Myth: Bodybuilders Are Healthy.

Put health before muscles.

We’ve all seen pictures of tanned, oiled up bodybuilders competing for titles. With their bulging muscles and impossible physiques, one might think that a bodybuilder is the epitome of health. But it couldn’t be further from the truth.

On the day of a competition, most true athletes are at a peak level of health and fitness. For a bodybuilder, it’s the exact opposite. Many are so weak and dehydrated that they’d have trouble running a mile. The reality is that professional bodybuilding can be very unhealthy – and many bodybuilders put their bodies through hell to look the way they do. There’s actually a bodybuilding saying, “Live fast. Die young. Be a beautiful corpse.”

In bodybuilding, the motivation is to look a certain way by building superficial muscles and winning an aesthetic competition. By it’s very nature, bodybuilding isn’t about being healthy. It’s entirely about doing whatever it takes to look a certain way.

According to, many bodybuilders suffer from high cholesterol and high blood pressure due to their taxing diets. Moreover, it takes a lot of effort for the human heart to supply blood such a large body mass – and so it increases the risk of heart issues and complications. And that’s without even taking into account the effects of steroid use.

With a goal of true health, proper diet and appropriate exercise are necessary requirements – but bodybuilding takes things to the extreme. Bodybuilding is about vanity and not health. I recommend putting health before muscles.

About Davey Wavey

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  1. Beauty? I wouldn’t go near a body builder.

  2. You should check out Tuan Tran on YouTube. He’s a natural bodybuilder and seeks to prove the healthy way of natural bodybuilding. He goes by “roughneckasian” on YouTube.

  3. Kyle JT says:

    You wrote “by it’s very nature” but it should be its. 🙁

    Aggh, Davey, my love for your flawless grammar and eloquently simple command of the language is faultering.

    • jvglynnjr says:

      What could be more amusing than someone who is anal retentive enough to latch on to a common spelling mistake instead of actually discussing the issue, and making a spelling mistake of his own?

      It’s “faltering,” OK? Please try to grow up.

      I agree with the assessment of prima facie health risks associated with bodybuilding, but I wonder if any studies have been done analyzing morbity and mortality comparing bodybuilders to the general population and to athletes.

    • shut up nerd

    • Faultering is not a word.
      start to lose strength or momentum.

  4. John Dobyns says:

    Not to mention that they look like freaks!

  5. You forgot to mention the detrimental psychological affects of bodybuilding, i.e, in old age, it’ll make you want to fuck and have love children with the help.

  6. Perhaps I have a twisted view of physical beauty but that much muscle is a complete turnoff, I’d rather have sex with a woman, ok, not really. I was once very narrow-minded about beauty, it was skin deep. Now it is the complete package that counts, after all if I wouldn’t like you in non-sex situations why would I have sex with you? As I accumulate memories I want them to be ones that make me feel good.

  7. I agree with the above, don’t find body builders attractive in the slightest.

    • I agree with most of the comments — professional bodybuider do not reflect beauty or cannot be considered attractive to me. Davey is my pick of a beautiful body…. and gorgeous heart!

  8. christopher says:

    i completely disagree with the above posters but one in favour of Tuan Tran-Bodybuilders are very much in tune with their bodies-they know health and nutrition very well-its just that they use nutrition-supplements-diet-exercise-to achieve their goal.they are very hyper about it-its their full-time obsession.

    • Tuan Tran is pretty inspiring for me personally. I think bodybuilding is a great sport and can be done effectively without performance enhancing drugs that cause terrible side effects.

  9. Im a bodybuilder, my bloodpressure, cholesterol, blood oxygen, liver are all normal. I dont know where the author gets his information but it looks like it was written by a runner.

  10. Bodybuilders usually don’t care what other people view them as. Hence why they are doing it. The information here is totally bogus.

  11. “I recommend putting health before muscles”

    I recommend putting research into your topic before blogging. You’re using as your main source of information.

    I know vegans that have terrible blood work. Are all vegans unhealthy?

