Bubble Gut

Bubble gut gate caused people to critique massive bodybuilding. It’s not a new thing, dissented stomachs have been seen in competition for years now, but thanks to Luimarco and his youtube following, it’s being brought up again now that Phil Heath clearly showed he had a weak midsection.

I find it interesting that the IFBB will let Phil Heath to win the Mr. Olympia. I share the same fundamental issue that everyone has, you can’t possibly be the best bodybuilder in the world if you have a bubble gut. It should be a disqualifying factor. It’s not possible to be a representative of fitness and the top model of how a well developed physique should look if you have a bubble gut.

Bubble Gut

Naturally, Phil Heath got defensive over this and went off on social media. I really don’t blame him for what he did or even that he won. It’s the league’s issue to fix. It’s stupid for him to protest his own bubble gut if he’s already at the top.

Turns out that Phil Heath had two hernia’s in his stomach which would partially explain why he showed up that way at the 2017 Olympia.

Bubble Gut


“Phil had two huge hernias. One above his belly button that spread 2 inches wide on each side where his upper intestines were caught within the torn tissue and muscle and a lower abdominal hernia which was apart of his umbilical hernia that he was born with (which was repaired at age 2 and was done horribly wrong) this lower hernia was so bad that it tore from side to side, up and down causing Phil to have a 3 inch wide hole and 4 inches of his small intestines hanging over that hole. The doc was able to push his intestines 5 inches back down into his abdomen and tightened his abdomen together and closed the holes.” @_mrsheath_

I feel bad for him. He just got them repaired and I know first hand how long hernias take to heal. I had a hernia repaired and I was out of competition for almost 2 years. First year was to physically heal properly, and another year to recover my lost gains. I was told by my surgeon that it would take 2-3 weeks to recover, but I’ll tell you it was way longer than that. A 2-3 week recovery process is for the normal person who just needs to walk around and go to work and not do any heavy lifting.  For someone who makes a living lifting heavy weights, it’s a completely different recovery process.  Salute to Phil for getting this done, but I don’t see a quick recovery in his future, especially with 2 hernias.  I also expect a new 2018 Mr. Olympia winner to emerge solely based on this.

Was Phil’s hernia the cause for his bubble gut? I don’t think so.

It has to be the extra drug dosages used to acquire the extreme muscular look.  Although I can’t say for sure that this is true, what else could it possibly be?  Could it be the food as other’s claim?  I doubt it.  I think there’s way more to it than that and an even deeper issue because these guys are not healthy and it might be killing them, R.I.P. Rich Piana and Dallas McCarver.

Another reason could be that clearly these guys are just way too big. I don’t think any of these top bodybuilders want to necessarily have a bubble gut, but that comes with the territory when you get too big. Keep in mind that they’re competing at around 240-260 lbs on stage and are well into the 300 lbs off season. There’s no way that the abdominals are going to stay small/slim while the rest of the other body parts continue to grow.  It’s common sense that the abdominals are also going to grow.

Bubble GutTo blame the bubble gut issue on Phil heath or any other giant bodybuilder is wrong. If you’re going to place blame on anything, it should be on lack of regulation from the IFBB.  The league doesn’t enforce any type of abdominal restrictions (let alone drug usage) and therefore, having a dissented stomach, although evidently muscular, is considered okay by the judges. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself hates the bubble gut and openly trolled Kai Greene for having it. Once the league enforces abdominal restrictions in some way, then the bodybuilders will be forced to control their midsection, which will benefit everyone in the short and long term.

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Miguel Quintana
A passionate fitness trainer who enjoys living and promoting a healthy fitness lifestyle. He is known for developing effective training programs and uses science proven methods with all his clients.