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Bodybuilding Shortens Life?

I’m sorry if this is a over talked about subject. I haven’t been able to find anything on google since its bombarded with obesity and life expectancy.

Does bodybuilding shorten life?

I know exercise like jogging extends life, but it is way different.

Have there been any research or articles written about this?

There’s been articles written about NFL players dying young. I feel bodybuilding could be closely related.

[quote]cloudzero wrote:
I’m sorry if this is a over talked about subject. I haven’t been able to find anything on google since its bombarded with obesity and life expectancy.

Does bodybuilding shorten life?

I know exercise like jogging extends life, but it is way different.

Have there been any research or articles written about this?

There’s been articles written about NFL players dying young. I feel bodybuilding could be closely related.[/quote]

Bodybuilders have great diets compared to almost everyone else I think. The average person skips breakfast or eats 3lbs of bacon gets fast food for lunch and then drinks a 6 pack for dinner.

Bodybuilders usualy have much lowerbody fat than the average person, especialy these days.

Steroids and extreme cutting aside I think bodybuilders would live longer than the average person.

Also they have mental benefit from haveing a routine and being able to do physical work “lifting” like we are made to.


If a former NFL player dies young that could be because they were over weight and they took steroids. Combine that with years of pain killers and more subpar eating and that is where you come to an end.

[quote]n3wb wrote:

If a former NFL player dies young that could be because they were over weight and they took steroids. Combine that with years of pain killers and more subpar eating and that is where you come to an end.[/quote]

Bullshit.

Name one player that died young because of steroid use.

And don’t give me the standard “Lyle Alzado” answer. Even his own doctor admits that steroids had nothing to do wih his death.

To the OP - How in the hell is BBing even close to being similar to football?

One is a non-contact sport that focuses on nutrition and improving the aesthetic qualities of ones physique.

The other involves the equivalent of tackling a bus for 16-18 weeks a year, and the other 40 weeks recovering from the impact of those collisions.

Neither professional bodybuilding nor running marathons at an elite level are healthy. Competitive sports taken to the extreme are rarely beneficial for overall health and aren’t intended to be.

It is well documented that lifting weights combined with a solid diet can improve health greatly, though. This is true for young, healthy people and also for the elderly.

E.g.

As for life expectancy and bodybuilding, I’m not aware of any research done on the specific topic.


Larry Scott - first Mr. Olympia

Larry Scott at 69.

Here’s an article on this very subject:

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1433039

The reason some NFL players die young is because of numerous concussions and other blows to the head (similar to boxers). If you’re receiving blows to the head while bodybuilding you need to try another approach

[quote]cloudzero wrote:
I’m sorry if this is a over talked about subject. I haven’t been able to find anything on google since its bombarded with obesity and life expectancy.

Does bodybuilding shorten life?

I know exercise like jogging extends life, but it is way different.

Have there been any research or articles written about this?

There’s been articles written about NFL players dying young. I feel bodybuilding could be closely related.[/quote]

NFL players dying young? You sound like you have chosen a conclusion and are simply looking for ways to verify the one you want. Like the previous poster has already stated, playing football for years is NOTHING like recreational bodybuilding. Not a damn thing.

NFL players are essentially destroying their bodies to some degree during every single tackle and collision. That is the price they pay for the money they make and the fame they have. What does that have to do with lifting weights and the goal of building strength and larger muscles alone?

As far as the other subtopic mentioned, you have also been fed a line if anyone is going to imply that “steroid use” alone leads to death. If that were the case, hormone replacement therapy would be a death sentence. I think there are a few thousand men over the age of 35 that stand as proof AGAINST that notion.

Relating ABUSE directly to USE is a tactic used by politicians and media clowns. I would hope that would die quickly the moment it is discussed scientifically without bias.

With that out of the way, some longevity studies in other species of animals implies that smaller food intake may cause them to live longer. Notice the “MAY” and the “OTHER SPECIES”. Meanwhile, in humans, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes seem to be our largest enemies. I would imagine that the average bodybuilder with well above average muscle mass has a better chance of avoiding those ailments than the rest of the populations.

