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Helmut Strebl: Steroids or Natural?

Helmut Strebl, the Austrian bodybuilder, is the most ripped man alive. Did he take steroids to get to 3% body fat, or is it possible to build a physique as shredded as his naturally? 

Helmut Strebl Steroids

Helmut Strebl is regularly going viral on social media – just because of his insanely shredded body. But, did he use steroids to get to this point, or did he go full natty?

If you look at this guy, you will understand why many are wondering if he looks like this only thanks to anabolics. In the entire bodybuilding history, there was only one guy who could be more shredded than Strebl, and that was Andreas Munzer. Munzer was famous for his incredibly low body fat levels, and according to his claims, it was thanks to large amounts of diuretics.

Anyhow, to us, Strebl is living proof that age isn’t an excuse to let yourself go. When you look at his newest photos, you will notice that he only got better with age, you could even say that he ages like a fine wine, getting better with every passing year. In that respect, he’s entirely unlike every other person alive, and right now, he’s in the best shape of his life.


His incredible improvement isn’t just visual, whenever Strebl competes this fact becomes blatantly apparent. He became World Miami Pro and the European champion five times in 6 years.

This bodybuilder who had once shown up in Madonna’s music video for the song “Sorry”, now splits his time between his three passions – bodybuilding competitions, personal training, and motivational speaking.

This kind of success attracts attention, so Helmut Strebl is now all over social media and online forums where gym rats accuse him en masse of taking steroids. It merely seems unbelievable that a man can be 50 years old and this ripped, without any anabolic whatsoever.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at this famous Austrian. He turned 50 in 2018, he’s 6t 3 tall, weighs between 205 and 215 pounds, and he has mere 3% of body fat.

Natty Claim

On his official website, on his philosophy page, Strebl stated that he is a lifetime natural bodybuilder.  He claims that he never used any illegal physique enhancing drugs like steroids, or anything of the sort.

His statement reads: “I am a lifetime natural bodybuilder. I’ve never used steroids or any other banned or illegal physique-enhancing drugs.” 

From what we have seen so far, people who claim that they aren’t taking anabolics – usually really are natty. Those who are on steroids try as hard as possible to steer clear of this subject, they ignore the question or give vague answers.

Sure, it doesn’t mean that he isn’t capable of lying, but if we should believe that he’s using anabolics, we will need more than unsubstantial claims, we will need to see some proof.

Body Composition

When you look at this guy with his top off, he looks huge. Sure, he indeed isn’t Ronnie Coleman, but when it comes to muscle hypertrophy, anyone can see that he’s a real beast.

Interestingly, many experts claim that it’s entirely possible to achieve these results without any chemical enhancement. All you need are great genes and a whole lot of effort. We’ve seen many nattys who got this big, or even more significant, so his muscle mass isn’t so extraordinary as to implicitly prove anabolic use.

On the other hand, when you pay attention to other aspects of his appearance, you will notice that Helmut isn’t bloated, he doesn’t have gynecomastia (a common side effect of anabolic steroids), his skin doesn’t flush, and his deltoids and traps aren’t overly developed. So he lacks a whole bunch of signs that he’s using steroids. But, there’s one suspicious thing about his appearance – he is incredibly vascular, he almost looks like a human roadmap. This could be because of genetics, or due to steroid use.

Helmut Strebl vascularity
Helmut Strebl is incredibly Vascular


Some assume that he looks the way he does because Strebl manipulates his body’s water levels, and they point out to the fact that he seems dehydrated. So dry in fact, that it looks like he will die of dehydration if he tries to shed a tear.

When you try to use a shortcut, and manipulate H2O levels for a competition, or use diuretics, you get super dry for a short period, but that is not the case with Strebl.

Well, when someone does that, the effects are short-term, and Helmut Strebl looks more or less the same all the time. If he used one of these methods, it would be easily visible.

When you dehydrate yourself for 24 hours, your body starts to retain a whole load of water. After you finish drying yourself, you’ll use steroids like Anavar or Winstrol to flush out the excess liquid, and then you will flatten out once more.

Maybe you heard some of those bodybuilders who compete saying that they’re retaining some water? Well, that isn’t true. They are merely not lean enough to start. So, when you’re incredibly cut, it might appear as if you’re dry.

All in all, after a thorough look at this man’s body, there’s nothing to substantiate the steroid theory, except his almost-unbelievable vascularity. But, when you look into it, that also makes sense.

People who use steroids tend to be very veiny because anabolics increase red blood cell count, and make your skin thinner. The reason why we believe that this not the case here, lies in the fact that Helmut Strebl is 50 years old, and at his age skin collagen levels decrease, so it’s entirely reasonable for him to be more vascular then he was back when he was 20 years old.

Competition History

Strebl competed with famous federations like Musclemania and Miami Pro, but we can’t extrapolate any proof from that. Neither one of these conduct random, rigorous drug tests, so his involvement can’t sway our opinion one way or the other.

Watch a video of Helmut Strebl competing below:

Signs That He Is Natural

His physique is the main reason for us to believe that he is natural. Some people say that he’s ripped because he took steroids, but we think that since Helmut is this ripped, he must be natural.

Confusing? Not so much if you read on.

When you observe natural guys, you will notice that they universally retain less water than those who are on anabolics. If you watch who keeps water and who doesn’t, you can tell with ease. There’s an obvious connection between being natty and retaining water.

For instance, when you go gluten-free, you lose water, when you stop ingesting salty and processed foods, you lose water. But, when you do something that isn’t good for your health, like taking steroids, you will gain water. Even if you take a diuretic like trenbolone, you will still retain water. Sure, with diuretics you lose more water than with other steroids, but you will even gain more water than you would if you went natty.

Example of an Enhanced Bodybuilder

Still seems too hard to believe? Then look up Phil Heath, the most ripped guy on the Mr Olympia stage, and compare him to the Austrian. When Heath competes, his body fat levels will be almost the same as Helmut’s (3% approximately), but if you look at them together, you will notice an incredible difference. In spite of similar body fat levels, these two guys are very different. Helmut is drier than Phil who is smoother.

It’s simple, Phil Heath is using a whole bunch of different steroids, and Helmut Strebl is not. You can see that Phil is taking steroids pretty easily. Just find photos of this guy from back when he was natural, and compare them to his most recent Mr Olympia photos. You will see that the bodybuilder seemed just as defined then as Helmut Strebl is now, except that Helmut wasn’t as lean as now.

If he were still natural, he would look 3x more shredded than he does in his most recent photos; this saying goes for everyone, and it explains why those who juice in the gym look a lot less aesthetic than those who are natural. It’s simple. If you don’t take steroids, you will have less water in your body; less water means that your muscles will be more visible.

The Verdict

We firmly believe that Helmut Strebl is completely natty. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find photos of him when he was younger, to observe his progress (that can often prove if someone’s natural or not), but we firmly believe that our verdict is right. Helmut Strebl has no steroid tells whatsoever, so we have no real reasons to doubt that he’s natural.

About James Smith

James Smith is a personal trainer for professional bodybuilders. He uses his experience, knowledge, and understanding of all the intricacies regarding bodybuilding and anabolic steroids, to deliver detailed reviews for every new legal steroid on the market. As an author, he may receive some small compensation for some of them. However, we guarantee the neutrality regarding the evaluating of each of the products and the factuality of the information.