Bumps , Bruises and Bodybuilding

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Bodybuilding and acne… already I can guarantee what the majority of you are thinking about after reading those two particular words. Not saying that as a side effect of PEDs it isn’t a major thing but unless you happen to be one of the dumbest unluckiest motherfuckers like myself you have no clue.

Now since I was 13 I always had bad skin, initially on my face then eventually as it settled and stopped on my face then eventually I always just had light spots on my shoulders, upper back and chest. Long story short, on the lead in to my last show I shave the morning of the evening I put on my first coat of tan. After the NABBA I tried my hardest to get the tan off my skin. I exfoliated hard every day sometime twice a day alongside heavy sweating from tryna get my ass back in gear after a 10kg worth of day off the day after that show to get me ready for RIBBF(and yes I said 10kg) I apparently had single handedly managed to piss my skin off to such a point that shit got vicious.

So as weeks passed and I decided to finally leave the tan alone, I noticed I had started to get acne from my upper forearm up towards my shoulder, then all over my back and they were BAD.  

So after a while of waiting then obviously being driven demented and to a new low of embarrassed about it, I paid a visit to my dermatologist. After he informed me that I had aggressive acne and folliculitis (think that’s how its spelt), he prescribed me Roaccutane.

Now, a lot of people would know and would’ve heard about Roaccutane and the side effects it offers all of which I DID suffer from : 

  • Dry skin 
  • Back pain
  • Dry eyes 
  • Fragile skin 
  • High levels of lipids or cholesterol in the blood
  • Infection or inflammation of the eyelid
  • Inflammation and cracking of the skin of the lips or dry lips
  • Itching
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain, fatigue or tenderness
  • Skin exfoliation
  • Skin rash or rashes
  • Dryness in the nose
  • Inflammation of the nose and throat
  • Nose bleed
  • Proteinuria

Having to take this every day along with getting a full blood test every month and have appointments with the dermatologist was not just mentally taxing but also expensive when you add it all up. But what you may have grazed over in that list above would be the amount of points that raise the question on its effect on training.

Back pain, muscle pain and fatigue, joint pain, all at a severe level knocked my training to depths I could have never imagined. I expected to slow down but not nearly come to a standstill. Went from a near 200kg squat, deadlift and a 160kg deadlift (no way impressive numbers I know) to barely being able to bench over 110kg, deadlifting and squatting had to become a past time due to the severe back pain I would experience at times from just walking around.

To say I didn’t get depressed over the course of roaccutane that will end this Wednesday (who’s counting) and lasted 7/8months would be a lie. Due to not being able to train for as long or as hard or as often, took toll on my physique, because of that my diet went off track and because of that I became a mess and I was constantly focused on wearing sleeves (in a fairly hot summer) which all in turn didn’t help my mood. There is worse out there but this as a personal challenge was tough as nails. But now I finally get to the point of my writing of this article. I went from doing ok with my progressions and getting the hang of off season and pre contest flowing one into the other and learning my body to being hardly able to do leg extensions because of excruciating DOMs I would’ve got ON THE DRIVE HOME from that same session 10 mins prior. I hit rock bottom and was in shit. But when you’re in the shit, and you focus on the shit you’re in, you always sink deeper. Time had passed and one day I started to see my skin improve a tiny bit and with that tiny nudge in progress the improvements just kept rolling, before I knew it I was being told I would finish these drugs ASAP and I sit here writing this close to getting back to normality. My skin isn’t perfect, in fact to some who don’t know me it mightn’t look the greatest. 

But in the past few weeks I realised something and it’s something I offer to anyone who is either on this drug or at any stage may need to take it. If you get into a situation like myself and roaccutane is the route you have to take, especially if you train. The first thing you do is, realise that this is something that just has to be done, if your skin bothers you that much and you want rid of it, you must sacrifice one thing for another at this stage. 

Get your diet into check and treat this as a practice cut, experiment with new dieting and training systems, your body is going to take a heavy hit from the drugs so keep health as a priority. Your training isn’t going to rocket and you’re not going to get crazy strong so keep it moderate and light. Feel it out and see what your body can take and adapt to it once you’re a month or so in. The new style and system adjustment can help broaden your mind also. I adapted to a modified Westside Barbell style type of training, trained with some power lifters and really tried to develop myself as a lifter, dilute all forms of ego I may have picked up and still managed to make some progressions as slight as they may have been in my knowledge and overall training and physique.

I didn’t want this to be somewhat unheard of as a topic so I thought I’d list the experience I had with it along with any advice I could offer up in the hopes that someone maybe going through or is about to go through something similar can find a positive

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Masters Of Our Own Destiny



Sit down for a minute. Ask yourself…Am I happy with my life?? If your answer is no, why fucking not??

Two recent incidents have brought home the stark reality of how futile most peoples existence on this earth are. Too lazy and uncaring to take their own lives by the proverbial balls and do something with it.

The first, and this isn’t an isolated incident, was while talking to a friend about his recent holiday, a 3 week holiday at that, he told me he was dreading being home and going back to work. I too recently had a holiday abroad, and by the end of the week I couldn’t wait to get home and get back to my life. MY life. I am very happy with my day to day living, I don’t feel the need to escape. I have actively pursued steps to live my life, the way I want on my own terms. Almost all resort to drink and drugs, constantly wishing for holidays, to escape what I can only presume must be a fairly shitty existence if they are constantly looking to escape it. 

The 2nd incident was a trip to a hospitals A&E dept. Now while I will agree, the health service in this country is a disgrace and the service is shocking, I do not put the blame on the staff, its mostly down the disgraceful government funding leading to these hospitals being under staffed. The blame also lies with us!!! Looking around I couldn’t help but notice how unhealthy all around me looked. ( now im well aware people in hospitals are there because they are unhealthy) but my point being is that there is chronic states of ill health among most of our nation. Ill health caused by very poor lifestyles. Awful nutrition habits, lack of exercise, alcohol, smoking , drug use. Again, something we have vast control of. If we actually took a proactive outlook towards our health I guarantee waiting lists and deaths from a lot of modern day diseases will be reduced by up to 50%.

The whole point of this, is that we control our lives. Nobody else. Yes, there will always be outside factors that will affect our decision making and journeys but ultimately, we control our own destiny in life. So ask yourself, are you happy with your life?? If you answer no, why not?? Changes it!! It may not happen overnight but you can push your life in almost any direction you choose.


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