10 MOST EXTREME BUBBLE GUT BODYBUILDERS

10 MOST EXTREME BUBBLE GUT BODYBUILDERS

September 10, 2019 100 By Kody Olson


There’s a new phenomenon called “distended
gut”. It’s been blamed on numerous factors—insulin,
HGH immaculate conception—but however it happens, it’s definitely gotten so out of
control that it threatens to destroy whatever’s left of bodybuilding as a sport. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at
the worst examples of people with distended guts. Scott Steiner
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Scott Steiner isn’t a bodybuilder, he’s a
wrestler! Well, considering he shows up in a lot of
bodybuilding videos/articles and was once known as one of the most built men on the
planet, he seemed like a good fit for this list. On top of that, he actually has something
more than just pure Bubble Gut-itis going on—he also has a gigantic separation in
the middle of his chest that’s becoming more and more apparent as he ages. It’s been discussed ad nauseam online and
people can’t seem to figure out exactly what’s going on with his entire torso, but it’s apparent
that he’s at least aware of it as he’s gotten a gigantic tattoo to cover up the middle of
his chest and often wears something to disguise his bubble gut. Either way, if the sheer amount of premature
deaths don’t scare you off of stuff like anabolic steroids or human growth hormone, then results
like Steiner definitely should. With that out of the way, let’s talk about
actual bodybuilders! Phil Heath
Phil Heath is the only person on this list under the age of 40. At 37 years old, he’s an extremely well-known
bodybuilder and the most successful this century, winning seven straight Mr. Olympia competitions
(the Super Bowl of Body Building) from 2011 through 2017. However, as he’s gotten older he’s definitely
developed a case of the bubble guts. It’s actually his rise (along with that of
his competition) that’s really poured gas on the fire that has been Bubble Guts in the
sport over the last few years. Numerous pictures of the final contestants
were labeled as horrible and even the Mr. Pregnant show, forcing the legend of all legends
in the game that is Bodybuilding, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to comment on the state of Bubble Guts in
the industry. Arnold stated that perhaps there needs to
be a change to how the contests are scored to penalize the lack of aesthetics in the
sport. The sport used to be all about the “V-Shaped”
body and now it really only cares about bulk and mass. While Arnold admits that even he had to suck
in his stomach from time to time, things have definitely gotten out of control, and this
most recent Mr. Olympia is a testament to that fact. Jean-Pierre Fux
Outside of the hilarious last name, Pierre Fux (I bet he does) is mostly known for a
terrible accident that occurred during a weightlifting session and almost ended his career. He was attempting to squat almost 700-lbs
while at Gold’s Gym in Fullerton, California. While initially lifting the amount, during
a photo-shoot for FLEX Magazine, he suddenly collapsed with the full weight on his back. He describes the accident as follows:
“We’d worked up to seven plates on each side. That weight is not a problem for me — I had
done the same thing a week earlier for my training video. I began to squat down and everything was fine. Then in a split second, I went from complete
comfort to collapse. My knees just went — I crashed down so quickly
the spotters didn’t have time to react. Afterward, they felt bad about it, but it
was so quick, nobody could have caught the weight.” Luckily he was prepared for such an accident
and knew that if he wanted to save the tendons in his knees/legs, he should keep his legs
straight. So, once the weight was removed he straightened
his legs and that most likely saved his tendons. He spent two weeks in the hospital and was
wheel-chair bound for a long time, which is perhaps the source of his Bubble-Gut (or maybe
it was the drugs he took to catch up after his injury). His injury is so well-known because he urged
both FLEX magazine and the photographer who took the pictures to actually publish them
to help people know what to do when they’re injured. Which is super cool and makes you hope that
he can now conquer his biggest test of all, the Bubble Gut. Kai Greene
Phil Heath’s most consistent competition has been Kai Greene, who has finished second at
the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Mr. Olympia’s behind Heath (he also won the 2016 Arnold Classic,
that should at least punish someone like Greene for having a “bottle shape” as opposed to
the classic “V-shape” Arnold/everyone with eyeballs prefers). Greene has a tough background, growing up
