Well, this has to be one of the most aggravating topics for all of you pro-steroid advocates out there. How many times have you seen some stupid idiots posting on youtube videos or forums with comments like “steroids kill people”, “steroids make your dick small”, or then there is the “steroid overdose epidemic”… Oh boy, where do we start?
Well, let’s set the record straight once and for all. In all of the recorded medical history, no one (not 1 single individual) has ever died from an “anabolic steroid overdose”. In fact, as far as all current medical research indicates, no one has died from anabolic steroids. Now let me be fair, that is not to say that extremely high use of anabolic steroids does not cause health issues because we know they certainly do. Furthermore, excessively high doses over a 10-20-30 year span may certainly pose a physical threat. In my opinion, these are genetic factors. How many of us know someone who is an excessive drinker or smoker their entire life, yet somehow they are in their 60’s and still going strong? It happens.
About the closest case we have seen to an actual steroid overdose was that of outspoken pro-steroid advocate Bodybuilder Derek Anthony. Derek Anthony died at only 32 years old. He died of total organ failure. The amount of steroids and chemicals he used was shocking. His death was not instant by any means. His body sustained several years of torture, high dose steroid and chemical abuse. R.I.P. Derek
I recently came across this new video with Mr. Olympian Dorian Yates where he openly admits his anabolic steroid use. He further mentions his clean bill of health even after years of high dose use. I have to say, he looks better now than he did back in his competing years. He appears healthy and he does not carry the extreme amount of muscle mass he did in his competing years.
So, now that we have concluded for 100% certainty, there has never been an anabolic steroid overdose case, what about physical side effects? Are steroids as dangerous as the media portrays? Well, it is safer to say “steroids can be dangerous” if abused. It seems when discussing pros and cons people often overlook the difference between use and abuse. At the end of the day, if you abused multivitamins or aspirin, you’d likely see health issues at some point. With that said, tablet per tablet, it is known that even aspirin is more toxic to the organs than an anabolic steroid.
So you may be asking, “If steroids are so dangerous, then why aren’t bodybuilders dropping like flies? Well, truth be told they sort of are. Let’s take a moment to reflect on those we lost in the last few years:
- Mike Mentzer, 49, Heart complications
- Ray Mentzer, 47, Berger’s disease (high cholesterol)
- Ron Teufel, 45, Liver failure
- Scott Klein, 30, reportedly kidney failure/suicide
- Sonny Schmidt, 51, cancer
- Robert Benavente, 30, Massive heart attack
- Charles Durr, 44, enlarged heart
- Don Youngblood, 51, Massive heart attack
- Paul “Quadzilla” Demayo, 38, drug overdose
- Fannie Barrios, 41, stroke
- Eric Otero, 37, Blood infection
- Eduarda Kawak, 47, Heart attack
- Rob Sager, 29, heart failure (died in his sleep)
- Greg Deferro, 53, heart disease
- Dan Puckett, 22, heart condition
- Shellie Beattie, 39, suicide (hung herself)
- Luke Wood, 35, kidney failure
- Carlos Rodriguez, 48, stomach cancer
- Mohammed Benaziza, 33, collapsed after taking an injection of clenbuterol
- Andreas Munzer, 31, liver and kidney failure
- Johnny Fuller, 62, cancer
- Derrick Whitsett, 38, heart attack
- Trevor Smith, 33 (no official cause of death, however, he was 6ft tall and 400lbs)
- Jeep Swenson (he played the character Bain in the first Batman), heart attack
- Curtis Leffler, 36, heart attack
- Hans Hopstaken, 45, heart condition, pneumonia
- Art Atwood, 38, heart attack
- BJ Johns, 34, heart attack
- Lou Barrie, 40, massive heart attack
- Claudia Bianchi, 34, blocked arteries/heart attack
- Wrestler “Big Boss Man” Ray Traylor, 41, heart attack
- Marianna Komlos, 35, breast cancer
- Powerlifter Luke Lams, 43, heart attack
- Bench Press King Anthony Clark, 39, massive heart attack
- Roger Estep, 47, Brain Cancer
- John Riggins, 33, liver and kidney failure and then fluid backed up into his lungs.
