Sacrifice health for gains

I am of the mentality that I will do near enough anything to achieve my goals. If you don’t give it your all then you have no excuse for failing. I believe that effort and determination make anything possible. It is this that has pushed me to the limits of my body, mind and health at times.


This article is basically a warning to people to really think about what they are doing sometimes. If you have the same mindset as me it is often easy to get carried away with what you are trying to achieve and forget what you may be sacrificing to get there. The biggest sacrifice I see people make is the sacrifice of their health.


I myself have been in this very situation on a couple of occasions. There was one time where I was on a low carb diet, I was training first thing in the morning with only some amino acids fuelling me and I just trained too hard. I knew I should stop but I had to do my hour of cardio as I had planned so I carried on. Next thing I knew I was staring at the ceiling wondering where the hell I was. I somehow managed to make it to a shop down the road and stuffed my face with chocolate. I had forced myself into a state of hypoglycemia. This really made me think why I was doing all of it. The answer was the ridiculous statement of ‘I want to look good’. Is that really worth sacrificing your health and even your life for? There have been cases of people taking the risks too far in the past. If you look at people like Andreas Munzer, a phenomenal athlete and great champion of bodybuilding tragically died due to the taxes on his body.


In the last few years there have been 2 examples of people I know risking health in the name of vanity. They are just 3 examples of countless that I have come across with people who I don’t know personally.


The first is of one of my friends. He has always played sport and has been of a very high level of fitness and strength. A couple of years ago he felt a pain in the middle of his back. He ignored this pain and carried on weight training and playing football. Over the next 2 years he kept training through the steadily increasing pain. He did this until the pain became unbearable and was starting to infringe upon his everyday life. He went to the doctor and has had to have MRI scans. It turns out he has a spine condition that has been progressively worsened by all of his training. If he had just sacrificed a short time of training and gone to see to his back earlier he would have saved himself a serious spinal condition.


Another one of my friends was dieting for a holiday and took it too far towards the end of his diet. You may have read about bodybuilders trying to ‘dry out’ near to a show. This is basically the practice of reducing water retention under the skin to make them look leaner. It is done through a number of methods. It is never the safest thing in the world, messing about with your bodies water levels, however it is far less safe if you don’t know exactly what you are doing. A friend of mine made this mistake and ended up passing out in the gym due to total dehydration. He was close to going to A&E. luckily we had some rehydration gels and lots of water to hand and after  short while, lots of food and water and a bit of rest he was ok.


So when you have goals that you want to achieve make sure you ask yourself, is what you are doing to achieve those goals worth it? Are the risks worth the reward? If not, reassess your goals or try a different, safer way of achieving them.



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  • Deb B

    Wise words indeed. I am of a similar mindset, where i go all out and occasionally overtrain and end up exhausting myself. I get pains in my body similar to flu pains, and i have a day or two where i cant move or even think straight! Horrible and stupid. Our bodies need to repair, but if you're a very determined person its hard to see the common sense approach sometimes. I have to learn the hard way, because if anyone else tries to tell me it makes me more determined! Stubborn.

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