  12. No not all vegans are unhelthy… but they are complete wuss bags haha

  13. Mitch Robertson says:

    People with larger than normal muscles are unhealthy? total and absolute lie

    • This is the sort of study I was asking about. The conclusion is noteworthy:

      Conclusion Muscular strength is inversely and independently associated with death from all causes and cancer in men, even after adjusting for cardiorespiratory fitness and other potential confounders.

      So muscular *strength* promotes longevity, but this does not necessarily mean that extreme hypertrophy does. A fine line, perhaps. Still, I can’t believe that the extreme leanness and dehydration that bodybuilders attain pre-contest can be considered healthy or promoting of longevity.

      • Mitch Robertson says:

        That is one of many studies. I don’t think anyone is arguing depriving yourself of water is a healthy activity. Thats common sense. The ‘body building’ groups that comprise the vast majority of muscular physiques are strength athletes and casual body builders. These people eat ridiculously healthy – because they have to. Only ones that put the little underwear on and spray themselves in hideous tanning spray while competing dehydrate themselves. As for steroids, if you want to talk about body building and steroids please include all other sports that abuse them as well.

        There is also significant evidence that ‘runners’ (those that perform long duration cardio on a regular basis) are wearing their bodies out and are a lot less healthy than sprinters and strength athletes. To throw away lifting weights because the very elite tax their bodes too far (dehydration, etc) is to say to throw our running because running a marathon strains the body too far (sometimes to death).

        Owing that two thirds of our society around us is going to DIE because of lack of exercise and abysmal diet it would be more accurate to form an almost opposite conclusion to yours: Put muscle on to get health.

        • OK, Here’s the deal. Of course building muscle is generally a healthy practice. However, even the natural bodybuilders are overly taxing there bodies by the enormous amounts of protein and calories they take in to attain such mass. I don’t care what anyone says, but it is not healthy to take in 3500 or more calories and over one hundred grams of protein a day. These guys are force feeding themselves just to obtain such mass. I don’t care how healthy the calories are, and the fact that they keep the fat off, it’s just too taxing on the body. I think most these guys take in more protein that they really need to obtain such mass, which is definitely taxing on your liver and kidneys.

          • Mitch Robertson says:

            Show me proof that eating 3500 calories a day is harmful?

          • Couldn’t agree more, I’ve seen various studies and actually did a report on the effects of high protein consumption. Several studies have found increased kidney size in the animal subjects , which was causing health risks ( I cannot recall them exactly). Very difficult to link cause and effect but as a scientist.

          • Man o man. You should fisrt do your research and then talk. First you must distict between natuar and not natural bodybuilders. As a natural bodybuilder I was never dehydratated becouse I do not prepare for stage show. I eat 2100 calories when I bulk and 1600 when I cut. I eat probably little more protein then average person but these proteins are healthy ones most of them from plants. I does look like these steroid idiots , I look naturaly muscular and feel healthy as fuck. I can tell you that 99% of girls finds my body hot and sexy. This is NATURAL. If you does not use steroids you cannot end up with awfull alien body that these steroids idiots have. Ofcourse no woman likes how they look. But they love the body of natural body builder. Yes these monsters can eas 7000 cals a day, looks like shit and die in 40. But this does not mean that boduilding is unhealthy. It is very healthy if you does not use drugs, trust me. You would be blown away if you can be in my body for just a 1 day. And I am sure I would outlive majority of people who does not care about their body , nutrition, thats for sure.

  14. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and that is all this post is- a rant that is based off only opinion and no scientific research or evidence to back any of it up. As for trying to reference I would personally like to see the articles that he is making these wild claims off of. Any type of extreme that is taken can be unhealthy, regardless to what sport it is. That all bodybuilders are unhealthy is bogus. I as a bodybuilder know how I eat and train and I guarantee I am in good health, and am no freak of nature who takes steroids. Bodybuilding does not take things to the extreme, it is the individual themselves that make the decision to go beyond what is healthy, regardless to where they apply it (work, sport, relationships, etc.) As for the risk of heart issues…do your research on the effects of obesity and people who live sedentary lives and the risks of heart disease, then get back to me please. I am a personal trainer also,with a BA in both Exercise Science and Psychology so I promise you that I have done plenty of research and am educated. I also back up what I say, so here are some things to get people started:

