Health & Fitness

Mike O’Hearn American Gladiator

Mike O'Hearn

Mike O’Hearn, American Gladiator, shouldn’t need any introduction, but here goes; Former TV Show contestant, four-time Mr. Universe, a powerlifting champion, and not forgetting 100% TITAN!

O’Hearn, for many years, has been under scrutiny about his use of anabolic steroids (or not his use). I’m not aware of the exact number that accuses him, but I will say this. I don’t know anybody that thinks he is natural.

Obviously, he’s a very successful and self-motivated individual. So at least give him the benefit of the doubt until we check the facts. I see time and time again people assuming without knowing any facts.

So let’s dive deep, look into all the facts, and hopefully, we can finally put this to bed.

The TV Show

The American Gladiator was a hit TV show that consisted of daredevil men and women alike that came from everyday life. They would compete against various Gladiators in a Roman Empire-style battle.

I think it’s also probably fair to say Mike was the star of the show. At least the most famous and successful when the show was pulled anyhow.

You got to love the internet and social media, as you never know when it will throw up a new term or make an old one go viral. This leads us nicely to the word ‘natty’.

A word that’s been in bodybuilding circles for decades. It is now a known colloquialism used by outsiders and interlopers.

The colloquialism in the bodybuilding world for NATURAL bodybuilders, yes, they do exist….. Another popular phrase that is more widely adopted is ‘cheat meal’.

l hear people using this phrase that does not even participate in sports or even regular gym-goer. The term now is adopted by those who are overweight, wanting to pig out but not be judged.

Cheat Meal? Or Excuse?

Eating donuts isn't the best diet for training to be a gladiator.
Donut Diet –

Mike O’Hearn American Gladiator

Mike is well-published to men and women in the world of bodybuilding. He was the cover model of Topaz romance novels. He replaced Fabio and the seven-time male fitness model of the year.

While also being heavily documented in almost every fitness magazine on the planet with amazing six-pack abs.

Mike has undoubtedly been the fantasy of many single women and, undoubtedly, many married women and Mike’s wife too. But this is where the confusion creeps in, people forget that this guy is not just for show.

Powerlifting strength combined with athleticism. It’s no wonder it’s a never-ending debate if he’s a ‘natty’ or not.

Mike O’Tren

There are many reasons to hate Mike O’Hearn, you can start with the boyish good looks, the physique mentioned above, or the millions of dollars he has stashed in the bank with Mike’s impressive net worth.

Take your pick, but this being bodybuilding, and let’s be honest, almost everyone in our sport is a super sharp sniper, shooting shots in the dark (AKA injecting anabolic steroids in secret).

Mike ohearn American Gladiator and ultimate bodybuilding physique.
TV Star Mike O’Hearn (American Gladiator)

The bullet most aimed at the Titan is that he’s a fake natty, a fake natural, a fraud. Watch any Mike O’Hearn videos on YouTube and read the comments section. Almost every other comment is about Mike’s use of steroids.

‘Fake natty’ comments about hair plugs and plastic surgery. I have to admit, I did see a hilarious name once, Mike O’ Tren.

For everyone that doesn’t know what Tren actually is. It’s the most infamous of all anabolic steroids available on the black market.

Banned by the FDA as not fit for human consumption and ask any of the big guys in any gym, they’ll tell you, “Tren is a freaking madman!”.

Studies show that it is up to forty times more potent than regular testosterone.

But just to assume that he is a regular taker of Tren is absurd. Mike O Tren needs to be laid to rest immediately.

Jay Cutler & Larry Wheels

I was watching an O’Hearn training video on YouTube over the weekend, which featured Jay Cutler, the four-time Mr Olympian.

Alongside Jay was Larry Wheels, the indomitable powerlifting champion who seems to break and set new powerlifting records every other week.

Jay Cutler bodybuilding champ and Mr Olympia
Jay Cutler

The video, full of potential, was actually lackluster and quite boring. Although Mike did steal the show by out lifting Jay (above picture).

While an uncomfortable and totally shocked Larry Wheels squirmed beside him.

Direct Shots At Mike

Instead of switching the video, I decided to skim the comments in the section below. Almost every word was a direct shot at Mike and his ‘alleged’ steroid use.

I have many close gym buddies whose opinions I respect massively. Although when I broach the subject that there’s a strong possibility that O’Hearn, is, in fact, natural. 

I am met with loud calls of bull sh*t and uncontrollable disbelief that I would even consider Mike being a ‘natty’.

My counterparts don’t believe he’s natural, but then again, they don’t believe anyone is natural. If I proffer the possibility that they’re projecting, then feelings are hurt.

