It is an open secret that most bodybuilders who want to stay relevant, compete at the highest level, as well as make money, tend to dabble into the use of steroids. Most of them understand the long and short-term damage it does to their body but choose to take that chance. A professional bodybuilder who had several awards under his belt, Rich Piana’s net worth was one of the highest in the field.
Towards the end of his life, he focused on his personal brand and became a social media personality with huge followership across his accounts. He was a successful bodybuilder and was popular for his loud and over-the-top attitude and was also quite vocal about his use of steroids which might have led to his early death at the age of 46.
Born Richard Eugene Piana in Glendale, California on the 26th of September 1970. He grew up with his Armenian mother who was a bodybuilder. He would follow her to the gym and watch her train. He became enthralled with bodybuilding and began to train. Another early major influence in his life was Bill Cambra who was an old school bodybuilder. He began to lift weights when he turned 11 years of and began to compete in bodybuilding contests when he turned 15. By the time he turned 18, he had already won several bodybuilding titles, including the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) Mr Teen California, 1989.
Piana revealed that once he decided to pursue bodybuilding professionally, he began to use steroids to avoid being continually booed off the stage. He started using a common steroid cycle that combines testosterone and Deca-Durabolin at age eighteen.
His professional debut was in IFBB in 1998 as Mr California. He then began to contest in major bodybuilding and heavyweight championships. Some of his major wins include; the Border States Classic Super-Heavyweight division and overall championship in 2009, National Physique Committee (NPC) competition- Los Angeles Super-Heavyweight division 2003, Sacramento Super-Heavyweight division 2009. He was a major focus in the 2017 bodybuilding documentary- Generation Iron 2.
Piana was well known within and outside his industry for his resilience and outspoken nature. He had a Youtube channel with thousands of followers where he shared tips about diet, fitness routines and motivations about life, especially with aspiring bodybuilders. Rich Piana was also one of the few people in his line of work that was vocal and honest about his steroid use. He shared in several videos on his channel the pros and cons of using steroids he also reiterated that he was aware of the damage that steroids causes to the body but he has chosen to use it anyway.
From his brand name (Rich Piana: 5% Nutrition) he speaks about that 5% in several of his videos which he believes refers to the percentage of people willing to do all it takes to reach their goal, fulfill their dreams and live the kind of life they desire.
Sadly, Piana fainted in his house on the 7th of August 2017 while his girlfriend (Jansen) was giving him a haircut. After several efforts to resuscitate him, his heartbeat restored but his brain already suffered some damages due to lack of oxygen. He was then put in an induced coma to reduce the swelling in his brain. Unfortunately, he never woke up from that coma as he died on the 25th of August 2017 aged forty-six (46).
After his death, an autopsy showed that his liver and heart weighed twice the size of an average adult which was a result of his steroid use. The autopsy report was inconclusive as they couldn’t determine the actual cause and manner of death. His remains were interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California.
Rich Piana’s Net Worth – How Much Did He Have At The Time Of His Death?
Piana competed in bodybuilding championships on an off for twenty-five years. A substantial amount of his net worth came from the championships he won.
After his official retirement from competition, he became an entrepreneur. He started his personal nutrition product called ‘Rich Piana: 5% Nutrition’. He began a vlog on YouTube where he had some special guest appearances and shared motivational and personal life stories. He already had a substantial amount of followers before his demise which also contributed to his earnings.
By the time of his death, Rich Piana’s net worth was estimated to be $4 million.