    American Heart Association Call to Action: Obesity as a Major Risk Factor for Coronary Heart Disease.Circulation.1998; 97: 2099-2100 doi: 10.1161/​01.CIR.97.21.2099

    “Preventive Medicine”; “Impact of Progressive Resistance Training on Lipids and Lipoproteins in Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials”; G.A. Kelley et al.; 2009

  15. Lawrence Woolf says:

    I am a male bodybuilder 82 years old. I started working out when I was 15 and I am still at it.
    I hit the gym five days per week for about two hours a day. It has become a part of my lifestyle. My advise to young bodybuilders is lead a clean life which includes no steroids. They will hurt you eventually.

    PS I never used them.

    • Taintted says:

      Lawrence are you really that ignorant? There has never been one reported steroid related death so telling people to never use steroids is retarded. What about trt and hrt patients are you saying they shouldnt take steroids? Even though the blood tests and doctors say they should?

      • To Taintted, Steroid use especially over a period of time is stressful on the heart liver and kidneys. It is used for patients to overcome serious often times life-threatening illnesses or injuries to provide vitally needed regenerative powers only the steroids can provide. You are the one that is really that ignorant, or just brainwashed from all the bodybuilding propaganda out there.

        • Well said Brian , well said.

          Many of those forums are full of ignorant parrots , repeating what they want to see, not the facts.

    • Right on, God bless you.

    • Respect to you Lawrence Woolf.

      Two hours a day,5 days a week.

      What are the rep ranges you use?

  16. Brian, how does that make any sense? The reason they eat 3500 calories is to keep on the muscle mass. 3500 calories isn’t much at all for a pro bodybuilder. Jay Cutler said he eats 7 pounds of fish each day. It takes way more calories to keep up muscle so they HAVE to increase calories to gain weight and there is nothing bad with getting all that protein. Protein is good for you.

  17. I think that perhaps physically, body builders are healthy, they eat properly and exercise properly, although steroids diminish the body’s ability to create cortisol… Big problem. I can’t help but worry about many of the psychological aspects of bodybuilding that are chillingly close to home… Constantly preoccupied with image, weight, body shape, rigid diets, and pushing yourself to the extreme in order to get that perfect body, purely aesthetics. As a recovering anorexic, you all have no idea how similar my mind set was to a body builder. The only difference is I wanted to be sickly tiny, where as body builders want to become sickly huge. Don’t quote me on this, but I’ve heard that female body builders make up a significant percentage of the bulimic population. I don’t know about you guys, but my biggest goal in life is to eat a happy meal without bawling. Bodybuilding may be physically healthy, but of someone with an eatin disorder can relate to your psyche so well… Is it really that healthy?

  18. And I’ve had this conversation with my “fitness freak” friends, after pointing this out to them, they all just stop and think, never really reply. It’s not healthy to be so body obsessed.

    • Mitch Robertson says:

      I’m not being mean but let me guess you are overweight?

      • Elizabeth says:

        I agree with Gloria and I’m 5’4″, 114lbs, 40’s, I go to the gym nearly every day BUT I never over do it. And I see so many who do – who frankly only think of their physique and not for example putting some energy into their mind or other intellectual activities – my point is it is this unhealthy obsession with the package their ‘being’ is in.

  19. @Mitch exactly what I mean… Body builders are the over bearing Christians of the health world. People should be taught to love others or themselves unconditionally, no matter their shape, size, color etc. What a message you’re sending!

    • Mitch Robertson says:

      My point is that in a world where most people will die of a disease that can be prevented by diet and exercise having the odd person “obsessed” with fitness is the least of our worries!!

  20. So total assimilation of the worlds population into the bodybuilding lifestyle is going to cure all the diseases in the world? People die of eating disorders every day, while looking at pictures of Victorias Secret Angels and wishing they were as thin and as fit as them when really they’re 30 pounds less and dying. It’s a mental disorder, so maybe in order to get the results you’d like we should abolish all those who have disabilities and are unable to become to fit? Your ignorance proves my point. Trying to reason with narcissists like you are the least of the worlds worries. Besides, you will “live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse” as the bodybuilding motto boasts. Doesn’t seem much healthier than any of the “Ana anthems” I’ve ran across in my day.

