Is Rich Piana On Steroids?

TRT Trey

Last Updated August 28, 2022

TRT Trey

 August 28, 2022


Is Rich Piana on steroids?

Then you’ve come to the right place. Inside, you’ll find the official breakdown of whether or not Rich Piana has ever used gear before…

Rich Piana was an amateur bodybuilder and one of the biggest fitness influencers in the world. His unbelievable physique and over-the-top personality attracted millions of social media fans. Rich Piana’s YouTube channel was especially popular – he used it to share advice on training, nutrition and the bodybuilding lifestyle to his millions of subscribers.

Rich Piana openly talked about steroid use in the sport of professional bodybuilding. But does that mean he was using steroids himself?

Is Rich Piana really a natural athlete? Or is he just another juiced up bodybuilder who slacks off in the gym? Let’s find out!

Disclaimer: The contents of are for informational and educational purposes. We do not provide legal advice. Likewise, we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician prior to consuming any over-the-counter supplements, like a natural testosterone booster, and/or getting a prescription for a pharmaceutical medication. Your access to is subject to our full disclaimer and terms of use.

Rich Piana Stats

Age: 50 Years Old
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 285 lbs
Estimated Body Fat %: About 10 Percent
Nickname: Mr. California

What Are Steroids?

Steroids are a family of synthetic compounds based on testosterone, the natural male sex hormone. They have a similar structure to testosterone, and have similar effects in the human body, such as increased muscle mass and strength.

Steroids are sometimes used by athletes and gym-goers to promote muscle growth, increase stamina, and reduce rest times between workouts.

Steroids work by increasing the amount of protein stored in cells, especially in muscle cells. Steroids also have a massive virilizing role and may make men appear more “masculine” [1].

German scientists first synthesized modern steroids in the mid-1930s.

By the 1950s they were being used by the Soviet weightlifting team, and by the 1990s they had truly achieved mainstream status in the United States [2].

In fact, as many as 2-3 million Americans have admitted to using anabolic steroids at some point in their lives!

Steroids are great if you want to build muscle quickly, but they come with important adverse effects. Keep in mind that most side effects occur after long-term, excessive use. Typically, the adverse effects include heart disease, liver damage, and various dermatological issues, like hair loss and acne.

There are other negative effects, like breast development (gynecomastia), infertility, stomach pain, and reduced sperm count. Psychiatric issues also occur and include aggression, delusions, and manic episodes [3].

These negative side effects have convinced the United States and many other countries to make recreational steroid use illegal.

Users who are caught with steroids may face heavy fines, or even jail time.

Rich Piana

Signs Of Steroid Use

Anabolic steroids are very effective at building muscle mass and strength. However, they also have a number of side effects.

Here are some of the most common signs of steroid use:

  • Rapid Weight Gain
  • “Man Boobs”
  • Extreme Bloating
  • Male Pattern Baldness
  • Red/Flushed Skin

Let’s take a closer look at each of these signs.

One of the most common signs of steroid use is rapid weight gain. New steroid users often add 10, 20 or even 30 pounds of muscle in just a few weeks!

This is obviously impossible for a natural bodybuilder, so if you see someone blow up in size, they may be running a steroid cycle.

Another common sign is extreme bloating. Growth hormone is very effective at building muscle mass, but it sometimes causes the users stomach to extend out in front of their body.

Just think of Joe Rogan and his distended stomach!

Other signs of steroid use include man boobs, male pattern baldness and red/flushed skin.

Some people also experience side effects if they stop using steroids too quickly. Common withdrawal symptoms are decreased appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and fatigue [4].

Is Rich Piana On Steroids?

Is Rich Piana really natural? Or did he use anabolic steroids to go beyond his natural limits and take his physique to the next level? Let’s look at the facts before jumping to any conclusions.

Rich Piana has the following signs of long-terms steroid use:

  • Incredibly Muscular Physique
  • Massive Shoulders / Traps
  • Absolutely Shredded
  • Extreme Vascularity

The most obvious sign that Rich Piana uses anabolic steroids is his incredibly muscular physique. Rich Piana is 6 feet 1 inches tall and weighs an unbelievable 285 pounds!

