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Did Mike O’Hearn Take Steroids?

Mike O’Hearn is a professional builder that claims he doesn’t use anabolic steroids. Is he telling the truth or is he juicing?

mike o'hearn steroids

Michael O’Hearn has had quite a diverse career. He is a model, a bodybuilder, an actor, and has won the Mr Universe contest four times. Apart from that, he was also declared the fitness model of the year a total of 7 times.

Now, there are conflicting opinions about Mike, but whatever you may think about him, the fact is that he is among the most famous bodybuilders in the world at the moment. He has well over a million likes on his official Facebook page. A lot of the hate he receives stems from the products he sells on his website. For example, duck eggs which are $699 and ab wheels that go as far as $1500. These are crazy prices for gimmick products so you can see what causes the hate.

Something that also caught a lot of people’s attention is that Mike O’Hearn claims to be natural and steroid-free, even though he weighs a total of 247 pounds with only 4% body fat. Because of this, he earned the nickname “Mike O’Tren” (Tren = Trenbolone).

However, you can hardly say that someone is on steroids just by looking at them, even if they appear to be more muscular and vascular than a natty generally should be. However, if you pay attention to the little details and trademarks of steroid use, you can easily see if someone is using them or not. So, what about Mike O’Hearn? Is he really “Mike O’Tren”?

Evidence Against Steroid Use

He Passed Drug Tests

When he competed in the INBA Natural Mr Universe contest, there were some mandatory drug tests that he had to pass. Those include random urine and blood tests at and lie detector tests.

He passed them all with flying colours.

Usually, bodybuilders stop using steroids a certain amount of time before competing so that the steroids get out of their system. That way, they can easily pass the drug tests. However, the INBA conducts numerous random tests throughout the year. As such, they are borderline impossible to clear if you’re actually on steroids, let alone four times, and Mike did that.

Freakish Genetics

Mike O’Hearn was ridiculously big even back when he was 14. There’s no way he was on steroids back then since there would be pronounced side effects manifesting by now. He had an incredible muscle-to-fat ratio and at 14-years old; that is only possible with perfect genetics.

His Current Physique Is Attainable Naturally

Again on the topic of genetics, there are people out there whom the average person can’t beat. An excellent example of this is Flex Wheeler, who had a mutation that led to myostatin deficiency. What is myostatin? Essentially, it is a protein which keeps your muscles from growing too much and getting out of control. Anyone with this mutation would have a much easier time bulking up. Perhaps you’ve seen the pictures of those “steroid cows” that appeared on the internet a while back. In truth, those animals aren’t pumped full of drugs but naturally selectively bred, and thus, they have myostatin deficiency that leads to their insane muscle mass.

But Flex Wheeler isn’t the only Mr Olympia who dominated the stage thanks to his genetics. Look at the way Phil Heath and Kai Greene looked when they were still natural. How do you know they were inherent in their 20s? Due to the lack of the telltale signs of steroid use such as facial muscles bulking up, and the significant mass gain that they both achieved when they started competing.

All in all, such people are a living proof that a natural bodybuilder may look as huge as if he were juicing, no matter how rare such cases might be.

No External Signs of Steroid Use

Mike O’Hearn has none of the apparent steroid side effects such as:

  • Premature balding
  • Acne
  • Water retention
  • Bloating
  • Flushed skin
  • Massive traps
  • Insane vascularity


Mike O’Hearn is 47 years, and if he were using steroids for the past 30 years or so, that would be borderline impossible. Even if his hair genetics were as amazing as his muscle genetics, there would be at least some signs of hair thinning or a receding hairline, but there’s none of that.


Acne and blemishes that usually appear as a result of steroid use are nowhere on Mike’s body. Again, using steroids for years would inevitably result in acne, especially on the back, but Mike O’Hearn is entirely acne-free.

Water retention/Bloating

He is dry with a small waist all year long, whereas steroid-users tend to retain tons of water while off the cycle.


As you may be familiar, upper body muscles have a higher number of androgen receptors, which means they react more noticeably to testosterone. Most noticeably, this includes the traps. When someone starts using steroids, their traps explode and get that “bulging” look. Mike his traps appear to be rather small when compared to the rest of his body.


The older a person gets, the less collagen their body produces; this is why older people tend to have thinner skin and their veins become visible. Steroids just so happen to significantly reduce collagen levels, which partially explains why professional bodybuilders are so vascular. Mike O’Hearn is indeed vascular, but nowhere near that level you can see with some proven steroid users. If he were really on steroids at 47 years old, his skin should look like a roadmap – but it doesn’t.

How Does Mike O’Hearn Maintain Low Body Fat?

Many feel like Mike has to be on steroids because he’s “ripped” throughout the year at age 47. However, maintaining low body fat is as simple as counting your calories. All you’d have to do to keep low body fat levels is to ingest just the right amount of calories, so you don’t gain any bulk and don’t lose any weight. It is that simple.

Now keep in mind that Mike is, after all, a genetic freak with a speedy metabolism. Because of that, he wouldn’t have to starve himself to prevent fat gain.

When it comes specifically to his muscle, some also claim that he shouldn’t be able to maintain it because natural testosterone levels start dropping by roughly 1% per year after a man turns 30. However, it is quite easy to support healthy testosterone by taking natural boosters. Even so, the drop in testosterone of under 20% that Mike would have experienced so far would hardly affect his muscle mass. We’re talking at least 50% increase or decrease in natural testosterone levels before any real effects become visible.

Essentially, Mike’s physique should only start visibly suffering once he’s over 60. And even then, it shouldn’t do so too much if he remains physically active, which he likely will.

The Final Verdict

Mike does not use steroids

So, in the end, is Mike O’Hearn natural or on steroids? He is natural.

All in all, none of the signs of steroid use are there. It’s effortless to say someone is “too big to be natural”, but it is a very hollow claim. If Mike O’Hearn were indeed using steroids, there would be at least one external sign of steroid use, and there is none whatsoever. Not only that, but it would also have been impossible for him to pass the INBA random drug tests for all those years.

Is he a natural bodybuilder? Yes. Can anyone attain his physique naturally? No. As we have concluded, Mike O’Hearn has good genetics which is why he can look the way he looks. The average person cannot hope to come close to him without the help of steroids unless they just so happen to be a genetic freak themselves.

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.