So let me propagate the notion that Mr ‘natty’ is a 100% homegrown natural gladiator. Let’s think about this objectively for a second, Mike grew up with nine siblings and is the youngest of five boys.

His parents were bodybuilding and martial arts fanatics; therefore, it was instilled in all of their children from a very young age.

Check-Out His Back Workout

American Gladiator In The Making

Zero hours sat in front of the TV eating tootsie rolls and getting fat. The O’Hearn offspring were an active bunch. They say if the parents are an early riser, the whole family will tend to rise early too.

Parents can have a very positive or negative impact on the household. In this case, Mum was also a pro bodybuilder, competing in shows. So both parents were super active.

Then you’ve got three older sisters who all train in fitness and martial arts. Not to mention four older brothers that lift weights and train in martial arts too. 

American Gladiators featuring Mike ohearn
American Gladiators (season 7) 1994-1995

This is a very unique and fortunate family to be in. One in a million? One in ten million? Perhaps, one in a hundred million?

Let’s say Mike was never going to grow up to be a couch potato or a 160-pound weakling. Or at least, there was less chance compared to the average family in the States.

The reference to rich kids who never have the need or will to work “the trust fund babies”. l would say Mike really hit the jackpot, his family was not rich in the monetary sense, yet wildly rich in many other more important aspects.

Westside Barbell – Louie Simmons

Those of you who have been going to the gym for years will understand the quote from the legendary Westside Barbell Godfather, Louie Simmons.

“It would take me ten minutes to tell you everything l know about bodybuilding and another ten years for you to understand what I just told you.

Louis Simmons

What if Mike was just blessed and fortunate to receive a plethora of knowledge and wisdom from his parents and siblings?

Most will agree that in the first year or two in the gym, you haven’t got a clue as to what you’re really doing.

Knowledge Is Key

I know myself and my com-padres, like many of you, predominantly trained chest and biceps for the first couple of years.

When l think of how un-knowledgeable I was, gym six days every week and training so so hard. And yet, achieving nothing more than mediocre results.

Mike would have been spared the years of trial and error. Imagine if you could go back to the beginning with the knowledge you have now, how very different it would be.

Mike O’Hearn’s Chest Workout

Don’t misconstrue my words, the journey is far more important than the destination but having the correct information saves a lot of wasted years.

If you start training before puberty and have a wealth of information. Everything from nutrition to tried and tested training programs.

Submerged in an environment where you are supported and encouraged to do well.

Most importantly, you combine that with great genetics and self-motivation. Therefore it could be possible that he has achieved that level of success naturally. 

If you grow up in that environment, maybe it’s possible that steroids could not be needed.

Genetics or Juice?

O’Hearn has been routinely tested throughout the early stages of his career. Lee Priest, Shawn Ray, and Rich Piana all say Mike is natural.

Rich Piana even compiled a ten-minute video proclaiming O’Hearn’s natural status. Rich was also one of the most honest and open bodybuilders about using anabolics.

Mike O’Hearn, American Gladiator, seems to be blessed in all areas with superior genetics. He’s never had an injury that’s sidelined him for more than a few weeks, let alone months. 

One could argue and say Mike is juicing, and that’s the reason why he’s never had a serious injury. Of course, some steroids do help prevent injury and/or help recover quicker.

But with the full facts, it could also be a combination of knowledge, genetics, and years upon years of the right training.

Mike O’Hearn Injuries

This is a sport where serious injury is commonplace. Bicep tears and pectoral tears are as common as gym chalk and wraps.

Herniated discs, torn hamstrings, and he who squats will suffer lower back problems at some stage in their life.

Louie Simmons has neither a bicep muscle on either arm.  “He tore them straight off” and that “training was never the same again”. He revealed this in an interview with Joe Rogan.

Louie Simmons bodybuilder
Louie Simmons

Calum Von Moger temporarily put his career on ice after a horrible bicep tear, which made him lose half of his body weight in a few mere months.

The skinny, deflated hospital bed pics reveal just how much water your muscles hold whilst on steroids.

Mike seems to be in great shape all year round, and again, there are methods to stop losing muscle while on downtime, I realize that. But there’s a lot of information saying that he could be telling the truth.


Last of all, could it just be that Mike is genetically gifted? That he received all the correct knowledge and information at a young age? Raised in a loving but competitive environment. Every ingredient needed being at his disposal.

Could this be the reason why he has achieved unbelievable results?

Achieving a level of strength and solid physique without ever having to touch any anabolic steroids?

I know it’s possible, but I guess we might never know if Mike is a true ‘natty’ or not. But there is a lot of evidence in his favor.

Either way, Mike O’Hearn American Gladiator gets my full respect!



  1. Pingback: Mike O'Hearn's Net Worth 2021 - The Talking Moose

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