In other words, Rich is significantly bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dorian Yates, and many other legendary bodybuilders. Is it really possible for someone to become this massive without using gear? The answer is obviously “no.”

Another huge sign that Rich Piana uses steroids is his massive shoulders and traps. His shoulders are so massive that they completely overpower the rest of his upper body!

Research shows that the shoulders and traps have an unusually large number of androgen receptors, so they tend to grow extremely fast when someone is using performance enhancing drugs. The fact that Rich has shoulders the size of basketballs is clear evidence that he is using drugs.

There are other signs that Rich has used gear before, such as his absolutely shredded physique, and his extreme vascularity.

Rich Piana is ripped year-round, and has giant “fire hose” veins popping off of his upper body. It’s extremely rare to see a natural bodybuilder stay this lean year-round, or have his level of vascularity, but his insanely muscular physique is still his biggest sign of steroid use.

So what does Rich Piana have to say about these allegations? Here is Rich in his own words:

“Everybody knows I don’t take steroids. I don’t cheat. I’m 100% natty – and I stand by that!”

Just kidding! Rich Piana is very open about the fact that he used steroids. He knew that he was playing with fire, and he was willing to deal with the adverse side effects of performance enhancing drugs to build the physique he wanted.

Rich Piana says that steroids are perfectly safe when used responsibly, but that isn’t really true.

Rich didn’t notice how steroids were wreaking havoc on his body. Or at least he did not make it public.

According to the autopsy report done after his death, his heart and liver were twice the normal size for an adult male. Also, there was significant damage to his other organs, likely caused by decades of steroid use.

Although the autopsy was inconclusive about the precise cause of death, the report clearly shows the negative effects of long-term steroid use.

There were signs that something was off with his health, but Rich decided to ignore them. According to his girlfriend, he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and battled with opiate addiction for years. He also used steroids almost daily, even during his last years.

According to a police report, 20 bottles of steroids were found at his home when he collapsed.

Rich Piana Before And After Steroids

Rich Piana has many of the usual signs of long-term steroid use, such as insanely muscular physiques and massive shoulders / traps. But did he always look this way?

The truth is, Rich Piana always had a very impressive physique. Even when he was a teenager, he looked like he had the genetics to be a professional bodybuilder. Rich started using steroids when he was 19 years old, and continued to use them throughout his adult life.

He was always muscular, but he grew immensely after starting his steroid cycles during his early 20s. Steroids turned Rich Piana into a successful person, and he was very open about this. He routinely promoted the use of steroids, and he said steroids could be used safely for decades.

In hindsight this may not have been good advice, as he ultimately died as a result of steroid-related health complications.

Rich Piana steroids before and after

Legal Steroid Alternatives?

Rich Piana used anabolic steroids to build his incredible physique. However, that doesn’t mean they are a good idea for you. Anabolic steroids are extremely dangerous and can result in death when used improperly.

Rich Piana is the poster child for this, as his heart was twice the size of a normal human’s and he ultimately died from steroid-related complications. Steroids are also illegal in many countries, including the United States [5].

Most people can build an incredible physique as a “natural” athlete.

However, if you are looking to speed up your results in the gym, then you may want to look into “legal steroid alternatives” such as ecdysterone [6].

Ecdysterone is one of the most popular sports supplements in the world today.

Ecdysterone is found in many foods such as spinach and quinoa, but some bodybuilders and athletes choose to supplement with it, as it has been shown to dramatically increase muscle protein synthesis and lean muscle mass gains [7]. Some studies show that ecdysterone is just as effective as many anabolic steroids, such as dianabol [8]!

Don’t worry – ecdysterone is 100% legal, and has zero side effects in humans. This makes it a great alternative for people who want to stay natural, but still want to speed up their progress in the gym.

If you want to get started with ecdysterone, then we strongly recommend the online company Huge Supplements. They manufacture their own products right here in the US, so you know you are getting a great product, and users consistently post positive reviews on their website.

Order the best Ecdysterone from Huge Supplements...

Testosterone Therapy vs. Steroids

Testosterone replacement therapy is one of the most popular treatment options for men with low T.

