Is Mike Rashid on Steroids or Natty? (It's Pretty Obvious)

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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Mike Rashid has become one of the leading influencers in the fitness industry, and I personally love it when these gurus decide to share most of their knowledge for free.

Unfortunately, all that attention brings out a lot of people who decide to question Mike and his natural bodybuilding claims without any evidence or research.

While it is true that many bodybuilders use illegal steroids, it's only fair to make such statements after a good amount of research has given us some clear evidence.

As a certified personal trainer, I got together with my team, and we spent several weeks taking a closer look at how Rashid changed his body by examining hundreds of his social media posts and videos.

Quick Summary

  • Mike Rashid is considered natural, with his physique attributed to rigorous outdoor activities and strength training rather than steroid use.
  • Rashid's participation in powerlifting and boxing, sports with strict drug testing, further supports the likelihood of him being a natural athlete.
  • According to the PubMed website, about 50% of AAS abusers experience acne, a key indicator of steroid use, which is not evident in Rashid's case.
  • Personally, I believe Rashid's long-term commitment to fitness and lack of typical steroid-related physical changes make a strong case for his natural bodybuilding claims.

Does Mike Rashid Take Steroids?

Mike Rashid has become very outspoken about natural bodybuilding and has recorded several videos criticizing people who resort to steroids to bulk up.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Rashid (@mikerashid)

Now, just coming out in public with such videos could be evidence that he's a fake natty, and there are probably many people like that.

But coming to that conclusion should involve looking at how Mike achieved his physique, how long it took him, and if he had some physical signs of using steroids as well.

Why Do People Believe That He Takes Steroids?

People believe that he takes steroids due to characteristics such as extreme vascularity and rapid bulking, which are often associated with steroid use. However, Rashid's own appearance does not conclusively show these signs.

1. Extreme Vascularity

According to one of the studies from the PubMed website, vascular toning, or the effect that leaves visible veins along your muscles, is highly sought after in the bodybuilding world [1]. And it's one of the main reasons that some people resort to steroids.

It's the same effect you get once you're about halfway through your sets, your muscles are pumped up, and your blood is flowing at maximum speed.

But what would be natural during a workout is not natural if you're relaxing or going for a walk. So, we had a look at some of Mike's published photos, and the only ones where we noticed significant vein-popping is when he's at the gym.

2. Large Breast Tissue

man's breast

This is one of the more unique and challenging ways to hide the side effects of anabolic steroids.

According to the Stanford Health Care Medicine website, it's a condition called gynecomastia, and it refers to men developing soft female breast tissue [2].

The important thing here is that this is the soft tissue that ends up hiding the underlying muscles, and it's typically more common when taking steroids for many months.

It's not an excellent bodybuilding look, and having reviewed a lot of photos that are available online, it looks like Rashid has a ripped chest with nothing soft about it.

3. Fast Bulking Process

I've seen plenty of people at the gym who suddenly saw a massive change in their body and overall strength. And when this happens without a change in their training habits or diet, it's a dead giveaway that they have used steroids [3].

I’ve heard Mike talk about his teenage life where his dad would get him to do strength training by chopping wood and doing pull-ups on trees. So he had a solid base to start taking things to the next level as a bodybuilder.

So, when people say that Mike bulked up in just a few years after starting in his 20s, that ignores all of the work he did outside of a gym.

Related Article: How To Choose Mass Gainer?

4. Skin Conditions Like Acne

man with acne on his forehead

This is another obvious giveaway for a steroid user who isn't currently dealing with puberty acne.

People sometimes refer to it as bodybuilding acne, but it is generally closely tied to using anabolic drugs [4].

One thing you can't say about Mike is that he has terrible facial skin. Even with the beard that he's grown in recent years, there are no signs of acne scarring or even discoloration of his skin.

And looking at older photos from when he became a bodybuilder, I would say there's also no evidence of any skin conditions whatsoever.

5. Hair Loss

While testosterone influences body and facial hair growth, steroids can have the opposite effect on head hair. Now, this does depend on the type of steroids that people are taking, but scientific research has shown that hair loss is a possible side effect of long-term use of steroids [5].

Mike has always kept very tightly cut hair, but it leaves an extremely well-defined hairline. And looking back over old photos, that hairline doesn't look like it has changed much.

And I'd also say that even looking for patchy spots of hair would not show signs that he has any trouble with hair loss.

Mike Rashid's Body Transformation

portrait image of mike rashid

I’ve heard Mike Rashid mention in several interviews that he was exposed to staying fit and strong from a young age, with his father getting him into outdoor activities and strength exercises without heading to the gym.

This gave him a solid work ethic and also a base on which to start becoming a bodybuilder.

Mike also became close friends with CT Fletcher, another big name in the bodybuilding world.

He's a lot older than Mike, and their relationship is like a mix of friends and mentorship.

As a result, he had professional help and a mentor from a very young age to slowly build incredible body strength.

It's because this transformation didn't happen in a short time frame like just 2 years that I think many people are wrong to assume he used steroids.

Mike Rashid's Stats And Accomplishments

  • Born: March 14, 1979
  • Height: 5'11"
  • Weight: 225 lbs

One incredible thing about Mike is that with all the effort he has to put in at the gym to compete as a bodybuilder, powerlifter, and boxer, he also has time to run his Iron Addicts gym and all of his online influencer presence.

