Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Take Steroids?

did arnold schwarzenegger take steroids

We all know him. Bodybuilder. Actor. Business man and investor. Politician. Arnold Schwarzenegger has become a public icon, just as much for his political stances as for his high octane action roles on the silver screen.

Humble Origins

But before he ever graced the Republican podium, and even before he wowed directors with his impressive physique, Arnold was already well known for his bodybuilding prowess. He actually started lifting weights at the age of fifteen, when he was a young man living in Austria. Although his father wanted him to be a police officer, and his mother wanted him to go to trade school, as soon as he started weight training for the first time, he dreamt of fame and success.

arnold schwarzenegger lifting up the ranks

Lifting Up The Ranks

After a few years, Arnold was competing in Olympic weightlifting and power-lifting. By the time he was 23, Arnold was already a budding legend in the bodybuilding world, having won Jr. Mr. Europe, Mr. Europe, Mr. Universe and even the coveted Mr. Olympia, making him by many estimations the best bodybuilder on the planet. He had actually won the Mr. Universe title seven years in a row, a record that stood for many years. There was no denying his athleticism and definition. In less than a decade, he had gone from a virtual unknown to a worldwide name.

The Question

But throughout the decades of lifting weights, grossing millions of dollars at the box office, and representing the people of California, there has been speculation about how he attained his incredible physical form. This seems to be the case with any public figure that sees extreme success. There have been multiple documentaries, books and interviews that investigate, speculate, and formulate opinions about that interesting question; Did Arnold Schwarzenegger take steroids?

The answer of course, is yes. Several people attest to this information, and even Arnold himself has openly admitted to steroid use. During his bodybuilding days, he very freely speaks about his steriod use, and how it gave him an advantage.

To go a little more in depth, lets remember that this was in the early 1970′s, in Europe and other continents abroad. The rules and regulations weren’t as stringent as they are now, and actually certain kinds of steroids were completely legal for competitive use. Not only legal, but widely used. Many weightlifters and bodybuilders used them at the time for different reasons.


Arnold himself once said that “steroids were helpful to me in maintaining muscle size while on a strict diet in preparation for a contest. I did not use them for muscle growth, but rather for muscle maintenance when cutting up(losing weight).”

Arnold does not regret taking the steroids, as his intention was to become a professional bodybuilder by the age of 21, which he was able to do. It is estimated that the bulk of his steroid use was between the ages of fifteen and seventeen, when he was on a strict diet, and he gained over 50 pounds of muscle in that short time. There was no real information about it’s long term side effects, and many assumed it had none.

Arnold has had heart problems since early in his life, and the steroid use has aggravated it, leading him to have open heart surgery, a detail about his life he kept secret until just recently.

There is a documentary, called Pumping Iron, that was filmed in the 1970′s and catalogues Arnold’s rise to success, and directly proves his claims. He took them in pill form, and not in needles. He also claims that after they were banned in 1990, that he never took them again.

Dr. Steroids

Introducing our esteemed author at SteroidsLive, Johnathan Reed, a seasoned fitness enthusiast with a passion for empowering others on their journey to optimal health and performance. With years of experience in the fitness industry and a background in sports science, Johnathan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his writing. Dedicated to providing accurate, evidence-based information, he strives to educate and inspire readers to achieve their fitness goals safely and effectively. Through his engaging and informative articles, Johnathan aims to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals seeking to transform their bodies and improve their overall well-being. Join him on the path to success at SteroidsLive, where fitness meets knowledge.