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Are bodybuilding/powerlifting bad for you?

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I have some concerns over some conflicting evidence about bodybuilding/strength training. I am going to seperate bodybuilding/strength training into a list of pros and cons. I'm not sure how much of this is heresay and how much is true, and I would love some guidance and even some links to scholarly articles if you can produce them.



1. You can achieve a more impressive physique

2. muscular endurance increases

3. emphasis on functional lifts that transfer to every day strength and ncreased flexibility

4. enhances the mind/body connecton

5. teaches physical and mental discipline and goal setting, among other invaluable lessons



1. High-cabohydrate diets are said to have negative health effects in the long run on the heart and circulatory system, as well as the endocrine system (due to constant blood sugar spikes) but many lifters see the best gains with a high carbohydrate diet (myself included)

2. Excess weight in the form of muscle mass makes it harder for the heart to pump blood through the circulatory system when compared to other intense forms of workout that do not promote so much hypertrophy

3. A serious injury can easily take away all of the benefits in the pros section


Of course I would like anyone to challenge these cons. Another noteworthy fact is that a vegan wieghtlifting diet is very different than a meat eater. Not many studies (if any) have examined the difference between vegan bodybuilding, regular bodybuilding and overall health over time.


Just for the record, I do want to be big and strong. But if there is a certain size that puts one at risk, then I don't want to cross that threshold. (well... maybe)

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I think all the cons are completely fallacious.

1. A high carb diet isn't really going to hurt anyone with a good exercise regime.

2. Excess muscle isn't hard on your heart, at least the kind of excess a vegan not on drugs is generally going to see.

3. an injury taking away the pros mentioned. If anything those pros will all help you deal with the con of an injury.


I hold the belief that as a non-drug using vegan bodybuilder you will never get the kind of size that could be considered realistically detrimental to ones health.


I think all your pros are true.

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That was extremely inspirational! Somehow I never came across that interview with him, although I already knew who he was. I suppose I was worried for no reason lol. I wonder what he would look like if he had gone vegan years ago. Possibly even more incredible? Who knows. I'm glad I started young.

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Think Machine, I think you're overthinking it.... Seriously though


1. all of the "blue zone" areas that are the longest lived people on the planet follow diets based primarily around starches, legumes, fruits and vegetables which are inherently high carb diets. The china study, John McDougall, Caldwell Esselsytne and most other lifestyle treatment physicians utilize high carb diets for their patients. Their programs may not be necessary to follow to the "T" for a healthy person, but I think its same to say that they are not going to harm your health.


2. I've wondered about excess weight in the form of muscle decreasing your over all lifespan as well. But my dietetics professors have unanimously said that is not the case. Of course, they could be wrong. But I will say that it seems unlikely that without the assistance of drugs you are going to gain the extreme amounts of muscle that it would take to put enough stress on your heart to decrease your over all quality or life span too any measurable amount. And if you do, then Caldwell Esselstyne whom I quoted in "1" has written a great book based on a highly effective program called "Reversing Heart Disease" in which he puts patients on a low fat whole foods vegan diet and they get better.


3. If you lift weights you could potentially get an injury, that's true. But if you don't lift then your chances of osteoporosis (mostly for women, but men too), sarcopenia (muscle wasting/atrophy), hip fractures in old age, and even cancer increases. So make practical incremental increases in your training and not crazy psychotic jumps that you're body can't handle and your chances of getting injured will greatly decrease. Learn how to squat with lighter weights and you will find that the squat is used more in daily life than probably any other motion apart from walking (and possibly using a remote depending on if you are a gamer).

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