in the foster care system and residential treatment centers. Because of that, he acted out and luckily
for him his science teacher noticed that he had behavioral problems and also a genetic
gift so he helped him pursue bodybuilding to take advantage of those gifts while giving
him a place to vent/funnel all of his anger and emotion. What so sad about this current trend is you
hear these amazing stories about how bodybuilding can save a life like Greene’s, but at the
same time all of that work is essentially going down the drain because it appears that
Bubble Guts are permanent and there’s really nothing that these guys can do and thus their
careers will be over. Now, granted a lot of them are fairly old
and Greene (at 42) is at the tail-end of his career, but still, you’d hate to see an entire
generation of bodybuilders wasted because drugs were taken too far. Ronnie Coleman
If Phil Heath is the most successful bodybuilder of this decade than Ronnie Coleman was the
most successful bodybuilder of the 90’s. He won eight Mr. Olympia’s in a row and also
holds the record for the most IFBB professional wins at a staggering 26. He is now retired and 53 years old so you
can’t expect him to be in peak shape but it is sad to see someone who was as huge as Coleman
fall victim to Bubble Guts himself. This guy is a complete beast and makes a lot
of his competition look small by comparison, and that’s helped off-set the obviousness
of his protruding stomach. But really if anyone should be the poster
boy for whatever causes Palumbo-ism , it should be Coleman. You’ll notice that while Arnold did gain a
gut in his later years, it was a natural gut made of fat and sagging tissue not one that
appears to be made of pure muscle. So, something that these guys were either
doing in the late 90’s or are doing recently is causing this to either manifest years later
(when they’re around 45-50) or their older bodies just can’t handle it. There are a ton of theories as to what is
causing this problem as discussed in the intro and in order to get to the bottom of it before
it destroys the sport, more guys like Coleman should come out and discuss it openly. One has to commend Dave Palumbo for discussing
this on his YouTube channel and attempting to turn a negative into a positive, so hopefully
more people will follow his lead now that Arnold has come out and weighed in on the
topic as it’s something that needs to end before next year’s Olympia if the sport intends
to exist beyond that. Markus Ruhl
At 5’10” and around 310 pounds, even around other body-builders, Markus Ruhl is considered
to be a huge guy, with gigantic arms and legs that many of his peers just don’t have. A lot of what body-building at least used
to be is symmetry and what’s aesthetically pleasing. While that’s obviously subjective and can
change from era to era, a lot of guys don’t go for massive bulk as there are also scores
for how lean someone is, how vascular they look, etc. So, while that means he may not win every
competition because of his pure bulk, Ruhl has actually weathered the Bubble Gut era
pretty well despite having one himself. His massive arms and legs help cover up the
fact that he does have a distended stomach, which really makes him look a lot more like
a Ninja Turtles action figure than something like a He-Man action figure, which, one can
assume, is not what he was going for when he started bodybuilding. King Kamali
King Kamli is a 45 year old body-builder that was born in Tehran, Iran but now lives in
New York City. Sadly, 45 is around the life expectancy of
most bodybuilders thanks to the abuse they do to their bodies, which is extremely ironic
considering bodybuilding is a health-related sport. Nicknamed “The Persian Pearl” for some reason
and “The Terminator” (which is a bad nickname when you compete in the same sport as… You know, the REAL Terminator?), Kamali actually
has a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from George Mason University, meaning
he should know better than anyone why he’s suffering from Bubble Gut and what to do to
fix it. However, it does seem like a lot of the examples
of Bubble Guts in the sport end up happening to older men as opposed to younger ones so
perhaps it has more to do with age than anything else. Either way, he’s clearly past his prime and
shouldn’t be competing any more, as there’s really no point, and as the recent sad death
of perhaps the most famous bodybuilder there is these days, Rich Piana, showed just this
year, there has to be a time where you stop abusing your body and if your gut is literally
distended because of the drugs you’re using, maybe that’s a good sign. But, what do I know? I don’t have a Bachelor of Science in it! Greg Kovacs
