Toney Freeman details the trial and error “experiments” that led to some pretty serious health scares.

Toney Freeman makes it clear right off the bat – there’s a big difference between bodybuilding and competing. Yes, bodybuilding is the name of the sport. But it’s to an extreme level different than most average people who are looking to improve their physique. Pro bodybuilders push their body’s to the extreme in search of greatness. This can also lead to health risks. In our latest GI exclusive interview, Toney Freeman details the most dramatic health scares he had throughout his bodybuilding career.

When pro bodybuilders reach a top tier of competition, they need to do anything and everything to get an edge up. Competitive bodybuilding is not just eating and training. It’s also supplementing and fine tuning every single aspect of what goes into your body. There are tactics and techniques in the weeks leading up to a competition that can make or break a physique.

Of course, each body is different. What works for one pro might not work with another. This is where the risk comes in. In an attempt to quickly put on mass or perhaps quickly drop weight and look shredded – risks are taken. Toney Freeman is familiar with this. He also warns against being “experimented on” by gurus and coaches.

Freeman is not saying that all gurus and coaches are bad. But he does warn to not blindly follow what they suggest. A bodybuilding coach will give you a protocol to follow promising it will lead to results. That’s not always the case. Sometimes you can feel with your body something is wrong. If you don’t go with that feeling – you can run into health scares.

During our conversation with Toney Freeman, we asked him about the health scares he experienced during his career. While he doesn’t list all of them, he admits he had many. He also goes into detail about the two most dramatic health scares he faced during his career.

Not surprisingly, both involved diuretics. We’ve discussed with other athletes and experts in the past about the heavy risks in taking diuretics. Toney Freeman agrees especially after his experiences. He’s had moments where he could barely stand on stage after dropping 17 pounds in one hour. He also had a health scare where he couldn’t see upon waking up nor hold down any food.

These are health issues not to take lightly. While Toney Freeman recovered without serious issue – there are others who might not. Unfortunately, nearly all sports require athletes to push to the extreme. This will always involve risk. Being a top pro athlete requires being a little bit of insanity – so to speak.

What is most important is to do your homework. You might take risks, but make sure to take calculated risks rather than blind ones. In any sport, many serious problems could have been avoided if more research was done beforehand. Toney Freeman hopes for his stories to help open young bodybuilders’ eyes about the importance in that.

You can watch Toney Freeman’s comments 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.