Mike O’Hearn – Steroids or Natural?

This image of Mike O’Hearn by Erny Peibst is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://aretheyonsteroids.com/mike-ohearn-steroids-or-natural/.

Michael (Mike) O’Hearn is a fitness model/bodybuilder/actor from the USA who’s been crowned Mr Universe winner 4 times and fitness model of the year 7 times.

Mike’s also made an appearance on the American programme ‘Gladiators’, where he appeared on the original show as the ‘Titan’ and in the later show as ‘Thor’.

…He also happens to think he’s Superman.

mike o'hearn superman

It’s fair to say that Mike divides opinion. Some say he resembles a Ken doll. Others say he appears more like Ken’s jacked, douchebag step-brother.

Mike is now one of the most-followed bodybuilders in the world.

He’s accumulated over 900,000 fans on his Facebook page (where he tags several Indonesian children in each of his statuses).

He sells duck eggs on his website for $699 and charges $1500 for an ab wheel, named the Frog (1).

Unsurprisingly, Mike is receiving a lot of hate at the moment because of these high-priced gimmicks.

People are also nicknaming him Mike O’Tren.

This is mainly due to the fact he claims “all natty bro”, despite weighing 247lbs at 4% body fat.

mike o'hearn natty post

And here’s what 247lbs at 4% body fat looks like…

mike1

No doubt, Mike is exceptionally muscular for a ‘natty’.

However, you can’t say somebody’s on steroids by just looking at them.

If you do a little investigative research and happen to be knowledgeable about steroid side effects, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get a good idea if a guy is juicing or not.

Here’s all the factual information I’ve gathered related to Mike O’Hearn and the likelihood of him taking steroids.

Evidence Mike’s NOT on Steroids

He’s Passed Drug Tests

When he competed in the Natural Mr Universe with the INBA he would’ve had to pass several drug tests.

This includes a polygraph (lie detector), urine and blood tests which would’ve been completed at random times throughout the year.

Often bodybuilders will stop running a certain steroid before a competition, so it can pass out of their system in time to pass a drugs test. This is exactly how tests CAN be beaten.

However, the INBA performs random testing throughout the year to prevent steroid-users slipping through the net.

Thus the random element makes it pretty much impossible for these tests to be beaten on a regular basis…and Mike has 4 of these titles.

Gifted genetics

This was Mike O’Hearn at 14 years old…

14 years old mike o'hearn

Yes, you read that right…

14 years old!!!

Look at his fricking biceps.

I wish we could see a photo of him at this age in a relaxed front position… I bet he’d look 10x bigger than what he does in this pose.

(This ab pose usually makes anyone who’s low in body fat, look pretty skinny).

To be this jacked at 14 years old is…abnormal.

Why it IS possible to look like Mike O’Hearn naturally…

There are people on this earth who have extraordinary muscle building genetics.

Flex Wheeler for example had a rare mutation which caused him to have a myostatin deficiency.

Myostatin is a type of protein which inhibits muscle growth.

As you can probably imagine, anyone ‘suffering’ from this mutation can literally get jacked by making eye contact with a set of dumbbells.

Animals such as the Belgian blue cattle also have myostatin deficiencies (as you can see from their extreme muscularity below).

belgian blue

Other Mr Olympia greats are also thought to have a similar genetic-make up to Flex.

These aren’t guys who just got big from lifting weights and taking steroids.

These guys are freaks of nature.

…even without steroids!

Look at these pictures of Phil Heath and Kai Greene before they started riding bicycles..

young kai greene phil heath young (2)

On the left, Kai’s 30 years younger than Mike O’Hearn, but is a similar size.

Phil looks huge here too.

How do I know Kai and Phil are natty there?

Phil doesn’t have that square/blocky face like he has now, plus his traps are fairly small in comparison to the rest of his body.

Whereas now, after years of steroid-use his traps are HUGE… as they’re a muscle group that responds extremely well to steroids; because of the greater number of androgen receptors.

So, if Mike were to take steroids, he’d only look the same size as Phil/Kai now.

This is proof that, given the right genetics, nattys can become extremely big.

No Visual Signs of Steroid-Use

Mike O’Hearn has NONE of the following steroid side effects:

  • Bald
  • Acne
  • Retaining water
  • Bloated
  • Flushed skin
  • Big androgen-dominant muscle groups
  • Crazy vascular

Hair

Mike’s got a good head of hair on him. He’s 47 years old, so if he were to be using steroids for over 30 years, he’d be extremely fortunate to have this amount of hair left.

