Retired IFBB Pro League icon Rich Gaspari doesn’t miss an opportunity to talk about bodybuilding. In the latest Fitness Fame & Fortune podcast, Gaspari discussed how steroid protocols have changed since the 1990s.
As a three-time Mr. Olympia runner-up (1986,1987,1988), Rich Gaspari saw it all as a Men’s Open bodybuilder. He is celebrated for his unwavering work ethic, which helped him build one of the most conditioned physiques of the 90s. During his time on stage, Rich defeated several high-ranking pros such as Lee Labrada, Robby Robinson, and Tom Platz.
With free time following his illustrious career, Gaspari is known for calling the sport how he sees it. The 59-year-old took issue with modern-day bodybuilders’ over-dependence on drugs. According to Gaspari, athletes have ignored proper diets and training in favor of using excessive amounts of steroids. Moreover, Gaspari believes bodybuilding is “80%” diet.
Gaspari also understands that training is vital to a successful bodybuilding career. To reach the top of the sport, he utilized a ‘grueling training intensity’ and often worked out until he collapsed from exhaustion. He credited these techniques for helping him overcome obstacles during his lengthy tenure.
While speaking with John Romano, Gaspari shared his thoughts on counterfeit drugs flooding the black market. In addition, he compared how steroid doses have changed since his years of active competition.
Rich Gaspari Discusses Counterfeit Drugs and Commonly Used PEDs During Career
Gaspari shared that he was able to purchase three popular steroids from the pharmacy back when he competed.
“I use to go to that drive to that pharmacy and the pharmacist used to just sell. They weren’t controlled, so they used to sell you, Primobolan, Anavar, Testosterone — all the really — you know they were all pharmaceutical-grade so you knew they were good steroids.”
However, he believes competitors today are forced to seek PEDs on the black market, which sometimes results in counterfeit drugs.
“More product was get – the bodybuilders of today, use a lot of the black market to get their steroids. What happens is, the purity of what they’re getting may not necessarily be what they say it is. So, when I was using anabolic steroids, I would get them directly from a pharmacy. When I bought Primobolan; I knew it was Primobolan. When I was buying Anavar; I knew it was Anavar. When I was buying Dianabol, I knew they were Dianabol.
A lot of the products right now that are out there right now, they’re like, ‘hey I got this Chinese version of Dianabol or Anavar, it’s blah blah blah,’ and the guy will go, ‘I didn’t make any gains on it.’ My point is, there’s a lot of fake shit out there. I’ve seen guys – top pros, for some reason they competed at a show and looked like shit. What happened? Is it because they got fake product to get ready for their show… I think that happens a lot,” says Rich Gasapri.
He specified that bodybuilders today are using similar compounds from the 90s such as Anavar, Winstrol, Testosterone, and Trenbolone.
“Secondly, I do believe that the other designer products or drugs that you’re talking about, when they come to like peptides and SARMS. When you mention IGF-1, those are not steroids. When you look at steroids, I still think today’s bodybuilders are using reminiscent to the same type of steroids that we used 35 years ago. You still hear of Anavar, you still hear of Winstrol, you still hear of Trenbolone, you still hear of Testosterone – they’re all taking those products that we took. Those haven’t changed.”
Gaspari maintains that athletes are using doses of drugs ‘way higher’ than what he took while competing.
“The only thing changed with the anabolic is – from what I’m hearing – and I can’t say it first hand because I’m not watching them inject it, but the dosages are way higher than what I’ve taken,” Gaspari explained.
“It would not go over a gram [for me] of everything. Counting Winstrol, Anavar, remember Anavar was two-and-a-half migs so I would take maybe 10 pills a day at the most. What is that, 25 migs. Then you’re looking at taking testosterone, I would do maybe 250 migs when I was getting ready for a show. Off-season I would take higher androgens.”
After calling it a career, Gaspari has dedicated himself to health and longevity at 59. He reflected on ‘slowing down’ the aging process with peptides recently. Gaspari added that he’s used weightlifting, Growth Hormone, and Testosterone to assist him with his anti-aging goals.
While some of the compounds were the same, Gaspari believes bodybuilders today lack the conditioning that 90s competitors possessed. Instead of overusing drugs, he hopes athletes prioritize more comprehensive training and diet routines.