    • Mitch Robertson says:

      Argument by exaggeration? Interesting. Body builders eat large amounts of food actually. Starving oneself turns you into catwalk models which have neither fat nor muscle (just bone). That (duhhh!!) isn’t healthy. Victoria secret models ARE healthy because they have some shape! They have nice shapely legs not knobby knees like the catwalk anorexics. I have no idea how a starving catwalk model relates to body building or aspiring to look like a fitness model?! The fitness model girls & guys constantly preach the “you must EAT to be healthy” mantras. Seriously how low do you want to go? Insinuating that people with disabilities should be abolished?

      The main problem with the world’s health problems is education. A person educated in health knows that a fitness model chick is HEALTHY while the catwalk model & the fat person is UNHEALTHY. Emotional eating and the “woe is me” mentality that some fat people have is UNHEALTHY and SEVERELY carries over and limits your opportunity in life. A person that is educated knows that jamming loads of sugar and refined carbohydrates and bad fats down your neck every day will result in a diseased body.

  21. It is completely possible to be healthy without “eating clean” and moderate exercise. It is the obsession with food and image that you share with anorexics. And pardon your ignorance, I was calling you out on insinuating the disabled should be abolished, I did no such thing. Not sure how you missed that. Once again you displayed your lack of intelligence when you couldn’t fathom how an eating disordered person compared herself to a fitness fan. Do some research into anorexia or bulimia. Do some research on bulimia in the bodybuilding field. Do some research on eating disorders exclusive to body builders and fitness fanatics. I’m not arguing that fitness model, body builders etc are not physically healthy, I mentioned that in the first line of my initial post as you don’t remember. I’m arguing that psychologically- body builders and eating disorders have striking similarities. Do your research before you thoroughly offend someone with your ignorance.

    • Mitch Robertson says:

      You’re the only one offending people with your ignorance. I was being facetious in my statement about the disabled because since I definitely didn’t insulate such a concept then you made it up!

      The difference between a fitness model chick/female athlete and an anorexic chick is EDUCATION. Both are willing to go to relative extremes to obtain some sort of ideal in their heads. Surround an anorexic with fit strong men and women and they will learn how to EAT and train to actually HAVE meat on your bones.

      Once the anorexic realises that what they are doing will NOT obtain the physique of the fitness model or victoria secret model, then the eduction to that fact will save their lives.

      I eat 3000 calories each and every day at the moment. I eat things like beef, chicken, eggs, fish, vegetables, rice, almonds – I eat very healthy! If someone invites me over for dinner – of course I eat their food. I don’t think I’m excessive. I’m 7% body fat. I not only train hard in the gym but I do sprint training with parachutes. I’m healthy & strong and I can say this with confidence (without arrogance) because I journeyed here from being a ‘normal/slightly overweight’ person and was SICK of saying every winter “I’m going to get in shape for summer”. I was SICK of getting the 4pm blood sugar crash at my desk. I was sick of wheezing away from allergies. I was SICK of getting blind drunk on friday night and feeling like crap all weekend.

      Since when is the “norm” a valid measuring stick for what we should aspire to be? ‘Normal’ people die of heart disease, diabetes, & cancer. I’m very happy that you came out of your anorexia. I’m not sure how long you have been free from this affliction but sooner or later I hope you will see where I’m coming from in trying to keep my body healthy, attractive, & fit for life.

  22. We will have to agree to disagree. After battling through my eating disorder, I decided to enroll in University as a nutritionist in hopes of bettering and educating myself, as well as educating girls who struggled like me and give them the tools they needed. As I am now certified, I am back in school for psychology, because no, you cannot teach yourself out of an eating disorder. It is a mental disorder. If eating clean, training mean an education were the problem, anorexia would not be. It is much, much more complicated than that. Eating disorders are largely associated with low self esteem. It’s funny that you mentioned that “normal” isn’t the healthiest. In my recovery and while working with girls and boys in my practicum now, “normal” is all myself and these other people want.

