Bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger has always been honest about using steroids during his career, but he never revealed the exact drugs he took. In a recent Men’s Health interview, that changed as the ‘Austrian Oak’ listed the two-compound cycle he used to win seven Mr. Olympias.
Today, Arnold Schwarzenegger is by far and wide the most popular and visible ambassador of the sport. However, it took hard training, discipline, and consistency to get to where he is. In the 1970s and 1980s, Schwarzenegger was a proven force with a one-of-a-kind physique. His popping biceps and full chest were standout features that helped him climb and claw to the top of the IFBB Pro League.
During Schwarzenegger’s tenure, he was challenged by a handful of icons such as three-time Mr. Olympias Frank Zane and Sergio Oliva. In addition, he competed against Mike Mentzer, who many believe should have defeated Schwarzenegger during his comeback at the controversial 1980 Mr. Olympia competition. Looking back on a decorated career, Schwarzenegger said his toughest battle came against Oliva.
Schwarzenegger managed to claim a total of seven Mr. Olympia titles just shy of the joint record set years later by eight-time winners Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman. Decades separated from his retirement, fans and bodybuilders alike have wondered about Arnold’s steroid cycles.
‘The Blond Myth’ Lee Priest discussed the topic once and mentioned Dianabol was Schwarzenegger’s favorite compound. Priest explained that times were different back when Schwarzenegger would compete and said athletes didn’t have ‘set rules’ about steroid protocols. Following years of speculation, Schwarzenegger has shared his Olympia-winning cycle, which consisted of Dianabol and testosterone.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Shares Steroid Cycle Used During Career, Says Sport Is Unsafe: ‘People Are Dying’
According to Schwarzenegger, he used 15 milligrams of Dianabol daily and 100 milligrams of testosterone a week.
“One hundred milligrams a week and then three dianabol a day. So that was 15 milligrams,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said describing his steroid use.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a popular treatment athletes use for muscle maintenance, strength, and a variety of other benefits that aid low testosterone. From powerlifting sensation Larry Wheels to Jay Cutler, TRT continues to have a major impact on athletes’ health in 2023.
With a sudden spike in bodybuilding deaths over the past three years, Schwarzenegger stressed that people are listening to ‘charlatans’ and ‘don’t know what the ‘fuc* they’re doing.’ He added that people today are more obsessed with shortcuts than consistent hard work.
“Bodybuilding always, always was considered a safe sport,” he shared. “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.”
“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,” Schwarzenegger told Men’s Health.
This isn’t the first time Arnold Schwarzenegger has shined a spotlight on the dangers present in bodybuilding. In 2021, Schwarzenegger said Open bodybuilding is dangerous and that Classic Physique was the future. Given the rate at which athletes were dying, Schwarzenegger was candid, highlighting that bodybuilding had become the most dangerous sport in the world.
Following the 2022 Mr. Olympia show, Schwarzenegger said the Classic Physique Olympia winner should be crowned the Mr. Olympia title instead of the Open class champion. Some fans agree with Schwarzenegger, as four-time Classic Physique Olympia Chris Bumstead‘s popularity continues to swell.
Schwarzenegger’s physique, a mix of aesthetics, muscularity, and mass, still impresses bodybuilding fans today. He achieved it with a minimal steroid cycle that did not include growth hormone, which illustrates how far ahead he was during his prime.