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Iron Culture

Dec 26, 2022

In a series of recent Washington Post investigative articles about bodybuilding in the NPC/IFBB pro league, Desmond Butler (the son of the producer of Pumping Iron) covered a series of controversial topics. Among them, were the seemingly increasing numbers of competitor deaths. In this episode, we sat down with Dr. Guillermo Escalante, the Assistant Dean and a Professor of Kinesiology in the College of Natural Sciences at CSU San Bernardino, who is a competitive bodybuilder himself, as well as an athletic trainer (a sports medicine first responder). He was interviewed for these Washington Post articles because from 2012 to 2019 he spent many of his Saturdays in Southern California at shows, making himself available in case any athletes had medical emergencies. Dr. Escalante has also specifically published research examining the potential causes of death of enhanced pro bodybuilders. Needless to say, there are few people with more direct knowledge, experience, and perspective on the potential dangers of certain practices in enhanced physique sport, whether these risks can be reduced, and how.