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What Happened To Rich Piana

What Happened To Rich Piana

The Mysterious Death of Rich Piana

Rich Piana, a renowned bodybuilder and social media influencer, passed away under mysterious circumstances on August 25, 2017, at the age of 46. His death left the bodybuilding community and his vast following in shock, prompting numerous speculations and discussions about the potential causes of his untimely demise.

Two and a half months after his death, an autopsy report was released but failed to provide a definitive cause of death. The report highlighted several contributing factors that could have played a role, including significant heart disease and a history of drug use. However, the lack of available specimens for toxicology analysis meant that the exact cause remained undetermined.

Contributing Factors to Piana’s Death

Rich Piana was rushed to the hospital in early August after collapsing while getting a haircut. He was subsequently placed in a medically-induced coma, where he remained for over two weeks before passing away. The autopsy noted that Piana had an enlarged heart and signs of coronary atherosclerosis, conditions that are often linked to long-term steroid use, which Piana had openly admitted to.

The inability to perform a toxicology report was a significant hurdle in the investigation. According to William Pellan, Director of Investigations for the District Six Medical Examiner’s Office, the hospital had discarded the admission specimens before Piana’s death, which are crucial for determining substances present in the body at the time of the incident. Despite efforts from both the police and the medical examiner’s office to secure these specimens, they were not available, leaving unanswered questions about the role of drugs in his death.

Rich Piana’s Legacy and Public Persona

Rich Piana was more than just a bodybuilder; he was a prominent figure in the fitness industry, known for his candid discussions about steroid use and his larger-than-life personality. He had a successful YouTube channel where he shared everything from motivational talks to details about his personal life and training routines. Piana’s openness about his steroid use was controversial yet earned him respect for his honesty in an industry where such topics are often taboo.

Throughout his career, Piana won several bodybuilding titles, including NPC Mr. California. He was also a successful businessman, having launched his own nutrition product line, Rich Piana: 5% Nutrition. The brand’s name was inspired by Piana’s belief that only 5% of people are willing to do whatever it takes to reach their goals.

Speculations and Theories

The lack of a clear cause of death has led to various speculations and conspiracy theories. Some believe that Piana’s death was due to his long-term steroid use, which might have led to his severe heart conditions. Others speculate about the potential involvement of recreational drugs, although his partner at the time, Chanel Jansen, denied these claims, stating that Piana only used caffeine-based pre-workout supplements in such a manner.

The discussion around Piana’s death also brings to light the broader issues of performance-enhancing drug use in bodybuilding and the pressures athletes face to maintain a certain physique at any cost. Piana himself had once advised against steroid use unless one was committed to becoming a professional bodybuilder, highlighting the risks associated with these substances.


Rich Piana’s death remains a topic of intrigue and sorrow within the bodybuilding community. His life and career had a significant impact, and his candid nature regarding sensitive topics like steroid use changed the way many people view the sport. While the exact cause of his death might never be known, his legacy as a forthright and influential figure in bodybuilding continues to endure.


What was Rich Piana known for?
Rich Piana was known for his success in bodybuilding, his openness about steroid use, and his motivational content on social media and YouTube.

Did Rich Piana ever win any major bodybuilding titles?
Yes, Rich Piana won several titles, including NPC Mr. California and various other NPC competitions throughout his career.

What was the official cause of Rich Piana’s death?
The official cause of death was left undetermined due to the inability to conduct a full toxicology report and the presence of multiple potential contributing factors.

Did Rich Piana admit to using steroids?
Yes, Rich Piana was very open about his use of steroids and discussed both the benefits and the risks associated with them.

What was “5% Nutrition”?
5% Nutrition was Rich Piana’s nutrition product line, named after his belief that only 5% of people do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.

Was there any speculation about foul play in Rich Piana’s death?
While there was some speculation and conspiracy theories regarding his death, no evidence of foul play was confirmed.

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