You’re a bodybuilder. You’re a big dude. You’re a strong dude. If you’ve been training for a few years and have eclipsed 200 pounds on the scale, then you’re probably used to feeling like Superman most places you go. Whether it’s the supermarket, the bar, the workplace, or anywhere else, you feel invincible carrying around 50 pounds of muscle your peers are not. However, invincible you are NOT. Despite all the chicken breasts and broccoli you consume, despite the way you can crush small pieces of fruit in a single squeeze, you are human just like everyone else. In fact, your bodybuilding lifestyle may be putting you at a GREATER level of risks than is faced by your peers. Read on!
The bodybuilding lifestyle can be quite rough upon the organs of your body. If you follow the sport of bodybuilding, then you are probably already aware of the kidney damage that has been sustained by many competitors (particularly in the late 1990s) due to the use of diuretics. However, long term use of ephedrine, stimulants, and of course, long term sustained elevated blood pressure (common in men carrying 200 or more pounds on their frame) can cause kidney damage as well. Work with your doctor to complete a blood panel every 18 to 24 months to ensure all is well on the kidney front!
Heart Disease & Hypertension
If you subscribe to a standard bodybuilding ‘bulking diet’, then you may be consuming fats and cholesterol at much higher levels than that of your peers. Pay attention to these things. Even if you look incredible, you may not be functioning perfectly on the INSIDE, and that is what matter most.
Damage To Joints & Tendons
This won’t kill you, but it can sure make your ride here on earth an unpleasant one! Lifting 1-rep maximums puts an incredible demand upon your joints and tendons, which can lead to situations where you require surgery down the road. Train hard, but don’t place undue pressure upon the connective tissue that holds all your muscle together!
The use of artificial testosterone can lead to prostate growth. The use of growth hormone can result in existing growths in your body growing much faster than Mother Nature would have ever intended. The chemical side of bodybuilding has exploded in the last 2 decades, but we are still very much unaware of some of the long-term ramifications of using artificial T, GH, IGF-1, insulin, and other drugs. Be careful!