PRO bodybuilder Cedric McMillan has died aged 44, and his death was reportedly caused by a heart attack just weeks after he shared an Instagram post about the “secret of success.”
McMillan posted a chilling message on Instagram just weeks before his tragic passing, with the caption, “The secret of success is constancy of purpose.”
His death comes shortly after he opened up about past heart issues and after he had a near-death experience last year.
McMillan spoke out about a near-death experience in December 2021, saying he had been experiencing breathing issues after having Covid-19.
The breathing issue eventually saw him hospitalized for pneumonia and put on life support, and he later said of the ordeal, “I was almost dead.”
Read our Cedric McMillan blog for the latest news and updates…
Cedric McMillan didn’t just have a career as a bodybuilder.
He also served as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army, out of Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
When did McMillan go pro?
After winning the NPC Nationals in 2009, he went pro and went on to win the 2011 Orlando Show of Champions.
He backed that up with a win in the New York Pro in 2012, according to Popculture.com.
When did McMillan earn his Pro Card?
A bodybuilder must first get an IFBB Pro Card before becoming an IFBB Pro and to do so, a bodybuilder must first win a regional contest weight class.
When a bodybuilder places first or second in a competition, they are invited to compete in their country’s National Championships for that year.
After the National Championships, the champions of each weight class will compete in a separate tournament to determine who will be the overall champion for the year.
The overall champion may be granted a Pro Card depending on the federation.
McMillan earned his in 2009.
More on McMillan’s life
McMillan was a Sergeant First Class and an instructor at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
He presented himself as a family man who remained in touch with childhood buddies.
McMillan, a gifted drawing and amateur artist with a passion for music and culture, frequently displayed his creative abilities in elaborate and carefully choreographed posing routines.
McMillan’s early life, part three
Neil urged McMillan to compete in a bodybuilding event that was only four weeks away after seeing how his physique improved after only one month of training.
He went from a starting weight of 195 pounds to 225 pounds in the four weeks leading up to the tournament, competing at 205 pounds.
He won the super heavyweight class at the NPC South Carolina in 2007.
McMillan’s early life, continued
McMillan joined the US Army after high school and relocated to South Carolina.
His buddy Mark Neil persuaded him to attend his first bodybuilding competition not long after.
Neil assisted McMillan in gaining weight and learning more about bodybuilding.
McMillan’s early life
McMillan was fascinated by powerful physiques as a youngster, and he sketched comic characters with amazing physiques.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was an inspiration to him, especially after seeing him in Conan The Barbarian.
McMillan began exercising at the age of thirteen when his mother purchased a weight set for him.
It wasn’t long before he discovered he had strong bodybuilding genetics and a liking for the sport.
Who was Ashley Gearhart?
Prince’s death comes only days after Ashley Gearhart’s death, which shocked the bodybuilding community.
Her sister revealed the pro bodybuilder’s death online on January 29.
She died in her sleep, although the cause of death is unknown at this time.
The athlete had been competing in the industry for 10 years until she obtained her pro card in 2018.
Who was Tom Prince?
Bodybuilder Tom Prince, a Virginia native, died on February 5 at the age of 52, with his wife at his side.
Following the 1997 NPC National Championships, he received his pro card and made his debut for the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness in 1999.
However, because of renal problems caused by a congenital blood disorder, the star was forced to retire in 2002.
He died just weeks before McMillan.
What heart issues did McMillan have, continued
He said he had spent three weeks in the hospital and lost 30 lbs, and spent the following month “ignoring the doctor’s advice” and trying to regain the weight he lost.
However, in a call-to-action for other bodybuilders, McMillan expressed the importance of spending a little less time at the gym and instead giving your time to the people you love.
What heart issues did McMillan have?
McMillan freely disclosed his cardiac problems prior to his death, and in November 2021, he explained why he would not compete in the Arnold Classic.
His near-death experience, he claimed, motivated him to take a step back and focus on his health.
“Back in July (2021), I was almost dead. Like almost notify the next of kin. My wife was with me but I was out of here,” he told Generation Iron.
