Dallas McCarver
The cause of death for bodybuilding star Dallas McCarver, pictured March 17, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia, is currently unknown, though he might have died from choking on food. Getty Images

Bodybuilding superstar Dallas McCarver, who was also known as “Big Country,” died Monday after apparently choking on his food, TMZ reported the following day. He was 26 years old.

The bodybuilder was found unconscious by a friend, according to McCarver’s girlfriend, WWE superstar Dana Brooke told TMZ. She spoke to him on the phone moments before he died. McCarver explained he was about to make dinner. The last thing he said was, “I love you. Goodbye.”

There’s no apparent signs of foul play in McCarver’s death and it didn’t appear like he tried to harm himself. Brooke said the possible cause of death is choking on food.

Before his untimely death Monday, McCarver exercised at the gym. He did a chest press with 160-pound dumbbells. He didn’t show any signs of medical issues at the time.

He took to social media hours before he died to share his workout. “Could've been a little slower and better under control wth these 160s today... but sometimes you've just got to let the intensity flow. Great chest day with @josh_lenartowicz in @project_flex_fl #DragonsLair! That damn @redcon1official #Silencer had me sweating like a whore in church boy! Whew!!!!” he wrote. The post was liked more than 357,000 times by his 471,000 followers.

McCarver stood at 6-foot-1 and weighed 300 pounds. He made a name for himself in the world of competitive body building at the age of 21, TMZ wrote. It wasn’t long before he started to win competitions. In last year’s Mr. Olympia competition he placed 8th.

McCarver’s past isn’t without health scares, however. He collapsed while competing at the 2017 Arnold Classic Australia in March. Since then he had apparently been doing better.

Brooke didn’t immediately issue a statement. She told TMZ for his fans to remain strong because that’s what he would want.

In the wake of McCarver’s death, bodybuilding superstar Rich Piana is fighting for his life. Rumors swirled he had died, but in reality Piana fell unconscious Aug. 7 and first responders were unable to revive him. He was placed in a medically induced coma.

“The world wide outpouring to send Rich voicemails and messages to have played or read to him is overwhelming!” girlfriend Chanel Jansen wrote on Instagram Thursday. “We can't thank you all enough for your continued support during this time. To those who have been so respectful and come to his defense when others have been disgusting excuses for human beings -THANK YOU!”

As for his condition, Jansen didn’t have too much information to provide. “The only update I'm permitted to give at this time is that he is alive, he is OK, and the excellent medical professionals here as well as myself and his close loved ones are doing all we can to get him back to a full recovery,” Jansen wrote. “Please continue to remain patient and respectful. This is a very stressful time for Rich and everyone around him so please understand if we're quiet. It's with good reason.”

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