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Rich Piana sits among a growing group of YouTube bodybuilders beginning to open up on their experiences with steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. The general population has wised up more as to who’s natural and who’s not, so why hide it?
In a recent video posted to his official account, Piana goes into microscopic detail on the topic of why he came off the natty wagon and jumped on the juice train—destination: gains.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, chemist, or even a fourth-grade level biology student to see pumped-up Piana hasn’t exactly been grown from a simple regime of dedicated lifting and a caloric surplus that would make even the greediest eaters wince.
Instead, the lifting veteran embarked upon a rocky road of high risk and potential reward that’s growing more and more common among your everyday gym member by the day.
Coming from a household with a history in bodybuilding, one can see why Piana looked to steroids as an 18-year-old. After all, we’re products of our environments and whereas obese parents might breed obese children, the mountain of testosterone in Piana’s childhood drove him to dive that extra bit into the deep end.
What’s scary is that Piana explains how he drove to Tijuana, Mexico, to pick up his first load of drugs as a teenager, purchasing from the natives with no understanding of what he was splurging cash on and very nearly getting caught by border patrol:
Piana deserves a tip of the hat for opening up on his experiences, and his tale promises to lend advice to young bodybuilders, people who now have YouTube to educate themselves, and potentially prevent dangerous exposure to chemicals of which they have no understanding.
And then there’s the flip side; How many youngsters will see Piana, this statue-esque mass of muscle (depending on your taste in statues) and think “If he can do that, so can I”? How many kids will hear their YouTube-famous (not general famous) idol and contemplate steroids as the only way to reach first place?
For every silver lining, there’s a cloud obscuring the vision, which is a particularly apt metaphor in this case considering Piana slightly resembles one.