EVER SINCE HIS bodybuilding days, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been open about the fact that he used steroids. But he never actually detailed exactly what he took. And, for years (ehh, decades), that’s led to plenty of speculation about exactly what Schwarzenegger consumed during his run in competitive bodybuilding.
In our cover story, the Governator finally settles that debate. It turns out Schwarzenegger built his PED regimen around two drugs, testosterone and D-Bol. The latter is a steroid that remains popular among bodybuilders today. “One hundred milligrams a week,” he says of his testosterone usage, “and then three Dianabol a day, so that was 15 milligrams.”
That usage also lines up with some of what Schwarzenegger has always hinted. In one well-known interview, he didn’t say that he took “three Dianabol a day,” but he did say that bodybuilders would often discuss their steroid regimens, and throw out that number. Schwarzenegger’s testosterone usage, meanwhile, was in line with what’s prescribed to many guys on testosterone replacement therapy today.
To be clear, though, Schwarzenegger does not want anyone duplicating his regimen. He pointed out that his usage of the drugs in the 1970s was very different: Steroids weren’t illegal until Congress passed the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990. Schwarzenegger also stressed that he only used steroids under doctors’ supervision. That’s not how he sees the drugs being used by lifters today.
“Bodybuilding always, always was considered a safe sport,” he says. “But now, it’s not. Now people are dying. They’re dying because of overdoses of drugs, and they don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. And they’re listening to charlatans. If I want to go and get medical advice from a legitimate doctor, I go to UCLA, or I go to the Cleveland Clinic.”
Schwarzenegger does realize, though, that many won’t listen to his exhortations to avoid steroids. After all, on some level, they contributed to his rise through bodybuilding and into Hollywood. Still, he’s trying to say all the right things.
“Don’t go there,” he says of steroids. “Yes, we are at a time now where we always look for the easy way to make money, the fast way to get rich, the easy way to be an influencer. Any time you abuse the body, you’re going to regret it later on. I want young people to know that I have seen people getting kidney transplants, and suffering tremendously from it.”
He also compares himself to a rock climber who takes major risks, then tells others not to. “I recognize the fact that, who am I to say this?” he says. “This is the guy who climbed without a rope.”
Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men’s Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. He’s logged training time with NFL athletes and track athletes and his current training regimen includes weight training, HIIT conditioning, and yoga. Before joining Men’s Health in 2017, he served as a sports columnist and tech columnist for the New York Daily News.
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