Is Kali Muscle on Steroids? (The Truth) 

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: February 26, 2024
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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It seems like the best way to start any kind of rumor is to become a social media fitness guru.

In this case, I’m talking about the Kali Muscle steroid use rumors that have come from many different media sources.

Kali claims that he’s never touched anabolic steroids, but I have to agree that there are some reasons to make you think that there’s probably more than lifting weights going on.

So we spent a few weeks researching his background and body transformation to see if there was any truth to the rumors.

Does Kali Muscle Take Steroids?

Kali Muscle's status in the bodybuilding community is divisive; it is admired by some and disliked by others, particularly due to the intense competition among influencers.

However, his remarkable personal transformation commands respect.


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A post shared by Kali Muscle (@kalimuscle)

My belief in Kali's possible steroid use stems from two key observations: his hair loss, including a bald head and hairless arms and legs, and his disproportionately large deltoids and traps, common in steroid users.

In my experience as a fitness coach, such anomalies often suggest steroid use. Let's delve deeper into these indicators.

LATEST UPDATE: Kali Muscle Suffered a Heart Attack

It was an unpleasant surprise when I heard Kali had a heart attack. He’s only in his mid-40s and very physically active, so this was shocking news for all his fans.

How did it happen?

Right after the crisis, Kali uploaded a video on his YouTube channel where he shared his experience with fans.

According to the video, he woke up in the middle of the night with strong chest pain.

After two hours, he was rushed to a hospital for urgent surgery.

Can a Heart Attack Have Something To Do With Potential Steroids Intake?

Yes, long-term usage of steroids, in general, can increase the risk of a heart attack, as shown by VeryWellHealth [1]. Still, we have no solid evidence of Kali abusing steroids.

In the video taken in the hospital, Kali talks about signs of heart problems physicians warned him about in the last 15 years, especially the edema in his feet.

So, even if Kali had experience with steroids, it wouldn't be the main reason because the problem was rooted in his past medical problems.

Moreover, in the same video, Kali mentioned that he was always conscious of his body and what he was "putting in it," but his mistake was that he ignored the signs of a possible heart condition that doctors tried to warn him about.

The Kali Muscle Body Transformation

flexing arms and back muscles

His Early Life

Kali grew up in Oakland, California, in quite a troubled family background. His stepfather was allegedly violent, and he was exposed to gang activity from a very young age.

Despite that, he focused on sports and did very well as a high school football player.

But things went terribly wrong for him when his brother was shot and killed.

Promising College Career

Kali was a very talented football player who got picked up by Fresno State University to play college football on a scholarship.

But the fallout from his brother’s death and money problems rocked Kali so deeply that he retreated from training and studying and ended up getting involved with the wrong crowd.

Time In Prison

He ended up spending seven years in prison for armed robbery, and Kali admits that it was probably the most life-transforming time.

He focused on weights to stay out of trouble, and he quickly bulked up to 230 pounds of lean muscle with barely an ounce of body fat.

But then the jail banned free weights as they were being used as weapons, and Kali had to reinvent his workout programs.

Minor Celebrity Status

When he left prison, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a professional bodybuilder and actor. He continued to work on his lean muscle mass and has kept his body fat to an extreme low.

Some call him a genetic freak, others a fraud, but it’s undeniable that his social media status has brought him quite a bit of fame, and bodybuilding today would be different without him.

Kali Muscle’s Achievements

shirtless Kali Muscle smiling

Kali Muscle's early involvement in high school football and wrestling highlighted the competitive edge gained from increased lean body mass.

Despite his unusually bulky teenage physique, it's doubtful that this was his initial encounter with steroids.

He alleges his first offer of steroids was in prison, a claim I find questionable. More plausible is his exposure to steroids in college, coinciding with significant muscle development.

Post-prison, Kali's achievements, including winning the 2012 Mr. California title, are noteworthy.

Shifting his focus from competitive bodybuilding, he now champions crime prevention and acting.

His initiative, Ex-Con to Icon, aims to guide youth away from trouble.

Kali's presence extends to the media, evident in his appearances in commercials for brands like Comcast, Snickers, Honda, and Geico.

