By John Balson @JJBalson

A BULGING bodybuilder known as the ‘Asian Arnold Schwarzenegger' has sculpted the world’s most famous abs - thanks to 3,000 sit-ups a DAY

Scroll down for the full story

Videographer / director: Jeong Yi
Producer: John Balson, Ellie Winstanley
Editor: Joshua Douglas

Pecs appeal: Chul says he gets compliments in Europe and the USA for his sexy body

Korean Chul Soon, 32, went from skinny teenager to buff beefcake after hitting the gym 12 years ago because he wanted more ‘respect’.

His awesome eight-pack has won him global adoration and a whopping 328,000 followers on Instagram.

He said: “I have been working on my abs for years and still have to work hard to maintain them.

Yummy Tummy: Chul Soon has hit fame thanks to his sculpted midriff

“I used to do sit-ups 3,000 times every day.

“Now since studying more about bodybuilding I spend less time doing sit-ups and more time eating properly.

“It gives you much better results.

“I still do sit-ups and abdominal exercises every two days for 30 minutes to an hour.

Body, heart and Seoul: Chul Soon and girlfriend Su Jeong Kim pose for pictures

"I have to keep them in good shape even during the off-season because of commercial and TV work.”

As well as giving him a successful modelling and fitness career, Chul's hulking physique also brought him the respect he craved.

“When I turned 20 I had a very thin body and weighed only 57kg (125lb),” said Chul.

"I was treated with disrespect. People looked down at me in situations like if I was returning goods to a store, or helping someone or speaking to strangers.

Ab-racadabra: Chul's dedication paid off when he put on almost 50kg of muscle

“But I’ve worked hard and over the last 12 years I have gone up to more than 100kg (220lb).

“Now that I am much bigger people treat me with more respect.

"They call me the 'Asian Sensation, Asian Pride and the Asian Arnold’."

Chul, from Seoul, South Korea, maintains his beefy body ahead of competitions by working out for up to four hours a day.

Abs-tract art: Chul Soon has spent 12 years sculpting his golden abs

He eats a high-protein diet, including brown rice, bananas, protein shakes and supplements.

He can eat up to 1.5kg of chicken a day, eating 250g every three hours, and spends about $500 (£380) on groceries each month.

The former handball player and high-school wrestler has taken part in international bodybuilding competitions for the last eight years and says he is the first Korean to have done this.

But his biggest win to date was in July when he was named the 2016 Musclemania Universe Pro Champion in Las Vegas, USA.

He said: “I like bodybuilding because you have to compete with yourself.

Knuckling down: He spends about four hours a day working out during the peak season

“All you need is a place to work out, time and a mirror.
“You can do your workout wherever and whenever.
“In the beginning people thought I would give it up - but I made it.

“All my family and friends are very proud of me.

He added: “Koreans prefer slim body shapes and so mine looks different or weird to them.

“But in Europe or the US people give me more compliments like ‘nice body’ or 'sexy body’ and ask to have their picture taken with me.

Golden boy: Chul Soon takes part in bodybuilding competitions around the world

“But recently things have changed and I am getting more compliments in Korea."

In fact, it was his golden abs and toned body that helped him win the affections of his girlfriend Su Jeong Kim.

They met when she applied for a job as a personal trainer in his gym.

She said: “His perfect body and shape was very impressive and he looked like the man I was looking for. It was I who asked him out first.

Strong stomach: Chul liquidises chicken with fruit as part of his protein-rich diet
Beefcake: Chul's girlfriend admits she asked him out first

“His body is rare in Korea and so we get a lot of attention when we are out.

“I sometimes get a little jealous but I know he is a public figure so I was able to work it out.”

Five-foot 9-inch tall Chul is also adamant that he hasn’t used steroids to sculpt his muscles.

“I know that using steroids is legal is some other countries but not in Korea,” he said.

“Using steroids probably helps you build bigger and stronger muscles but it doesn’t help you to balance your shape - especially for those who have weak physiques.

Trophy body: Chul has won several awards for his dedication to bodybuilding

“I think you get much better results if you work out using a long-term plan rather than just using steroids.

”It took me 12 years to get this body.

“You should just keep working out steadily little-by-little, step-by-step until finally you will see changes and have the body you always wanted.”

Transformation: Chul Soon set out to put on weight after feeling disrespected

Chul also has big dreams for the future.

He is planning to take his gym and personal training business KleanFit to the US and China as well as continuing bodybuilding for the next 10 years.