Was Arnold Schwarzenegger on Steroids? We Investigated and found out


The phrase ‘Once in a generation is often overused. However, some people do deserve that title, and ‘The Austrian Oak’ Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is one of those individuals. Arnold, or as we like to call him ‘Uncle Arnie,’ is responsible for getting more butts into gyms than any fitness campaign out there.

Whether it is due to his action-packed movies, his cocky and witty nature, his political accomplishments, or his bodybuilding success, Arnold is perhaps the most stellar embodiment of living the American Dream.

Arnold started as a bodybuilder, and back then, bodybuilding was a sport that was only followed by a particular niche of people. However, his unrelenting and electrifying nature saw not only him dominating every bodybuilding stage that he ever stepped on, but far more importantly, he was also able to bring mainstream attention to the relatively unknown sport.


If you are like the next guy, then you are probably a big fan of the physique that Arnold brought to bodybuilding stages, especially compared to the kind of physiques that we see on today’s professional bodybuilders. Arnold was quite literally a ‘god’ among men during his heyday, physique-wise. And this is why the question of steroid use always comes up whenever discussions about Arnold’s physique come up. Was Arnold on the sauce? This article will discuss everything you need to know about Arnold Schwarzenegger and his alleged steroid use.

We will not beat around the bush; yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger was on steroids. And this is not a case of hearsay as the man himself has admitted to using steroids during his competition days. Here’s a quote of him admitting to steroid use: “It was what I had to do to compete. The danger with steroids is over-usage. I only did it before a difficult competition – for two months, but not for a period of time that would harm me. And then afterward, it was over.”

Nonetheless, before you jump the gun and discredit his bodybuilding accomplishments, there are a couple of things that you should know. First off, during Arnold’s days (the 60s and 70s), finding steroids was nowhere as easy as it is today. The internet wasn’t invented yet and, therefore, your only chance of getting these substances was if you knew someone that knew someone. This point is essential since it means bodybuilders back then didn’t put much emphasis on steroids to help them achieve their goals since they could not count on the availability of those drugs.

Secondly, anabolic steroids were still very novel and, as such, not a lot was known about both the short-term and long-term side effects of using these substances. Now we know that long-term steroid use can lead to a host of debilitating conditions such as heart, liver, and kidney diseases, as well as psychological changes. So, if Arnold would have known of these potential risks, would he still have used steroids?

Thirdly, steroid use wasn’t illegal when Schwarzenegger used them. In fact, the Anabolic Steroid Control Act (the act that made steroid use illegal) wasn’t put in place until 1990 after the dangers of anabolic steroid use became more apparent. This was nearly a decade since Arnold had his last bodybuilding competition. What this means is that, when Arnie used steroids, he may as well have been using a supplement.

Nonetheless, by the time the act was being enacted, steroid use was already running rampant in the bodybuilding community with both professionals and regular gym-goers using them to enhance their strength and appearance. So, if Arnold was the reason behind bodybuilding going mainstream and getting more people to work out, could he be part of the reason why steroid use became so popular?

This can be hard to say since it’s difficult to pinpoint when steroid use became more frequent. While anabolic steroids may have gained popularity in the bodybuilding community in the 70s and 80s, they were already being used in the NFL extensively, in fact, as early as the 60s. In an excerpt from “The Steelers, Steroids and Profound Misconceptions,” a former player describes how their athletic trainer, Alvin Roy, distributed the substances to them.

While not all the players took the pills that were given to them, the ones that did experience dramatic increases in size and performance in just a couple of months. It was no coincidence, therefore, that every team that Roy worked for improved by leaps and bounds, and this made him one of the most highly sought-after trainers at the time.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, therefore, did not bring the ‘secret sauce’ with him from Austria. Nonetheless, his role in influencing hordes of bodybuilders to get on steroids in a bid to follow in his footsteps will always be subject to debate.

However, one thing is for sure, Arnold Schwarzenegger did not misuse steroids. In fact, bodybuilders today use steroids in much higher doses than Arnold ever did, and their physiques are a reflection of that.

What Steroids Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Use?

During the ‘Golden Era’ (Arnold’s heyday), there were only six anabolic steroids available to them. They included Anavar, Dianabol, Deca Durabolin, Primobolan, Winstrol, and Testosterone.

It is believed that the Austrian Oak primarily used Dianabol, Deca Durabolin, and Primobolan for mass building purposes. Bodybuilders back then used Anavar and Winstrol to shed fat and enhance their vascularity. However, we were unable to find any credible information to link Schwarzenegger with Winstrol and Anavar. Nonetheless, it is more than likely that he did use these substances to trim down to get his body fat levels low enough for competitions.

How to Get the Anabolic Effects of Steroids without the Accompanying Side Effects

If you were hoping that Arnold was all natural at his prime, we are very sorry for busting the proverbial bubble. Arnold was on the sauce. This means that you’ll probably not be able to achieve that kind of physique without jumping on the anabolic steroids wagon as well.

However, these substances are just not worth it when you consider the risks that you will be predisposing yourself to once you use them. Fortunately, advancements in nutritional sciences have allowed us substances that can mimic the muscle-building properties of anabolic steroids, but without the dreadful side effects. These substances are known as legal steroids.

Legal steroids are the safe alternatives to anabolic steroids, and even though they are referred to as ‘steroids,’ they are derived from plants and herbs. The steroid moniker is more or less just a marketing tool used to describe its effectiveness at helping people to build muscle and burn fat simultaneously, just like anabolic steroids do.

As such, they can be highly beneficial to anyone who gains has hit a plateau. However, legal steroids are not magic pills where you just pop them at night and wake up ripped; you’ll have to put the work in. Thus, even though legal steroids might not be as anabolic as real steroids, they are the only natural supplements that can come close to the effectiveness at which real steroids build muscle.

Legal Steroid Alternatives to What Arnold Used

There are a lot of legal steroids on the market, each designed to serve a particular goal for those looking to improve their physique.

Here, we will discuss the legal and safe alternatives to what was available to Arnie and his boys during their competition days:

  • D-Bal

This legal steroid is the alternative to Dianabol and thus is designed to mimic the effects of Dianabol. D-Bal has been known to add up to 8 pounds of lean muscle in one month when combined with a good workout and diet plan.

D-Bal has the following benefits:

  • Increases your strength levels
  • Enhances your rate of muscle building
  • Reduces your recovery time during exercise
  • DecaDuro

This is the alternative to the anabolic steroid, Deca Durabolin.

Just like its anabolic steroid counterpart, Deca Duro helps increase your muscle mass as well as your power. Additionally, it also helps you to recover faster in addition to relieving joint and tendon pain.

  • Winsol

This is the alternative to the famed anabolic steroid, winstrol.

If you can remember, we mentioned that Arnold and his buddies typically used winstrol to help them cut fat without jeopardizing their muscle mass when preparing for competitions.

Winsol also works in the same way. Additionally, it also increases strength levels as well as enhances vascularity.

  • Anvarol

This is the alternative to the steroid Anavar. As such, anvarol also works to increase strength levels while boosting fat loss. As such, it is a good option for those looking to lose fat without compromising their muscle mass or strength levels.

Final Thoughts

Arnold Schwarzenegger is undoubtedly the King of Bodybuilding. And even though he did use steroids during his prime, it shouldn’t take away anything he has been able to accomplish. Also, when he used them, they were legal, and not much was known about their long-term side effects. Nonetheless, he was still able to control his use of these substances, and this is why he has been fortunate enough to avoid the dreadful side effects of steroid abuse.

Today, fortunately, you do not have to go down that route as there are legal steroids that will prove to be very beneficial towards helping you achieve your physique goals.

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