    Physical health and aesthetics aside, I’m just looking more into the obsession that a lot of people develop when dieting and training. And surprisingly, around half the time it goes south in that department. I could write on and on about eating disorders, I’ve literally memorized chapters on this issue. I don’t doubt you are mentally sound, in fact I would say that you are the epitome of what good health (inside and out) looks like. But the problems with self esteem that erupt with these behaviors is the issue I am more interested in preventing and promoting education for. People are beautiful at every size, and even if they do die of heart disease, at least we would know it was a heart of gold, even if it was under a beer belly. That’s what I’m getting at.

    • I like your comments but notice that hardly anyone here has tried to promote the important benefits of an all round healthy lifestyle. Walking, swimming, dancing , yoga, Pilates, cycling. why are people so obsessed with a particular shape instead of concentrating on all round fitness, flexibility, strength and balance? as well as doing something they will enjoy into old age. I have been trying various methods to get fit over the past month and really the gym is one of the worst and the most boring and the feeling of elation after going there is absent while many other regimes offer so much more. I would say yoga and Pilates have to be my favorites so far

  23. Mitch Robertson says:

    Yes I think we will have to agree to disagree. I respect your opinion.

  24. Like going to a gym and working out isn’t considered healthy?

  25. Very nice blog regarding Body building having quality content find out more body building exercises tips and tricks on body building workout

  26. Okay so you’re refrencing as your source of information to say that body buiders have high cholestrol and high blood pressure. Great research (not). Instead of blogging complete and utter wack about something you clearly have not even basic knowledge on, find scientific studies and findings to prove this PLEASE.

    My blood pressure is pretty close to 120/80 and cholesterol is 3.9. Ive been body building casually for 2-3 years along with moderate cardio. i EAT 3000 calories a day which makes up 150g protein, 350g carbs and around 80g fats a day. In these last 2-3 years I have gotten stronger, faster, more disciplined and mentally stronger to conquer anything. All of my foods are healthy lean meats like chicken breast, turkey breast, tuna, salmon, healthy carbs like oats, brown bread/pasta and poly/monounsaturated fats. I am definetily healthier than the “normal/average” body which is overweight in most regions of the world. I am proud of my accomplishments so far and intend to go a lot further.

    Keeping fit physically gives you a healthy mind and allows you to learn how your own unique body truly reacts to lots of different things. Some people here in the comments are saying that going over 100g protein a day is bad for the body? prove it buddy, you’re probably a vegan (not that I have any problems with them)

    Basically, if you dont have the will power or courage to get into shape, bodybuild, eat clean or increase your knowledge on health and nutrition, please dont try to make up false facts to put down others in their journey to get there just because you’re most likely the one who is overweight with high BP and cholesterol.

  27. Mohammed Ibrahim says:

    “According to, many bodybuilders suffer from high cholesterol and high blood pressure due to their taxing diets. Moreover, it takes a lot of effort for the human heart to supply blood such a large body mass – and so it increases the risk of heart issues and complications.”

    This statement is true from my own personal experience. Anyone can call themselves a “bodybuilder” given two obvious requirements: a body and the act of building a body. An avid bodybuilder will more likely develop heart, circulatory and other organ problems whether he/she adds significant size or mass from muscle or fat. There is a general misconception regarding muscle related gains: If a person exercises and consumes proper nutrition then muscle gains must be safe because a person who does not practice good health and is fat/overweight/obese is unsafe or unhealthy. What people fail to recognize is that the process of muscle gains add additional stress on the organs of the body that are more sensitive to changes and do not adapt as well as the skeletal muscles used to present an impressive physique to the observer[s]. The organs can become damaged, diseased and even fail requiring serious medical attention at great cost to the person [bodybuilder]. In the case of heart failure, it is almost certain death. The unfortunate aspect of organ failure is that is can go undetected for a long period of time until it becomes apparent and when it does it can quite painful, debilitating, and regrettable. If a person chooses to properly perform exercise and consume nutrients, they can be healthy if balanced with key health indicators such as normal blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar etc. The Body Mass Index is also good indicator of health though limited to only two rather simple measurements: height and weight. BMI should not be mistaken as a tool to estimate level of good/bad fitness or health based on weight from fat. Remember, excessive amount of muscle and the process of acquiring it poses a health risk to vital organs, is part of body weight and the BMI calculation which categorizes a person as “underweight” “normal” “overweight” and “obese”.

