T Nation

Competing with a Hernia


hi! I have been asking around and have tried to find information already with little luck. I am thinking of competing but concerned about the fact I have a epigastric hernia. I have had it since I was a kid and have had no problems thus far.

Will a visible hernia mark someone down is basically what I'm asking, as I'm kinda on the fence about competing because of that. Any information would be greatly appreciated, personal experience or links etc. thanks in advance!


For the most part, contest judges overlook obvious medical issues. I know that I do, and most of the other pros I’ve sat on judging panels with do as well. In the NPC though, I’ve seen this one competitor who has a very pronounced issue with one of his legs, miss out on winning show after show, despite the rest of his physique easily trumping everyone else in his class.

My good friend Phil shattered his leg in 12 places from a motorcycle accident years ago, and while one leg is now markedly shorter than the other, and upon inspection is a bit ‘off’ structurally, he’s not only built it up as best he can, he’s learned how to conceal it onstage and has gone on to win Pro cards in the WNBF as well as in MuscleMania.



hi, thanks for replying. i sent a msg about an hour after yours but it hasn’t shown up for some reason.

anyway your insight kinda puts me at ease a bit so thanks! your friend has it way worse then me so i have no excuses :stuck_out_tongue: I’ll look at getting fixed up afterwards so i don’t have to be so cautious with every weight i touch. thanks again!


Good day,

I just want to share my experience with this as I have a clear protrusion on my lower back. It has always been there and It does not cause any pain and has not changed in size since being aware of it. I competed last April and it did not seem to effect my scoring as one of the judges was kind enough to share feedback, though I was completely paranoid about it. I even went as far as changing up my posing to hide it as best as possible and even considered not getting as lean because that is the last spot for fat to go on me. Since competing I have not really cared much about it as it is clearly something that I have no control over. I look at it much like having an unwanted mole or a scar. There are some top caliber athletes, as Stu mentioned, who never let these things hold them back and clearly still do well. I wish you the best of luck.



thanks for sharing your experience, helps get rid of that paranoia you were talking about. Heres hoping it doesnt stand out at a low bf! thanks again.