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What Is Palumboism? Why Do Bodybuilders Develop A Bubble Gut?


If you have ever seen a bodybuilding competition, whether a professional or amateur event you have probably seen someone on stage who resembles one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Well, these bodybuilders have not come into contact with toxic waste but instead are experiencing a condition called Palumboism.

So what is Palumboism? What causes it and is there any cure to this condition?

What Is Palumboism?

The term Palumboism was originally coined after seeing the expanded belly of bodybuilder Dave Palumbo.

Dave Palumbo Palumboism

This conditions mostly affects the midsection, with the width of the ribs, waist and pelvis grow disproportionately.

In the past bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger were able to create a “vacuum” by sucking in their stomachs while posing. Those with Palumboism are unable to create this vacuum as their obliques are too thick.

The facial features of those with this condition are also likely to change, with thick folds of dermal tissue forming around their mouth. Cranial hyperplasia (enlargement) of the skull is also common.

One other common symptom is the disproportionately small limbs when compared to the rest of the upper body.

When looking at pictures of those with Palumboism it is common for their arms to look in a catabolic state when compared to the torso. Sometimes the quads also suffer this look too.

Those with an advanced form of this condition will display other issues too, for instance, their skin colour will become uneven and display numerous shades ranging from grey to bright orange. The skin will also appear to be prematurely aged.

The veins of an individual suffering from Palumboism will also become overly vascular with a “worn out” appearance.

What Causes Palumboism?

Often referred to as “steroid gut”, this is not the main cause of this condition. While not scientifically proven the belief is that the abuse of HGH and insulin is the main causes. This belief is due to the change in the appearance of bodybuilders during the 90s and 2000s, which coincided with the growing use of both hormones.

HGH is highly anabolic and if your use is not kept in check then you may encounter serious issues that include Palumboism.

Insulin is another anabolic hormone that controls your body’s ability to absorb sugar. It is used by bodybuilders as it helps them to absorb protein much easier. Unfortunately, it also causes water retention, which often settles on the belly.

One of the hardest parts of a bodybuilders routine is the vast amount of food they must consume to maintain their bodies.

A professional bodybuilder may consume as much as 7,000 calories every day. Which may be divided into 7 or 8 meals.

Just try and imagine just how much food that is. No wonder their stomach may be bloated.

Why Do Bodybuilders Take HGH?

HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is a naturally occurring substance that is produced and secreted by the pituitary gland.

It contains 191 amino acids and is used primarily for the growth and development of the young. It is also crucial for your overall health and well being [1].

Bodybuilders are always looking for something to boost their own efforts so HGH is an obvious choice due to its anabolic properties.

Scientists created a synthetic version of this hormone and it is believed that bodybuilders started to experiment with it in the 1970s as this is when competitors started to exhibit greater bulk than previously.

Once HGH enters your bloodstream and reaches your liver it will stimulate the production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).

IGF-1 helps to speed up the process of protein synthesis, which it achieves by binding with specific receptors found in your musculoskeletal tissue.

As you know without protein, building muscle would be near impossible. By increasing protein synthesis you are increasing your ability to build muscle.

HGH also promotes the creation of new cells, which while has its benefits when building muscle can lead to issues such as Palumboism for example.

Research has found that those with lower HGH levels are more likely to gain fat. HGH helps to tell your body to use fat for energy rather than storing it.

HGH can also enhance cartilage strength, as well as helping to promote stronger bones and joints.

It also helps to promote faster recovery post-exercise, which is always a good thing when looking to build muscle. Without regular exercise, you are not going to break down the muscle fibres ready for them to rebuild bigger and stronger.

Dangers Of Palumboism?

Palumboism is not just unattractive to look at, it can also be dangerous and with many side effects associated with it.

A common issue, but one you may not think about is that when your gut expands, your lungs will also swell in a similar proportion.

Your rib cage may be flexible enough to deal with the everyday range of motion, encountered when breathing. However, your rib cage can only expand so much before becoming fatal.

Other common issues encountered with HGH abuse and Palumboism are:

  • Cardiac hypertrophy (when your heart expands excessively)
  • Resistance to insulin
  • Muscle, nerve and joint pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Gynecomastia (the enlargement of male breast tissue)
  • Oedema in both arms and legs

Worst Cases Of Palumboism

Below are some of the worst cases of Palumboism, along with some before and after images of bodybuilders who we suspect have used HGH to excess:




How To Avoid Palumboism?

There is no known cure for Palumboism. Unfortunately, if you continue to over-indulge in the use of HGH then your condition will continue to deteriorate.

Personally any benefits you can gain while using HGH to excess is not worth the long term health issues you may encounter. Is there a better alternative?

In Conclusion

Palumboism is a reminder that if you choose to use HGH or another substance to enhance your training that moderation is key.

You also need to remember that genetics has a part to play in any muscle-building journey. You can only enhance yourself so far. Be realistic with your goals.

This condition is not attractive and will ruin all of the hard work you have put into creating your body.

How To Build Muscle Without HGH & Steroids

It is certainly possible to build muscle without the use of HGH and steroids.

Of course, your diet and exercise regime is important (read this article on bulking for that), but there are also muscle building supplements you can use too.

Crazy Bulk sells a variety of supplements that can help you build muscle and strength.

Buy HGH-X2HGH-X2 is just one of these supplements.

Made from Maca, Mucuna Pruriens, Hawthorn Berry and L-Arginine it will provide you with the following user benefits:

  • Gains in muscle and strength
  • Increased fat burning
  • Increased blood flow
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Better nitrogen retention
  • More energy
  • More stamina
  • Increased performance
  • Faster recovery from exercise

If you doubt these claims then I would recommend that you visit their official website to read the real customer testimonials that have been submitted.

To read more about the potential benefits of HGH-X2 I would recommend reading the full review. You can do this by clicking the link below.

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