Skin

He doesn’t have any acne or blemishes on his skin often associated with being on the juice.

Water/Bloat

He has a tiny waist and doesn’t appear to retain water in any of his photos. Juice heads often retain more water than a camel.

Small Traps

His androgen-dominant muscles (raps and shouders) aren’t impressive at all. Guys juicing usually develop cobra traps after a few cycles, whereas Mike’s seem very small in comparison to the rest of his body.

Mild Vascularity

As you age, your body produces less collagen. As a result an older person will have thinner skin. The thinner someone’s skin is, the more vascular they’ll be.

This is why old dudes who lift have insane veins and look ripped even if they’re not ridiculously lean. Steroids also decrease collagen, resulting in paper-thin skin and enhanced vascularity.

Mike is vascular, but nowhere near as vascular as he should be if he was on roids. A guy who’s massive, extremely low body fat, 47 years old and on roids =  freaky vascularity.

Mike definitely has worms in his biceps, but he’s no road map.

How Does He Stay So Ripped All Year Round?

A lot of guys say:

“Mike’s got to be taking something because he stays ripped all year round at 47 years of age”.

To maintain 5/6% body fat all year round, all you have to do is eat maintenance calories. It’s literally as simple as that.

So if your BMR was 2,500 calories…if you ate that number or below each day, you wouldn’t gain fat.

Meaning you’ll stay ripped to shreds year round.

It’s really not that hard (I have done this myself).

And imagine how fast Mike’s metabolism is…he weighs 247lbs and is very active. It’s not like he’ll have to starve himself to stay that lean year round.

A man’s testosterone is believed to decrease by 1% each year after the age of 30.

So, for Mike it would’ve declined by 17% thus far, which is a very small amount. Fluctuations in testosterone like this aren’t going to make a difference to your total muscle mass.

Guys take natural testosterone boosters that raise their T levels by 30% or so, but don’t notice any difference in terms of muscle size…this is because your testosterone needs to see a BIG spike in order to build new muscle tissue.

For example, if you were to triple your total testosterone levels, you’d make insane gains. But a 37% rise or drop in test levels will hardly make a difference at all.

Here’s a table, based on the results of a 1966 study on ageing men and testosterone levels (2).

testosterone levels decline as you age

I’ve highlighted Mike’s age range. So if you compare this to when he was 25, his total test would’ve decreased by only a few % and his free testosterone by 25%.

When Mike hits 65-74 years old we can expect him to shrink a fair bit (if he’s still lifting), because his free testosterone levels will be almost half of what they were when he was 25-34.

Verdict: Natty

mike o'hearn

×  Mike O’Tren – no.

  Mike O’Natty – yes.

I’m not a big fan of Mike, but to say he’s on roids without any educated information to back it up, other than “he’s too big to be natural” is ignorant.

If he was juicing he’d have at least one of the major visual symptoms. Also there’s no way he would’ve passed all the strict, rigorous drug testing from the INBA over the years and not been found out.

A natty bodybuilder? Most likely.

Is his physique naturally attainable? For many no, unless you have world-class genetics.

 

References

(1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUq42ig8WRg

(2) https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=efEnI1VdmtsC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=Declining+Androgens+with+Age:+An+Overview&ots=vIRdqQ3RBF&sig=-X1AP3-lXgXB8SCDI0EwH8GOtDA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Declining%20Androgens%20with%20Age%3A%20An%20Overview&f=false

CrazyBulk

5 Comments on Mike O’Hearn – Steroids or Natural?

  1. lol at you thinking mikes hair is real. it’s irrelevant anyway some people go bald at 20 without taking anything or stepping foot in a gym. other people like jay cutler take prolonged doses of gear (crazy doses) and still have the hair line of a 12 year old girl. genetics bro.

    • It’s not irrelevant.

      Fact: Steroids significantly accelerate hair loss.

      My statement: if he’d been using steroids regularly for 30 years it would be very unlikely for him to have this much hair on his head.

  2. How can you hate on a guy (you say not a fan) who does Birthday squats with 315lbs for 46 or 7 reps on his 46th or 47th Birthday.? Top 3 of greatest things I ever saw lifting (number #1 if he is truly natty which I agree with your commentary and verdict.)

    Anyways neat website . Good job on some of the research and analysis !

    • Hey Scott, I don’t hate on Mike – I respect what he’s achieved in bodybuilding and his physique is incredible (I just wouldn’t say I’m a fan).

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