Bodybuilders Need to Stop Ignoring Their Health
One of the first critiques of bodybuilding as a sport that you’ll hear in popular, and even more niche bodybuilding, media is that it is a bunch of guys sticking needles in themselves and destroying their overall health in order to gain the extra 20lb of lean body mass that no one but IFBB judges care about. While I can certainly understand why none of us are inclined to listen to the sort of mongoloids whose arguments consist of “He only looks like that because he’s a juice monkey. He’s gonna drop dead at thirty”, but we do have to think about the consequences of our actions for a number of reasons.
- Bodybuilding is a marathon, not a sprint. It you can’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded, and if your blood pressure is high enough to qualify as severe hypertension at age 24; you may not make it to 34 to enjoy the benefit of ten years of progression. You won’t be as good a bodybuilder as you can be if you go the way of Dallas McCarver, God rest his soul, before you ever reach your peak potential?
- If you don’t aspire to anything else but bodybuilding in your life, I feel a little sorry for you. It’s one thing to be passionate about a sport, but 99.9% of us, myself included, will never be Ronnie Coleman and immortalized as one of the greatest of all time. If you think cutting your lifespan in half with mega doses of tren and other AAS, insulin, gh, T3, clenbuterol, and diuretics and potentially missing out on a life with your wife, seeing your kids grow up, retiring, etc is worth it; then you need to see a doctor, and not the kind for your body.
Now that we’ve gotten into what the problem is, let’s dive a little bit into the two main reasons behind this gung ho attitude to health we see in bodybuilding.
Most of the guys involved in the bodybuilding community at any one time are young; usually less than thirty years old. When you’re 25 you don’t really think about the long term health effects of what you’re doing, any more than you really think about the potential dangers of riding a motorcycle at 90mph on the highway. That’s why auto insurance is so much more expensive for a twenty year old guy than a thirty year old guy. One is a bigger risk, and it’s almost always the young, testosterone filled guy that doesn’t really think about twenty years down the line, because he’s only been alive for twenty or so years.
Most bodybuilders are really never educated on the potential health risks of what they’re doing. A lot of us hear the bullshit the mainstream media says about steroids, and then shut our ears to the very real risks of bodybuilding drug use. Sure, many of us get our bloodwork done, but how many of us have ever done any research into what those numbers mean or what the potential long term consequences of chronically elevated RBC is. When is the last time you actually spoke to an endocrinologist and not just ordered private labs and looked at them yourself? When’s the last time you heard the term “cardiac hypertrophy” in bodybuilding circles. Have you ever gotten an EKG done just to make sure that you don’t have any structural issues in your heart that might put you at higher risk of PED related health issues?
Overall, I think we as a community need to aim for a more objective look at health and longevity, and it’s the responsibility of those of us that have been in the sport for a while to educate the young guns.
This article is the sole opinion of Nick Trigili. Generation Iron Brands LLC does not condone, support, or advocate any form of illegal drug use.
Nick Trigili is a respected IFBB Pro bodybuilder and trainer. Check him out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more informative content. Also make sure to visit his official personal training website – World Class Trainers.