So we’ve talked about steroids and their adverse effects. We’ve dug deep and understood that while steroids may make you aesthetic they lead to hormonal side effects. Then why are there pro bodybuilders walking with pregnant bellies?
Image Source: www.fitmisc.net
Don’t jump the bandwagon and say steroid abuse is leading to a distended gut. First things first. A distended gut is basically the inability of the contestant to pull his stomach in besides posing. So when they relax, their abs literally pop out and they appear to seem pregnant with some muscled alien living in their stomach!
A distended gut can be the cause of many things which we will look at shortly. Some among them are:
- Abuse of diuretics and carb loading
- Growth Hormone abuse
- Expansion of the abdomen muscle
- Inability to manage drug use
The issue is so potent that ex-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called out the contestants in the previous years Arnold Classic Bodybuilding competition. In this allegation, Arnold blamed Jim Maning and the other promoters of the Mr. Olympia competition and thus the IFBB organization. From Arnold’s era, the emphasis has always been on bigger and bigger men and women, to the point now that the increase in muscle mass is affecting the contestants symmetry and this is something that neither Arnold nor the other people in bodybuilding want. Ask yourself this. When you pick up the magazine, do you want to be like the big bodybuilders or the smaller physique athletes? I know what I want! However let’s look at some of the reasons that this gut appearing on various bodybuilding stages.
Image Source: www.youtube.com
Diuretics are simply put supplements that remove the excess water from your body. Since your weight comprises of water, fat, muscle mass and bone density, these pills are effective in getting to those ridiculous body fat levels, i.e. 4-5%, at a competitive bodybuilding stage. The problem with these pills is that it it reduces your appetite severely and furthermore reduces your digestive abilities. Couple that with some “genius” coaches advising their clients to carb up- meaning have lots of carbs prior to the show- is a recipe for disaster. This is the most popular reason why the distended gut takes place whereas the popular opinion gravitates towards growth hormone disorders.
Growth hormone is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland and is responsible for cell growth, reproduction and cell regeneration. The fine print here being the words cell growth. So obviously athletes can experience tremendous muscle gain but they can in some cases also experience organ enlargement. To put it simply, a growth hormone supplement will also increase the small intestine cells and the large intestine cells. What does this mean? It means you are going to have a bloated belly at all times when you are not contracting or performing a vacuum.
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Two and two add up eh? Looking at the picture above and going by today’s bodybuilding standards it seems like our everlasting champ Arnold won’t even be allowed to compete. Not only that, we also know that Phil Heath is shorter than Arnold yet outweighs him considerably, I’d say he’s at least 25 pounds of muscle more, if not greater, than Arnold in his prime. This isn’t because of any growth hormone pills but simply because of the drug use, the science behind nutrition today and techniques that allow the athletes to muscle up to impossible proportions.
With the impossible proportions comes a huge abdomen and moreover crazy abdominal muscles. You can’t expect a 5’9 guy who weights 140kg of pure muscle to have a 28 inch waist. It’s impossible. This is why the waist sticks out like a sore eye.
It really does come down to this always. The number of drugs that pro bodybuilders use right now, in the crazy dosages, as compared to say a bodybuilder in Arnold’s era is baffling. Obviously no amount of scientific research has been done on how these anabolic cocktails would affect someone. People have died, had massive and multiple organ failures and women have grown full beards. This is the reason why steroids are a double edged sword. For example, insulin is something that current bodybuilders use, but now insulin can have a direct effect on blood sugar, which means using it with diuretics and loads of carbs is just spelling obvious trouble for the body.
Some coaches are still of the idiotic belief that more drugs equal a better physique. Obviously not the case here but I’d still advise you to not partake in the steroid game. The whole concept of fitness is to better yourself, not use any means necessary to become bigger. Like Arnold said, these athletes no longer look “beautiful”. He also said that , ”It’s unacceptable the way bodybuilding is going. We don’t want to see stomachs sticking out. We want to see the most beautiful man, the most athletic man.” We agree. Let’s quit the bickering and have bodybuilding shows cut points for these alien bellies.