Gunter Schlierkamp: It’s Dangerous For Young Bodybuilders To Get Too Big, Too Fast

Gunter Schlierkamp reflects on the passing of Dallas McCarver and the growing trend of bigger size in bodybuilding.

Last week, Gunter Schlierkamp discussed how bodybuilders need to match their muscle size to their genetic frame. Now in our latest segment, Schlierkamp continues sharing his thoughts on the growing trend of pushing the limits of mass monster size in bodybuilding. Is it getting too dangerous? For Schlierkamp, it depend son how you do it. His biggest concern is how fast bodybuilders, especially young athletes, are putting on size. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Gunter Schlierkamp explains how some young bodybuilders are putting on too much size at too fast a rate.

When Shawn Rhoden won the Mr. Olympia in 2018, it seemed as if there might be a shift in physique aesthetic moving forward. Would a more classic look start to be preferable instead of mass monster size? Ultimately, this was a passing thought – as two years later Big Ramy won the Mr. Olympia and brought back mammoth size to the title. It seems with a few exceptions, hulking mass monster physiques are here to stay.

We asked Gunter Schlierkamp about his thoughts on Big Ramy’s win and if it will push forward the trend of increasing the average size of pro bodybuilders. Gunter is unsure at the moment whether or not Big Ramy will reign as Mr. Olympia long-term. But he is a bit worried about the growing trend he’s seeing in modern bodybuilding. Less so about mass monster physiques in general and more about how it’s influencing younger athletes.

Gunter Schlierkamp understands that pushing the limits of size is part of bodybuilding – but he thinks that younger athletes are now rushing too fast to get there. Reaching a weight of near 300 pounds should be a slow process over many years. It shouldn’t be achieved short term. It seems, at least to Schlierkamp, that in today’s society of instant gratification – some young athletes want to reach the pinnacle faster than ever before.


Schlierkamp fears that this will lead to serious health issues. Again, he understands that mass monster physiques are a part of bodybuilding in the big picture. He knows all athletes take some risk to achieve it. But he’s convinced that rushing too fast at too young of an age almost guarantees serious health issues that could be avoided.

Gunter Schlierkamp reflects on Dallas McCarver, who passed away too soon at the age of 26. While it’s impossible to directly connect his cause of death to his mass monster size – Schlierkamp worries that this was the underlying cause.

He recounts a moment just before McCarver died – where he was asked on his opinion of the athlete. He admitted that his physique and size was astounding and impressive. But he also worried that he achieved it at such a young age that something bad would happen. Shortly afterwards, he heard the news of Dallas McCarver’s death. He was deeply saddened by not only the untimely death but the timing of his statement. Was he right? He worries so – and hopes that incoming bodybuilders take their time to build mass monster muscle rather than rush it.

You can watch Gunter Schlierkamp’s full comments on Big Ramy and young mass monsters in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.