As just mentioned, 45 seems to be the age that most bodybuilders end up—a fact driven
home by learning about Greg Kovacs’ life and career. Kovacs was a Canadian bodybuilder who passed
away in 2013 at the age of 45 due to heart failure. Now, before discussing his career a bit we
should really look at the fact that these men are killing themselves over something
that shouldn’t be deadly. No one would argue that bodybuilders in the
early 70’s or before didn’t look a lot better than the ones do today and perhaps that’s
why the “Natty” movement has really gained a lot of steam lately. But when your sport needs a “natural” division
because of the rampant drug use and oil injection, perhaps it’s time for your sport to stop being
a sport? Especially when most of your icons die of
“natural causes” before their 50th birthday. Either way, Kovacs was a beast among beasts. He was actually the largest pro bodybuilder
there was in the latter half of the 1990’s, at 6’4″ and an “off-season” weight of 330
pounds. His arms measured 25 inches, his chest 70
inches, and his legs a colossal 35 inches. That didn’t help hide the Bubble Gut towards
the end of his career, though. Big Lenny
Some people actually believe “Palumbo-ism” should’ve been called “Lenny-ism” or “Big
Lenny-ism” because the bodybuilder known as Big Lenny definitely rocks the biggest bubble
gut of any man, woman or child in the known world. In fact, he’s more stomach than man at this
point, and while he’s muscular as compared to a regular person, he doesn’t really seem
to be in that great shape. He also appears to give zero F’s about it
(at least in most of his pictures). Like many others on this list he definitely
is past his prime, but considering how he looks now I’m not sure he ever technically
had a prime. Called Big Lenny because of his astonishing
height, there is a video of Lenny on Youtube where he discusses his case of Bubble Guts. In the 21 minute video, he blames too much
cardio on the fact that his legs are smaller than his stomach. On that subject, he says that his belly “isn’t
going anywhere” as it’s “large and hard” and blames it on the fact that he used to weigh
450 lbs. He
says that essentially he’ll build the rest of his muscles around his stomach to compensate
(which has worked for other people on this list) and while he does say that he doesn’t
take “any of the stuff” people blame Bubble Guts on, there’s no way that a human being
gets this large without having taken some sort of performance-enhancing drug. If he was telling the truth, that’d be great,
as he calls drug-users “half-assers” and “corner cutters”, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to
find out he’s lying about where that gut is coming from. Dave Palumbo
Thanks to a YouTube channel titled “Nick’s Strength and Power” Dave Palumbo will forever
be remembered as the man who changed the term Distended Gut from Bubble Gut to “Palumbo-ism”. And the new name has infiltrated the bodybuilding
world for sure, as it was brought up to Big Lenny in an interview conducted at, where
else, the gym about his bubble gut (this is like bubble gut Inception!). Like the other members of this list, Palumbo
is getting up there in age (49) and is definitely past his prime. Perhaps better than most people on this list,
he represents the 90’s era of bodybuilding as the gigantic, unnatural and hypervascular
type of builder. He’s retired now but still works in the
industry, serving as the Editor of Muscular Development Magazine, and the CEO of RX Muscle,
where he sells supplements. I can’t imagine that being the namesake for
a term as embarrassing as “Palumbo-ism” is great for his brand, the sales of his supplements,
or his self-image. A lot of body-builders are known to suffer
from a form of body dysmorphia, called Bigorexia, in which they are never happy with their appearance
and can never quite get big enough. Perhaps that’s why a lot of these guys just
destroy their bodies with all sorts of injections and pills. While many have died over the years, the fact
that death hasn’t stopped them shows just how important being “big” is to them. Perhaps the silver lining in all of these
bubble guts is the fact that it looks terrible (unlike steroids that make someone look bigger
and more powerful, but not bad) so it may finally be the impetus for change in an industry
that is so drug-ridden that it has separate competitions for people that don’t take drugs. Imagine if Major League Baseball had a Steroids-Free
division! Wait, they used to, it was called the AL Central
in the 90’s! Either way, Palumbo truly is an icon in the
sport and perhaps can use this to his advantage at some point. What do you think? Was this list big enough? Sound off in the comments below. Thanks for watching!