Fred “Biggie” Smalls walks us through the entire experience of having COVID-19, his recovery, and his thoughts no the nationwide lockdowns.
The coronavirus has led to massive shifts in the way the world operates with many wondering when this all would end. The bodybuilding industry has been affected by this as well. Most of the bodybuilding season was put on hold with many contests being cancelled or postponed. The New York Pro was moved to a later date in Tampa, Florida. The Olympia has been moved to a later date of December 17-20th. But up until now, even with competitions slowly returning, there has been little news of bodybuilders contracting the virus. Fred Smalls is one such bodybuilder who was diagnosed with COVID-19. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Fred “Biggie” Smalls details the experience of having COVID-19, his recovery, and how it’s changed his perspective on the pandemic as a whole.
As the world continues to battle against the pandemic, many nations are slowly trying to find new ways of reopening. The bodybuilding industry has been hit very hard during these times – as gyms are one of the harder businesses to open safely. It’s starting to finally open up in the United States – but most gyms in the country have already been closed for over six months.
This same problem holds true for bodybuilding competitions. Athletes often travel across the country to compete in big shows. They stand backstage and on stage in close proximity to each other. There’s a usually an audience as well. It could spell disaster if an infected person were to be in the room.
After months of cancelled and postponed shows, bodybuilding competitions are finally starting to happen again. The Tampa Pro and the New York Pro have both been held without a hitch – and so far there have been no connected cases of COVID-19 due to those events.
During our conversation with Fred “Biggie” Smalls, we discovered that he had actually contracted the virus earlier in the year. This was part of the reason he has not been able to compete (on top of cancelled shows). There have been very few news reports of bodybuilders who contracted COVID-19, so we wanted to take this opportunity to have Fred explain just what the experience was like.
Fred “Biggie” Smalls explains that he had a more mild case than what is sometimes heard about on the news. He eventually had a fever and found it very difficult to train or do cardio. He would have a heavy cough – but this would mostly go away once he stopped training. After just over a week, his symptoms went away. He did admit that it took a few more weeks to gain his stamina back.
While Fred “Biggie” Smalls agrees that the virus must be taken seriously (he wears masks around most people or large crowds), he does think that the national response is a bit of an overreaction. He believes that more bodybuilding shows should open up. In his opinion, he thinks they are largely safe. He also believes that the virus may have mutated to a less deadly strand. He claims that experts he personally knows are admitting that the cases they receive today are much different in severity as they were when it first hit the United States.
Of course, this is all the opinion of one man. But it’s overall interesting to see a first hand experience of a bodybuilder that has gone through having the virus. Perhaps it was luck that Fred’s case was less severe. Perhaps it’s due to a virus that is becoming weaker as it mutates. Ultimately, it’s for the experts to decide what is best for public healths safety. We’re glad that Fred “Biggie” Smalls recovered safely and hope that the pandemic ends sooner than later.
You can watch Fred “Biggie” Smalls’ full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview above.
(DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions in this video are that of the subject and do not reflect that of Generation Iron. For all public health and safety concerns regarding COVID-19, please refer to a doctor or specialist).