    Some argue scientific research has not proven any causal link between significant bodybuilding practices and health. However, there are at least three thoughts to consider. First, there has not been any serious interest within the scientific community regarding issues involving bodybuilding and health. Second, performing long term studies with a high degree of accuracy is very difficult to do. Third, and perhaps the most important thought to consider: people are taking risks with their health pursuing bodybuilding with the hope or expectation that if such serious research or studies do occur then the conclusions will prove their bias in the belief that bodybuilding is absolutely safe. People who take steriods and other similar substances should also consider these thoughts because they appear to most understimate its side effects. If conclusions prove bodybuilding is not safe, then many bodybuilders would have made a terrible miscalculation for their health and wellness.

    “Bodybuilding is about vanity and not health. I recommend putting health before muscles.”

    This is also a true and can be further explained by the following statement: Vanity requires health, but health does not require vanity. Many young people attempt bodybuilding without envisioning the long term consequences. They incorrectly believe in their own invincibility and easily find comfort in denial because they so desperately want to feel successful at something to compensate for their insecurities and lack of success in other venues of life. It is so much easier and far more rational to not fool oneself into a bodybuilding delusion/obsession. Bodybuilding may provide some limited sense of satisfaction or purpose but this reward is rather cheap compared to the efforts performed by the dedicated bodybuilder who ironically is potentially undermining his/her health, wellness and longevity.

    • This is the most intelligent comment here so far. Thumbs up!

      By the way, I hope you agree that Joey Swoll is physically super hot!

    • Natural bodybuilders/weightlifters have a longer lifespan than sedentary people.
      Look it up.

      Have you been involved in the use of steroids?
      Building large amounts of muscle is not so easy without those steroids.
      And health is improved with a bodybuilding workout of which there are many out there.
      Eat healthy , workout with the weights, and you’re better off than sitting on the couch and on chairs in offices as many people do these days.

  28. cloud81strife says:

    So how many body builders can train naturally and not supplement’s etc. ? I mean the body needs more and more till it doesn’t know what it needs anymore how can that be natural or healthy ?

    I have a nephew that did this and he gained weight and mass in 3 years and was eating like crazy with extra what ever stuff he was taking so he had enough to work out end result was, a big guy who thought he could conquer the world till I threw him aside when we were sparring for fun.. after a few years he quit and u don’t want see or know what happened with his body and I fear for him in the years to come, he’s 3 years younger then me and I am 32.

    I’m probably wrong I never read a book and practised body building and don’t need it cause I am already genetically blessed from my fathers side just fitness keeps me in shape, but its common sense that u need a limit and body building goes beyond that for me.

  29. I know lots of bodybuilders that are very health because they eat organic and stay away from supplements.

  30. steroid use can be taxing on the body. I think a majority of people who workout are better off than those who don’t

  31. Appreciation to my father who shared with me on the topic of this blog,
    this blog is truly awesome.

  32. Well I have to say that most articles you read on fitness/bodybuilding are bs. The fitness world has way too many different views on everything. I say eat healthy and lift weights. If nothing else you will be healthier and feel good. As far as the muscle men go, yes it can become an obsession and ruin their health. Thats due to the way they eat and the poisons they put in their body to make those “gains” Personally I love to lift weights, but also know that I wont fall apart if I miss a few days or get my exercise in other ways. I’m tired of all the bs advice and attempts to sell whatever they are selling. People should just do what works for them and follow no one or anything blindly.

    • This is what it’s about.
      Just lift weights and eat good foods.

