What happened to bodybuilder Matt Mendenhall? Everything you need to know

Bodybuilder Matt Mendenhall is no stranger to bodybuilding, although he hasn’t turned pro. He is often described as the greatest bodybuilder who never turned pro. Many people considered him one of the most impressive physique bodybuilders of his time. For a person as talented as he was, many people will never understand why he never earned a pro card. However, it seems that he was one of those people who settled for the simpler things in life.

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Bodybuilder Matt Mendenhall
Bodybuilder Matt Mendenhall. Photo: @thegoldendays and @musculardevelopment on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: Instagram

Matt Mendenhall was nicknamed Mr. Genetics because of his amazing physique that put other bodybuilders to shame. To top off the package, Matt was also very handsome and was described by friends as kind, generous, sweet and humorous. Unfortunately, the body he had worked so hard to be in great shape betrayed him by shutting down, which resulted in his death.

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Profile Summary by Matt Mendenhall

Surname Matt Mendenhall
Date of birth June 26, 1960
Place of birth Cincinnati, Ohio
Age 61 years old (died August 2021)
birth sign Cancer
gender Masculine
religion Christianity
ethnicity White
hair colour Blond
eye color Brown
sexuality Just
Marital status unknown
Ex girlfriend Rachel McLish
siblings Mark, Scott, Bobby, Robbie and Martha
education Ohio high school
Height 1.80 meters
height in feet 5’11”
weight in kilograms 111
weight in pounds 245
profession body builder

Early life

Matt Mendenhall was born in Cincinnati, Ohio into a large family. He had five siblings: Mark, Scott, Bobby, Robbie and Martha. The family was passionate about fitness because all four boys were bodybuilders. Matt was a soccer player in his early days and also enjoyed pole vaulting.

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Professional beginnings

His family and friends found that young Matt had excellent genetics that allowed him to develop an incredible physique without working out. When he was 15, however, he suffered a serious forearm injury while pole vaulting. His doctor said the arm would not fully recover and even suggested amputating it.

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It was at this point that his siblings encouraged him to start exercising at the gym as a rehabilitation measure. As a result, he started lifting weights and made a full recovery after a short time. He had also built up an impressive amount of muscle mass in that short amount of time.

First competition

After three years of lifting weights, Matt’s physique surpassed all his schoolmates and peers. He was 17 in 1978 when his family encouraged him to enter his first competition, the Mr. Ohio High School Show.

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Matt had no prior posing or tanning experience before entering the competition. However, this did not prevent him from dominating the competition. As a result, he emerged victorious and took home his first trophy. This motivated him to try his luck in the industry.

career setbacks

Matt has competed in nine competitions over seven years and won four of them. He finished second in most other competitions, behind future legend Lee Haney. But unfortunately, due to serious illnesses and accidents, Matt never reached his true potential.

In 1983, just before the NPC Nationals, he contracted a flu virus. He lost a lot of weight and conditioning during his recovery, but competed because his parents had arrived and were happy to see him on stage.

A year later, Matt was in a car accident where he was thrown out of the front window. Luckily he recovered and brought his best form to the competition. Unfortunately, the crowd didn’t understand how Mike Christian defeated him at number 1, and that controversial decision was questioned for years.

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Rare success

In 1985, Matt had rare success when he won the heavyweight division of the NPC USA Championship. As a result, he competed in the World Games that year but lost to Berry DeMey due to jet lag. He fell ill soon after, and after a series of career lows, he decided to take a break from the sport. He used this time to study homeopathic medicine and set up his own dietary supplement company.

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Matt returned for just one show at the 1991 NPC Nationals, finishing fifth. He was then 31 years old and this was his last appearance on stage. He then retired and moved to Texas, where he started a personal training business.

Matt Mendenhall’s wife and children

Matt Mendenhall was once in a relationship with fellow athlete Rachel McLish. They were together for a long time but eventually went their separate ways. However, they remained friends until his death. Matt’s other relationships have never been made public. There is also no information on whether he got married or not.

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What was Matt Mendenhall’s net worth?

Although Matt never turned pro and didn’t earn many elite trophies, he still made good money in his career. He was second in many competitions, earning colossal salaries and bonuses. At the time of his death, his net worth was estimated to be around $1.5 million. However, this number is unverifiable and therefore unreliable.

What happened to bodybuilder Matt Mendenhall?

The bodybuilder was considered a legend regardless of the status of his competitive history. He does not appear on the IFBB list of bodybuilders, but his contribution to the sport is recognized. Before his death, he lived a low-key life, dedicated to his chiropractic practice. He died on August 28, 2021 at the age of 61. The cause of death was never disclosed to the public.

frequently asked Questions

  1. Was Matt Mendenhall natural? Yes, Matt was a natural because he achieved his physique without working as hard as other bodybuilders.
  2. What happened to bodybuilder Matt Mendenhall? He retired in 1991 and passed away in 2021.
  3. Who is the greatest male bodybuilder of all time? Arnold Schwarzenegger is considered the greatest bodybuilder of all time and helped shape the golden era of bodybuilding.
  4. At what age did Matt Mendenhall die? Retired bodybuilder Matt Mendenhall was killed in 2021 at the age of 61.
  5. Was Matt Mendenhall the only bodybuilder in his family? No, his brothers Mark, Scott and Bobby were also bodybuilders.
  6. Why didn’t Matt Mendenhall turn pro? Matt competed in many amateur competitions but missed out on turning pro five times.
  7. Did Matt Mendenhall Die From Steroids Or Wrong Drug Use? No, rumors that he died from steroid or drug use have been denied, but the cause of death has never been revealed.

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It’s not everyday that professional bodybuilders praise and openly admire a bodybuilder who has retired as an amateur. While this is common in all athletic endeavors, bodybuilder Matt Mendenhall was no ordinary bodybuilder. Instead, he was sent from heaven – God’s unique gift to the bodybuilding world. He worked hard to achieve his physique, but it wouldn’t have been possible without his genes.

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