Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Mention Steroid Use in His Books?

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a name synonymous with bodybuilding excellence, Hollywood stardom, and political influence. As a seven-time Mr. Olympia winner, his insights into the world of bodybuilding are highly valued by fans and aspiring bodybuilders alike. One topic that often arises in discussions about professional bodybuilding is the use of anabolic steroids. In this blog post, we explore whether Schwarzenegger has addressed steroid use in any of his books and how he has handled this controversial topic.

Steroid Use in Bodybuilding

Anabolic steroids have been a part of competitive bodybuilding since the 1960s, used to enhance muscle growth and performance. Their use, however, has always been a subject of controversy due to potential health risks and ethical considerations. As one of the most prominent figures in bodybuilding history, Schwarzenegger’s stance and personal experiences with steroids are of great interest.

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

In his autobiography, “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story,” Schwarzenegger does touch upon the subject of steroid use. He acknowledges that during his competitive years in the 1970s, the use of anabolic steroids was common among bodybuilders. Schwarzenegger admits to having used steroids during his career, explaining that they were legal at the time and part of the competitive environment.

Schwarzenegger’s approach in “Total Recall” is candid and responsible. He does not glorify or overly emphasize his steroid use, instead focusing on his rigorous training regimen, diet, and mental discipline as the primary drivers of his success. He emphasizes the importance of hard work, consistency, and dedication, rather than relying solely on performance-enhancing substances.

The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding

In “The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding,” co-authored with Bill Dobbins, Schwarzenegger offers a comprehensive guide to bodybuilding, covering training techniques, nutrition, and competition preparation. While the book is a detailed manual for bodybuilders, it does not extensively delve into the topic of steroid use. Instead, it focuses on natural methods for achieving bodybuilding success, emphasizing proper training, diet, and mental focus.

The book includes sections on nutrition, supplements, and recovery, all aimed at helping bodybuilders optimize their performance and physique through natural means. By not highlighting steroid use, Schwarzenegger and Dobbins encourage readers to pursue their bodybuilding goals through healthy and sustainable practices.

Public Statements and Advocacy

Beyond his books, Schwarzenegger has spoken publicly about steroid use in bodybuilding. He has acknowledged that while steroids were a part of the sport during his competitive years, the landscape has changed, and the risks associated with steroid use are now better understood. Schwarzenegger has advocated for drug-free bodybuilding competitions and has supported efforts to promote health and safety in the sport.


Arnold Schwarzenegger’s books, “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story” and “The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding,” provide valuable insights into his career and approach to bodybuilding. While he candidly acknowledges his past steroid use in his autobiography, he does not glorify it and instead emphasizes the importance of training, nutrition, and mental discipline. His works encourage aspiring bodybuilders to focus on natural and healthy methods to achieve their goals.

Schwarzenegger’s candidness about his steroid use reflects a balanced perspective, recognizing the realities of the sport during his era while promoting safer and more sustainable practices for future generations. His contributions to bodybuilding literature remain essential resources for anyone looking to understand the complexities and dedication required in the world of competitive bodybuilding.

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