The distended gut it’s a phenomenon going on in the bodybuilding realm, one that was never really present in the Golden Age of 70’s bodybuilding. It’s something that has grown more and more prevalent since the 80’s into the 90’s and beyond. But what is the cause behind some of the distended abdomen that we see in current day bodybuilding?
What’s the difference between HGH gut and Palumboism?
- Distended gut (GH gut) – name for bloated belly, caused by stomach and intestines enlargement.
- Palumboism – rare phenomenon of unknown origin, leading to distended gut and atrophy of muscles, especially limbs (legs, arms, etc).
Probably the biggest culprit behind the distended gut is none other than the usage of growth hormone. It’s a subject that many people want to avoid, but GH as well as steroids are definitely a part of the sport that won’t go away. To get to such a massive size it’s going to take more than just eating protein and lifting weights.
The thing about GH is that it doesn’t just grow your muscles, but it can have an effect on your organs as well. The internal organs, in this case the intestines and the stomach, can grow along with your muscles causing the abs to push out and protrude.
n general growth hormone helps a lot with fat loss. This is one of the primary reasons bodybuilders take it during their whole preparation – to maintain low body fat levels. So, if growth hormone is so good for fat loss, how would it cause growth of the mid-section?
An excessive level of HGH in the body can cause the organs including the heart, liver and kidneys to grow to an excessively large size. This can lead to organ failure or dangerous conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
Extremely high levels of the human growth hormone in the system can also cause the bones to grow at an unhealthily fast rate, increasing the chance of injury during physical activity or natural periods of growth.
Growth hormone on it’s own can cause the massive change in muscle growth, but once you combine that with insulin, then you’re going to see some major changes. Insulin became more and more popular in the 80’s and would prove to be an effective tool for getting blood flow into the muscles. This would provide great gains for any bodybuilder. When it’s combined with GH then the results end up being twice as effective. This goes for the muscle growth you’ll find in the abdominal wall and with the inclusion of GH the organs will push against the muscle and cause the stomach to bulge.
Insulin is a peptide hormone, produced by beta cells in the pancreas, and is central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. It causes cells in the skeletal muscles, and fat tissue to absorb glucose from the blood. Bodybuilders inject insulin to drive nutrients into the muscle post workout. However, improper usage of insulin can cause extreme side effects including coma and death.
One of the major conditions caused by excess intra-abdominal adipose tissue is insulin resistance, defined as the inability of insulin to perform many of its major metabolic functions. Most evidence points to a cause-and-effect relationship between excess intra-abdominal fat and insulin resistance, as well as between insulin resistance and the health complications associated with intra-abdominal obesity.
High carb diets
Every bodybuilder knows that if they want to pack on size and muscle then diet is going to be a major factor. You’ve gotta eat big to get big is the school of thought and really, if you’re looking to compete on the pro level, then you’re going to have to eat and eat a whole lot. The problem with that is you’re packing your stomach with tons of carbs, proteins, and fats. It’s definitely not the major reason for distension, but it does have something to do with it. Unlike the competitors of yesterday, most bodybuilders in the open weight division are mass monsters weighing more than 250 lbs (115 Kg).
Each of you probably has noticed how your stomach bloats after a big meal of approximately 600-800 calories. Professional bodybuilders eat 6000-7000 calories every day divided in 8-9 times – 800 calories each time. Their stomachs and intestines are bloated full day for years consequently. Obviously, mechanic pressure on stomach causes its distention. Huge muscles of nowadays bodybuilders need more food than in the golden era of bodybuilding, so stomachs are bigger.