Rich Piana, the famous bodybuilding figure who admittedly took many steroids during and after his career, was one of the most influential figures in modern-day bodybuilding. His quote and the tagline of his nutritional supplement company 5% Nutrition, ‘Whatever it takes,’ still has a massive following and is still worn as a badge by many aspirational young bodybuilders today. Rich Piana was very open about his drug usage and openly spoke about his steroid cycles and astronomical dosages on his YouTube videos.
He passed away in August 2017 due to an alleged overdose of steroids and other drugs, and his autopsy reports also indicated some severe health markers like enlarged heart, edema in the brain, etc. The cause of death was undetermined, and even though it may not be steroids directly, injecting those in high doses does come with side effects which may play a role as compounding factors in other health risks for sure. The one thing for which I respected Rich Piana was his open admission of drugs, and he did not pretend to be one of those fake natties who would lie and try to sell you their shit by claiming you can become like them without steroid usage. Rich also made very open and valid pointers about steroid usage, which everyone considering going the dark way:
1. He Was Not For Or Against Steroids
One noteworthy thing about Rich was that he was very open about his usage, and he was a very famous guy. He knew his stance would be taken seriously and even followed by aspiring bodybuilders who looked up to him. However, he still never promoted or told people that they should use steroids. If they wanted to take them and compete in shows that did not discourage steroid usage, it was up to them to make that decision. It was at the end a person’s own responsibility if they decided to take them.
2. He Hated The Way Bodybuilding Was Evolving
Rich told in an interview that one thing that did not go down well with him was the rampant usage of steroids and the slow death of the spirit of bodybuilding. Bodybuilding was a sport or a lifestyle that was more about pumping iron and lifting weights. But he did not like how it was turning out to be more about injecting steroids over pumping iron.
3. He Was Against Teens & Young Guys Taking Steroids
Rich used to openly highlight the ugly side of taking steroids and educate as to how taking testosterone led to a crash in the normal hormone production or atrophy of testes. Or how taking growth hormone led to the growth of your internal organs. He even said that GH as a peptide leads to a bodybuilder’s gut as the intestines push out to unnatural levels and push your abs inches apart.
4. Rich Warned The Side-Effects Will Come Back To Bite You
Another major claim or opinion that Rich held was how even though in the short term it may mean more test levels, more strength, more muscle building, and the other benefits that come with it, it is never that pleasant in the long-term and how do the side effects of steroid use always come to bite you back later on.
5. He Admitted To The Sides-Effects He Faced
Rich also opened up about his problem with steroids and how he faced certain side effects like roid rage and how it affected his relationship with his girlfriend back in the day.