Do arm wrestlers use steroids? Yes, they do. Arm wrestling is a combat strength sport and as such it directly profits from the strength and muscle mass that anabolic steroids provide. Some of the arm wrestlers competing on the highest-level showcase elite muscular development that cannot be achieved naturally regardless of how hard you train.
Strength Sports Benefit the Most from Anabolic Steroids
The three main motives to use anabolic steroids in sports are:
- Muscle mass
Subsequently, athletic activities heavily dependent on strength and muscle size nurture a strong incentive to adopt AAS protocols in the name of greater accomplishments.
The four most common examples would be powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, strongmen and of course bodybuilding which may not be a sport according to the dictionary definition, but since its main purpose is extreme muscular development, it joins the list.
If steroids are completely removed from competitive lifting and bodybuilding, the standards would drop to surprisingly low levels.
Other strength sports such as arm wrestling are lower on the list, but they’re there nonetheless.
Contrariwise, ultra-technical sports do not depend on steroids because anabolic drugs do nothing to develop your skills. I can undoubtedly say that most pros involved in extreme sports (e.g., skateboarding, BMX) do not take steroids.
But Isn’t Arm Wrestling “All Technique”?
Arm wrestling has many technical elements, but at the end of the day, strength and mass are of fundamental importance.
A trained arm wrestler could destroy a much bigger opponent who doesn’t know what they’re doing, but when the two adversaries are on a similar skill level, the stronger one will dominate most of the time.
If this wasn’t the case, there wouldn’t be weight categories. But there are…because bigger men are stronger. Matching them against lighter individuals creates a blatant imbalance.
Conversely, sports like gymnastics have no weight classes because they’re dependent primarily on skills, and larger musculatures do not equal a direct advantage.
Can You Build 20-inch Arms Naturally?
Many arm wrestlers have huge arms rivaling those of amateur and professional bodybuilders. How do you think they go those? From some super-secret arm-wrestling exercises that can somehow provide insane and yet natural growth?
Arm wrestling training builds strong arm flexors and forearms, but even those specialized movements cannot fight nature.
Unnatural development can never be obtained naturally regardless of the training path.
Yet the dreamers keep convincing themselves that some obscure lifting pathways can somehow evade biology and summon growth from another planet. Sorry but no.
The arm wrestlers displaying a pro-bodybuilding level of arm development didn’t get it from some mythical curls or a unique barbell bar engineered by professors who’d found a way to hit the muscle fibers from the perfect angle. The big arms are the result of resistance training combined with chemical enhancement.
Niche Sports Are Super Hard to Drug-Test Efficiently
Popular sports face more regulation due to their higher impact on the economy, the psychological equilibrium of the fans and the political climate.
If a sprinter or a professional football player is caught doping, the news will create a greater social outburst than catching a powerlifter.
And yet we all know that professional athletes take PEDs one way or another regardless of the sport. If the drug-testing organizations are failing to clean popular sports, their chances of delivering effective measures in smaller niches such as powerlifting and arm wrestling are slim to none.
Besides, drug-testing costs money – lots of it. You need medical professionals, labs…etc. The smaller fanbases and the difficult monetization of niche sports severely limit the extent and the effectivity of drug testing.
What Do the Professional Arm Wrestlers Say?
In the clip below, Devon Larratt, arguably the most popular arm wrestler in the world, talks about the use of anabolic drugs in arm wrestling.
I have selected some of the most notable quotes:
Quote 1: In this sport, at that level, basically at this point in our development, you are allowed. That’s the way it is.
Quote 2: I don’t think that there’s any fighting for fairness. I think that this is a concept that is to me…it’s just gone. There is none of that. And I don’t think it should be expected.
Quote 3: Until we reach a threshold where the sport is big enough, followed by enough people, where you have hundreds of thousands of people betting money online for every single match, until then, testing is a dream; and it’s just not real because it will not financially make sense…and even if it did – the test will be circumvented…”
Michael Todd is another very popular pro holding 16 world titles. According to the official stats, his biceps (arms) are 52cm or 20.47 inches. A post on Reddit states that he’s revealed his TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) protocol in a livestream. At the time, he was taking 250mg of testosterone a week. It’s up to you to believe that or not.
Some Arm Wrestlers Showcase Cartoon-level Muscular Development
Richard Lupkes is an arm wrestler with a scary physical presence. He is about 6’4”/195cm tall and weighs around 150kg/330lbs while being decently lean for his bodyweight. He’s over 60 years of age too.
His official arm measurement is 58cm or 22.8 inches. I don’t think a comment on his natural status is even necessary.
Denis Cyplenkov is one of the most popular arm wrestlers in the world. He is known for his insanely large bones, muscle mass and strength. In 2015, he barbell-curled 113kg/248.6lbs and set a world record.
At his peak, Cyplenkov was around 140kg/308lbs at 185cm/6’1”. His body fat was high by bodybuilding standards, but he was fairly lean for his size.
At 140kg, his FFMI was 32.58 @ 20% body fat. In comparison, Arnold’s FFMI was about 28-29 in his prime.
This leads us to the following question: how do you expect naturals to even compete against men of this magnitude?
Arm Wrestlers Aren’t That Young
Many top arm wrestlers are well into their 30s and 40s. A man can maintain great strength and shape for a long time, but sooner or later, your body begins to deteriorate. A young organism recovers faster than an ancient one that has accumulated multiple years of painful pulling. PEDs help with that too as they speed up one’s recovery.
Another condition that may stimulate the usage of anabolics among a sample of middle-aged men is the fact that they face a smaller sacrifice than younger dudes.
Three of the main side effects associated with steroids are infertility, balding and pre-mature aging. Married men who have already reproduced and retired from the dating game have less to lose from injecting.
Extreme Obsession = Extreme Actions
A man obsessed with a goal would swim through a sea. Add money to the mix, and he’d swim across the ocean.
Many of the pros are fixated on being the best in the world and live for the sport. If steroids are required to win, they’d take them.
But the fame and the self-actualization are not the only stimuli. The income matters too. People, especially men, sacrifice a lot to put money on the table.
Truck drivers go on dangerous trips and don’t see their families for months; coal miners spend their days underground; electricians work with dangerous power systems in all kinds of conditions…etc.
When you take all of that into account, steroids don’t seem like the greatest sacrifice in the world, although their aftermath shouldn’t be taken lightly either.
You Cannot Get as Strong as Possible Naturally
A natural may develop sick strength, but no one is as strong as humanly possible without steroids. Therefore, contestants who choose to compete naturally are leaving “gains” on the table.
Why would they do that if winning is the ultimate goal?
Do Arm Wrestlers Use as Many PEDs as Bodybuilders and Powerlifters?
Pound for pound, powerlifters are significantly thicker. The arm wrestler Michael Todd is 120kg/264lbs @ 190.5cm/6’3”. Believe it or not, this is considered lightweight for his height from a pro-powerlifting perspective. He’d have to push his bodyweight into the 300s to take advantage of his levers and become a competitive powerlifter.
Moreover, arm wrestlers don’t have to be as lean as bodybuilders. This reduces the need for “special cutting agents”.
Hence it wouldn’t be surprising if arm wrestlers are relying on fewer drugs and smaller doses to compete.
The Fans Are Already Conditioned
People think that advertisers and sponsors dictate the rules, but that’s only partially true. The primary goal is to create a show attracting spectators.
The consumers/fans have to be entertained and satisfied. And just like in bodybuilding, the fans want to see the “freaks”. This isn’t shocking because entertainment’s main purpose isn’t to show reality but to extract you out of it. Men larger and stronger than life facilitate that mission.