Who is Chul Soon?
One of the heroes of modern day bodybuilding competitions is Hwang Chulseon, better known as Chul Soon. Known worldwide as “Asian Arnold” or the “Korean Hulk”, this bodybuilder has developed quite a reputation along with his physique. But with a good reputation comes jealousy, and so plenty of people have started questioning if his muscles are the result of hard work or steroids. In this article, we will attempt to prove if Chul Soon is a natty or a juicer, one way or another. Chul Soon is just as Bolo Yeung a famous Asian superstar.
Chul Soon is a 34-year-old Korean bodybuilder, who has also worked as a celebrity personal trainer and a fitness model. He was also the Overall Champion at the Musclemania Universe Competition in 2015 and 2016, ending years of work with one of the highest prizes one can win.
Currently, his weight is between 215 – 225 lbs (93.0 – 102.1kg), and he is 5’10” tall.
Chul Soon Background
Chul Soon mentioned in an interview, that he was a fairly scrawny person. He said that when he was 20 years old, he was very thin, and weighed less than 125 lbs. In order to be taken seriously by the people around him, he decided to start lifting weights and bulking up. His early training methods were very rigorous, but not very effective. At one point, he was doing 3000 crunches every day.
When this method did not help him achieve the physique he wanted, he decided to figure out a better approach. He focused completely on building muscle by creating a structured workout program and improving his diet. Over the course of three years, his physique changed drastically. Where once he described himself as scrawny, he now described himself as shredded.
During this time, he maintained his weightlifting activities, which led to him getting a job as a personal trainer in a gym in Seoul, South Korea. From here, his career went from strength to strength. In 2009, he made his debut in the world of professional bodybuilding competitions and won a respectable 2nd Place in the light-weight category at the 2009 Musclemania World Championships.
After that victory, he participated in competitions regularly, slowly improving his physique and conditioning. He improved so much and so quickly, that by 2010, he won first place in Muscleman Universe Korea, Sports Model.
Since then, Chul Soon’s star has been on the rise. Apart from his bodybuilding activities and celebrity fitness training, he has started appearing in a variety of TV shows, advertisements, and magazines. His appeal is not limited to Korea, as he has also appeared on American shows and ads.
Training and Exercise Routines
Chul Soon’s training and exercise routines have undergone many changes over the years. As mentioned above, he used to do thousands of crunches every day. Even now, training his abs is the highest priority.
However, as a natural bodybuilder, symmetry is of the highest importance. To that end, Chul Soon uses a simple yet dynamic workout style that only focuses on certain muscle groups at a time.
His routines use compound movements that exercise multiple muscle groups. He uses bench presses, squats, deadlifts and pull-ups. These exercises allow him to maintain symmetry as well as bulk up.
Chul Soon has a strong fascination with the Golden Age of bodybuilding, namely the 60’s and the 70’s. He idolises the bodybuilders of that period, and he is of the opinion that bench presses, squats, deadlifts, and pull-ups are enough to build a physique that would fit into the aesthetic of the Golden Era.
However, as he learned through trial and error, it is best to add some isolation movements to his workouts. Movements like cable-flys, rear-delt dumbbell flys, and wide-grip lat pulldowns allow him to shape his muscle and wipe out any asymmetry.
His training regimen evolved naturally over the course of years. He paid close attention to how his body reacted to new exercises, and this allowed him to figure out which exercises worked best for his physique. He has since applied this knowledge to his training regimens, allowing many people to benefit from his hard work.
Chul Soon follows a fairly set diet, one that is high in protein, with moderate amounts of carbs as well as a moderate amount of fat. This kind of diet is perfect for bodybuilders, giving their bodies the nutrients it needs to fuel muscle growth in combination with exercise.
Over the course of a day, Chul Soon eats chicken breasts, brown rice, avocados, and bananas, along with protein shakes and supplements.
The supplements are used to fill out any dietary deficiencies, and the protein shakes help build muscle. Or in his case, maintain the incredible muscles he has built.
His largest meals are in the morning, with a major amount of his carbohydrates coming from his post-workout meal. Throughout the day, he eats a small meal every three hours, with each meal consisting of proteins and fats.
Chul Soon has an incredible physique, and clearly, the judges at Musclemania agree. He has a physique resembling that of the Golden Age greats like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Dave Draper.
However, since he has access to newer methods of bodybuilding, he has mixed and matched systems and created a perfect fusion of past and future.
His muscle bellies are so full, they seem to pop out of his body, creating an impressive figure. His delts are massive, and his shoulders look like wrecking balls. This, along with his incredible abs, makes him a force to be reckoned with on stage. They also clearly show his dedication and hard work in the gym, while his V Taper is on par with the masters.
His greatest asset, however, is his symmetry, which most “mass monsters” do not have. Given all of this information about his diet, exercise routines, and hard work, it makes sense to assume that he is a natural bodybuilder, as he claims to be.
But we must ask the question, are his gains natural?
Nobody is arguing with the fact that he works incredibly hard for his body. But his gains seem to have come too fast to be natural.
When Chul Soon came onto the scene in 2008, he was clearly an experienced weightlifter, and thus, in great shape. Photos taken over the next three years show that his physique remained about the same, with minor improvements in conditioning.
But come 2014, and all of a sudden, he puts on a massive amount of weight.
There are no accurate measurements available, but it looks like he gained over 40 pounds of lean mass.
A pattern has been observed in weightlifters. When they start out, they gain mass very quickly. These newbie gains last a short while, after which muscle growth hits a plateau. This is what seems to have happened to Chul Soon. When he started out, he was already an experienced weightlifter. Between 2008 and 2013, it looks like he plateaued, but then he exploded. These kinds of gains are rare for a natural bodybuilder. While it is perfectly possible that he is one of those people who has won the genetic lottery, the kind of gains he has achieved are those that are usually accomplished by juicing.
However, one of the major factors that point to him not juicing is his lack of a huge belly. As mentioned before, he has excellent abs. One side effect of steroid usage is a huge gut, something he notably lacks.
Also, Musclemania has regular drug tests for competitors. Each time, Chul Soon emerged completely drug-free. The tests taken during, before and after Musclemania are extremely comprehensive, and the chances of him beating them are slim to none. Musclemania tests for a wide variety of steroids, ranging from common ones like HGH (Human Growth Hormone) to designer steroids used for any reason. These drug tests are based on Urinalysis as well as Polygraph methods and are nearly impossible to beat.
It is quite likely that he is, as a matter of fact, a completely natural bodybuilder. It just also happens that along with his hard work, he is also gifted with incredible genes that allow him to compete on par with people who have used steroids. Chul Soon is an inspiration to bodybuilders all over the world, and has become a bodybuilder and personal fitness trainer of stars!
His hard work and dedication have fuelled his rise to the top of the bodybuilding world, and he will undoubtedly continue to inspire people for years to come.
Thomas Matthys a former world-class track & field athlete and the founder of Swol Headquarters. He graduated from the University of Fordham with a Master’s degree in Science. Matthys is a certified sports nutritionist and personal coach of several professional athletes. Matthys has been involved in various clinical studies within Track & Field including one on the factors associated with muscle recovery and HIIT.