Arnold Schwarzenegger Candidly Addresses Past Steroid Use and Issues a Warning for Influencers

'Don't go there,' he says in a new interview.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has a warning for fit-fluencers and young body builders: When it comes to steroids, "Don't go there." 

The 75-year-old action icon covers the July/August 2023 issue of Men's Health, opening up about his past steroid use and his ongoing commitment to training. In the interview, Schwarzenegger reckons with his legacy and admits that, while he was always publicly candid about his steroid use as a bodybuilder, he finds social media content surrounding performance-enhancing drug use and testosterone replacement therapy concerning. 

"Bodybuilding always, always was considered a safe sport. But now it's not," he says. "Now people are dying -- they're dying because of overdoses of drugs and they don't know what the f**k they're doing. They're listening to charlatans. If I want to get medical advice from a doctor, I got to UCLA or I go to the Cleveland Clinic." 

Schwarzenegger tells the mag that he used to take testosterone and the steroid Dianabol during his bodybuilding days, always under the supervision of a doctor. "One hundred milligrams a week," he says of his testosterone use, "and then three Dianabol a day, so that was 15 milligrams a day." 

Notably, the writer explains, steroids were not illegal until Congress passed the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990. By that point, Schwarzenegger had already enjoyed nearly a decade of Hollywood stardom following his 1982 breakthrough in Conan the Barbarian.

To that point, Schwarzenegger understands that he is an imperfect messenger on the subject. 

"Don't go there," he says. "Yes, we are at a time now where we always look for the easy way to make money, the fast way to get rich, the easy way to be an influencer. Anytime you abuse the body, you're going to regret it. So I just want young people to know that I have seen people getting kidney transplants and suffering tremendously from it." 

He continues, "I recognize the fact that, who am I to say this?"

Today, Schwarzenegger remains committed to fitness and focused on his regular morning workouts at the iconic Gold's Gym in Venice Beach, California. The writer notes that Schwarzenegger often dons Terminator-style sunglasses for his sets, while stopping to chat with fans and pose for photos. He trains, he says, to "stay alive, to be able to do my movies."

Asked whether he still strikes his signature bodybuilding poses, Schwarzenegger zings: "Yes, but only in the bathroom, because sometimes it makes me cry."

Michael Muller for Men’s Health

At the Monday premiere of his new Netflix action-comedy series, FUBAR, Schwarzenegger told ET that his love for exercise was something ingrained in him as a kid.

"You know, I don't consider myself disciplined, because something that I've done since I was a little kid was workout in the morning," he shared. "I remember when my father said, 'You cannot have breakfast first, you have to earn it. You have to do 200 sit ups and push-ups.' So that's how I grew up."

"So now, this is [what I do]. I'm now addicted to working out every day," he explained. "If I do a film, or like when I was doing FUBAR, we were working out when we were night-shooting, we were working out at three in the morning sometimes, and at five in the morning, or at nine in the morning. So it really doesn't matter. I just have to get my one-hour workout in and then some bike riding to kind of like get some cardiovascular training."

The actor added that working out isn't something reserved for actors getting fit for films or athletes gearing up for games.

"It just makes you feel good, no matter what you do," he shared. "If you do a TV series, if you do a movie, if you write a book, if you go and do a speech. Whatever you do, you need to feel fit and full of energy."

In FUBAR -- Schwarzenegger's first-ever TV series -- the action superstar plays former CIA superspy Luke Brunner, who is called out of his recent retirement to rescue an agent undercover in enemy territory who has located a weapon of mass destruction.

Much to his surprise, when he locates the agent, he discovers it's his own daughter, Emma (Monica Barbaro), who he didn't know was a spy at all.

FUBAR premieres May 25 on Netflix.