The Master Blaster

I’m so sorry to hear about your mentor CT. His articles taught me and probably the majority of people on here how to train.

Such a huge loss.

RIP Charles Poliquin.

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Victory belongs to the most persistent-- Charles Poliquin

I’ll second that knowing how often you’ve mentioned him in articles over the years. I have ranked you and Charles as my favorite strength coaches for the vast majority of of my training career. Though we’ve never met, the both of you have made my training better and my life better.

My training changed forever the day I picked up a copy of Muscle Media and saw an article about GVT…to that point I’d probably done nothing more than Max out or 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Maybe he didn’t invent some of the Poliquin principles (I don’t know),but they’ll always be the Poliquin Principles to me.

Sorry for your loss and his family. RIP

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I wasn’t exactly sure where to post this topic but I did want to hear Coach’s opinion. It was very shocking to me to hear of Poliquin’s passing. He seemed to be the epitome of health and his knowledge of all things nutrition, exercise and lifestyle modification related was second to none. I am wondering, Coach and anyone else who wants to , what your thoughts are on the reasons for his passing? I can only come up with 2, or I guess 3 possible conclusions…

  1. ApoE 4/4 genotype - This genetic disposition makes you a poor fat metabolizer and substantially increases risk for heart disease, diabetes and alzheimers. I’m a 3/4. All 4 of my grandparents as well as my father died young of a heart attack so it’s something I’ve looked into and had tested.

  2. Steroids or other performance enhancing drugs and possible overuse or missuse over the years? I haven’t heard him discuss his own use of steroids ever but perhaps he did and that played a roll? Although I would assume he knew what the heck he was doing if he ever did take them.

  3. We all have our time to go and it was just his time? Pretty lame reason but I suppose it’s a possible reason.

Any insights?


Anyone know if he took a ton of Fish oil as he recommended? He was recommending 30,40 even 50 grams a day and always burping in his videos. While fish oil is good, we know that high levels of omega 3s correlate to higher rates of heart disease and also mechanistically would be expected to cause endothelial scarring. 2-4 grams of omega 3 a day is the experimental sweet spot and his recommendations had people at 3-10 times that much plus lots of high PUFA nuts.

I did another quick google search and came across this article. Apparently his father died of a heart attack and Charles had a previous heart attack himself. This leads me back to ApoE hypothesis but you are probably right. There can be too much of a good thing. He may have overdid it on the Fish oil as there isn’t any 100% absolute and definitive answer on how much is best to my knowledge. Correct me if I’m wrong there.

A few years ago there was a report in the news on a study out about Carnitine reacting with gut bacteria and elevating cardiac risk markers and/or inflammation if memory serves? I remember listening to a Chris Kresser podcast refuting the merits of that study but I do know Poliquin was a huge proponent of taking Carnitine as well. Perhaps that did play a factor? Who knows. It’s just such an ironic situation that I hope there are some answers as to what the cause of death was. It’s truly sad to hear of his passing.

He has a family history of heart attacks. Siblings and father. He has said in the past mercury poisoning caused his first set of heart attacks.

Thats how he discovered ART to get range of motion after heart surgery.

I debated whether to answer this or not. Charles was a friend and I don’t like to theorize about his death.

However here is what I think might have happened.

First understand that he had an underlying genetic heart condition that was under control for years, but it still wasn’t perfect.

Charles lived in Colorado Springs, which is 2 miles above see level. Living in those conditions can increase red blood cell count. Which is great to shuttle more oxygen to the muscles and heart,but it can also contribute to making the blood thicker.

Charles flew a lot for seminars. In fact a few days prior to his death he was giving a seminar in Eastern Europe.

Why is that relevant? Well first of all long travels + giving a seminar is VERY stressful. If there is someone who knows that it’s me.

And long travels can cause dehydration and then a water retention rebound(I once rebounded by gaining 11lbs in one day after a long flight).

To me it is possible that Charles go dehydrated during his in and out flight and maybe his blood got thicker by decrease the fluid portion of his blood. Then he could have had a water retention rebound the next day which would increase blood pressure. Combined with the stress and thick blood that puts a lot of strain on the heart to pump blood.

Cyclists who used EPO on the Tour de France routinely had to wake up in the middle of the night and do physical activity to get the heart rate up. Why? Because they had thick blood from the very high red blood cell count and dehydration from the race. The heart rate would be very low when sleeping and had problems pumping the ketchup-like blood. They needed to increase heart rate to allow the blood to flow properly. This is to show that thick blood is hard on the heart.

Charles was also not someone who did any cardio or conditioning work himself. Nothing to improve cardiovascular system health, especially since he was a low reps guy in the gym.

So if you add it up… genetic heart condition + very likely thick blood + dehydration/sudden water retention rebound + lack of cardiovascular work + having had several heart attacks in the past (so weakened heart) + stressfull travel(s) = very high risk.

Were steroids involved? That is not for me to say. They would certainly make matter worse because many steroids can either increase red blood cells (making blood even thicker), equipoise,anadrol, testosterone; increase blood pressure or even cause dehydration (trenbolone). BUT they would certainly not be necessary for him to have a heart attack under the conditions he was in at the moment.


He recommended mega-dosing a lot of supplements: fish oil, BCAAs, Glutamine (both 40g a day), not to mention high doses of whey and fast-acting carbs, etc. He also went through phases supporting various things like topical liquorace root, and myofascial creams.

I was always regard him as a pioneer and I don’t regret adhering to his protocols. Would I want to do it long term? No, would not regard that as healthy. So I agree with your observations on fish oil, for sure.

Sometimes the simple answer is the most likely. A significant risk factor for a cardiovascular event is a prior event, and each subsequent event is more likely to be fatal. That doesn’t preclude any other contributing variables, but neither do I think there’s a real mystery here.
It is sad to see a relatively young person who takes care of himself pass.