I remember watching my first World’s Strongman competition back in 2002. The polish strongman, Mariusz Pudzianowski would emerge the winner on that occasion and he would go on to win four back-to-back WSM competitions making him a legend in the sport.
In 2002, I was just starting out as a bodybuilder and I was always fascinated by the sheer raw power and strength of these strongmen. What impressed me the most was the size of these guys and they reminded me of the demi-gods of Greek mythology.
Before devoting more than 70% of my time to bodybuilding I was always naive to think that it’s all about genetics. Yeah, genetics is an important part of any strength-based sport, but then genetics can only take you so far in truth (as I would soon find out in bodybuilding).
A lot more than genetics is needed if anyone intends reaching the peak of competitive strength-based sport and that includes strongman competitions.
So do strongmen use steroids? Well, in order to answer this question it is important to shed some light on the typical training methods of strongmen and the type of competitive events that are on show during international strongman competitions.
#1: Typical Strongman Training Methods
A typical strongman involves himself in a rigorous training regimen at a strongman gym (a specialised gym with customised equipment). Strongmen need to build their overall body strength and they do this with familiar equipment like the Keg used in the Keg Toss event, the Atlas Stone, the Yoke for the Yoke Walk event, Farmers Walk Bars, the Log for the Log Press event and so on.
Strongmen train their entire body for exceptional strength and part of their training usually involves engaging in variants of overhead press, deadlift, and squat. Cardiovascular conditioning is also a vital part of a strongman workout routine.
In addition to this, strongmen also develop tremendous grip strength while their explosive raw power is further enhanced with different weightlifting type lifts. Strongman training is also backed with an intense dietary plan and a typical strongman consumes over 10,000 calories daily.
As a bodybuilder and from experience, I know that my bodybuilding training program is not as intense as that of a strongman’s and I have encountered numerous muscle strains and injuries that required a significant amount of recovery time, which was shortened with the use of GH (growth hormone), now I can only imagine the sort of muscle injuries that strongmen are subjected to.
#2: Strongmen Competitive Event
Watching the World’s Strongmen tournament, I was always intrigued by the interesting events on show. The most popular strongmen competitive events include – Atlas Stones, Axle Press, Car Flip, Conan’s Wheel, Deadlift, Deadlift hold, Duck walk, Dumbbell Press, Farmers Walk, Keg Toss, and Viking Press.
All these events require an enormous amount of strength, raw power, agility, endurance and stamina. While there are strongmen that are absolute freaks of nature like Martins Licis, the 2019 World’s Strongman competition winner from the U.S or the runner up Mateusz Kieliszkowski of Poland, the truth of the matter is, it is extremely difficult to go through the competition prep training that these strongmen do without a little help from steroids.
#3: Likely Steroids Used by Strongmen
Now I can only speak for myself and probably for bodybuilders like me. Steroids are a vital part of my bodybuilding training program and quite frankly I don’t know if I could successfully make it through an intense workout regimen without them.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not addicted to steroid use, but require it to achieve my bodybuilding goals which are peculiar to me and can differ from that of other bodybuilders.
I tend to stack a bunch of steroids when running a bulking cycle and each steroid has a specific role to play in either helping with my muscle and strength gain, as well as recovery.
My bulking cycle steroid stack consists of Test (testosterone) which serves as my base steroid. For both strength and muscle gains I use D-Bol and Tren. Tren also helps me with the aggression I need to complete an intense workout routine at the gym.
My stack may also include Deca, which promotes collagen synthesis and helps to protect my joints from wear. Deca also gives me strength gains, but because it is a 19-nor compound (same as Tren), I usually use one or the other (that is either Deca or Tren) in my stack.
19-nor compounds boost the amount of progestin hormones in the body which is mainly responsible for gynecomastia (male boobs), something I try hard to avoid and is really a telltale sign of steroid use.
My steroid stack also includes GH which as mentioned earlier, helps me to recover quickly from muscle injury. I know some bodybuilders that use insulin which promotes anabolic response in the body, but I avoid using insulin because it can be dangerous if misused.
It is my strong belief that strongmen like most strength-athletes including powerlifters and bodybuilders like myself, make use of steroids to help with their performance. There is no shame in it and in fact steroid use is almost a necessity if strongmen hope to reach peak performance.
While I believe many strongmen are genetically unreal, and can do superhuman feats regardless, I also believe that in preparation for top international competitions, they have to subject their bodies to unreal amounts of strain during a long, tedious training program.
Being involved in strength-based sport myself, I have a fair idea of how insane their training routine would be. No normal person can or should be allowed to train the way they do without chemical help.
For muscle development, strength gain and recovery, I can almost stake my last dollar that strongmen at least use Test, Tren, Deca, and D-Bol. Typical doses for Test can be anywhere from 2 grams to 7 grams per week, while D-Bol can be anywhere from 75 grams to 100 grams and Deca around 600 grams.
However, doses can vary depending on a host of factors like weight and tolerance, considering that most strongmen are huge, they would probably need to use doses that are much greater than these to achieve their training goals.