Bodybuilding officially recognized the competition. There are only 23 professionals in the U.S.

Benson competes as an amateur and is the only wheelchair bodybuilder in the Washington DC area.

Last March, Benson came in second in his weight class. He says the sport not only gave him the confidence he lost after the accident, but a new lease on life.