While the concept of bodybuilding is well-known, there are a lot of obscure facts about bodybuilding that the average weak, lanky nerd wouldn’t know about. Let’s take a deep dive into the fascinating world of bodybuilding with these mindblowing facts.
Acne in weird places
When you’re pumping your body with steroids (here’s a useful reference) to gain unnaturally large muscles, you’re also sacrificing your physiology to the whims of chemical reactions.
One common reaction resulting from the use of steroids is acne. Some bodybuilders even get cyst-like swellings on their feet and crotch from steroid use.
Steroid acne has almost the same symptoms as typical acne. But with steroid acne, systemic steroid use is what makes the oil (sebaceous) glands susceptible to inflammation and infection. The steroids may be prescription medications, such as prednisone, or body-building formulations.
Another form of acne, known as malassezia folliculitis or fungal acne, is caused by a yeast infection of the hair follicles. Like acne vulgaris, it can occur naturally or as the result of oral or injected steroid use.
Another side effect is steroid gut, or HGH gut, which is a bloated and almost pregnant looking belly. This one is caused by bodybuilders combining synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin in a bid to pack on extra size.
This is why Arnold and other legends from the past will remain the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Bigger isn’t always better…especially when it’s on your waistline!
(Note from Juice Guru: human growth hormone can be used without causing this gut, as some Men’s Physique guys use HGH and have tiny/vacuumed waists. Bodybuilders like Chul Soon are also thought to have taken HGH without developing such a gut. It’s when insulin gets involved, that’s when things start to look a bit pregnant.)
You get the most chest gains on Monday
It’s commonly believed that the best results for chest gains happen if you train your chest on Monday. This widely-held belief is why you’ll often find guys lining up at the bench press station on — you guessed it — Monday.
But the logic behind this idea makes sense. You’ll have all weekend to rest up, which means your body will be more prepared to handle a grueling workout on Monday. Whether it’s true or not is sometimes a point of hot debate in the bodybuilding community.
Yummy monkey brains
How far would you go to transform your body into a giant human machine? Apparently, some people would go as far as eating monkey brains.
A 1984 article originally published in The New York Times mentioned that a “growth hormone was being extracted from cattle and monkeys” and used by bodybuilders.
“Some of the material sold as growth hormone is nothing more than colored water, while some extracts have been made from monkey glands and cattle,” one doctor said at the time.
This fact alone makes bodybuilding 100 times more fascinating. Well, that’s unless you’re from China, where eating monkey brains is more common than you’d think.
Leg days are indeed skipped and the results speak for themselves
The joke about “skipping leg day” is not just a meme. Let’s be honest, leg gains don’t look as impressive as chest gains, and you will never get as many compliments about how great your legs look.
It’s commonly said that 37 percent of bodybuilders skip leg day. And while there’s probably no concrete evidence to support that fact, I’ve seen enough chicken-legged wannabe bodybuilders to believe it.
It’s hella dangerous
Bodybuilding is serious business and it can be dangerous, especially in the competitive bodybuilding scene. Bodybuilders are constantly exerting themselves to the extreme and sometimes they even risk their lives.
In 1999, a Testosterone Magazine received a lot of criticism for publishing a series titled The Dead Pool, which was a list of professional bodybuilders most likely to die in the coming year.
The Dead Pool series caught a lot of flack back in 1999, and it would likely catch even more criticism in today’s hypersensitive world. The premise was simple: have an insider with intimate knowledge of bodybuilding’s top pros comment on who’s taking what, and lay odds as to who will be the first to drop dead like a 300-pound hypertensive Jersey cow in Zubaz pants and matching do-rag.
To protect everyone’s interests, all the bodybuilders were given aliases, which some of Testosterone’s bodybuilding savants cracked in about 7 seconds.
Bodybuilding is simple
There are a lot of bodybuilding magazines and online sources that tout complex tips and diets to refine your bodybuilding routine. But the reality is that bodybuilding is incredibly simple. Here’s all you need to do: practice basic lifts with proper form, eat healthy, and do cardio. As long as you follow those simple steps, your bodybuilding journey will start before you know it.
New kinds of plastic surgery disasters
Some bodybuilders are so obsessed with the aesthetics of their physique that they’ll resort to plastic surgery when legitimate bodybuilding doesn’t work out.
Some bodybuilders and competitive athletes have even gotten plastic surgery to get fake abs, which obviously looks disastrous when they begin to age (if not always).
Psychiatrists have an endless fascination with it
The obsession with bodybuilding has attracted equally obsessive psychiatrists, who have published mountains of academic research on the topic.
In fact, a search on Google for the terms “psychiatry + bodybuilding + filetype:PDF” will currently get you no less than 277,000 results.
Bodybuilding is very gay
For some reason gay men love strong men with huge muscles. Now that I think about it, this fact should be common sense.
In 2015, the far-left Slate Magazine published an article with the title: “Has Gay Panic Ruined Bodybuilding?” At one point, Slate mentioned that bodybuilding was once “intertwined with gay culture, and early muscle men like [Steve] Reeves were gay icons.” So there you have it.