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David Christopher Palumbo aka Dave Palumbo, born February 17, 1968, is a retired American bodybuilder who competed as an amateur throughout his career. Palumbo is generally recognized as the progenitor of Palumboism.

Palumboism occurs when the muscles on the sides of the abdomen, also known as your oblique muscles, thicken and make it difficult for a bodybuilder to hold in their stomach, or rectus abdominis muscles. “

This condition is named after Dave Palumbo. He was the first bodybuilder to display a stomach that appeared unnaturally bloated in proportion to his chest.


Palumboism is also referred to as:

  • steroid or roid gut
  • human growth hormone or HGH gut
  • HGH bloat
  • bubble gut
  • insulin gut
  • muscle gut
  • bodybuilder belly
  • aesthetics decimation
  • an abdomination

Dave Palumbo’s first bodybuilding contest was the 1990 NPC NATURAL New York City competition where, weighing in at 168 lbs, he placed 6th. Five years later Palumbo had gained 70 lbs and won the Heavyweight class at the 1995 NPC Junior Nationals as well as the overall. His highest prestige placing in a bodybuilding competition was 2nd place in the Super Heavyweight class at the 2003 NPC USA Championships.

In 2001, Muscular Development Magazine hired Palumbo to write a monthly column called “The Anabolic Freak”. A few years later, he became editor of the Muscular Development website until being terminated in 2009.

According to Steve Blechman, owner of Muscular Development Magazine:

“Dave was hired two years ago to be Editor-in-Chief of the Muscular Development website. During the first year, he was instrumental in helping to grow it. During this past year, Dave’s interests were focused increasingly on his side businesses of training athletes and launching his supplement line. John(Romano) was hired by Dave as a paid employee to endorse and promote this supplement line. Because of this, John’s position as Senior Editor was compromised. Together they were using MD and the website as a vehicle to further their own interests, and as a result, less time was being spent on increasing the website’s potential and taking it to the next level. During their employment, Dave and John’s contributions were very much appreciated, and they were well compensated.”

Steve Blechman

Currently, Palumbo is the CEO and Founder of RxMuscle.com and owner of Species Nutrition. He also offers bodybuilding and fitness competition preparation coaching and is the founder of the S.M.A.R.T. personal training certification program.

Palumbo is a familiar face and personality in bodybuilding despite never having competed in the pro ranks. These days he is at a significantly lighter body weight than he was during his competitive years. His heaviest competitive body weight was 275 pounds at the 2000 NPC NY METROPOLITAN bodybuilding competition and looks today to be under 200 pounds.

Dave Palumbo: A Florida Bodybuilder and Snake Breeder in the Midst of an Invasive Python Dilemma


In the sunny state of Florida, known for its beautiful beaches, diverse wildlife, and vibrant culture, you’ll find a unique intersection of passions between a renowned bodybuilder and a devoted snake breeder. Dave Palumbo, a resident of Cape Coral, Florida, has made a name for himself not only in the world of fitness but also in the captivating realm of snake breeding. His journey, however, is intertwined with a concerning ecological challenge – the invasion of Burmese pythons in the Sunshine State.

Dave Palumbo: A Dual Passion for Fitness and Snakes

As a professional bodybuilder, Dave Palumbo has dedicated his life to sculpting an impressive physique. His commitment to fitness led to remarkable achievements in the world of bodybuilding, making him a notable figure within the fitness community. But Palumbo’s story doesn’t end with bulging biceps and rippling muscles.

Beyond the weightlifting and nutrition regimens, Palumbo harbors a deep fascination for a rather unconventional interest: snakes. The slithering creatures have long held a special place in his heart, igniting a passion that has led to a unique dual career. His love for snakes transcends that of an ordinary hobbyist, as he became a boutique breeder of designer ball pythons, boa constrictors, and carpet pythons. To share his knowledge and experiences, Palumbo created the “Muscle Serpents University,” a YouTube channel dedicated to all things serpentine.

Florida’s Invasive Snake Problem

While Palumbo’s snake breeding venture is an example of responsible and ethical reptile husbandry, Florida faces a menacing issue with invasive snake species. The arrival of non-native snakes, particularly Burmese pythons, has resulted from the captive animal trade, accidental releases, and purposeful abandonments. These invasive serpents have disrupted Florida’s ecosystems and pose a severe threat to its native wildlife.