Reasons People Believe Kali Takes Steroids

different pills and injection

Here are the four main reasons we’ve found that people highlight when they’ve accused Kali of using banned substances.

1. Unnatural Muscle Bulking

Kali did bulk up massively in prison, and by his own account, he peaked at 230 pounds.

He has also said that he laughed at taking drugs to help him bulk up because he was already the biggest guy in prison.

And when you can spend all day, every day, performing exercises, it does make sense that you can quickly gain a lot of bulk.

2. HGH Gut

Another common thing that bodybuilders on steroids take is human growth hormone (HGH).

One of the side effects of this is that organs can swell up, and that pushes out the so-called HGH gut.

There have been several photos of Kali where he does seem to show that symptom.

3. Oversized Shoulders

This is one of the most common signs of steroids being in play. According to studies published by Research Gate, the deltoids and traps in the upper back have a large number of androgen receptors [2].

As a result, you often see completely out-of-proportion shoulders, and that is something Kali does seem to have.

He claims that it’s from his targeted training, but that could be an excuse.

4. Total Lean Mass

So, for this, let’s take a look at the maximum weight Kali achieved, which was 230 pounds. That’s about the same as Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime, but Arnold is 5 inches taller.

And, more importantly, Arnold has admitted to taking steroids at various stages. And it’s because of that that I would have some added suspicions that Kali has dabbled with steroids.

The accusations bring to light the complex legal and ethical landscape in professional bodybuilding.

The use of steroids, while frowned upon and often illegal, continues to be a contentious issue, raising questions about fairness, health risks, and the integrity of the sport.

Has Kali Shown Any Symptoms Of Steroid Use?

man holding his stomach in pain, and a man with hair loss

There are three other symptoms that I would like to address.

1. Hair Loss

So, if you look at photos from the time after Kali was released from prison, you might notice that his hair started thinning. And these days, he shaves his head altogether.

Now, loss of hair is actually quite a common symptom of large doses of testosterone, which could be an indication that his workout programs after prison weren’t quite enough anymore.

2. Hormone Imbalances

He says he ​​lost focus during college and ended up committing crimes to get by financially, even though he was on a scholarship program.

Maybe it’s an indication that he was using steroids at that stage and that some level of aggression from hormone imbalances brought him closer to crime? It’s only speculation, though.

3. Organ Problems

We have no access to Kali Muscle's medical history, and to be honest, it’s none of our business.

But if Kali had been using steroids long-term to help his muscles grow, then he possibly would have run into some issues by now.

Especially the high doses it would have required for that amount of mass.

And the resulting organ problems would have put him out of action for quite a while, which is something that wouldn’t have gone unnoticed.

“If you choose to be ordinary, don't be mad at someone that chooses to be extraordinary!!!”

- Kali Muscle

In addition, it's crucial to consider the potential long-term health consequences of steroid use.

These can include cardiovascular issues and liver damage, among others, which may not be immediately apparent but can have serious implications over time.


Is It Possible To Bulk Up Like Kali Naturally?

Kali Muscle doing heavy weightlifting

Yes, I believe it is possible to achieve that kind of muscle growth with the right diet, the right natural bodybuilding techniques, and legal steroid alternatives.

I’m talking about natural supplements here to boost muscle performance and recovery and help maximize growth.

Now, if you follow Kali Muscle on his YouTube channel, then you’ll get a better idea of how to exercise religiously to add more bulk consistently.

But you’ll also need more than a free membership to a mailing list that gives you recommendations on how to do bodyweight squats and weighted push-ups.

What you’ll need is professional help from a strength coach for all your trips to the gym. Oh, and you’ll need to head to the gym at least five times a week and often more than once a day.

And to make sure that you always hit the right macro and micronutrient balance, you’ll need a dietitian to carefully plan every ounce of food you eat.

Other people rumored to be on steroids:


How Much Does Kali Muscle Weigh?

Kali Muscle weighs about 230 lbs. That’s about the peak muscle volume he has managed to gain, and for a 5’9” man, it’s an impressive achievement.

What Does Kali Muscle Do for a Living?

Kali Muscle works as an actor, author, and online influencer for a living. He has been highly successful on YouTube and with his books, resulting in an estimated $5 million in net worth.


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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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