Renowned bodybuilding guru Milos Sarcev has found immense success in the sport both as a competitor and coach. In a recent MD Global Muscle episode, Sarcev shed light on the dangerously high levels of conditioning required to compete, shared some of his personal experiences dealing with athletes on the verge of death from dehydration, and called for a healthy standard to be set to minimize risk.
Milos Sarcev made a name for himself with his impressive muscle quality and overall proportions as an IFBB Pro League Men’s Open competitor. Hailing from Serbia, Sarcev worked his way up the regional and continental circuit in Europe before coming over to the US. While he didn’t find Olympia glory, he battled it out against the likes of eight-time champ Lee Haney and six-time champion Dorian Yates.
Sarcev ruled out a potential return to action for the comeback of the Masters Olympia later this year. He expressed his worries about athletes putting themselves in danger by using unhealthy steroid cycles.
Although Sarcev moved on from professional competition years ago, he maintains an undying vigor for bodybuilding. He turned into a revered mentor after hanging up his posing trunks with a plethora of talent under him. He took rising sensation Samson Dauda under his wing and led him to a commanding victory at the 2023 Arnold Classic earlier this month.
Following the win, Sarcev backed his pupil to potentially defeat reigning Mr. Olympia Hadi Choopan and top contender Derek Lunsford at the 2023 Mr. Olympia. He lauded ’The Nigerian Lion’s stellar balance and expects him to continue growing further.
Milos Sarcev gave his breakdown of the Arnold Classic two weeks ago. He agreed with the judging and attributed Nick Walker’s loss to a lack of control in the midsection and downsized legs. As for Andrew Jacked, Sarcev highlighted a need to level up his muscle thickness from the side.
‘The Mind’ vocalized his concerns regarding the use of harsh diuretics in attempts to achieve a drier physique with bodybuilding veteran Rich Gaspari, show as known for his high level of conditioning. Sarcev argued the coaches and participants were under pressure to risk their health for competitions.
Milos Sarcev shares the story of saving Mustafa Mohammad’s life twice from dehydration
In a recent YouTube video, Milos Sarcev shared his experience seeing athletes suffer from the consequences of extreme dehydration. He detailed the risks of dehydration and offered insight from saving Mustafa Mohammad’s life on two occasions when the latter was on the verge of death.
“I’m here to try to help officials, federations, and athletes that we just talk about this super important subject. For example, I’m celebrating top three place of Gustavo Badell at 2004 Olympia. I get a call from Shawn Ray, saying, ‘room 505, Mustafa, run.’ As I’m running there, he’s all cramped up. Every muscle is locked. Mustafa at the time was using only aldactone. He had like 20 bananas in the house. He was eating super high potassium. This is potassium sparing so he accumulated potassium through the roof. He got hyperkalemia, which can stop the heart at any moment. This is a real life story.
“I run in, paramedics came in, and they’re just about to administer potassium containing electrolytes. This is what happened when a guy came and gave IV to Benaziza and extra potassium, he was hyperkalemic, and this is what killed him. So here is deja vu, I’m not a medical professional. Shawn Ray was there. I told them you can’t touch him, you can’t put this in him. They said get out of the room, don’t interfere with the dangerous medical procedure. This is life and death. I said it is life and death and you’re going to kill him with it. I won’t let you do it. Shawn came to me and I explained.
“I insisted on going in a paramedics car, went there with Mustafa so they can’t put anything. So doctor came out and said I was interfering in a matter of life and death. I asked him if he was going to measure his level of potassium. He said as a matter of fact yes. But later the truth was he wasn’t going to. He was man enough to come out and tell me I saved his life. His potassium was unmeasurably high.”
Milos Sarcev needed to step in again for Mustafa in a separate instance a week later.
“A week later in Amsterdam, I saw Mustafa and he asked me to check out his conditioning. I go to his room and there weren’t so many bananas but 10 times more dates, which have concentrated potassium 100 times. He was already borderline dead a week ago and he used the exact same principles, excessive diuretics because that’s how he knows to be dehydrated. I told him he could be even more hyperkalemic, it’s so dangerous. He wanted to qualify for Olympia and didn’t listen… Backstage his tan turned white, he could hardly breathe, couldn’t pose correctly like Benaziza at the 92 show. Another deja vu. He finished the contest, placed third and qualified for Olympia.
“We were ready for dinner and there was something telling me to check on Mustafa to see how he’s doing. As I’m coming, I hear loud noises. As I get in, Ronnie Coleman is inside and trying to help him out. They already called the paramedics at the time and I said the same thing. Paramedics in Amsterdam were going to do the same thing and I told them please don’t.”
Sarcev explained the risks of dehydration
Sarcev detailed the dangers of extreme dehydration and the cost of achieving an extremely high level of conditioning.
“The most logical thing would be to stop drinking,” said Sarcev. “There are other ways I’m sure like overloading, drinking water like a maniac and then stopping. This could be dangerous as well. Even those methods are dangerous. How many times have you seen people cramp backstage? Have medical intervention, under tongue water massages, and all? Sometimes pulling out of contests, not making it.”
“You have to go with what you believe, you want to see that bone dry super ripped look, we all want to see that. Well, that comes with a cost and with danger.”
“I have a guy who took 10. This 10 should kill a horse and the guy survived. I didn’t advise him to do that. He did it on his own. You put yourself in this position. I said okay I can’t coach you anymore.”
Milos Sarcev called for setting a healthy level of dehydration
Milos Sarcev rallied for the community to develop a standard for dehydration and not reward anyone who goes beyond that.
“We have to consider a healthy level of dehydration and what you expose the athletes to. If you’re going to get them dehydrated, dangerous, but there’s a next day show again. They have to do two shows back to back. I’m not trying to make trouble for anybody. I want to open debate and analyze it.”
“Say you’re the guy insisting you want to see that bone dry, ripped, super conditioned freak. But take that super conditioned super dry freak out the stage and put him in front of a medical community to examine. He’ll be highly dangerous dehydrated and could be fatal.”
“Let’s just focus on what can the federation do, what can the athletes or promoters do? My idea is have assessment a level of dehydration that you know is not dangerous or the highest level that we can accept of a danger that we want athletes to expose themselves.”
“How do we find a happy medium if this is not talked about? Questions are there but we still don’t have an answer. If you ask me, determine a healthy level of dehydration that’s acceptable. Then, if you really reward super unhealthy bone dry, you know how I got there dehydration, you’re opening the door. This should be defined.”
Milos Sarcev stressed the importance of keeping athletes healthy in his latest message. Going ahead, he’ll target adding thickness to Dauda’s back in hopes of making history at the Olympia.