Physical movement keeps us healthy7.5.2014
Interview for Prague.tv14.2.2017
Ulf Bengtsson had built fitness empire World Class and after his brand was taken by the Russian underground, he rose from the ashes and transformed his obsession with perfect body into life business. He trained with Arnold, Madonna asks him for advice, and here in Prague he openly tells his story.
lf, why did you decide to enter the Russian market right with the fitness business?
Russia has been and still is enormous market. In the eighties, there existed practically no health club, where people could go to exercise. That time I have already had successful World Class network in Stockholm and naturally we wanted to expand. In relatively short time, World Class became famous among Moscow’s elite, and even Boris Jelzin trained with us. Unfortunately, those times were wild and one day the “boys” came to me and announced that my business and my era in Moscow is over. The biggest Russian fitness empire is thereby a company which have had been stolen. Nowadays it is being officially referred that the history of World Class in Russia started in nineties, but the truth is that the brand had existed much earlier.
uring your career, you experienced also the other side of the planet - USA. In the seventies, Los Angeles had been your permanent residence for eight years. How was LA lifestyle different from the concept the world knows today?
At that time, the lifestyle was Elvis Presley and rock 'n' roll. The concept has completely changed over the years. Earlier, the term "lifestyle" was a matter of the rich and famous. Nowadays it is a topic is dealt with by the masses. I grew up on a small farm in Sweden, near the Norwegian border. Nature has always been important to me, but subconsciously I’ve been constantly looking for big challenges. My first vision was to go to Stockholm. In my hometown, I trained every day, because there was simply nothing else to do. I took workout as an advantage which made me different from other young boys who did not care about their body. Quickly it became an obsession. I was a 12 year old child who dreamed that will be the best in the world. I knew that life offers more than just the area around my farm ... and suddenly I was 19 and I became the national champion.
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