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Arnold Schwarzenegger urges bodybuilders to avoid steroids as he opens up about past drug use

‘Anytime you abuse the body, you’re going to regret it’

Amber Raiken
New York
Thursday 25 May 2023 02:56 BST
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Related: Arnold Schwarzenegger: ‘I’m done with The Terminator’

Arnold Schwarzenegger has spoken out about his history with drug use, with the actor encouraging bodybuilders not to use steroids.

The 75-year-old reflected on his days as a bodybuilder during a recent interview with Men’s Health, as he appeared on the cover of the magazine’s July/August issue. During the conversation, he specified that he used to take both testosterone and dianabol, a popular steroid drug.

“One hundred milligrams a week,” he said about his testosterone usage. “And then three Dianabol a day, so that was 15 milligrams a day.”

According to Schwarzenegger, his previous drug usage wasn’t like the way that steroids are abused today. He also noted that steroids weren’t illegal until 1990, when Congress passed The Anabolic Steroid Control Act.

He went on to claim bodybuilders nowadays seem to be accessing performance-enhancing drugs in a different way than he used to. The Terminator actor also pointed out the dangers of taking steroids, without the advice of a medical professional.

“Bodybuilding always, always was considered a safe sport. But now it’s not. Now people are dying—they’re dying because of overdoses of drugs and they don’t know what the f*** they’re doing,” Schwarzenegger said. “They’re listening to charlatans. If I want to get medical advice from a doctor, I go to UCLA or I go to the Cleveland Clinic.”

He confessed that given his history with steroids, he knows he’s not the best person to be sending this message about drug usage. But, he still encouraged bodybuilders to avoid steroids and described the way in which they can damage people’s bodies.

“Don’t go there. Yes, we are at a time now where we always look for the easy way to make money, the fast way to get rich, the easy way to be an influencer,” the former California governor said. “Anytime you abuse the body, you’re going to regret it. So I just want young people to know that I have seen people getting kidney transplants and suffering tremendously from it.”

He also said that he understands if bodybuilders don’t want to take his advice. “I recognise the fact that, who am I to say this? This is the guy who climbed without a rope,” he added.

According to the Mayo Clinic, performancing-enhacing drugs, like anabolic steroids “are drugs that athletes take to boost their strength and add muscle”. They are also “made to work like a hormone that the body makes called testosterone”. There are many side effects and risks that can come with taking steroids, including high blood pressure, issues with the heart and blood flow, and liver tumours.

Over the years, Schwarzenegger has openly confessed to using steroids. During an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos back in 2005, he said that he had “no regrets about’’ using these drugs, as his doctor knew about it.

“At that time, it was something new that came on the market, and we went to the doctor and did it under doctors’ supervision. We were experimenting with it. It was a new thing,” he explained. “So you can’t roll the clock back and say, ‘Now I would change my mind on this.”

However, he still urged people not to take steroids. “But people should take food supplements,” he explained. “People should be able to take the vitamins and all of the nutritious stuff that is available, but stay away from drugs.

During his conversation with Men’s Health, Schwarzenegger spoke about his current fitness routine, noting that he does 25 to 30 total sets a day. He said that he isn’t as focused on building muscles and that his point of training is to “stay alive, to be able to do my movies.”

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