The natural potential of the human body for growth was exceeded by leaps and bounds a long time ago. Bodybuilders have been getting bigger and bigger with each generation. Their legs, arms, backs, and chests grow thanks to training, nutrition, and drugs. However, there’s a major problem – the bigger the bodybuilder, the bigger his mid-section. Modern bodybuilders look like pregnant pigs even when they are absolutely “shredded”. Why? What’s behind the so-called growth hormone gut?
There are many speculations regarding the actual cause of the growth hormone gut, which has become the trademark of modern bodybuilding. If we follow the history of the sport, we will see that the competitors from the Golden Era rarely had distended stomachs. Bodybuilders like Mike Mentzer, Sergio Oliva, Frank Zane and Arnold Schwarzenegger had relatively small mid-sections unlike the current grotesque abdominal bags observed at major bodybuilding events.
So, what happened? Two words – growth hormone and insulin.
According to the bodybuilding scholars, Dorian Yates has set the so-called new size standards as the first Mr. OLYMPIA weighing 250 lbs.
Many believe that the increase in competition weight was caused by Yates’ growth hormone abuse. Rumor has it that he was the first to use unreal amounts of growth hormone for a long time, and that step was one of the reasons for the so-called new standards.
Is it a coincidence that the guts of professional bodybuilders during Yates’ era got so big? I don’t think so.
Many believe that growth hormone is the reason why bodybuilder’s internal organs increase in size.
An excessive level of HGH in the body can cause the organs including the heart, liver and kidneys to grow to an excessively large size. This can lead to organ failure or dangerous conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis. Extremely high levels of the human growth hormone in the system can also cause the bones to grow at an unhealthily fast rate, increasing the chance of injury during physical activity or natural periods of growth.
There are also claims that the use of GH causes an increase of the so-called visceral fat (also known as organ fat or intra-abdominal fat), but there are studies that show the opposite – a reduction of visceral fat during usage of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH).
Therefore, we are left only with organ growth as a result of GH abuse.
Insulin is a peptide hormone, produced by beta cells in the pancreas, and is central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. It causes cells in the skeletal muscles, and fat tissue to absorb glucose from the blood. Bodybuilders inject insulin to drive nutrients into the muscle post workout. However, improper usage of insulin can cause extreme side effects including coma and death.
Many believe that the modern growth hormone guts are actually caused by insulin abuse, and therefore, should be called ‘slin guts’. The reason for this hypothesis is that insulin is linked to the increase of intra-abdominal fat.
The constant abuse of insulin can lead to improper insulin sensitivity in the body. In general, insulin resistance and intra-abdominal obesity are strongly related:
One of the major conditions caused by excess intra-abdominal adipose tissue is insulin resistance, defined as the inability of insulin to perform many of its major metabolic functions. Most evidence points to a cause-and-effect relationship between excess intra-abdominal fat and insulin resistance, as well as between insulin resistance and the health complications associated with intra-abdominal obesity.
Horrific ultra-high carb diets
It’s not uncommon for bodybuilders to consume 10k calories a day. This alone causes an enlargement of your stomach. Your body becomes a bag stretched to its maximum. Once it’s stretched, it never returns to the previous tightness.
The guts of modern bodybuilders are caused by growth hormone and insulin abuse coupled with high-calorie diets.