Matt Jansen: The Biggest Health Issues In Bodybuilding That Everyone Should Know

Matt Jansen talks about the health risks and rewards of competitive bodybuilding.

Matt Jansen is a powerhouse bodybuilding coach who has been building an iconic reputation in the industry for his knowledge and success with athletes. He is most recently best known for training Nick Walker, who just landed a first place victory at the New York Pro 2021. We used our time speaking with Jansen to dig deep into his well of knowledge. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Matt Jansen shares important details on the biggest bodybuilding health risks all competitors should be aware of in their career and lifestyle.

During our time speaking with a wide variety of athletes, experts, and coaches – we’ve always made a point to ask a very point blank question. Is pro bodybuilding an extreme sport with unavoidable health risks? During our conversation with Matt Jansen, we asked him this question as well.

Instead of speaking in extremes, Matt Jansen answered our question with context and details to put everything into perspective. In short – yes, a bodybuilding lifestyle can lead to health risks and issues. In fact, Jansen believes that in order to be the best in any professional sport, an athlete puts themselves at risk. By definition these competitors are trying to push the boundaries of what is athletically possible. That comes with possible downsides.

That being said, this doesn’t mean that pro bodybuilding is a death sentence or a health nightmare. There are many lifestyles that all people on this earth engage in that are risky. The amount of sugar and salt that is standard in most foods we eat in markets all pose a risk. The amount of alcohol that most places find socially acceptable pose risks. Bodybuilding isn’t exactly the same as those things – but in general, it’s a lifestyle that many accept that can pose certain risks.


That’s why Matt Jansen is an advocate about being informed and trying to be as healthy as possible as you move along your bodybuilding journey. The bigger problem is less the inherent risks – and more the lack of precautions taken to mitigate those risks. To help, Jansen identifies the two biggest health risks that all bodybuilders should know about.

High blood pressure and not being aware of glucose levels are the two biggest issues within bodybuilding. This is largely because it’s “easy to shut your mind off,” as Jansen puts it, to the way these two things can slowly “wreak havoc on your body.” Of course, high blood pressure is also a specific issue that most Americans have regardless of bodybuilding. The bodybuilding lifestyle certainly doesn’t help – when you’re not paying attention to the details.

Both of these two issues can lead to damaging your heart, your liver, and your kidneys. This kind of organ damage in the long run can lead to serious health problems down the line – and for some even death. That might sound alarming – but it’s not one-to-one that bodybuilders will suffer these issues. These issues are more likely to happen with a bodybuilding lifestyle if you don’t pay attention to the details of your diet and supplements that are being put in your body.

You can watch Matt Jansen go into detail about health in bodybuilding and the importance of the details behind a bodybuilding diet and lifestyle in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

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.