Bodybuilding veteran Rich Gaspari stopped competing years ago but still trains and coaches other athletes. In a recent Fitness, Fame & Fortune podcast, Gaspari took aim at bodybuilding coaches jumping to use steroids and discussed the role of PEDs in female divisions like Bikini and Wellness.
Rich Gaspari made waves in the 1980s and 90s as a Men’s Open bodybuilder. Celebrated for his extreme level of conditioning and striated glutes, Gaspari earned runner-up at the Mr. Olympia contest on three occasions. While he never touched a Sandow trophy, Gaspari won several pro shows, including the first Arnold Classic title in 1989.
Since Rich’s last time on stage, the Men’s Open division has undergone changes. One change, in particular, prompted Gaspari to call out reigning Mr. Olympia Hadi Choopan. He suggested that Choopan lacked the same level of back detail as bodybuilding legend Dorian Yates.
In addition to the comparison, Gaspari emphasized that athletes today are relying more on steroids instead of quality training. He accepts steroids have a place in bodybuilding but believes athletes no longer prioritize effective diets for achieving thin skin and excellent conditioning. Speaking with John Romano, Gaspari opened up on bad coaches and the steroid use of Bikini and Wellness competitors.
Rich Gaspari Says Poor Trainers ‘That Don’t Know What They’re Doing’ Has ‘Gotten Out of Hand’
Gaspari stressed that many trainers today are pushing gear unnecessarily on their clients, especially female bodybuilders.
“It seems like it’s happening, it’s so relevant in the industry, and it’s gotten out of hand. There is too many trainers out there that don’t know what they’re doing. They go to someone that just starts out and its usually kind of a beginner that doesn’t have any knowledge and they basically get a coach that they have, and it’s like, ‘this guy has all these guys competing for him, he has to know what he’s doing, – it doesn’t mean he knows what he’s doing.”
“Another one goes, ‘if you go into the NPC, you have to get on steroids right away,’ this is a girl not a guy, but this is a girl, and I’m like, ‘so, you can’t even win a regional or a local show unless you go on steroids?’ I said, ‘if you don’t have the genetics to win a local, state, regional show, then you shouldn’t be competing. I’m talking about – it was Bikini,” Rich Gaspari shared.
For Bikini competitors, Rich said trainers are suggesting compounds like Winstrol, Anavar, and Clenbuterol ‘right away.’
“Not even men, Bikini. They’re like, ‘you got to get on Anavar, you got to get on Winstrol.’ We’ve talked about Winstrol, remember we talked about Winstrol, how for women, it does aromatize, and it does turn women to have more masculine [features], right away with Winstrol. And women think, Winstrol, Anavar, Clenbuterol, these are all the steroids.”
Gaspari Talks of Steroids in Wellness, Transforming Physiques with Diets, and Maintaining Muscle at Older Ages
He believes Wellness competitors need to take steroids to be competitive.
“Oh, Wellness, forget it, you want to go in Wellness… you got to take steroids. I have this girl that I’m helping. She was like 114 natural. She was eating 50 grams of carbs, 12-14,00 calories, and then I watched her train and she was training like – like crap. No, nothing to her training. I got her slowly to increase her calories. I got this girl now, mind you, almost 2,800 calories, total natural, went from 114-133 and lost a percent of body fat at the same time.
And then she’s like, ‘I really think I can compete in NPC.’ I said, ‘yeah, because I’m getting you eating properly.’ And because he’s eating, 2,800 calories, that’s a lot of calories. She’s able to train harder. She went from doing hip thrusts with 25-pound plates to doing hip thrusts with three plates for 20 reps, three 45s. By the way, that’s in a four-month period.”
For those getting older, Gaspari clarified that diet and training are essential to muscle growth.
“It’s really the diet, the training. The steroids, all they’re doing is just preventing you from losing muscle. While you’re on a diet, I always tell people, your body has a setpoint on to feel comfortable on how low your body fat can go. I had a great setpoint where I can go beyond a normal level and get super shredded.
But there are people, and you know them, once they get down to a certain body fat, even if you lower their caloric intake and give them more cardio, they start losing muscle,” says Gaspari. “You got to figure out a way, how do they get your body to get used to that lower set point so you can get that thin skin.”
Last week, Gaspari made an appearance on Dennis James’ The Menace podcast to tackle a number of topics. While talking about dehydration with bodybuilding coach Milos Sarcev, Gaspari highlighted that he attained his conditioning without the use of harsh diuretics.
RELATED: Rich Gaspari Compares Bodybuilding Cycles from His Era to Now: ‘The Dosages Are Way Higher Than What I’ve Taken’
Diuretics have remained controversial in the sport for several years. They were banned from competition at one point after the late Mohammed Benaziza died from using them.
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