Rich Piana was a famous bodybuilder, entrepreneur, and social media personality who had a massive physique and a loyal fan base. He was known for his honesty about his steroid use and his controversial opinions on bodybuilding. He died at the age of 46 in 2017, after being placed in a medically induced coma following a collapse at his home. His death sparked a lot of speculation and debate about the risks and benefits of steroids and the extreme lifestyle of bodybuilders. In this article, we will explore what happened to Rich Piana, what caused his death, and how the public reacted to his tragic demise.
Controversy Surrounding Rich Piana’s Life
Rich Piana was born in California in 1970 and started lifting weights at the age of 11. He was influenced by his mother, who was a bodybuilder herself, and by Bill Cambra, an old-school bodybuilder who mentored him. He began competing in bodybuilding contests at the age of 15 and won the NPC Mr. Teen California title in 1989. He continued to compete on and off for about 25 years, winning several NPC titles and appearing on the cover of Ironman magazine and Muscle Sport magazine.
However, Piana’s success came at a price. He admitted that he started using steroids at the age of 18 and never stopped. He said that steroids were necessary to become a professional bodybuilder and that he was willing to do whatever it took to achieve his goals. He claimed that he knew what he was doing and that he used steroids responsibly and safely. He also said that he was not promoting or encouraging steroid use to his followers, but rather educating them on how to use them properly.
Piana was open about his steroid use and his bodybuilding regimen on his YouTube channel, which had over 1.2 million subscribers. He also had a popular Instagram account with over 1.3 million followers. He posted videos and photos of his workouts, his diet, his supplements, his personal life, and his motivational speeches. He often talked about the mentality and drive of “the 5%”, which he said was the percentage of people who were willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their dreams.
Piana also had a successful business career as the founder and owner of Rich Piana: 5% Nutrition, a supplement company that catered to hardcore bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. He also launched a clothing line called Rich Piana Clothing.
Piana’s lifestyle and opinions attracted a lot of controversy and criticism from some people in the bodybuilding community and the general public. Some accused him of being irresponsible, dishonest, unhealthy, and dangerous. Some also questioned his ethics, morals, and values. Some even alleged that he was racist, citing a video from 2015 where he used racial slurs against an ex-girlfriend who cheated on him.
Piana defended himself against these accusations and said that he was just being real and doing his thing. He said that he loved bodybuilding and that he was happy with his choices. He also said that he respected everyone’s opinions and that he did not judge anyone for their decisions.
Cause of Death Revealed
On August 10, 2017, Piana collapsed while getting a haircut from his girlfriend, Chanel Jansen, at his home in Florida. He hit his head on the ground and started bleeding profusely. Jansen called 911 and performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. Piana was rushed to the hospital and placed in a medically induced coma to reduce the swelling in his brain.
According to TMZ Sports, the police found 20 bottles of steroids at Piana’s home after the incident. However, it was not clear if steroids had anything to do with his collapse or if he had any other medical conditions.
Piana remained in a coma for two weeks, during which Jansen provided updates on his condition on social media. She said that he was alive, stable, and fighting for his life. She also thanked the fans for their support and prayers.
On August 25, 2017, Piana passed away at the hospital. His death was confirmed by Jansen on Instagram, who wrote a heartfelt tribute to him. She said that she was devastated and heartbroken by his loss and that he was her soulmate.
The cause of Piana’s death remained undetermined for a long time, as the autopsy report was delayed due to various reasons. In November 2017, Men’s Health obtained the autopsy report from the Florida District Six Medical Examiner’s Office and revealed its findings.
The autopsy report stated that Piana’s cause of death was “unknown” due to the number of potential contributing factors and the inability to conduct a toxicology test. The report cited “significant heart disease” as one possible factor, as Piana had an enlarged heart that weighed twice as much as an average adult male’s heart. He also had hardening of the arteries, which could restrict blood flow and cause a heart attack.
The report also mentioned Piana’s history of steroid use as another possible factor, as steroids can have adverse effects on the heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs. However, the report could not confirm or rule out drug involvement, as the hospital had discarded the specimens that could have been used for a toxicology test. The report said that the specimens were necessary to determine what was in Piana’s system at the time of the incident.
The report also noted that Piana had pneumonia, fluid in his abdomen, and swelling in his brain, which could have been complications from his coma or from other underlying conditions.
The report concluded that Piana’s death was “undetermined” and that any one of these factors could have contributed to it. The report also said that there was no evidence of foul play or trauma.
Reactions from the Public
Piana’s death shocked and saddened many people in the bodybuilding and fitness world, as well as his fans and followers. Many expressed their condolences and tributes to him on social media and other platforms.
One of the most notable reactions came from Joe Rogan, the popular podcast host and UFC commentator, who discussed Piana’s death at length on his show. Rogan said that he was a fan of Piana and that he admired his honesty and charisma. He also said that he was worried about Piana’s health and that he tried to warn him about the dangers of steroids.
Rogan said that he believed that steroids were the main cause of Piana’s death and that he hoped that his death would serve as a wake-up call for other bodybuilders and steroid users. He said that steroids were not worth the risk and that they could kill anyone.
Rogan also criticized the bodybuilding industry and culture for promoting unrealistic and unhealthy standards of beauty and performance. He said that bodybuilding was a “weird” and “freaky” sport that distorted people’s perception of themselves and others. He said that bodybuilding was not a natural or functional way of living and that it could lead to mental and physical problems.
Rogan also expressed his sympathy for Piana’s family and friends and said that he wished them peace and comfort.
Other reactions from the public were mixed, ranging from admiration and respect to criticism and condemnation. Some praised Piana for his achievements, personality, and legacy. Some thanked him for his inspiration, motivation, and education. Some said that he was a legend, a hero, and a role model.
Some, however, blamed Piana for his death and said that he deserved it. Some said that he was irresponsible, reckless, and stupid. Some said that he was a liar, a cheater, and a fraud. Some said that he was a bad influence, a disgrace, and a joke.
Some also expressed their opinions on steroids and bodybuilding in general, either supporting or opposing them. Some defended steroids as a personal choice and a legitimate tool for enhancing performance and appearance. Some condemned steroids as a dangerous substance and a cheating method for gaining an unfair advantage.
Some also debated the merits and drawbacks of bodybuilding as a sport and a lifestyle, either admiring or despising it. Some admired bodybuilding as a challenging and rewarding activity that required discipline, dedication, and hard work. Some despised bodybuilding as a vain and pointless pursuit that wasted time, money, and health.
Rich Piana was a controversial figure who lived an extreme life. He was passionate about bodybuilding and steroids, but he also paid a high price for them. He died at a young age under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind many questions and debates. His death also exposed the dark side of bodybuilding and steroids, as well as the problems of the bodybuilding industry and culture.
Piana’s death also sparked a lot of emotions among his fans and critics alike. Some mourned him as a loss to the bodybuilding community, while others criticized him as a warning to others. Some celebrated his life as an example to follow, while others condemned his life as a mistake to avoid.
Piana’s death also raised awareness about the risks and benefits of steroids and bodybuilding. It also challenged people to think critically about their own choices and values regarding their health, fitness, appearance, performance, happiness, identity, morality, ethics, etc.
Piana’s death also left behind a legacy that will not be forgotten anytime soon. He influenced many people with his words and actions, both positively and negatively. He made an impact on the bodybuilding world with his physique and personality. He created a brand with his business ventures. He entertained millions with his videos.