Roid Gut: What Is It And Why Do Bodybuilders Suffer With It

What Are Roid Guts? 

Anyone following competitive bodybuilders in recent years would be familiar with roid gut. More and more bodybuilders signing up for bodybuilding competitions these days have an undesired physical trait these days-distended bellies. At first glance, it would be hard to believe that you are not looking at a lady who is expecting a child. 

As a bodybuilder, you would never want your belly to bulge out of your physical frame (roid gut). All the dedication and hard work you put into building a Herculean physique would go in vain when your gut seems like you need a visit to the gynaecologist’s chamber. A swollen lower torso far from complements your muscly legs, upper torso, and arms.

Back in the good old days, roid guts were not as common as they are in the current bodybuilding scene. When the likes of Lee Priest, Mike Matarazzo, Paul Dillet and Arnold Schwarzenegger were lighting up the stage, bulky guts were as rare as hen’s teeth.

If you didn’t figure it out already, then you should know that the term ‘’roid’’ is a short form of saying ‘’steroid’’. So, ‘’roid guts’’ are basically ‘’steroid guts’’. As the name implies, the primary culprit behind this phenomena is the mismanagement of steroids. It is one of the most common pharma fails in the world of bodybuilding. 

Why Bodybuilders Get Roid Guts? 

We just answered that question in the simplest way possible, a roid gut is the consequence of a poor steroid supplementation plan. But, in subsequent paragraphs, we will explore the roots of roid guts in more detail. So, let’s find out what theories are out there to explain this irksome occurrence: 


Palumboism refers to the physical condition when the oblique muscles of your abdomen gain excessive fat and push the stomach outwards. The use of insulin and Human Growth Hormones (HGH) is thought to bring about palumboism.  If that’s the case indeed, anabolics should not shoulder the blame for roid guts. 

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The name palumboism came from American bodybuilder Dave Palumbo, who was the first documented case of roid guts among bodybuilders. Palumboism cases soared in the 90s as HGH and insulin became more popular in the bodybuilding community. That makes an even stronger case against HGH and insulin. 

In theory, both HGH and insulin prompt visceral fat build-up and connective tissue growth. On top of that, the pharmacological effects of these substances also include distended liver, thickening of pelvic musculature, and Ascites. All these factors can result in a swollen tummy. 

Scientific Argument

The scientific argument to back up this theory is not much far-fetched. Insulin has been associated with increased visceral and organ fat. Therefore, a stronger dose of insulin could, hypothetically at least, make your belly protrude. HGH like testosterone can also contribute to some extra fat. 

But, the argument falls flat when you compare medical and bodybuilding dosages. Before training sessions, bodybuilders usually take 10-12 units of insulin. This is less than half the amount doctors prescribe for their diabetes patients. Do you see many diabetics walking around with a pregnant woman-like belly? 

Keep in mind that most diabetics will not exert themselves like bodybuilders in the gym. They have less opportunity to burn fat yet they don’t seem to get roid guts. This is bound to make you more sceptic of the link between insulin and roid guts. You can’t find studies that establish a strong relationship between the two.

The same can be said about HGHs. Many muscle atrophy patients take HGH regularly. The daily dosage for these patients can range anywhere between 9 to 18 units, whereas a bodybuilder limits himself to 4-12 units per day. Guess what? You won’t see roid guts in these patients either. 

Once you consider all the available information, you can’t accuse insulin and HGH of causing roid guts in bodybuilders. People with various medical conditions often take much higher doses than fitness professionals. Since they rarely develop roid guts, we need to look elsewhere to discover the actual culprit. 

Can We Let Insulin And HGH Off The Hook?

I wish there was a simple way to answer this, but it’s kind of complicated. We have just presented valid arguments for pointing out that it would not be wise to hold insulin and HGH entirely culpable of causing roid guts in bodybuilders-’’entirely’’ being the operative word since we can’t completely rule out their involvement. 

To a certain extent, both insulin and HGH can trigger organ swelling. It is scientifically proven that they can stimulate muscle growth. Anabolics, anti-cortisol pills, dietary supplements-all these can have a similar effect on a bodybuilder’s body. So, the more plausible explanation is that a combination of all these results in a bloated belly. 

What Substances Can Increase Roid Gut Risks?


Insulin automatically directs our mindset to diabetes, but it can have a profound impact on a bodybuilder’s physical health. Whenever we eat, our pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream immediately. It plays an indispensable role in breaking down sugar and nutrients derived from the food. 

Therefore, a lacklustre level of insulin in your body would make it difficult for you to absorb sugar. On the contrary, more insulin would enhance your physical capability of assimilating sugar. This particular attribute makes it a desirable bulking agent as it can promote protein synthesis for larger muscle mass. 

Unfortunately, there’s a price you have to pay for excessive insulin use. It encourages muscular water retention which creates a jiggly patch of fat over lean muscles. More water retention means you would look fatter. That means it would seem like there is a watermelon underneath your shirt. 

Human Growth Hormone

Human growth hormones are the most proactive in the younger stages of our lives. If our bodies were unable to produce these hormones, we would have never grown past the state of infancy. After we hit adulthood, they take a backseat as our growth plates seal off. 

But, that doesn’t mean they go dormant. You will not grow much after puberty, but HGH would continue to be indispensable in our lives. They would help us recover muscle strength after a strenuous shift at the gym. These hormones are responsible for all sorts of muscular repairment in the human body. 

So, growth hormones are often the go-to choice for bodybuilders to build a beautiful set of lean muscles. But, taking HGH means it would enlarge anything in your body without fused growth plates. For that reason, your belly would also get larger alongside your legs, hands, and other organs. 


Anabolics have become an important part of the art of bodybuilding. It has its pros and cons, but many are focused on highlighting the damaging consequences of steroid use. Hence, it shouldn’t surprise you when you see anabolics getting singled out as the only reason for roid guts.

That said, we can’t deny the fact that anabolics come with a good deal of drawbacks. Using anabolics would increase both the size and weight of your physical organs. Responsible use of anabolics is a must for avoiding roid guts and even more serious, and potentially life-threatening situations. 

How To Avoid Roid Guts The Safe Way 


There are no better alternatives to exercising to get rid of roid guts. Compound exercises and isolation exercises both works. But, we would recommend compound exercises for better results as they focus on multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Take 2-minute breaks between each set to minimize muscle damage risks. 


You are what you eat-its as simple as that. If you want to change your physical appearance, you will have to make dietary changes accordingly. Eat more frequently but in smaller portions. 4-6 daily meals would be ideal. Having a snack two hours before exercising would give you more energy.

Your daily diet should consist of:

  • Lean protein (0.8-1.2 grams per pounds of body weight, 0.2-2.5 grams per pounds of body weight post-exercise)
  • Carbohydrate (100 grams or more)
  • Fat (.35 grams per pound of body weight)
  • Supplemental calorie (250-500 units)

Are There Safe Steroids That You Can Use Without Getting Roid Gut? 

It might sound too good to be true, but Bigsteroids offers supplemental steroids for bodybuilders that can help them attain their fitness goals without the burden of roid guts. Shape your body to perfection using bulking and cutting agents from CBigSteroids. All these are 100% legal and safe to use. 


We are yet to pinpoint a definitive factor responsible for roid guts in bodybuilders. But, it can be said with certainty that using the right dietary and supplemental plan can keep the nightmares of having a bloated belly at bay. You have gone to great lengths to chisel your physique to perfection. Why not do it the right way?

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