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Is Giannis Antetokounmpo on Steroids or Natural? (Revealed) 

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: April 20, 2022

Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo is a Greek professional basketball player who plays for the NBA team Milwaukee Bucks.

His size, speed, and skills on the court have earned him the nickname “Greek Freak.”

Compared to other NBA players, Giannis’ exceptionally well-built physique, speed, and weight gain have made people wonder about his PED use.

I’ve spent a couple of weeks watching Giannis’ games and interviews. I’ve also looked into his workout and diet routine. Using my findings, I’m going to analyze if he’s a PED user or not.

Quick Summary

  • In 2018, Giannis claims to have gained 51 pounds of pure muscles since joining the NBA, which could suggest possible steroid use.
  • Giannis has highly vascular shoulders like those seen in bodybuilders who use steroids.
  • Despite his relatively lighter weight and smaller frame, Giannis shows incredible strength and speed on the court and can knock down players heavier than him.

Signs That Bajheera Might Be On Steroids

person using a weighing scale and a man flexing biceps

51 Pounds Weight Gain

When he first made the NBA draft in 2013, Giannis weighed around 196 lbs (89 kgs). By 2018, he packed an additional 50 lbs (23.2 kgs) of pure muscle.

A 2018 Twitter post by ESPN backs up this claim. Giannis told sports commentator Mark Jones that he put on 51 pounds of muscles since joining the NBA.

If you look at his earlier and current photos, you’ll notice Giannis has always maintained a low body fat level.

This is most likely due to high metabolic activity.

Certain steroids such as clenbuterol (popular among athletes) increase metabolism (and muscular gains when taken with other PEDs) [1]. Based on his current physique, his increased muscular mass can be explained by the possible use of steroids.

High Vascularity

man flexing back muscles

Giannis plays as a power forward in the league. His main job is to block tall players and get rebounds.

Both these moves demand constant shoulder engagement.

And if you look at some of Giannis' photos, you’ll notice he has abnormally vascular shoulders.

Corticosteroids are well known for enhancing vascularity [2]. And many athletes take corticosteroids to recover from muscular exertion.

Since Giannis’ position requires constant exertion of his shoulder muscles, he could possibly be taking PEDs to boost his performance on the court.

Incredible Strength for His Size

For his height, Giannis’ weight is relatively low compared to other players in the league. For example, Lebron is shorter than him yet weighs more.

Despite this disadvantage, the Greek Freak has the strength to knock down and push around heavier players like Anthony Davis. In one game, he shocked the crowd by driving into a bigger player, almost throwing him off the court.

Some PEDs are known to increase athletic strength and, by default, performance [3]. Given his weight, Giannis’ relatively incredible strength compared to larger players shows possible signs of him using PEDs.

Giannis’ Stats And Accomplishments

  • Age: 27 (born on December 6 1994)
  • Weight: 242 lbs (110 kg)
  • Height: 6'11" (211 cm)
  • Wingspan: 87 inches (2.21 m)
  • Chest: 44 inches (111.76 cm)
  • Waist: 33 inches (83.82 cm)
  • Biceps: 16 inches (40.64 cm)
  • Vertical Jump Reach: 146 inches (370.84 cm)

He received the Most Improved Player award in 2017. He also won two NBA Most Valuable Player Awards in a row in 2019 and 2020 and NBA Defensive Player of the Year 2020.

In 2021, he led the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA championships since 1971 and received the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.

“The Greek Freak, I think, is a force, and I've never seen anything like him…he could end up being the best player to ever play if he really wanted to. That's pretty scary to think about.” — Kevin Durant, American Professional Basketball Player

Is It Possible To Get the Greek Freak’s Physique Naturally?

Yes. If you have Giannis’ genetics and train like him, you can naturally achieve his physique and strength.

However, if you have certain genetic barriers to bulking up and getting stronger, your best move would be to take a natural bulking stack. These are known for building muscles and enhancing strength naturally.

What Would It Take To Bulk Up Like the Greek Freak?

chicken breast and a man using a barbell

Diet & Supplements

Giannis' breakfast includes plenty of fresh fruits, oatmeal, eggs, and bacon. High-protein foods such as chicken and steak are a staple for all his other meals.

He spaces out six small meals throughout the day for more effective nutrient absorption and digestion.

Tough Training

Giannis trains hard but smart. He does an intense upper-body workout on Mondays and Wednesdays. He incorporates dynamic exercises known to build strength and endurance.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, he trains his lower body. And Fridays and Saturdays are dedicated to cardio.

Rest days are important for Giannis as his workout sessions can get pretty intense, so Sundays are off.

Was Giannis Ever Tested for Using PEDs?

Possibly. As far as we know, players of the NBA are often tested for PED usage. So, it’s highly likely that Giannis would also be subject to drug testing. However, there’s no official statement saying he’s taken a test.

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FAQs

Was Giannis Ever Banned for Ped Usage?

No. The league has never banned Giannis for PED usage during his basketball career. However, he has received a one-game ban for headbutting a player.

Does Giannis Have Any Health Issues Due to Doping?

No. Other than the usual injuries faced on the court, Giannis does not seem to display any PED-related health issues.

Is the Greek Freak Taking PEDs?

Giannis’ weight gain and immense strength make me doubt he obtained his physique naturally. However, his training regimen and diet are fairly strict, so we can’t be certain he took PEDs.

For those looking to perform like the Greek Freak, in addition to strict nutrition and workouts, natural alternatives to anabolic steroids is an excellent start.

I highly recommend this as a steroid alternative to all my clients because it’s a much safer option than drugs. It will boost your muscle growth and enhance your strength gains naturally without the side effects of PEDS.


References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/what-you-need-to-know-about-clenbuterol-for-bodybuilding
  2. https://academic.oup.com/cardiovascres/article/41/1/55/317156
  3. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20120713/doping-muscle-building-drugs-faq

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