Iron Addicts is based in Miami, Florida, but I'd say it's his YouTube channel with over 1.3 million subscribers and Instagram with 1.4 million followers is where he invests most of his time.

Is Mike Rashid’s Transformation Possible Without Drugs?

close up image of a person using injections and skin patch

Mike Rashid's transformation is likely possible without drugs, given his extensive experience and commitment to bodybuilding and his natural approach to fitness and muscle development.

Based on my own experience, I believe that it's possible to achieve what Rashid has as a natural bodybuilder.

He has invested 20 years into his body and just looking at the workout recommendations he shares, I'd say that he is indeed natty. Simply put, Mike has managed to reduce his body fat by approximately 8% while maintaining his muscle mass.

This is a feat that's not out of reach for an experienced bodybuilder to achieve naturally. However, this doesn't automatically mean that Mike was completely natural during this body transformation process.

Whether he may have taken performance enhancers years ago is a bit more challenging to tell, but I wouldn't want to guess that.

What Would It Take To Bulk Up Like Mike Rashid?

man eating a salad bowl shirtless, close up image of medicine pills

Everybody wants to be like Mike, but how many bodybuilders are willing to put in the effort to see the results?

It's not that many, and here's what it would take to build muscle like Rashid.

Diet

Some might say that you build muscles in the kitchen, and there's at least some truth in that. Some studies suggest that for bulking, you need to get about 55% of calories from healthy carbs [6].

You’ll also need a lot of protein to support muscle protein synthesis for building and repairing muscles after training.

And then there’s the calorie surplus to keep fueling the endless trips to the gym [7]. And for professional bodybuilders, that also means hiring a dietitian to plan out every single calorie.

And all the micronutrients are needed for consistent muscle growth. Those are even more difficult to get right, and that's where supplements tend to come in.

Supplements

While a carefully planned diet should give you the majority of all your nutrients to build muscle mass, there are still some supplements that you'll need to promote faster natural bulking.

In my experience, these should include pre-workouts to help you push a little bit harder during every workout.

And there are testosterone boosters that naturally trigger processes in your body to cause a higher T-count. These legal steroid alternatives can help to fast-track your goals without many of the common side effects of medical steroids.

Tough Workouts

If you want to be a natural bodybuilder, then you're going to have to work harder than any steroid user. Steroids work incredibly well, which is why so many other athletes are tempted by them.

The hard work you'll have to put in during each workout is probably about the same as that of a steroid user. But it's likely to take 3 or 4 times as long in a completely natural way [8].

Was Mike Rashid Tested For Steroid Use?

A doctor holding a syringe

There is no public confirmation of specific test results that Mike Rashid tested for steroid use, despite his active participation in competitive bodybuilding and powerlifting events.

Mike has competed in numerous events, from bodybuilding to powerlifting and even boxing. All of those would have exposed him to both random and mandatory testing, which would have quickly uncovered the use of steroids.

Now, that doesn't mean he didn't use steroids when he was young and long before he competed, but there is no way of doing a test to confirm this so far back.

FAQs

Has Mike Rashid Fought Jake Paul Yet?

No, Mike Rashid hasn't fought Jake Paul yet. He has called him out and challenged him with $1 million of his own money to face him in the ring in a winner takes all fight. So far, it seems like Jake has ignored that invitation.

Does Mike Rashid Have Health Issues Due to Steroids?

No, Mike Rashid doesn't have health issues due to steroids, as he shows no signs of significant health problems often associated with long-term steroid use [9].

What Does Mike Rashid's Training Regimen Involve, and How Does It Contribute to His Physique?

Mike Rashid's training regimen is a rigorous blend of strength training, cardio, and strict dieting, focusing on building muscle naturally and sustainably. His approach emphasizes consistency and intensity, which are key factors in achieving a well-defined physique without the use of steroids.

How Does Mike Rashid's Physique Compare to Other Well-Known Natural Bodybuilders?

Compared to other natural bodybuilders, Mike Rashid's physique stands out for its symmetry, muscle definition, and overall balance, achieved through dedicated natural methods. His progress and physique are similar to those of other top natural bodybuilders who advocate for steroid-free training.

What Do Fitness Experts Say About Natural Bodybuilding Versus Steroid-Enhanced Training?

What fitness experts say about natural bodybuilding versus steroid-enhanced training is that natural methods focus on sustainable muscle growth and long-term health. At the same time, steroid use can offer quick gains but with potential health risks.

How Important Are the Mental and Psychological Aspects in Achieving a Physique Like Mike Rashid's?

Mental and psychological aspects are crucial in achieving a physique like Mike Rashid's, as they drive the necessary discipline, consistency, and dedication required in natural bodybuilding.

What Are the Legal and Health Risks Associated with Steroid Use in Bodybuilding?

The legal and health risks associated with steroid use in bodybuilding include potential legal consequences due to the controlled status of steroids and health risks such as hormonal imbalances, liver damage, and increased heart disease risk.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12500264/
  2. https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/mens-health/gynecomastia/causes.html
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246373
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17274777/
  5. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/anabolic-steroids
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15107010/
  7. https://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/fulltext/2020/10000/body_recomposition__can_trained_individuals_build.3.aspx
  8. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6265-steroids-boost-performance-in-just-weeks/
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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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