BODYBUILDER Rich Piana died in 2017 after spending two weeks in an induced coma.
Before his untimely death, the fitness fanatic had a huge fan base across the globe thanks to his workout regimens and social media accounts.
Who was Rico Piana?
Rich Piana, 46, was a professional bodybuilder from Florida who kept more than 1.2 million Instagram followers hooked on his muscular selfies.
He conquered the internet in the last few years of his life with his ripped social media posts, workout plans and supplement deals.
In 2016, he revealed that he weighed in at a whopping 22nd place and that number was actually lower than his previous earnings.
Fitness was in his blood – his mother is also a bodybuilder and introduced him to the sport when they lived in their native California.
Piana entered the world of weightlifting at age 11 after going to the gym to watch her mother train for a competition.
Wanting to follow in her footsteps, he entered his first competition at age 15, where he failed to qualify, according to Deadspin.
After a series of failed attempts, he turned to steroids to help with his training and found greater success in the field.
He placed 7th and 11th at the national bodybuilding championships and was even named Mr. California in an interstate competition.
Rich Piana took steroids?
For over 30 years, Piana injected anabolic steroids into her body and rose to prominence in 2016 when she openly admitted that she used the drug to gain muscle mass.
His fitness regimen consisted of a massive steroid cycle, nine meals a day, a series of exercises unsuitable for the average human and, according to one profile, protein shakes large enough to drown a child.”
Piana insisted he was very careful with steroids and said he understood the importance of on/off cycles.
He also stated that no one in the competitive bodybuilding industry could compete without using performance-enhancing drugs.
He said: If you have the option to stay natural or use steroids, stay natural. There is no reason to use steroids, you are only hurting your body, you are hurting yourself.
He estimated that, at his peak, he was spending £1,926 ($2,500) on growth hormones a month, plus steroids.
How did Rich Piana die?
But in August 2017, Rich overdosed at his Florida home and was left fighting for his life.
Police reportedly found 20 vials of steroids and crushed white powder after he collapsed while his girlfriend Chanel cut his hair.
She tried to catch him when he collapsed in the bathroom, but she couldn’t because of his massive body.
He was unresponsive when paramedics arrived and was rushed to the hospital to be placed in a medically-induced coma.
On August 25, 2017, his ex-wife Sara Piana revealed that Rich had passed away.
She wrote: “Just want to thank you Rich for teaching me so much about life whether it’s the easy way or the hard way.
“We’ve had our ups and downs, but we sure have a lot of fun in each other’s presence, as well as fighting through some dark times together.
“You really touched so many people’s hearts and helped so many!”
Fans across the world paid tribute to the bodybuilding star, with many describing him as “the nicest man in the industry”.
Gym owner Rob Tramonte said: “Even though he looked pretty intimidating, anyone who really knew him knew he was one of the nicest guys in the business.”
James Mooney said, “Gone too soon brother. What a sad day, I can’t believe it’s true. Truly moving.”
His girlfriend, Chanel, spoke out after his death to slam critics who suggested steroids and class A drugs were behind his death.
She denied he used illegal drugs and said he wasn’t “drinking a lot of juice” before he died.
Was Rich Piana married with children?
Rich was married to fellow bodybuilder Sara Heimisdttir, but the two split before his death in 2017.
The couple got married in 2015 after meeting through Facebook and bonding over their love of fitness.
Later, Rich accused Sara of marrying him to obtain a green card to remain in America – an accusation Sara denied.
The two split in 2016 and have not shared any children.
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Image Source : www.the-sun.com