Was Rich Piana Natural or on Steroids?

Rich Piana was one of the most well-known bodybuilders of all time and his death came as a shock to many. He was long suspected of having used steroids but the extent to which he was affected by such steroids and drugs came to light only after his demise.

Even though he admitted to taking steroids during his lifetime, there were certain telltale signs that gave away the fact that he was on steroids.

Was rich piana natural or on steroids

Let’s delve a bit deeper into facts to find out what he might be taking.

Did Rich Piana Take Steroids?

Rich Piana happens to be one of the few bodybuilders who came out clean and accepted to taking steroids. He is known to have said in an interview that he has been taking steroids for 27 years. Now, that’s a huge claim for anyone to make. Of course, he had been on and off cycles, taking breaks in between.

Click play the video below to find out what he has to say about steroids:

Sadly, Rich Piana passed away in August 2017 at the age of 46.

Even though he is known to have said that he had been doing it for more than 25 years and that he knew how to avoid the side effects since he had a head full of hair, no acne scars, and a full waist.

In his own words:

Is this a road I think you should take? Absolutely not. But in doing this for 25-years of taking anabolic steroids, obviously I know what the f— I’m doing. Why do I have a full head of hair? Why do I have no acne scars? Why do I have a flat waist? Cause I know what the f— I’m doing. I’m not abusing this s—.

However, it was at the time of his death, the full extent to which he was taking steroids came to light.

According to the police report obtained by reporters at TMZ Sports, one of the most shocking truths that came to light was in the headlines – “Bodybuilder Rich Piana had 20 bottles of testosterone”

Not just this, he is also known to have fought opiate addiction. Steroids, opium, and testosterone were all a deadly cocktail of drugs that he was supposedly taking.

Was There Any Early Evidence of Steroid Use?

If you look at his photos, you will find that the signs were everywhere and that he did not look natural at all.

was rich piana natural or on steroids

Extremely Vascular

One of the things that you cannot miss while watching his photos is that he had extreme vascularity which is possible only when one is taking anabolic steroids. As a matter of fact, you can see those veins even when you are relaxing on a couch. This is something that is not possible when you are not on steroids.

Rich Piana always had visible veins while he was working or when he was relaxing. This kind of confirms that he was doping.

Large Breast Tissue

One of the common problems associated with anabolic steroids is that they can often lead to gynecomastia or enlargement of the breast tissue in men. Though anabolics increase testosterone in your body, this testosterone readily converts to estrogen which leads to an increase in the breast tissue.

Rich Piana is known to have talked about it in a couple of videos in which he is known to have mentioned that he had to take a lot of medications to deal with this problem. More often than not, bodybuilders take an AI or Aromatase Inhibitor to prevent gynecomastia.

Now this shows two important things. First of all, he was on steroids for sure. Secondly, he was not willing to leave steroids in order to avoid the side effects associated with them. Rather, he was willing to go to the extent of taking drugs to mitigate side effects caused by steroids and anabolics.

Quick Bulking

One of the prime reasons bodybuilders take steroids is the desire to bulk up fast and with so much muscle which is not naturally possible. If you look at the photos of Rich Piana in his early days as a teenager and a young bodybuilder, you won’t miss the fact that he was bulking quite quickly.

What one needs to take into consideration is that bulking too fast can lead to a lot of damage to one’s kidneys and liver.

Rich Piana Stats and Achievement

Born on September 26, 1970, Rich Piana stood tall at 6’0 and weighed a massive 285 lbs.

He is known to have won his first event at the young age of 19 at the Mr. Teen California competition.

He is also known to have won Mr. California a couple of years later.

It’s important to mention here that even though he might have been tested for taking drugs, he never tested positive for the same. Since he himself admitted to using steroids, it can be said that he managed to time his cycles so that he was not detected.

How To Bulk Up Like Rich Piana?

One of the things that Rich Piana seems to have made clear in his videos is that if you want to bulk up then you must try to avoid using steroids if you can. Of course, competitive bodybuilding is something that is deeply drenched in the use of steroids ut not everybody is into this sport for competing.

You must try to gain muscle while staying healthy all the time. This is the whole essence of building a good body. And you can do so with regular training and taking care of your diet along with natural or healthy supplements that do not have any side effects.

Tough Training

While someone who is on steroids can bulk up in months, you will need to work harder to get bulkier while staying natural or natty. You need to work out for at least 5 days a week for years and years to get jacked.

Even though you will experience plateaus wherein you will experience periods of no or little growth, natural supplements may help you get past these stages to help you gain more muscle and strength.

Diet and Supplements

One of the most crucial factors when bulking up or building muscles is your diet. If you are training hard at the gym but are not focused on your diet, then you are not going to gain muscle. You need to combine a hard and intense workout with the right diet to make progress. You will require a lot of carbs for energy to train and whey protein in order to support both muscle growth and recovery.

You will need supplements too and thankfully, now you can buy legal steroids that mimic actual steroids without any of their unwanted side effects. These are natural supplements made with organic ingredients and are the next best thing to steroids when talking of either bulking or cutting. What makes them so appealing is that they are devoid of side effects and you do not require a PCT after using them.

You may also try and use natural testosterone booster that can do wonders for both muscle mass and strength.

Was Rich Piana Tested For Steroids?

Even though Raich Piana himself admitted to taking steroids for 27 years, there’s no record of him having been tested at any of the competitive events that he participated in, even as a teenager.

Even if he was, there’s nothing to suggest that he was taking steroids. This could indicate how poor or ineffective those testing methods were.

It could also be possible that he was using some steroid that was not detectable at that point in time. But nothing can be said with surety.

Verdict – Was Rich Piana Natural Or On Steroids?

Absolutely! Rich Piana admitted himself that he had been taking steroids for 27 years. Apart from this, there were sings of him having used steroids.

However, if you too want to bulk up like a pro then it is time to folow his advice and try to bulk up naturally without ever taking steroids or other harmful substances. There are bodybuilders such as Connor Murphy, Trysten Lee, Chris Bumstead, Jeff Nippard, etc., who are known to have bulked up naturally.

With regular training and a proper diet coupled with natural supplements you can get jacked like a pro.


  1. https://people.com/health/rich-piana-death-steroid-use-quotes/
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16227-enlarged-male-breast-tissue-gynecomastia
  3. https://www.tmz.com/2017/08/12/rich-piana-coma-bodybuilder-steroids/
  4. https://www.sportscasting.com/bodybuilder-rich-piana-tragically-died-after-collapsing-during-haircut/
  5. http://helvegr.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Rich_Piana_Autopsy_5171418.pdf

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