Unlike steroids, which are used to raise one’s testosterone to dangerous levels, testosterone replacement therapy is used to supplement the body’s natural testosterone production so it reaches the high end of the normal, healthy range.

Most men report many benefits after starting TRT, including improved mood, increased muscle mass, decreased body fat, and improved cardiovascular health [9, 10, 11].

Many people do not like the idea of visiting an in-person clinic to get started with TRT.

Fortunately, there are many online TRT providers that you can work with to get started on testosterone replacement therapy – one of our favorites is called Fountain TRT. They use a simple 3- step process to make it as easy as possible for you to get started on TRT and optimize your hormone levels.

Sign up for TRT today with our top-rated USA doctors...

Rich Piana And Steroids | The Verdict

What’s the verdict – does Rich Piana use steroids?

The answer is yes – Rich Piana used anabolic steroids during his bodybuilding career to go beyond his natural limits and take his physique to the next level.

Rich Piana openly admits that he has used performance enhancing drugs during his career. He was extremely large as a natural bodybuilder, but his physique quickly blew up in size when he started running gear.

Rich Piana also has some obvious signs of long-term steroid use, such as his insanely muscular physique, massive 3-D delts, and extreme vascularity.

The decision to use performance enhancing drugs is a personal one, and we have no beef with Rich deciding to go from “natural” to “enhanced.”

He ultimately died from his addiction to steroids, but that is a story for another day.


  1. R. Lafont, L. Dinan, Practical uses for ecdysteroids in mammals including humans: and update, Journal of Insect Science, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2003, 7,
  2. SLAMA, K., & LAFONT, R. (1995). Insect hormones – ecdysteroids: their presence and actions in vertebrates. Eur. J. Entomol., 92(1), 355-377
  3. Phytoecdysteroid. Phytoecdysteroid – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2022, from
  4. Parr MK, Botrè F, Naß A, Hengevoss J, Diel P, Wolber G. Ecdysteroids: A novel class of anabolic agents?. Biol Sport. 2015;32(2):169-173. doi:10.5604/20831862.1144420
  5. Dinan, L., & Lafont, R. (2006). Effects and applications of arthropod steroid hormones (ecdysteroids) in mammals, Journal of Endocrinology, 191(1), 1-8. Retrieved Feb 15, 2022, from
  6. 20-Hydroxyecdysone: The pro-anabolic, plant steroid. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2022, from
  7. Gorelick-Feldman J, Maclean D, Ilic N, Poulev A, Lila MA, Cheng D, Raskin I. Phytoecdysteroids increase protein synthesis in skeletal muscle cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 May 28;56(10):3532-7. doi: 10.1021/jf073059z. Epub 2008 Apr 30. PMID: 18444661.
  8. Parr MK, Botrè F, Naß A, Hengevoss J, Diel P, Wolber G. Ecdysteroids: A novel class of anabolic agents?. Biol Sport. 2015;32(2):169-173. doi:10.5604/20831862.1144420
  9. Al-Zoubi RM, Yassin AA, Alwani M, Al-Qudimat A, Aboumarzouk OM, Zarour A, Al Ansari A. A systematic review on the latest developments in testosterone therapy: Innovations, advances, and paradigm shifts. Arab J Urol. 2021 Aug 8;19(3):370-375. doi: 10.1080/2090598X.2021.1959260. PMID: 34552788; PMCID: PMC8451690.
  10. Kim SH, Park JJ, Kim KH, Yang HJ, Kim DS, Lee CH, Jeon YS, Shim SR, Kim JH. Efficacy of testosterone replacement therapy for treating metabolic disturbances in late-onset hypogonadism: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int Urol Nephrol. 2021 Sep;53(9):1733-1746. doi: 10.1007/s11255-021-02876-w. Epub 2021 Jun 5. PMID: 34089171.
  11. Lunenfeld B, Mskhalaya G, Zitzmann M, Corona G, Arver S, Kalinchenko S, Tishova Y, Morgentaler A. Recommendations on the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of testosterone deficiency in men. Aging Male. 2021 Dec;24(1):119-138. doi: 10.1080/13685538.2021.1962840. PMID: 34396893.
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