Powerlifting sensation Larry Wheels has faced several health challenges over the course of his career. The fitness influencer was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis last week. In a recent video uploaded on YouTube, Wheels opened up about his experience before finding out he got rhabdo and shared recovery updates.
Larry Wheels carved his own space in the fitness community with his insane feats of strength. He made waves after setting the World Record on the squat, bench, and deadlift at 2,275 pounds without wraps in the 275-lb weight category, which was recently broken by Zac Meyers. Known to be a man of many talents, he has experience competing in many sports, including strongman, bodybuilding, and arm wrestling. He’s one of the few powerlifters to have an aesthetic physique fit for the stage. He proved his potential by taking home the top prize in his amateur bodybuilding debut at the 2018 NPC Gold Coast Muscle Classic.
After about a decade of regular use, Wheels decided to quit PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs) after picking up a back injury in prep for a contest. Since he couldn’t get off the compounds at once, Wheels got on TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). He set his sights on the Classic Physique division for his next pursuit. He teamed up with Open veteran William Bonac and rising sensation Andrew Jacked to learn the tricks of the trade following the 2023 Arnold Classic.
Considering his muscular build, he’s confident he could hold his own in the category by only using TRT. He left the fans in awe of his ripped physique with an update ahead of his anticipated move. While he’s not expecting to win the coveted Sandow trophy, he believes he would be competitive against the likes of reigning four-time champion Chris Bumstead.
Wheels showed off his unreal bicep peak while hitting two impressive poses in preparation for his move to the Classic Physique category. Then, he channeled his powerlifting spirit to smash past a huge set of 405-lb bench presses for 22 reps. He followed up by crushing a 150-lb incline dumbbell bench press for 25 reps and issuing an impressive physique update.
The 28-year-old pushed himself to the limit with the help of powerlifting legend CT Fletcher in a brutal chest training session where he smoked a 500-pound paused bench press for reps.
Larry Wheels argued Classic Physique allows more for artistic expression whereas the Open class focuses heavily on being a mass monster. He revealed choosing Classic to avoid the health risks that come with competing in the Open.
Wheels revealed he got diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis after making a visit to the ER last week.
Larry Wheels Opens Up on Rhabdo Diagnosis
In a recent YouTube video, Larry Wheels opened up on how he found he got rhabdo. He felt light-headed for about a week before he identified the issue. At first, he thought he might be having a heart attack or a stroke due to his heavy usage of PEDs in the past.
“Several days ago, I was diagnosed with rhabdo, short for rhabdomyolysis. And how it started was a week ago I was experiencing light headedness that I couldn’t explain,” said Wheels. “So I’m not diabetic I don’t have a history of having low blood sugar and I was not on any stimulants. I’m not taking insulin. I just couldn’t figure out why I was feeling light headed, having hot flashes, being dizzy. There was no pain anywhere in my body so it was unexplained.”
“I’m thinking between [drinking two or three times the last week] and the car accident I had about a week prior is what may have triggered the rhabdo. Back to how I was feeling, light headedness and that brought on anxiety. Why am I feeling this way? I start panicking. I have the fear of the unknown. I don’t know what’s going on with my body. Short breath, chest pain, that made me a Google doctor and thinking maybe I’m having a heart attack or a stroke because I used PEDs for 10 years straight. All the things going through my head. When I’d take fast sugar I noticed the light headedness would go away. So I’m thinking maybe my insulin sensitivity has changed due to the alcohol consumption. But it would only subside for about an hour or two before it would come back.”
Following a training session with bodybuilder Breon Ansley, Wheels knew something wasn’t right with his body and decided to visit the ER, where he found out his creatine kinase levels were considerably elevated.
“After the workout with Breon, that’s when I felt it come on so strong. I started panicking more than I had the last few days… It came back relentlessly. I was really feeling even more than the gym so much to the point where I felt like I couldn’t stand up straight. I was thinking I just consumed about a half gallon of apple juice. My blood sugar shouldn’t be an issue right now. That made me panic. That’s when I was like, you know what, it’s been damn near a week, I’m feeling this way every day all day long waking up this way, I gotta listen to my body, something is wrong, let’s figure it out. I went to the ER and they ended up diagnosing me with rhabdo. They said my creatine kinase levels, my CK levels, were elevated. Normal is between 50 and 100, I was at 2,500. They said I was at risk for kidney damage if not failure. They basically told me you gotta stay in the hospital, take this IV with some fluids, get rehydrated. I did that overnight and they discharged me once my levels dropped enough.”
“Ever since then I’ve just been over hydrating with nuun tabs and lots of water.”
Wheels Shares Recovery Update after Rhabdo Diagnosis
Larry Wheels shared positive updates about his recovery. He reported he’s almost back to his best form and even crushed a 405-pound incline bench press for 13 reps yesterday.
“Taking the nuun tabs, drinking plenty of water, eating every three hours, I’ve been doing like this and I’ve been feeling a rapid improvement day by day so much so to the point where yesterday I benched 405 on the incline for 13 reps and that was fantastic. My all-time best with that weight is 14 I believe.”
“As of today, I woke up feeling good, was out in the heat, active, filming, no problem. This is the first day I feel about 90 percent recovered. I don’t feel lightheadedness, anxiety, shortness of breath. I feel like I’m just about back to normal.”
Larry Wheels is working on launching his first-ever public gym called ‘OG Gym’ (for ‘One Generation’) with coach Ryan Benson of Team Zero Gravity. He recently debuted the first batch of equipment for the hybrid gym which looks to host powerlifters and bodybuilders.
Based on the latest update, Wheels looks to be recovering well and inches closer to being back to his best.