      That is bodybuilding in the basics.
      The steroids-freaks have given a wrong impression of the bodybuilding way of life/the physique culture.
      They abuse their bodies in several ways,

      That doesn’t mean that many other people trying to look better and grow some muscle are the same as these people on chemicals/hormones.

  33. This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something that helped me. Appreciate it!

  34. RentrerEnMoi says:

    Almost no one seems to pay attention to other negative traits that apparently bodybuilding seems to fuel such as homophobia. From the gym, to Google and Youtube one can note the rampant homophia of bodybuilders and bodybuilding fans. Mysogyny and other forms of sexim. Some might say that these people have an internal battle fighting either an unwanted sexual orientation or an axiety for not perceiving themselves as masculine enough and they think that by building their bodies they will somehow establish and reaffirm a sense of masculinity they think they lack…

    Not only the body seems to suffer but the mind too…

  35. BeenThereBaby says:

    Interesting blog.

    I damaged my body with the common bodybuilding diet. I was not on any drugs, supplements, or other foreign chemicals. I ate, and ate, and ate… my body looked great. I was uncomfortable eating carbs. I rarely ate fruit. I felt as though I had the right knowledge about health, wellness, & food consumption for my body. I didn’t.

    In fact, I was an anxious individual and was obsessed with food and recipes. I owned multiple cookbooks. I was always hungry – I mean always hungry. I could eat a huge meal and would be looking for my next meal within an hour. I was not afraid to eat fat or protein, but carbs were the enemy.

    I lifted more than most women in the gyms that I attended. I was a gym regular/rat. I knew all of the right exercises, the proper form and technique for each of them. I knew the fun and creative exercises, too. I was all in.

    After a few years, however, I developed facial hair (hirsutism) & it was really embarrassing. I would treat it with laser hair removal, but it would come back within a few months. My vision became worse (eye muscles affected). My heart began pumping weird from time to time (aka heart anomalies). My menstrual cycle floundered. I rarely had a period, and when I did, it was very light. I never had menstrual cramps, so I could not relate to other women. I have been married for over 10 years, but have no children – it is a sad feeling. My hair was extremely thick, but it fell out like crazy. My nails were extremely thick. The last-third (near my temple) of eyebrows were very thin. My feet were dry. I sweated very easily. I was always hot, never cold. I seemed to always be foggy-headed; I could not think clearly. I was very aggressive and argumentative (elated while at the gym). I was a slow learner. I received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, but it wasn’t until I cut out most of my protein that I began to excel, mentally, in class.

    I am currently trying to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but I am not beating myself up if I choose to have a sandwich with meat or fish. I have allowed myself to have popcorn at a theater and other “bad” foods that I avoided for so long. My body has packed on some weight, which is very scary, but I am trying to talk myself through all of the fears that I had during my bodybuilding days. Today I see the gym as a very dry and drab place to be. I think about benching and how robotic and boring it is to push a bar up over my head a million times – what a waste of time. It just doesn’t have the same addicting appeal to me that it once had.

    I still don’t have all of the answers, but it wasn’t until I went on a juice fast (8 days) that I finally regained normal menstruation (sorry, tmi). It was a BIG deal for me, and it gives me hope to think that my body may actually be able to repair itself fully. Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to have a child.

    Good luck, everyone, & I hope that my story will help to guide you in a healthy direction.

    • You… Sounded… Like… You… Can… Afford… Health… Supplements… Buy some.

    • Read about Luigi Cornaro, on the Clarence Bass website.

      Seems you could use the advise Luigi’s doctor gave him.

  36. Then how did you get to your current physic? Those defined lumps can only mean you took steroid yourself. Natural bodybuilders don’t look like your body. True, vegan bodybuilders may look very rip but even amongst them, there’s no guarantee that all of’em avoided steroids. Your bulks don’t look natural, sir. Spill it out. You took steroids yourself, right?

    • By the way, it’s agreeable that competitive / professional bodybuilding isn’t very healthy. I agree with the article. Nevertheless, the guy on the pic above has great looking body. Boy, many bodybuilders are hot! Just look at Joey Swoll, Jay Cutler, Colin Wayne and many others. Hot! Hot! Hot! They say, inner substance should triumph over physical aesthetics. Yeah, sure.. But again, I’d defend Joey Swoll’s physical hotness anytime.