The bottom line is that looking for “absolutes” with a question like the one you have is a mistake in itself. You can twist data to fit your own agenda or bias.

The rest of the world does it every single day.

[quote]michael2507 wrote:
Neither professional bodybuilding nor running marathons at an elite level are healthy.
[/quote]

I agree, however, considering the few people who have ever or could ever actually grace a PROFESSIONAL bodybuilding stage, relating current professional bodybuilding to “bodybuilding” alone makes no sense.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
michael2507 wrote:
Neither professional bodybuilding nor running marathons at an elite level are healthy.

I agree, however, considering the few people who have ever or could ever actually grace a PROFESSIONAL bodybuilding stage, relating current professional bodybuilding to “bodybuilding” alone makes no sense.[/quote]

No disagreement there.

Judging by the ‘I don’t want to get too huge’ crowd, this isn’t clear to everybody, though.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
n3wb wrote:

If a former NFL player dies young that could be because they were over weight and they took steroids. Combine that with years of pain killers and more subpar eating and that is where you come to an end.

Bullshit.

Name one player that died young because of steroid use.

And don’t give me the standard “Lyle Alzado” answer. Even his own doctor admits that steroids had nothing to do wih his death.

To the OP - How in the hell is BBing even close to being similar to football?

One is a non-contact sport that focuses on nutrition and improving the aesthetic qualities of ones physique.

The other involves the equivalent of tackling a bus for 16-18 weeks a year, and the other 40 weeks recovering from the impact of those collisions.
[/quote]

I didnt say steroids was THE reason a NFL player would die, steroids affect blood pressure liver joints and all kinds of shit and I doubt that these guys were takeing controlled cycles. Steroids them self wont kill you they will just weaken and dammage certain parts of your body and with bad health to start with and tons of other perscription drugs that could lead to death over a period of time.

EDIT: How did I forget about the fact that they play NFL football.

Just to add a thought on the issue of football players dying young. In all areas of life there are people that die young: college professors, pastors, doctors, lawyers, taxi cab drivers, Wal-mart associates, etc., etc. We are more aware when a football player dies young because of the media frenzy. When your local Wal-mart associate dies at the age of 29 there are no cameras, radio shock jocks, or front page coverage.

There are some studies that suggest calorie restriction can increase life. Notice I said suggest because a lot of the studies deal with animal studies or studies of limited scope. Bodybuilders practice a form of calorie restriction. Rather than eating everything and anything they want they carefully plan and monitor what they eat. They only eat enough to meet their physical endeavors of training and their other activities in life.

While it may be true that they eat a lot of calories, in order to stay lean most do not eat EXTRA calories. Contrast this to the way the average person eats, and I would argue they follow a form of calorie restriction.

I would imagine the bodybuilders that cycle bulking phrase where they each what they want and put on a lot of fat and muscle followed by cutting phases could do some damage to their bodies. This is just my personal opinion.

I would think this would only be dangerous when taken to an extreme - not following a clean diet during bulking but following a see-food diet. Considering the physiques bodybuilders have, I would suspect there are few that follow this principle.

Training (just like anything else) when taken to an extreme could be unhealthy. However, the evidence is pretty overwhelming that lifting when done with common sense greatly increase function and can stave off many of ills of aging.

So, does bodybuilding shorten life? I believe bodybuilding could be a double-edged sword. Those that follow sounds principles and train within the framework of common sense should experience a longer life and greater functionality. Those that do extreme, dangerous things could shorten their life.

Eating well, training hard but within reasonable limits, and getting proper rest are all things that can lengthen life and health. I am sure this is the lifestyle of many bodybuilders.

[quote]n3wb wrote:
I didnt say steroids was THE reason a NFL player would die, steroids affect blood pressure liver joints and all kinds of shit and I doubt that these guys were takeing controlled cycles. Steroids them self wont kill you they will just weaken and dammage certain parts of your body and with bad health to start with and tons of other perscription drugs that could lead to death over a period of time.