The Burmese Python: A Threat to Florida’s Ecosystem

Burmese pythons are perhaps most infamous for their impact on the Florida Everglades, where they have established a breeding population. These nonvenomous constrictors, known for their substantial size and power, are among the most concerning invasive species in the state. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has implemented various strategies to control and remove these pythons from the ecosystem, including humane euthanasia.

The menace these pythons pose is deeply rooted in their predatory behavior. Burmese pythons compete with native wildlife for food, including mammals, birds, and other reptiles. This relentless predation has been linked to severe declines in the populations of several native species, particularly in the southernmost regions of Everglades National Park. A 2012 study revealed alarming statistics, indicating the substantial depletion of raccoons (99.3 percent), opossums (98.9 percent), and bobcats (87.5 percent) since 1997. Even marsh rabbits, cottontail rabbits, and foxes have virtually disappeared.

In the stomachs of the Burmese pythons removed from the Everglades and other parts of Florida, researchers have consistently found remnants of these declining native species. The interaction between pythons and their prey is exacerbated by the habitat preferences of raccoons and opossums, which frequently forage near water’s edge – precisely where pythons hunt.

Dave Palumbo’s Role in Combatting the Invasion

Dave Palumbo, the bodybuilder and snake breeder, finds himself in a unique position to contribute to Florida’s battle against invasive Burmese pythons. His extensive knowledge of snakes and ethical breeding practices make him a valuable resource for those seeking solutions to the python problem. While his primary focus remains on responsible snake breeding, his commitment to ecological preservation underscores the importance of striking a balance between his dual passions.


Dave Palumbo’s journey from bodybuilder to snake breeder in Florida is a testament to the diverse interests and passions that drive people’s lives. His dedication to maintaining the ethical standards of snake breeding, combined with his appreciation for Florida’s natural beauty, makes him a compelling figure in the ongoing fight against invasive snake species. By continuing his work in both bodybuilding and snake breeding, Palumbo is actively contributing to the preservation of Florida’s unique ecosystems while maintaining the balance between his dual passions.

Dave Palumbo Bodybuilding Competition History

1990 NPC NATURAL New York City (6th place Middleweight…..168 lbs)..training only 6 months

1992 NPC NJ SUBURBAN BODYBUILDING CHAMPS (5th place, Light Heavyweight…..198 lbs)

1992 NATURAL TRI STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS (1st place, Heavyweight……..202 lbs)

1992 NPC Eastern USA 3rd place Heavyweight…212 lbs

1992 NPC WESTCHESTER 2nd place Heavyweight …212 lbs

1994 NPC NY METROPOLITAN BB CHAMPS 1st Heavyweight…….228 lbs

1994 NPC SUBURBAN BB CHAMPS 2nd Heavyweight……..228 lbs

1994 NPC Jr USA 3rd place Heavyweight………..228 lbs

1994 AMATEUR GRAND PRIX 1st place Heavyweight and OVERALL CHAMP……235 lbs

1995 NPC Jr NATIONALS 1st place Heavyweight……..258 lbs

1995 NPC USA CHAMPS 7th place Heavyweight………256 lbs

1996 NPC USA 7th place………254 lbs

1996 NPC NATIONALS 4th place………268 lbs

1997 NPC USA 6th place …..270 lbs

1997 NPC NATIONALS…..5th place……..272 lbs

1998 IFBB NORTH AMERICAN 6th place …….281 lbs

1998 NPC NATIONALS 8th place Super Heavyweight……. 273 lbs

1999 NPC USA ……9th place

2000 NPC NY METROPOLITAN 1st place Super Heavyweight and OVERALL…. 275 lbs

2000 NPC USA 4th place Super Heavyweight…….274 lbs

2000 NPC NATIONALS 8th place Super Heavyweight……268 lbs

2001 NPC USA 7th place …….Super Heavyweight……. 265 lbs

2001 IFBB NORTH AMERICAN 5th place…… Super Heavyweight …… 271 lbs

2002 NPC USA 3rd place Super Heavyweight………..260 lbs

2002 NPC National’s 2nd place Super Heavyweight…….260 lbs

2003 NPC USAs 2nd place Super Heavyweight………..265 lbs

2003 NPC NATIONALS 6th place Super Heavyweight…….268 lbs

2004 NPC USA 6th place Super Heavyweight……. 258 lbs

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