HGH gut and Palumboism. Facts and myths.

This article will eliminate such worrying problem in professional bodybuilding as HGH gut and palumboism – possible origin of them, history of occurring, differences between GH gut and palumboism. Also, we will discuss facts, myths and assumptions connected with this topic

HGH gut and Palumboism. What is the difference?


HGH gut

HGH guts of professional BB

GH gut – is phenomenon of extremely enlarged belly of bodybuilders. It is very noticeable, when athlete is ripped  – he has got 6 packs, but his waist is very wide and belly is bloated. That is why HGH gut is also called syndrome of pregnant bodybuilder.


Palumboism – is phenomenon of bloated belly and athrophied limb muscles at the same time. The strange name is connected with a father of Palumboism – Dave Palumbo. You can see his physique on the picture. The phenomenon is very rare and


Father of palumboism – Dave Palumbo

has unknown origin. In bodybuilding community it is considered that Palumboism is a kind of hormonal disease. There aren’t any explanations of this hypothesis, so it seems to be a speculation. We will discuss it later.

Shortly, Palumboism = GH gut + muscle athrophy.


When GH gut has appeared?

First bloated bellies occurred in the 90-s, when Dorian Yates became Mr. Olimpia and changed Lee Haynee. Yates is considered to has the first HGH gut in professional bodybduilding, however, in the interviews, describing  his cycles, Dorian don’t mention HGH, just traditional steroids. It can be truth, however, later bodybuilders, starting from Coleman have definitely used growth hormone and now it is an absolutely necessary drug in bodybuilding


Some people claim, that enlargement of guts is connected with overall rise in mass, not with growth hormone. If you look at 3 Mr. Olimpia of 80-s and 90-s you will see tremendous rise in muscle mass. Lee Haynee was 110 kg and 180 cm, Yates was 120 kg and 177 cm and Ronie Koleman has 138 kilos of ripped mass and 180 cm of height. So, according to the hypothesis, rise of belly is connected with the need to maintain much bigger muscles than before.

Lee Haney no HGH gut Yates little GH gut Coleman HGH gut


Possible origin of HGH gut

The main factor of its occurring is that HGH via IGF-1 influences receptors in smooth muscle tissues of internal organs and makes the organs rise.

This factor seems to be true, but the origin of HGH gut is more complex:

  • Long excessive HGH usage. Professional bodybuilders take steroids and growth hormone almost a whole year and the dosages of HGH are about 15-30 IUs every day for half a year without pauses.
  • Combinations with other drugs. Pro BB don’t take HGH solo, only in conjunction with steroids and insulin to get synergic effect. However, the synergy growth also affects internal organs, which grows rapidly.
  • Enormous amount of food. Jay Cutler once said that his only job is to eat and it is the hardest part of bodybuilders’ life. Professionals eat 6-7 thousands of calories every day, divided by 7-8 meals, so they need to eat 800-900 calories each time. Try to eat this amount and your stomach will become bloated. And what if you eat like this 8 times a day? Your belly will be enlarged the whole day and if you take HGH, steroids and insulin, they will ehance this process.
  • Maintenance of huge muscles requires big muscles of spine and abs, so waist rises.

Likely, HGH gut phenomenon has complex origin – HGH+insulin+steroids abuse and excessive food consumption are the main reasons.

Another reason why the bloated belly isn’t caused by HGH only is that Olimpic athletes, that take HGH too, don’t have big guts.

Facts, myths and assumptions about HGH gut

Myth 1. GH gut is irrevocable.

Fact 1. Belly returns to normal size after the conditions that influence it, returns back to the normal.  This fact can be illustrated by 2 examples – Dorian Yates and Phil Health. Dorian that had GH gut during his career, now doesn’t.  (photo). Second example –  on 2013-2014 Mr. Olimpia competition Phil Heaths  gut was big, but on the 2015 competition it disappeared and his waist returned its size.

HGH gut of Yates yates no gh gut

Phil Heath HGH gut

Assumption 1. Stomach is very elastic and an easily change volume from normal 1 liter size to 4 and even 6 liters, when it is full or distended in other ways. However, when mechanican distension ends, the normal size restores.

Myth 2. Bodybuilders of golden era didn’t use HGH.

Fact 2. Growth hormone has been available on the market since its first extraction from cadaver pituitary in 1956. With the time, extraction from pituitaries became more and more intensive and it was easy to get HGH in the 80-s. As recombinant growth hormone was syntheses in 1985 (LINK TO SOMATREM) HGH become highly available for bodybuilders and certainly they used it.

Assumption 2. Bodybuilders of the golden era used HGH but because it was very expensive, they did it in lower dosages, than nowadays professionals, so the problem of HGH gut didn’t exist.

Myth 3. Growth hormone in any dosage leads to GH gut.

Fact 3. This side effect wasn’t observed nor fixed by scientists that research somatropin usage for anti-aging therapy.

Assumption 3. Growth hormone when it isnt abused doesn’t lead to enlargement of internal organs, because the anabolic potency is concentrated in skeletal muscle tissue.


How can I avoid HGH gut?

  • Dont exagerrate daily dosage of 10 IU and cycle duration of 3-5 months (HGH DOSAGE)
  • Eat smaller portions of food.
  • Do vacuum exercise to keep internal muscles of abs in tonus (PHOTO)



Now, lets discuss another popular problem in bodybuilding – so-called Palumboism (GH gut + muscle shrinkage)

HGH gut of grec covac

Greg Covac – example of palumboism

Palumboism got the name because of its “father” – Dave Palumbo, who is an illustration of this phenomenon.

Look at the photos to see, how Daves physique has been changing during his career. Young Palumbo has great body, but then the things gone badly and his physique had started to change – the belly to grow and other muscles to diminish.

gh gut palumboism Dave palumbo gutpalumboism

It is believed that Palumboism is a kind of a hormonal disorder, caused by HGH usage in combination with other drugs.

Myth 1. Palumboism is a disease.

Fact 1. This idea hasn’t any scientific evidences and is grounded on too few examples.

Assumption 1. Palumboism is a speculation.

Myth 2. Palumboism is caused only by  growth hormone, insulin and steroids.

Fact 2. In professional bodybduiling athletes have on average equal dosages of HGH, insulin and steroids, however, there are only several of them who have palumboism

Assumption 2.  Palumboism, if it exists at all, is genetically caused response to effects of some drugs.

Myth 3. Palumboism is a common problem in bodybuilding.

Fact 3. There are only few examples of palumboism.

Assumption 3. The photos of Dave Palumbo that are forced as illustrations of palumboism were made on guest posing, when Dave has already finished his career, so the photos of his awful physique aren’t representative.



  • GH gut has a complex nature – abuse of HGH, insulin and AAS combined with enormous food consumption
  • HGH gut won’t appear if you take HGH properly – low dosage and short cycles (HGH FOR BODYBUILDING ARTICLE)
  • Distension disappears when stomach returns to normal conditions.
  • Palumboism seems to be a myth and speculation without scientific evidences and grounded on too few examples.



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