There is a rather famous YouTuber and bodybuilder Rich Piana who has very publically admitted to his long term consistent usage of steroids as well as growth hormone (Please note that technically steroids and growth hormones are 2 different types of chemicals but for the average person using common words, we can say that growth hormones are in the “steroids” category.). In a couple of his videos, he has talked about what consistent usage of growth hormone has done to his body over the years.
Here are the changes in his bones which he has claimed.
- Rich has used growth hormones for 10 years straight
- His shoe size has gone from a size 12 to a size 15.
- His head size (skull size??), when measured through the wearing of hats, has gone from 7 3/8ths (fitted cap) to 7 3/4ths or even 7 5/8ths
- His hands have grown
- His fingers have grown
- His wrists have grown – by his claim, his wrist has grown 3/4th of an inch (I am assuming in circumference here)
- His fist have grown 1/2th of an inch in width
So basically he said that the GH injections have grown every single tissue in the body. Here are a few of his other claims, which he used the word “probably” on…
- heart has grown (probably)
- brain has grown (probably)
- intestines have DEFINITELY grown – The evidence for this claim is that his stomach has grown thicker over the years.
It seems that the growth of his stomach was what caused Piana to stop doing GH.
Overall, there are 3 chemical compounds Piana talked about…
- Growth Hormone (somatotrophin)
- IGF-1 (Insulin like Growth Factor Type 1)
His usage of all 3 types of bodybuilding chemicals has caused his intestines to grow. His claim that these same chemicals causing his heart to grow as well will mostly cause him to die at a younger age, which he has sort of fully accepted.
Some Other Information That Piana Talked About
The Cost of Steroid Cycle
- To compete on the national level of bodybuilding, you would need to be taking about 18 IU – 20 IU of growth hormone a day. The exact type of growth hormone Piana took was Serostim
- You can buy this growth hormone from a pharmacy, and a kit of Serostim would cost about $2000/kit.
- There is 7 bottles in 1 kit. He would use 4 bottles a month.
- The Serostim is about $400-$600/kit
- If you got it from a doctor, the serostim is about $8000/mth
The usual first cycle that most bodybuilders do, which is sort of like the gateway steroid to the harder stuff, is TEST and DECA, which is a mild cycle – Dosage: 1 cc a week
For Piana, he claimed that after he went through the first trial of steroids ever when he was younger, he put on 28 lbs in 8 weeks, and 22 of those lbs was muscle.
What We Can Take Away From Rich’s Claims
Most people would have never heard of this guy unless they are really deep into the bodybuilding community. This guy is very loud, and makes grand gestures and likes to show off. That is fine since everyone has their own way of life and they will live it in their own style.
We can however learn quite a bit about the long term effects that growth hormone usage will have. The biggest thing is that his shoe size went up 3 sizes. Did the growth hormone cause the irregular bones in his feet to grow bigger? Or maybe the growth hormone caused the ligaments and tendons that connect the bones to muscles and bone to bone to grow” thus expanding the area and distance between each of the bones in the feet, causing the feet to thus expand?
Let’s note that Rich never talked about him noticing any changes in his height after he started using GH.
When he says that his wrist have gotten wider too, I am not sure whether that is just normal appositional bone growth for males between the ages of 20-30 or the result of the GH.
It is obvious that the expansion of the soft tissues like the ones found in the intestines that are the most notable, and that side effect of GH was what caused Piana to stop using GH, at least on a consistent regular basis.