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Mr. Universe, but From Israel

Meet bodybuilder Dani Kaganovich, who recently became the first Israeli to win the Mr. Universe contest

Hannah Vaitsblit and Jonathan Zalman
December 09, 2015

Who says all Jewish guys have to be nebbish? Israeli bodybuilder Dani Kaganovich, 23, certainly isn’t. As a matter of fact, Kaganovich was recently named Mr. Universe, a major bodybuilding title, at NAC International’s 2015 competition in Hamburg, Germany.

First reported by Ynet, Kaganovich became the first Israeli since the competition’s inception in 2006 to be awarded top overall body. But Kaganovich is no stranger to winning: he took top prize in the “juniors” category the last three years. The once “messy, silly kid” was clearly not afraid to show of his body—or his national pride for that matter.

Kaganovich began training just seven years ago—with but a dream to look better and up his confidence. “I started training…at home, watching YouTube videos and reading on the Internet,” he said. At the time, he weighed about 132 lbs, “which is half of what I weigh today.” Then, he said, he signed up for a gym in Be’er Sheba. A year later, he won the Israeli Mr. South contest. Since 2007, his first year in competition, Kaganovich has won the Mr. Universe youth title three years in a row. This year, his came in first in the overall competition, assumedly leaving the scrawny kid he once was in the proverbial dust.

Watch Kaganovich’s Mr. Univere routine here on his Facebook page; or to watch him in full beast mode at the gym, visit his YouTube page.

Related: Mr. Israel