Did Steroids Kill Rich Piana? All You Need To Know
Recently, bodybuilding superstar Rich Piana passed away at the age of 46. Before his death, he was very vocal and open about the fact that he used steroids for nearly 30 years.
Rich Piana was confirmed dead by his ex-wife Sara Piana on Friday 25th August 2017, via a Facebook post. His shocking death came two weeks after he was put in a medically induced coma after passing out at his home in Florida. Police have confirmed that they found 20 bottles of testosterones (like testosterone boosters) when they arrived at his Florida home. Rich Piana collapsed while his girlfriend, Chanel Jansen was giving him a haircut. According to Jansen, the former Mr. California lost his consciousness and fell to the floor, hitting his head. She called 911 and reported that Rich Piana suffered from a possible steroid overdose. After the doctors had arrived at his home, they found Rich Piana unresponsive and placed him in a medically induced coma.
Who was Rich Piana?
Rich Piana was a renowned and well loved bodybuilder who hailed from Florida. He had over 1.2 million followers on Instagram and hundreds of thousands of subscribers following his YouTube channel. The 46 year old celebrity bodybuilder admitted that he had been using steroids since he was a teenager. He had never made any attempts to hide this fact and openly discussed on his Instagram and YouTube accounts that steroids were a big part of the bodybuilding community.
His mother was also a bodybuilder and it was at the age of 11 when he realized he wanted to venture into bodybuilding. This was after he watched his mother train in a gym for an upcoming championship. At the age of 15, Rich Piana competed in his first championship, although he did not succeed. Following unsuccessful attempts in different championships, Piana decided to use anabolic steroids to try and change his fortunes while he was 18. The steroids helped him massively, and in 1998, Rich Piana became Mr. California with a perfect score. In addition to this achievement, Piana also finished in the first position in Fitness and Figure Championship back in 2009.
However, Piana did not rely on steroids alone to build his huge physique and gain lean muscle mass. It is believed that the bodybuilder ate nine meals every day in addition to a huge protein shake. Piana said that his mother was his influence together with Bill Cambra. Previously, Rich Piana admitted in public that he had been spending thousands of dollars every month buying anabolic steroids, which helped him build up his muscles and enhance his career in bodybuilding. He posted a YouTube video last year where he told his followers that he was using steroids on and off during the course of his 27 year bodybuilding career. He advised his followers against using steroids to increase their body mass, saying that if they had a choice of using steroids or staying natural, they should stay natural.
Adding to his own message, Rich Piana said that there is no point in using steroids unless you are doing it to become a professional bodybuilder. The 46 year old celebrity bodybuilders remarks caused a lot of controversy at the time raising questions whether bodybuilders should rely on steroids or stay true to the sport. After opening up about his steroid use, Piana maintained that he was not trying to brag or encourage people to use steroids. Instead, he said he used his social media platforms to educate people who were going to use steroids, on how to properly use them.
Benefits Of Steroids
It is common today to find amateur and professional bodybuilders using anabolic steroids to promote muscle growth and lean gains. Steroids are a synthetic form of the naturally occurring male hormone known as testosterone. They come in the form of gels, tablets, capsules, creams and injectable steroids.
In addition to improving muscle mass, steroids can be used to regulate metabolism and enhance reproduction. Steroids are also known to improve recovery times of bodybuilders. However, if the steroids are not prescribed by a doctor, their use is considered to be illegal. The most common ways bodybuilders abuse steroids is cycling, stacking and pyramiding. Stacking is the one that is more dangerous since it involves the use of more than one steroid at any given time. On the other hand, cycling involves taking steroid drugs over a certain period of time and letting the body rest, before starting the cycle again. Pyramiding involves a combination of both stacking and cycling.
When Rich Piana first used steroids, he used the common cycle “Test and Deca” which involves mixing steroid Deca Durabolin with Testosterone. After using the steroid for 8 weeks, Piana admitted that his weight increased from 185 pounds to 200 pounds. This gain in weight was attributed to the significant increase in muscle mass. After graduating from high school, Piana admitted that he was bench pressing 315 pounds. But after using steroids, he was able to do 405 pounds of bench pressing.
With his first cycle, Piana admitted that his body was growing in muscle mass and he was exploding in strength. Piana knew that he was destined to become one of the top bodybuilders in the world. However, that achievement came at a cost. He admitted that he took 20 IUs of Serostim growth hormone every day. If he was to buy this drug as prescribed by a doctor, it would cost him around $8000 every month. However, since he wasn’t getting it from a doctor, he got it at a cheaper price of $2000 every month.
Steroid Side Effects
Those who use steroids for bodybuilding say that there are less risks of developing negative effects, with the benefit of building muscle mass outweighing the risk of steroid side effects. However, scientific research does not back this up.
Adolescent boys who use steroids can stunt height growth and promote early sexual development. Continued abuse of steroids can lead to heart disease.
Also, high blood pressure is common in people who abuse steroids. Rich Piana admitted that his hair started to thin out, but could be attributed to his age (43 at the time this was reported) than side effects of using steroids. However, there was a time he went to see a doctor so that his liver could be checked. Also, Piana admitted that he once suffered from Gynaecomastia which refers to growth of male breast.
Other side effects like breakouts of spots and acne as well as increased aggression and mood swings are very well documented over the last few years. The term “road rage” is something we hear a lot, and can be a direct impact of using or abusing anabolic steroids.