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  1. #1
    Rich in Nor Cal is offline Senior Member
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    Default Is bodybuilding unhealthy?

    I saw this article Frank Hillebrand, 45, R.I.P. : Iron Man Magazine: Lonnie Teper about the death at age 45 of Frank Hillebrand, who died in a gym while working out. Back in the late 80s and early 90s he was a famous bodybuilder, and he kept at it up until his death a week or so ago, though he took up personal training and stopped competing in 1993.

    As far as I could find out, they don't know the cause of death beyond it being a heart attack. Whether his bodybuilding had anything to do with it is unknown, be it any drugs, supplements, or the rigors demanded for bodybuilding competition, so it's premature to condemn bb as unhealthy based on this one event that may not even be bb related. But, it does raise questions in man so young and in apparent good health.

    My condolences to his family and friends. I hope that if his death is related to his chosen pursuit, though, we learn from it so others may be spared this fate in the future.

    May you rest in peace, Frank.

  2. #2
    Jock191 is offline Senior Member
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    I dont think it really has anything to do w bodybuilding but more w the things they do to get in and stay in competition shape. Sever dehydration, drugs and just being at that high of a body weight puts massive strain on the heart. 260 lbs is 260 lbs regardless if its muscle or fat in terms of the stress on the heart. Also there could be a ton of other reasons for heart conditions.
    Jon N
    Chicago, IL

  3. #3
    Seiken is offline Senior Member
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    Bodybuilders put their bodies through a ton of stress through the intense dieting and workout routines they put in. Heart attacks among lifters have occured several times in the past unfortunately, and in some cases whether it was natural or not was up to speculation. Jon Paul Sigmarrson died after a heavy set of deadlifts, and Jesse Marunde died after a heavy set of high rep squats. Both had genetic heart issues though that were not known until then. It can and does happen.

  4. #4
    EricJMoss is offline Senior Member
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    i once had a conversation with a local champion bodybuilder. he told me the day of the competition the one who takes home the trophy is the least healthy one in the room. there is a lot to be said about that little tidbit

    as others have said their bodies can go through a lot of stress. it happens to everyone who pushes their limits each and every day eating massive amounts of calories and taking performance enhancement drugs which have known and unknown side effects

    keep in mind though deaths happen to many of the unexpected and correlation isn't necessarily causation
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  5. #5
    Seiken is offline Senior Member
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    My wife competed in figure and later natural bodybuilding. She actually had kidney issues prior to the day of the competition and had to spend some time in the hospital. Needless to say, she doesn't compete in bodybuilding anymore.

  6. #6
    greyman is offline Senior Member
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    i don't think there's any question that competitive bodybuilding is unhealthy. it goes without saying that most top level athletes go for gold at the expense of their health; marathon runners, gymnasts, powerlifters, boxers, swimmers etc, all of it done to extremes is against health.
    but; that doesn't mean it was anything bodybuilding that killed him. jon pall died deadlifting in his own gym, and he was very healthy - he just happened to have a congenital heart condition which meant it gave out while exercising. it's actually not that uncommon even.

  7. #7
    greg57 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by greyman View Post
    i don't think there's any question that competitive bodybuilding is unhealthy. it goes without saying that most top level athletes go for gold at the expense of their health; marathon runners, gymnasts, powerlifters, boxers, swimmers etc, all of it done to extremes is against health.
    but; that doesn't mean it was anything bodybuilding that killed him. jon pall died deadlifting in his own gym, and he was very healthy - he just happened to have a congenital heart condition which meant it gave out while exercising. it's actually not that uncommon even.

    Agreed, you can do bodybuilding workouts just to be the big man in the gym and be perfectly healthy if you avoid the roids, don't crash diet, never dehydrate, and actually follow the instructions taking just a few supplements.

    If you are willing to do anything, and pay any price to win then . . .

  8. #8
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    If he was using drugs then there you go. But BBing is not unhealthy. He could be genetically predisposed to heart problems. There are instances where top world class athletes drop dead at a young age from heart attacks. Being strong and fit to perform in your sport is not the same being healthy. Although being healthy contributes greatly to being fit. There are healthy couch potatoes who will outlive us all...Dennis

  9. #9
    fatman is offline Senior Member
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    Every professional sport has had its share of unexplained deaths. From sports where steroid use is rampant (American Football, pro BBing) to others that are not generally associated with steroid use (football/soccer).

    Professional sport is unhealthy. Period. Even when athletes don't die from superhuman exertions coupled with substance abuse, at the end of their careers they are often physically wrecked and riddled with chronic injuries. To compensate for this they often have a nice amount of money in the bank. The paying public desires to see bigger, stronger, faster, and the competitive career of the pro athlete will only get tougher in the future. Football players will get bigger and faster, baseball sluggers will hit harder, basketball players will jump further and higher and sprinters will break the 9-second mark in the 100m dash. Bodybuilders will become more huge and cut, powerlifters will lift more weight.

    Bodybuilding, if boiled down to its basic principles:

    1. Progressive resistance training focused on total-body development
    2. Cardiovascular fitness
    3. Well-planned healthy diet

    is in fact one of the healthiest activities one can indulge in.
    [URL="http://heavyasareallyheavything.blogspot.com"]Fatman's Training Log[/URL]

  10. #10
    CZECHSTER is offline Banned
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    NATURAL Bodybuilding is healthy.

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