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Dave Palumbo

Dave Palumbo is one of the most well-known bodybuilders of the 90's and early 2000's. He was born in New York City, in 1968. When he was 22 years old, Dave graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a Bachelor of Science degree. Interestingly, Dave also completed three years of medical school. At the time when he was still growing up, Dave played soccer and did a lot of running, which gave him a foundation for fitness and a dieting discipline. This athletic background led him to become a professional bodybuilder.

Palumbo Dave

Fig 1. Dave Palumbo


Bodybuilding career


Palumbo started competing in his early 20's and, at that time, he weighed just 168 pounds. However, after spending the next five years perfecting his diet and training, Dave managed to put on 70 pounds and win the 1995 NPC Junior Nationals.

These days he is best known for his 2003 NPC USA Championships, where he placed 2nd in the Super Heavyweight class. Although there are rumors that he competed at over 300 pounds, Dave has recently said in interviews that he never weighed more than 280 pounds at 5'9". In fact, his official competition weight is listed at 270 pounds, and he retired at 235 pounds.

Current ventures


Dave will turn 50 next year, so he no longer competes. Nonetheless, he has spent a lot of time writing for various websites and magazines. For instance, he was the Editor-in-Chief of «Muscular Development Magazine», which is one of the most popular publications in bodybuilding. Today, he focuses his time on writing and doing videos for his own company — RX Muscle. As a matter of fact, Dave has interviewed some of the most famous bodybuilders and fitness celebrities including Rich Piana, Bostin Loyd, Greg Valentino, and Lee Priest.

What's more, Dave Palumbo is the founder and President of «SPECIES Nutrition» (https://speciesnutrition.com/pages/about). This company sells muscle building powders, fat burners, accessories, and other products like fiber and joint support products.

species nutrition

Fig 2. Species nutrition

Although Dave Palumbo is a busy person, he did not abandon the gym for good. He still provides personal training and coaching, charging up to $1500 for a year of one-on-one service. Dave is also the founder of the S.M.A.R.T. personal training certification program.

Palumbo diet


Over the years Dave has preached the Palumbo diet, and he credited it for his success in bodybuilding. Although he did freely admit that his genetics helped him get to that next level, he considers diet a key factor for success. In fact, he demands his clients follow a ketogenic type diet to cut down. This kind of diet features high protein, moderate fat, and low carbs. To be specific, 1-1.5g of protein per pound of body weight, with 0.5g of fat per day capped. He does believe in one cheat meal per week to carb load and replenish glycogen reserves. For example, Dave has said that his favorite cheat meal is NY style pizza, and in that meal he aims for 400g of carbs or more.

In a recent interview, Dave gave a specific example of his diet by listing the meals that are allowed. One such example is chicken with a protein shake and two scoops of peanut butter (fat source). He feels that including healthy fats with protein will provide a person with energy during a zero carb diet. The idea here is to force the body to burn fat for energy, instead of storing it. Therefore, fats like olive oil, nuts, fatty fish, and peanut butter need to go along with protein in a meal. In addition to that, he is also a big advocate of including green leafy salads with no dressing added. In total, the person will be eating six meals per day.



The term "Palumboism" refers to the bloated bellies that started to become noticeable among pro bodybuilders in the 90's. Perhaps the first Mr. Olympia to show the gut was Dorian Yates, who competed during the transition era towards huge mass increases from the 70's/80's into the 90's. However, unfairly, Dave's surname was adapted to name that condition because he was one of the first bodybuilders whose bloated belly was very noticeable.


Fig 3. Palumboism @ Dave

There are several theories that try to explain the causes of this gut. Some of them claim that HGH use causes this problem, while other theories attribute these bellies to insulin use. At the same time, some theories blame the combination of all the drugs that bodybuilders are using. Nonetheless, the most obvious explanation could simply be the sheer amount of food that pros have to eat if they want to reach such enormous sizes.

hgh gut example

Fig 4. HGH gut/Palumboism can be seen on many bodybuilders

Social Media


Dave mostly posts videos on his youtube channel "RX muscle," which has quickly grown in size with almost 100K subscribers (https://www.youtube.com/user/rxmuscle/videos). He usually puts up several videos per day and continues to grow his channel. One of his most popular recent interviews was with Rich Piana after news leaked of his racist tirades against black people using the "N" word. In this interview, Dave gave Rich an opportunity to explain his side of the story.

In addition to that, Palumbo has a popular Instagram page with 65K followers, and this page is updated almost daily (https://www.instagram.com/huge285/?hl=en). On this page, he discusses a mix of his personal life, his dogs, his family, his products, and food/nutrition.

Dave also has his own website (Davepalumbo.com), where people can download an app for $30 per month, find a roid test kit that helps you check if your steroids are legit, check seminar information, and much more.

Evolutionary Radio appearance


Dave Palumbo was a guest on the evolutionary radio where he told about his history, gave some great diet tips, talked about steroids and HGH, and dived into social media controversies. You can listen to this podcast by following this link: https://www.evolutionary.org/episode-103/

Dave Palumbo's steroid cycle


Dave has said that steroids are not fat burners. In the above-mentioned podcast he also said it is essential to depend on diet. Still though, Dave did not deny his use of steroids and HGH.

During his competition days, Dave's cycle would most probably look like this: (our view on this cycle)



Want to read about Dave Palumbo on our forums or discuss him? read on...


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Written by
Steve Smi (Also known as Steve Smith), has over 12 years of experience in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. He's the co-Host of the popular Evolutionary Radio Podcast - over 500,000 listens! He has been a personal trainer and writer for the last 10 years with over 1000 articles written. He's been a moderator on forums for over 10 years. Steve holds the following certifications and records: NASM Personal Trainer NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist Florida Local Powerlifting champion Top writer for 2019 Fitness rated

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