  37. trainersf says:

    This is utter word vomit with barely cited op-ed sources. While I can respect your opinion, I cannot respect the lack of omission to support your view. Others follow and are influenced by your articles.

    Now do you know or can you state the reason behind/supporting your statement about cholesterol and blood pressure?

    Your endocrine system uses good cholesterol to produce hormones. And rather than stating that bodybuilders have high blood pressure, perhaps explain that “water restriction” is part of the process before a show and can cause high blood pressure due to thickening of the blood.

  38. ‘Myth: Bodybuilders are healthy’ is a catchy heading. ‘Certain practices that are often associated with the professional bodybuilding lifestyle can lead to negative health outcomes’ is not.

  39. Back in the day bodybuilders were healthy. Todays bodybuilder are nothing more than skin stretched over bone with some muscle. Also competition from back in the 70s to now is completely differt. I am a female that did bodybuild from the early 70s to early 90s. Back then you had to be well poportioned and natural. I know a female now body builds if that is what you want to call it but she is very mis purportioned looks 20years older than what she is and has had breast implants eats 0 carbs and minimal water. How healthy and natural is this. I have more respect for those that go into this for the health benefits and the body building is a benefit to being healthy. Now I fitness train with a killer trainer and I feel great. Stay with fitness. There is no sense in tearing your body and internal organs up just to say that you are a body builder.

  40. Katie Hampton says:

    If muscles are attractive, I’d much rather see a guy who got his muscles doing physical labour! Besides, who wants someone who is so obsessed with themselves and their looks? There’s no room in their lives for anyone else, believe me.

  41. Petrichoria says:

    Live fast. Die young. Leave enough sirloin to feed a family of four for a year.

  42. Body builders are like a shiny car with no engine. They look good on the outside, but when it comes down to overall fitness, they couldn’t swim, bike, or run to save their lives.

  43. I would say that fitness models are healthy, most of them, because of the correct diet and lots of sports in their life. Bodybuilders although, use medicines and hormones to grow muscles, person can’t have such body in normal life. Yes, they are healthy because of own health monitoring, but most of them have joints problems late years.
    Do sports, stay on healthy diet, inspire others!

  44. Then why do so many of them are obsessed with the idea of being and staying big despite the risks for their health?
    May I speculate that passing from unnoticed, being considered ugly/unattractive or even made fun of to being considered the alpha male and attractive once they achieve the desired muscular body has such a strong power in their self-esteem that they don’t want that to go away? If anything, muscles, even if they are too big still have the potential to make men more attractive and we all want to be and feel attractive.

  45. Yournotassmartasuthink says:

    Jack Lalane…Look him up.

    You all need to stop with this whole notion that you got it all figured out.

    It’s a long life with many things to learn.

    Bodybuilding CAN be very healthful. Can be unhealthful. It’s not always what you do but how you do it.

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  50. Jonathan Balog says:

    I’m almost 55 yrs. old but much younger in body from a life time of weight training “Power-lifting of choice”. As a man I’m shorter than most men but from my experience I found and believe most deepest driven individuals are either of shorter status man or a life caring curse has brought them to a drive of deep driven fitness extreme. Powerlifting has given me a very strong body and a good image of myself inward and outward but for me a curse has followed me with what I do. I do not run around my life telling the world I’m 140 pounds benching 250, squatting 405, deadlifting 450 clean of all drugs but if asked I will tell without bragging my accomplishments. I have had men all my life at times out of the blue voice you might be strong but I could kick and beat your ass. In many cases I just pretend I don’t even hear them but when you’re looking at a over weight man not maintaining any physical fitness of any kind it’s hard not to ask why they have been under a doctors care lately. I’ve heard and I do believe what I’ve read that Powerlifting does shorten your life to a point for the pressure the internal body is under such while lifting. Life has to go beyond the gym and the weights, family and friends and even new people you meet each day. Be a good friend, a good neighbor, a helper to those in need and that will also make you healthy in life. Jonathan Balog


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