Paul Dillett reveals that his stage collapse at the Arnold Classic was far more serious than it seemed.

It’s rare but there are occasional moments during a bodybuilding competition where a pro athlete collapses on stage. This can be for a variety of reasons – most commonly due to dehydration. Most of these competitors are completely dried out and posing under hot lights. It can cause a momentary black out. But there are other reasons why this occurs as well. In the case of Paul Dillett, it was a near death experience. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Paul Dillett reveals how his heart stopped for one minute after collapsing during the Arnold Classic.

During our conversation with Paul Dillett, we brought up the topic of bodybuilding gurus. Can they be trusted? And if so, how do you pick the right guru to listen to? Paul Dillett did warn that there are many self-proclaimed gurus out there that don’t know what they are talking about. These are different tan the top names we often hear about such as Charles Glass, Neil Hill, Hany Rambod and others.

Paul Dillett had to go through a few painful experiences before learning which gurus to trust. He details how his bodybuilding career was almost derailed by listening to a coach that pumped him full of drugs that did more harm than good.

He also described another guru that provided a plan that almost lead to Paul Dillett losing his life. The moment in question you might be familiar with. It was the Arnold Classic where Dillett collapsed on stage. At the time, it was downplayed. Perhaps it was just due to dehydration. But in our conversation, Dillett opens up about the reality behind that harrowing moment.

Paul Dillett details that it was a chemical imbalance that lead to his collapse. He literally seized up from the neck down. This of course included his heart. He had to be rushed to the hospital where he later found out that his heart stopped for one minute. He was legally dead during that time before recovering.

Paul Dillett doesn’t go into details as to why he had the imbalance that led to his collapse. He also refused to drop the name of the coach that put him onto that program. This is because ultimately he takes full responsibility. He was a “grown ass man” that made his own decisions to listen to these gurus. He made a wrong call on who to trust and it nearly ended his life.

Paul Dillett also described a somewhat spiritual or outer body experience during the one minute that his heart was stopped. It was an experience that he still vividly remembers to this day. He also stated that his perception changed after that moment. He never looked at his health, bodybuilding, or life the same way again.

Ultimately, Paul Dillett admits that not many people know how serious that collapse really was for him. This was due to him not wanting to make excuses. He was an athlete who wanted to be the best. It led to some risks but they were risks he was willing to take. It’s only now looking back that he can be open about what happened. You can tell it’s a moment that still sticks with him.

You can watch Paul Dillett break down the entire experience 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.