Who was Cedric McMillan, continued
In 2011, at the Orlando Show of Champions, he won his first bodybuilding competition. He won the bodybuilding competition at the 2012 New York Pro a year later.
McMillan was known as “The One” because he was regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders in the world.
Who was Cedric McMillan?
Cedric McMillan was born in 1977 in Maplewood, New Jersey, where he idolized Arnold Schwartzenegger as a child.
McMillan began bodybuilding when he was 13 years old, and his mother purchased him his first weight set.
After high school, he enrolled in the United States Army and relocated to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where he worked as a Staff Sergeant and an instructor.
“I think the army is kind of part of who I am,” said McMillan in a Fitness Volt interview. “I think the Army is kind of what made me the man that I am.
“I believe that being able to get to where I am while maintaining my military career is something to be a little bit proud of too.”
What was McMillan’s precontest weight?
McMillan’s precontest weight was 280lbs compared to his off-season weight of 295-310lbs.
Fans react on last Instagram post
“RIP Cedric, you will be greatly missed my man,” one person wrote.
“RIP brother… I never got a chance to meet you but you were always an inspiration for us talk guys,” another commented.
“Im Heart broken. My condolences to your wife and family. You will be missed my brother,” someone else responded.
Final Instagram post
Cedric McMillan’s final Instagram post seems to be an ad.
He promoted WHEY ZERO ® in the post, alongside Blackskull USA.
McMillan’s chilling Instagram post
Cedric McMillan posted a message about the “secret of success” just weeks before his tragic death at the age of 44.
In one of his final Instagram posts, from March 20, McMillan shared a picture of himself showing off his physique.
“The secret of success is constancy of purpose,” the caption read.
It is a quote by former United Kingdom Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.
Other recent bodybuilding tragedies, part five
Following Meadows’ death in August, fans speculated his passing may have been related to a heart attack the bodybuilder suffered early last year following a career that spanned 30 years.
The athlete died after suffering a pulmonary embolism.
Finally, in July, female bodybuilder Odalis Santos Mena, 23, suffered cardiac arrest and died following a botched operation to stop her excess underarm sweat.
Coroners pointed to a lethal combination of the steroid Mena was taking and the anesthetic, The New York Post reported.
Other recent bodybuilding tragedies, part four
Shawn Rhoden, who became the oldest person to win the prestigious Mr Olympia title at the age of 43 in 2018, suffered a fatal heart attack in November.
Rhoden said: “Be with someone who will take care of you. Not materialistically, but takes care of ur soul, ur well being, ur heart & everything that’s you,” the quote said.
Rhoden also added his own commentary to the quote, writing, “Real talk.”
Other recent bodybuilding tragedies, part three
The pro-bodybuilder passed away on January 29, her sister announced online.
She died in her sleep but her cause of death currently remains unknown.
Other recent bodybuilding tragedies, continued
He earned his pro card following the 1997 NPC National Championships before making his debut for the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness governing body in 1999.
However, the star was forced to retire in 2002 due to kidney issues that were caused by a genetic blood condition.
Other recent bodybuilding tragedies
The death of pro bodybuilder Cedric McMillan is just the latest tragedy to blight the sport.
His passing comes just two months after fellow stars Tom Prince and Ashley Gearhart died within days of one another.
McMillan’s near death experience
The breathing issue eventually saw him hospitalized for pneumonia, and put on life support.
“I was almost dead,” he said of the ordeal.
McMillan’s stomach issues, part three
He continued: “It’s not getting no better. I finally decided to contact the show and tell them I couldn’t compete.”
“I’ve been battling back and forth with myself, not really knowing what to do next.”
“I’m feeling alright is it over? Does this mean I’m supposed to retire when I’m f***ing sick all the time?” he added.
McMillan’s stomach issues, continued
“It creates some stupid a** hiccups, I’m hiccupping all day long and for half the night and anytime I eat, or even drinking water. It comes back up, nothing wants to stay down,” he added.
McMillan then explained that a doctor recommended he pull out of the show, and showed his followers his counter filled with medicine.
“I did what they asked and went on a liquid diet. Eating f***ing soup and eating weight gaining shakes,” he added.
However, the treatment did not seem to be helping the former Arnold champion get better.
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