Did Helmut Strebl Take Steroids to Get Shredded?

Helmut Strebl is an Austrian bodybuilder who’s so ripped he regularly goes viral across social media…and is regarded by many as the most shredded guy alive.

He’s literally so peeled, he would’ve given Andreas Münzer a run for his money back in the day. For the unaware, Münzer was famous for having extremely low levels of body fat and taking large quantities of diuretics.

Like a fine wine, Helmut has got better with age. As time’s gone on, he’s got even more shredded (which is pretty much the opposite to every other human on the planet). This vast improvement is well reflected in his competition honours, becoming the European and World Miami Pro champion 5 times in the last 6 years.

Helmut has proven that age isn’t a valid excuse and that it’s never too late to get in the best shape of your life.

He spends his days personal training, performing motivational speeches, as well as competing in various bodybuilding federations.

…He also appeared in Madonna’s official music video of Sorry (check it out below).


Helmut Strebl is quite literally ripped to the bone, resulting in many gym rats accusing him of taking steroids via online forums and social media. Is it really possible to be that shredded at 49 years of age without taking steroids?

Lets take a quick look at his stats before we investigate the Austrian.

Helmut Strebl Stats

Age – 49 (as of 2017)

Height – 6ft 3

Weight – 205-215lbs

Body fat – 3%

Strong stats indeed.

Helmut Strebl Claims Natty

On Helmut’s about page on his official website, he states:

“I am a life time natural body builder. I’ve never used steroids or any other banned or illegal physique enhancing drugs.”

From my experience of analyzing people on Aretheyonsteroids.com, I’ve found that generally those that claim natural – usually are. And those who are taking steroids, almost always try and steer clear of the topic.

This doesn’t give evidence for him actually being natural as he could be lying, however in order for me to believe he’s juicing, I’ll have to see some substantial evidence.

Body Composition

In terms of muscle hypertrophy (size), Helmut Strebl is pretty jacked. He’s no Ronnie Coleman, but he sure looks big with his top off.

Equally, his muscle mass is nothing too freaky. This size is possible to achieve with great genetics and there are several people I’ve analysed before who are of a similar size (and natural), or even bigger than this.

It’s also worth pointing out that Helmut isn’t bloated, got flushed skin, have gyno or have overdeveloped traps/deltoids. However, he is extremely vascular – resembling a human roadmap. This could be down to steroid-use or genetics (having thinner skin).

Not only is Helmut Strebl extremely lean, but some say he’s also insanely dry.

In some pictures he looks like if he were to spit on the floor he’d probably die from dehydration.

However, this is often a wrong assumption; he’s not dry – he’s just incredibly shredded. I know this because he looks in a similar condition all year round. When you manipulate your water levels for a competition or take steroids with diuretic properties, you’ll get super dry…but you’ll only be able to maintain this look for a small period of time.

After 24 hours of being dehydrated your body starts to retain a truck load of water. And after you finish running steroids like winstrol or anavar which flush out significant amounts of water – you’ll smooth out again.

It’s like when guys who are competing say, “ah I’m retaining a bit of water here.”

Um no, you’re retaining a bit of FAT.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you can be retaining water, but most of the time it’s a case of a person not being lean enough in the first place. Thus being extremely lean gives the illusion of being dry.

So from looking at Helmut’s body, there’s nothing that jumps out to me and shouts STEROIDS, apart from the fact he’s got exceptional vascularity. Steroids can cause you to look more veiny due to an increase in red blood cell count and by thinning your skin. However, because he’s 49 years old his collagen levels will have decreased significantly, meaning it’s natural for him to be a lot more vascular compared to his 25 year old self.

Evidence He is Natural 

If there’s one thing that makes me think Helmut is natural, it’s how ripped and defined he is.

Some may argue:

He’s shredded BECAUSE he’s taken steroids, whereas I’d argue that BECAUSE he’s shredded he HAS to be natural.

Let me explain.

Natural guys will almost ALWAYS retain less water than those on steroids. There seems to be a direct correlation between nature and water retention. If you cut out processed and salty foods you’ll lose water. If you go gluten-free you’ll lose water. Equally, if you take something harmful to the body, such as steroids – you’ll gain water. It doesn’t matter if you take diuretic steroids like trenbolone, you’ll still retain excess fluid. You might lose more water compared to other steroids but you’ll still gain some water weight.

To illustrate this point, lets compare Helmut Strebl vs Phil Heath – the driest and most shredded guy on the Mr Olympia stage. When Phil Heath’s competing, he’ll have almost identical levels of body fat to Helmut (around 3%). But, if we actually look at Helmut’s body in contrast to Phil’s (below) – there’s a big difference.

helmut strebl vs phil heath

Phil looks less dry and more smooth compared to Helmut, despite being at a similar body fat percentage.

Why is this you ask?

It’s because Phil’s on a load of different steroids and Helmut Strebl isn’t. As a result of taking harsh anabolic steroids and diuretics, Phil’s body will consequently retain some fluid compared to if he was 100% natural

To prove this point, here’s a picture of Phil when he was natty compared to when he’s competing at the Mr Olympia.

Bare in mind that Phil would’ve been at a lower body fat percentage (on the right) when trying to win the Mr Olympia trophy compared to one of his first ever amateur shows.

phil heath natural vs steroids

As you can see Phil looks just as defined if not more on the left (where he’s natty), compared to on the right where he’s actually leaner but also juicing.

If Phil were to be NATURALLY as lean and muscular as his older self (on the right), he’d look 5x more ripped than what he does now on the Olympia stage.

This is also why gym rats (who juice) generally look less aesthetic compared to those who are natty. If you’re not taking drugs, you’ll have less subcutaneous water retention hiding your muscle definition. Plus you won’t be bloated or have a distended steroid gut.

Competition History

Helmut has competed with popular federations such as Miami Pro and Musclemania, however none of these organizations perform rigorous or random drug tests, so this gives us no further evidence in knowing whether he’s natural.

Verdict: Natty

It’s a shame I couldn’t find any photos of Helmut when he was younger to track his progress over the years, as that can often be very telling in whether someone’s natural or not. However, I’m confident this verdict is correct as he has no visual steroid symptoms and doesn’t appear to be retaining fluid like a typical steroid-user.

Helmut Strebl simply has awesome genetics; not just in the sense of building muscle but also in regards to the thickness of his skin. He has paper-thin skin, helping his muscles appear even more ripped, whilst displaying crazy vascularity.

He also isn’t overly muscular; proving that if your body fat is low, you don’t have to be the size of Dorian Yates to look jacked. This is due to the combination of having a tiny waist, epic muscle definition and countless veins/striations…which just makes everything look more impressive.

Helmut is a perfect example of how you can get shredded at any age, if you’re willing to diet harder than any other man alive and train like a real-life Saiyan.

I read somewhere that he eats chicken and rice 3 times a day. Every day.

…On that note, if I see him at a bodybuilding expo – I’m buying him a cheeseburger.

Still Have Questions?

Drop us a comment down below and one of our expert coaches will respond to it, you can also email is at coaching@muscleandbrawn.com.

Ernst Peibst

Ernst Peibst has spent over 3,000 hours researching anabolic steroids and PED's. He's also dedicated the last 7 years educating people about their effects, with hundreds of thousands of people reading his articles. He's studied countless science papers, read several expert books and has consulted some of the finest doctors in the world - on the topic of steroids.
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