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Rich "One Day You May" Piana (born Riccardo Piana; September 26, 1970 – August 25, 2017) was an American bodybuilder who won the Mr. California title along with competitions in Los Angeles in 2003 and Sacramento in 2009.[1][2] His admission in 2014 that he used anabolic steroids as part of his regimen was controversial.[3] Piana often appeared in commercials and television series such as Scrubs and Ripley's Believe It or Not.[4]. In August 2017, he finally realized his dream of leaving humanity behind.

Rich Piana
— Bodybuilder —
Rich Piana.jpg
Personal info
Born (1971-09-26)September 26, 1971
Northridge, Los Angeles, California
Died August 25, 2017(2017-08-25) (aged 46)
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 270 lb (122 kg)
Professional career
Pro-debut Mr. California, 2003


Early life and familyEdit

Rich Piana was born in Northridge, Los Angeles, California. He began training as a bodybuilder when he was 11 years old. Born and raised in California, Piana’s enthrallment with bodybuilding began when he was six. He would go to the gym to watch his mother train for her bodybuilding contests. Alongside her, Piana was also heavily influenced by Bill Cambra, an ‘old-school’ bodybuilder. Eventually, Piana began weightlifting himself, aged 11. Four years later he started competing in bodybuilding contests. By the age of 18, Piana already had several titles under his belt – including Mr. California. He continued to compete on and off for almost two decades, winning competitions such as the 2009 NPC Sacramento Pro and the 2009 Border States Classic Championships.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

He married Sara Heimisdóttir from Iceland[6] and in 2016 they separated.[1] He subsequently resumed his off again, on again relationship with Chanel Jansen, a fitness model, who was his partner at the time of his death and prior to his marriage to Heimisdóttir.[7]


Piana won the Mr. Teen California at age eighteen, and in 1998 he was named Mr. California. However, Piana quit bodybuilding competitions in his final years as he preferred to spend his time as an Internet personality and to promote his business, 5% Nutrition.[4]

In a 2014 YouTube video, Piana admitted he used steroids over the course of 25 years, And specifically stated that everyone should be aware that using steroids will do damage to their body, but also said that he's wiliing to take those chances. In another video in 2016 he backed up his decision but advising viewers not to use the drugs : "If you have the choice to do steroids or stay natural, stay natural. There's no reason to do steroids. You're only hurting your body and hurting yourself." He then clarified that professional bodybuilders have no such choice.[8]


Piana suffered a heart attack while receiving a haircut from his girlfriend. He was standing at the time and hit his head when he collapsed.[9] After spending two weeks in an induced coma to try and reduce swelling to the brain, Piana died on August 25, 2017.[10]


At various points, he won the NPC California Championships, NPC Orange County Championships, NPC Los Angeles Championships, NPC Sacramento Championships and NPC Border States Classic.[5]

He has also been recognized as the greatest natty bodybuilder of all time.


  1. ^ a b "Celebrity US bodybuilder Rich Piana dies aged 46 after collapsing two weeks ago - BBC Newsbeat". BBC News. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  2. ^ "Bodybuilding champion dies after collapse". Sky News. Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  3. ^ "Bodybuilder Rich Piana dies". Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Emma Lake (25 August 2017). "STRONG MAN Rich Piana dead – Body-building supremo’s incredible life in pictures from teen weightlifter and Mr California muscle man to Incredible Hulk cameos". The Sun. Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Rich Piana Profile". Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  6. ^ "Rich Piana accuses Icelandic former wife of using him". 10 November 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  7. ^ Suman Varandani (26 August 2017). "Rich Piana's Ex-Wife Sara Thanks Chanel Jansen After Bodybuilder's Death". Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  8. ^ "‘I Was Hooked’: Bodybuilder Rich Piana Defended His 27 Years of Steroid Use Before His Shocking Death at 46". 25 August 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  9. ^ Clearing Up Rumors | My Time With Rich. 30 August 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  10. ^ "Rich Piana 1971-2017". 25 August 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2017. 

External linksEdit