Bonkers bodybuilding disasters

Handsome muscular bodybuilder posing over black background.

You won’t believe it…

There are tonnes of funny gym stories and urban bodybuilding myths doing the rounds.

But we’ve got five strange tales for you, and they are actually all true.

From exploding biceps to pumped up ferrets, these bodybuilding disasters are well worth a read.

1. Exploding biceps

Gregg Valentino

Image source: Wikimedia
The biggest biceps in the world

Larger than life Gregg Valentino once boasted the biggest biceps in the world – until the day they exploded on him. He claims he had an infection from injecting steroids. But much of the bodybuilding community puts this disaster down to synthol abuse – injecting synthol oil into his muscles to bulk them up. Think we’ll stick to tried and tested bodybuilding supplements thank you very much!

Whatever the cause, the controversial figure filmed himself operating on his pus-swollen biceps. 20 minutes into the episode, Valentino was rushed to the hospital for emergency (and, this time, professional) surgery. The infected part of his arm was cut away but Valentino survived to tell the tale (and write a book).

2. Man breasts

Ronnie Coleman

Image source: B.Stefanov /
Man breasts. Never a good look for a Mr Olympia!

Bodybuilding legend, Ronnie Coleman, is another of our bodybuilding disaster stories. Coleman is holder of eight straight wins as Mr Olympia and a record-breaking 26 wins as an IFBB professional. However, even this bodybuilding demi-god suffered for his sport – developing gynecomastia (man breasts).

Overuse of testosterone caused his body to convert the excess into oestrogen. This in turn lead to man breasts. Pecs to puppies – never a good look, even if the rest of you is definitely all man.

3. Froze in pose


Image source: A_Lesik /
Literally froze on stage!

Canadian Paul Dillett is another former Mr Olympia who figures in our disasters list. Dillett got so cramped up at the 1998 Mr Olympia that he literally froze on stage. It took four officials to cart him off, while Dillett was stuck in his pose.

Like many other ‘90s bodybuilders Dillett was using dangerous levels of diuretics to reduce the fluids between his skin and muscles to give him a hard, dry look. Luckily he survived the episode, even if his ego took a direct hit.

4. Clinically dead

Ray Moon

Image source: Izifunny
The world’s oldest bodybuilder. Respect!

Aussie Ray Moon is the world’s oldest bodybuilder at the ripe old age of 85. He’s also an incredible example of what willpower and dedication to lifting can achieve in the face of multiple disaster.

Moon took up bodybuilding in his seventies following ill health. He’s had polio, open heart surgery, a cardiac arrest and been pronounced clinically dead – he now wears a pacemaker. A few years ago Moon had to scale back on bodybuilding while he fought bladder cancer. But he didn’t give up and despite all the odds, this tough old Aussie is still training and still competing. Hats off to Ray.

5. Pumped up poodles


Image source: Mashable
A very suspicious looking poodle…

What’s a ferret got to do with bodybuilding disasters? An Argentinian pet dealer was caught passing steroid-pumped ferrets off as toy poodles! The ferrets had been fed steroids from birth to increase their size and their fur had been fluffed up to make them more poodle-like.

One punter realised that the cut-price poodles weren’t what they were supposed to be when he took them to the vet for their vaccinations. How gullible would you have to be to buy a ferret (even one that’s been pumped and fluffed up) thinking it was a poodle? Needless to say, the duped punter didn’t bother to file a complaint.

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