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Words from Mike Matarrazzo (RIP)

former mate, 20 years ago diagnosed with enlarged heart.

He took big doses.

His pulse used to go through the roof walking up a few flight of stairs.
I don't think it's an addiction in the traditional sense of a substance addiction but an addiction to the lifestyle - to being one of the biggest and the best and having people look at you and say 'i want to be like that one day' - which, let's face it, nearly all of us have thought at one time or an other. Whether it be looking up to Arnold in Conan or Lou in the Hulk as a kid or something more recent (for all you budding Ronnies out there).

One of the most important points,as @Rugby88 ; pointed out is that for many of them it may represent an opportunity to make substantial money for them and their family if they can secure sponsors and become a top tier pro. An opportunity that may otherwise not be available to them. The problem being that their are no shortage of budding pros willing to take these risks to reach the peak of our sport and unfortunately limited places to fill.

I think all of these guys are well aware of the potential risks and you'd like to think that the risks they take are calculated risk/benefit decisions. Unfortunately this is probably not always the case.

Regardless, it is a sport I love (despite all the dysfunction within), and everyone will make their own way through their lifting 'career' and make their own decisions. So whether you are natty, get on a couple of times a year or are a gear fuelled beast and life is one big cycle, you should never forget that without your health you wont be lifting anything - and good health can be fleeting.

I think the perfect storm is a combo of the below -

- addictive personalities
- Low self esteem
- The need to please/fit in - BUT at the sametime wanting to be different

Which ALOT of bodybuilders fall into - psychologically I think you would find alot of bodybuilders fall into the nerdy, on the outer sort of people.

For me being around the sport for now 11 years (which is nothing to some) - I have come across some of the weirdest, strangest but more driven people from bbing....its a strange, weird, exciting subculture - which has become somewhat mainstream but I feel the "true" bodybuilders will always be seen as the lonely guy in a basement gym drinking protein and doing deadlifts - which is fucking cool and I want to be a part of that haha
its a strange, weird, exciting subculture - which has become somewhat mainstream but I feel the "true" bodybuilders will always be seen as the lonely guy in a basement gym drinking protein and doing deadlifts - which is fucking cool and I want to be a part of that haha

Bingo ;)
Its an addiction - simple as that - its sad to see that guys go to these extremes with dieting, drug use etc - but its a cocktail of bad news really - I dont think 1 thing on its own could kill you as such (besides the diuretics) - but all mixed together over years and years - of course not many people are going to come out the other side with no health issues or not dead.

Is it worth it? I dont know - depends how you look at it - some guys have made millions from bodybuilding - so is it worth it to them - yea I would say so - but then you have the LARGE % of bodybuilders/pro bodybuilders that will never make a $ off bodybuilding shows directly/sponsors - is it really worth the risks to them - fuck no - but they are addicted so nothing else really matters are the time.

Like I wrote, I'll never understand.
I think its important to look at this objectively. Heart disease is both genetic and caused by environmental factors. A guy dropped dead at 26 the other day doing a fun run here in Australia. There is no evidence he took steroids.

In his post he mentioned a number of things, diet, supplements, diuretics. And as I mentioned there is of course genetics. Plenty of 40-50 year olds die of heart failure having never taken steroids, despite eating healthy, despite exercising.

Then we have some former greats of bodybuilding that likely abused themselves as much who are still alive, going strong at 60+ - Arnie is a great example, has some health problems but not anywhere near what you see with some 60 year olds that have never exercised, never used steroids, never cared about the the way they look.

I'm not saying it wasn't what he took, clen is pretty bad on the heart over long periods of time but its erroneous to point to a cause without evidence. Much like this: "Alzado was one of the first major US sports figures to admit to using anabolic steroids. In the last years of his life, as he battled against the brain tumor that eventually caused his death, Alzado asserted that his steroid abuse directly led to his fatal illness".

Its not scientific evidence, its just someone who has developed a serious illness and is looking around for something to blame because that's easier to deal with than it just being bad luck like the 70,000 other Americans who are diagnosed with brain cancer each year.