- John Ware Powerlifter, 46, heart attack
- Doug Young (former powerlifter), 61, heart attack
- Co-Founder of Power House Gyms, Norm Dabish, 46, heart attack
- WWF Wrestler Eddie Guerrero, 38, acute heart failure
- Nasser Elsonbaty, 47, Kidney Failure
- Dave Barno, 35, died while dead lifting with a broken back
- Mannie Hamilton, 62, heart attack
- Herb Glossbrenner, 63, stoke
- Hans Ossner, 64, cancer
- Russ Knipp, 63, heart attack
- Casey Viator, 62, heart attack
- Matt Duvall, 40, heart attack
- Tom Sansone, 38, cancer
- Former Mr. America Mike Scarcella, 39, died from seizure related to GHB withdrawal.
- Garry Kendal, Mr Europe
- David Sing, 27
- Steroid Bible Author and Outspoken anabolic steroid advocate, Dan Duchaine, 48, Liver and kidney failure.
IFBB pro Michael Aylward also died in November 2013. His competing weight used to be 290 lbs, but in pursuit of health, he dropped down to a healthy-looking 215. Shortly after reaching a healthy weight, he suffered a heart attack.
Anthony D’Arezzo, suffered from cardiopyopathy, a congenital heart defect. Doctors warned him that if he didn’t stop pumping iron and doing steroids, the condition could kill him. In 2006, he ignored doctor’s orders and started working out and shooting growth hormones. He flew to Pittsburgh to compete and died of a heart attack in his hotel room the night before the show.
In 2011, giant bodybuilder Chad Brothers was in the middle of a workout at a Gold’s Gym in Latham, New York, when he tripped and fell off of an elliptical machine. That was all it took to send him on a wild tear through the facility, threatening people and damaging property. Surveillance video sees Brothers rampaging through the gym wired on a lethal combination of PCP and steroids, smashing and toppling extremely heavy gym equipment. When the police showed up to apprehend him, it took two shots with a Taser to bring him down, and he passed out and died an hour later.
For Australian competitor Gary Himing, he demonstrated the risks in bodybuilding in the most extreme way: by dying on stage. Himing was competing in the Masters division at the IFBB event in Victoria when he collapsed from a heart attack after his set. Amazingly enough, the show continued after his body was removed from the stage.
Here are a few bodybuilders who have recently survived health related issues:
- Dennis Newman (leukemia)
- Orville Burke (coma)
- Don Long (kidney failure)
- Tom Prince (kidney failure)
- Flex Wheeler (kidney transplant)
- Tom Prince (kidney failure)
- Ed Corney (stroke)
- Boyer Coe (heart)
- Danny Padilla (heart)
- Pete Grymkowski (heart)
- Mike Martarazzo (triple bypass heart surgery)
Moving on, you may be shocked to learn of all these deaths and health-related issues. The most common issues seem to be heart, liver, and kidney. So is this a pattern? Are anabolic steroids really killing bodybuilders? The answer may be surprising. I don’t think steroids had anything to do with these deaths and here is why. Believe it or not, muscle is toxic. In fact, too much muscle mass with the absence of some body fat puts the body in a very toxic state. The easiest way to put this is that no matter how a bodybuilder gets that massive, his physique alone is killing his internal organs. Listen to bodybuilder Rich Piana talk in this youtube video. This poor guy is out of breath just talking. He has a heart attack waiting to happen.
Aside from muscle mass alone, extreme dieting and training are in no way healthy. Putting your body through a cycle of rapid transformation such as bulking up and then shredding down to a competitive weight takes its toll on the body. Aside from anabolic steroids, bodybuilders abuse other drugs and chemicals as well. It is common knowledge they abuse stimulants like amphetamines, asthma products like clenbuterol, and even thyroid drugs to boost their metabolism.
Based on all my own personal research, I conclude anabolic steroids are extremely safe. Bodybuilding is a lifestyle, and I believe the lifestyle is the #1 risk factor among these top-level competing bodybuilders. Genetics, diet, training, stress, and drugs all play their role in the outcome of a bodybuilder’s life expectancy. In short, whether anabolic steroids are involved or not, a 300lb man with little to no body fat is simply not “healthy”.