Dr. Testosterone and Mike O’Hearn talk step by step through how to properly analyze and review your blood test lab results
While this has always been an important practice, it’s become much more popular for bodybuilders to speak openly about the importance of getting blood tests done. Bodybuilders and other high performance athletes often push their bodies to the limit and partake in a wide variety of supplements and substances – including PEDs. This makes it extra important to get bloodwork done to monitor your health and help ensure longevity in both athletic career and life. But what are you actually supposed to look for when you review your blood test results? In Generation Iron and Barbend’s latest episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show, Dr. Testosterone walks us through a step by step guide on analyzing your blood test lab results.
First thing’s first. Getting blood tests done is important for any individual. While it is often required less often for younger adults, regular bloodwork is vital for preventative healthcare. It helps us understand how our body is functioning and catch warning signs for possible health issues down the road. This, of course, allows us to correct course before it is too late.
Blood tests are especially important for athletes. This is true across the board of all sports – but certainly true for competitive bodybuilders and strength athletes. Bodybuilders push their bodies to levels an average person does not. Also more often than not a bodybuilders will use PEDs to help further push performance. When dealing with powerful substances, consistently monitoring our health is a must.
It should be noted that the negative health effects of PEDs such as steroids cannot be avoided. However, monitoring your health with consistent blood tests can not only help mitigate damage, it can preventatively catch something early and let a bodybuilder know when it is time to pull away from PEDs.
Generation Iron does not condone or suggest the use of any illegal substance. But whether you are an all natural athlete or an “enhanced” athlete – understanding your blood test lab results is very important. Mike O’Hearn invited famed bodybuilding medical professional Dr. Testosterone to speak in detail about blood test results and how to analyze them. Let’s jump into it.
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What are the main things athletes should look for in blood test lab results?
When speaking from an athlete perspective, there are four key things to analyze when looking over blood test lab results: blood thickness, kidneys, liver, and heart. Of course, there are other factors that can be important – but these are the four most important to fully understand, especially if you are planning on using PEDs.
The increased food intake and high intensity training can put serious pressure on your blood levels and your organs. Add PEDs into the mix and you can have some extremely dangerous pressure put on these aspects of your body. Without properly understanding how your body is reacting on the inside – this can lead to serious health decline.
The blood thickness test
A person’s blood can become thicker due to heavy proteins or by too much blood in circulation. Basically, this is when your body has too many red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Utilizing steroids and many other PEDs also contribute to this blood thickening. Enhanced or natural – high performance athletes should consider donating blood to thin it out (you may recall the scene in Enhanced where Tony Huge drains his thick blood manually).
Thick blood can eventually lead to strokes or tissue and organ damage. So this is one key reason why blood tests are important for bodybuilders and strength athletes. Blood flows through and powers our entire body – and thick blood can cause slow long term damage if left unchecked.
On the flip side, it is possible for an athlete to be anemic. This is when your blood is too thin. This often leads to easily becoming fatigued and having lower endurance. This isn’t very helpful for athletes who need to perform. Dr. Testosterone suggests injectable vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron with vitamin C as a way to help prevent anemia if this is something you suffer from.
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Analyzing the kidney, liver, and heart in blood test results
Training and dieting as a high performance athlete can certainly put stress on your organs as well. The three most important organs that may be affected are your heart, kidneys and liver. This is especially true for those using PEDs. However, it is also important to note that even as a natural athlete – certain levels may be higher than the average person. This can confuse doctors who may not know your lifestyle choices. So it is always important to make it clear that you train and diet in a way different than an average individual.
That being said, it is also very possible for these high levels to go far beyond what even a bodybuilder should contend with. This is why it is always good to get blood tests done every three months if you are a pro competitive bodybuilder. If you are an “enhanced” bodybuilder – make sure to only get bloodwork done when you are off PEDs so that you can get an accurate look at how your body is responding.
Beyond PEDs, over training can also put a lot of stress on your kidneys. It can also raise blood pressure. If blood pressure remains consistently high – this can lead to heart disease or a heart attack. This can also be caused by consuming too much creatine – a legal over the counter supplement.
As for the liver, this is the main organ that will be doing the processing of nutrients and substances you consume. So the more PEDs you use, the more work the liver and also the kidneys will be doing – essentially putting them into overdrive and slowly causing damage. You’ll want to pay extra attention to your liver enzyme levels.
For bodybuilders who have retired and are considering going into Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), it is extremely important to ensure that your blood test levels are in good shape. This is also true for those who wish to use PEDs. Rather than experiment blind – you want to make sure that your baseline levels are healthy. If they aren’t – using PEDs or even legal TRT can accidentally take you into dangerous levels.
When looking at heart health, you’ll want to check your lipids in the blood test lab results. If you have dangerous lipid levels – the usual advice applies in terms of heart health. You’ll want to avoid trans fats, possibly cut back on red meat, avoid too much sodium, as well as avoid mixing simple carbs with saturated fat.
Beyond bodybuilding and high performance sports – heart heath is extremely important. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in men.
Mike O’Hearn and Dr. Testosterone talk in great detail about blood tests and how to analyze them as an athlete vs as an average individual. Beyond these key four factors, they also touch upon many other bloodwork values such as testosterone levels and IGF-1 levels. You can watch and learn from the entire conversation by watching the latest episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show above. Make sure to check back every Friday for new episodes only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.