EDIT: How did I forget about the fact that they play NFL football.[/quote]

You use words like “may” and “could”. I am looking for words like “will” and “do”.

Bad knees don’t shorten one’s life span. How many NFL players have died from steroid related hepatic, or renal disease?

I am not saying that the misuse of AAS is not dangerous, but in the scheme of things, I don’t think you can say it has anything to do with a made up fact that NFL players die young.

I think it AAS is an easy, lazy scapegoat. I would dare say that poor diet, poor training, and repeated high speed collisions have had a more detrimental affect on the long-term health of an NFL player than any amount of AAS. Additionally - I would be willing to bet there are tons more rec drugs used in the NFL than steroids. Just ask Michael Irvin, or LT.

[quote]ncscarface wrote:
The reason some NFL players die young is because of numerous concussions and other blows to the head (similar to boxers). If you’re receiving blows to the head while bodybuilding you need to try another approach[/quote]

NFL players get so many injecions to get back onto the field it is amazing they survive a season.

Who knows what all those chemicals do to their bodies but it isn’t good for long therm health.

I would guess “extreme” bodybuilding may shorten life span but then again there are many things that are benefical compared to what the average slob does.

[quote]BigDaddyT wrote:
Just to add a thought on the issue of football players dying young. In all areas of life there are people that die young: college professors, pastors, doctors, lawyers, taxi cab drivers, Wal-mart associates, etc., etc. We are more aware when a football player dies young because of the media frenzy. When your local Wal-mart associate dies at the age of 29 there are no cameras, radio shock jocks, or front page coverage.
…[/quote]

The average NFL player doesn’t live to 60. It is a hard life and they do die young.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
The average NFL player doesn’t live to 60. It is a hard life and they do die young.[/quote]

Is this a real number? Of those that die so young - how many of them are from deteriorated health, and how many are from the mental aspect of not being able to adjust to life after football?

I find it hard to believe that of all the men that have played in the NFL - most of them never seeing any real playing time - the average life expectancy is 60.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Of those that die so young - how many of them are from deteriorated health, and how many are from the mental aspect of not being able to adjust to life after football?[/quote]

Good point.

I’ve noticed a similar pattern with regard to professional wrestlers. Many of the guys who were famous when I was younger are dead by now, but only few due to causes directly related to wrestling.

From the top of my head:

Road Warrior Hawk
British Bulldog
Brian Pilman
Big John Studd
Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig
Andre the Giant
Junk Yard Dog
Most of the von Erich brothers
Ravishing Rick Rude
Owen Hart
Dino Bravo

I was just discussing the other day how absolutely amazing it is that some of the professional atheletes and bodybuilders have held on to some serious mass and athleticism. Even the recreational atheletes I know are in very good shape, regardless of age.

Those guys are alive and appear to be doing very well.

A lot of the professional types I know or work with are riddled with vascular ailments- dvt, aterial sclerosis, heart attacks, and a whole slew of related complications of a sedentary lifestyle.

The laborers I’ve worked with have a whole set of their own problems too. Mostly muscular/skeletal, but a common practice is to either drink the joint pain away, or maintain a steady diet of narcotic painkillers, which complicates a bad situation and makes things worse.

This is just observation though. You should feel free to make your own, and draw conclusions from that.

My own conclusion is this- Paying attention to your health and lifestyle will increase your quality and quantity of life. Neglecting it will have the opposit effect.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
<<< Meanwhile, in humans, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes seem to be out largest enemies. I would imagine that the average bodybuilder with well above average muscle mass has a better chance of avoiding those ailments than the rest of the populations. >>>[/quote]

I was going to say just about exactly this, but you already did. Also, apparently attending Virginia Tech, and living in Detroit, among a myriad of other things could shorten your life, statistically speaking.

If it were EVER demonstrated that lifting weights for the purpose of adding healthy mass to your person shortened your life it is inconceivable that it wouldn’t be far enough down the list to make worrying about it an exercise in neurosis.