Is Dexter Jackson On Steroids or Natural? (Revealed)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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Dexter Jackon is one of the most successful American bodybuilders, winning Mr. Olympia as well as 29 other titles and competing against some of the best in the world such as Jay Cutler.

His retirement was followed by significant weight loss, which led some to think that he was taking steroids while competing in bodybuilding.

Being a fitness trainer, I was also intrigued by the change in his physique.

So, I conducted extensive research on his social media profiles to ascertain that his excellent figure as a pro bodybuilder resulted from his lifestyle routine, and hard work rather than performance enhancers.

Quick Summary

  • Dexter Jackson isn't on steroids bearing in mind he has never tested positive for any drug use in any amateur and professional bodybuilding competition he has participated in.
  • To maintain his physique, Dexter takes meals high in protein, and regular workouts by mixing different workout routines.
  • A PubMed study showed that anabolic drugs enable bodybuilders to achieve rapid and intense muscle bulking, a factor possibly relevant to Jackson's physique changes.
  • In my opinion, while Jackson's transformation is impressive, the combination of natural genetics and dedicated training could also explain his bodybuilding success without assuming steroid use.

Is Dexter Jackson Using Steroids?

Dexter Jackson might have used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) such as HGH while competing in Arnold Classic and Masters Olympia as a pro bodybuilder because he has displayed potential steroid use symptoms like sudden massive mass gains, extreme vascularity, and hair loss.

His old photos showed that even at 18, he already had exceptionally defined muscles.

However, his physique looks relatively small compared to other bodybuilders, suggesting that he has possibly relied on PEDs like HGH over the next three years since his muscles have grown significantly, even though that’s strictly against IFBB bodybuilding regulations.

A PubMed study has confirmed that anabolic drugs are usually what enables bodybuilders to achieve unnaturally fast and intense muscle bulking [1].

Dexter Jackson's sudden increase in muscle mass, despite his already excellent physique, could imply that he has used anabolics.

Dexter Jackson's Current Stats

  • Age: 54 years old (Born: November 25, 1969)
  • Height: 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm)
  • Bodyweight: 215 to 225 lbs (97.5 to 102.1 kg)
  • Chest: 52 inches
  • Waist: 34 inches
  • Arms: 21 inches

Why Do People Believe Dexter Jackson Uses Steroids?

shirtless man and another losing hair

Some people believe that Jackson uses PEDs because his physique showed the following signs usually associated with steroid abuse.

From my experience in the bodybuilding community, I understand why people might jump to conclusions about PED use when they see signs like extreme vascularity or hair loss. I've seen these symptoms firsthand in the gym and know they can sometimes be misleading.

Here are the most common signs of steroid abuse:

Extreme Vascularity

Jackson's torso revealed prominent veins from his arms to his chest, which is normal in bodybuilders following exercise, but quite unusual if it persists even when not training.

According to PubMed research, performance-enhancers can directly affect the body's vasculature [2], suggesting that Jackson's extreme vascularity could have been caused by PED usage.


Research in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal confirms that athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs for rapid mass gain may develop fatty breast-like tissue around the pecs called gynecomastia [3].

Jackson's physique displayed solid chest muscles, in marked contrast to well-known steroid-using bodybuilders who exhibit symptoms of gynecomastia.

Hair Loss

Jackson's noticeable hair loss was visible in Mr. Olympia and Arnold Classic competition photos. According to research, increased levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from PED usage may damage hair follicles, resulting in male pattern baldness in most professional bodybuilders [4].

Dexter Jackson's Body Transformation

dexter jackson portraits

In an interview, Jackson disclosed that he attained his ultimate Mr. Olympia physique by consuming seven meals and gallons of water each day.

When he's training, he eats plenty of high-protein foods to keep him fueled.

To remain competitive as a top IFBB bodybuilder, he also works out for two hours every day, four days a week, for intense training. During his three days of rest, he does cardio exercises.

Many of my bodybuilding clients agree that consuming seven meals a day, rich in protein and hydration, is crucial for muscle growth and recovery. It's a demanding regimen, but it's what it takes to compete at the highest levels.

“Each of us has a genetic and physiological design that determines our body type, or somatotype, and different body types have different responses to certain fitness programs.”

- Phil Catudal, Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

The Role of Diet in Achieving a Bodybuilder's Physique

Dexter Jackson's diet is a finely tuned balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, designed to fuel muscle growth and recovery. High-quality protein sources, such as lean meats, fish, and eggs, are staples in his diet.

Carbohydrates, particularly complex carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice, offer the energy required for intense training sessions. Healthy fats from sources like avocados and nuts are included to support hormone production and overall health.

Meals are strategically spaced throughout the day to ensure a constant supply of nutrients to the muscles, aiding in growth and reducing fat gain.

The meticulous nature of Jackson's diet raises an important question: Can such a physique be attained and maintained purely through diet and natural bodybuilding techniques?

While genetics play a role, a well-planned diet is crucial for muscle development. The right balance of macronutrients, coupled with proper training, can lead to significant muscle gains without the need for steroids.

Bodybuilding Supplements

Taking a bulking stack of legal and natural ingredients can help you overcome genetic restrictions and speed up your bulking process.

These herbal supplements, which are high in vitamins for men and minerals, can boost T levels, giving you more energy and endurance.

They may not produce as aggressive results as anabolic drugs, but they can still help you achieve your fitness goals significantly faster.

Related Article:


Was Dexter Jackson Tested For Steroid Use?

Dexter Jackson must have been subjected to drug testing while competing in numerous amateur and professional bodybuilding competitions. To top it off, Dexter Jackson holds the most IFBB titles, including Mr. Olympia 2008 and nine Arnold Classic titles worldwide without any records indicating that he tested positive for banned substances.

How Did Jackson Stay In Shape After Retiring?

Dexter Jackson eats high-protein meals three times a day and follows a rigorous gym schedule to stay in shape after retiring. Jackson, 52, has gone down from 256 to 210 lbs while still focusing on muscular gains and maintaining an excellent physique.


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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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