Home Steroids & Sport Lou Ferrigno Steroids: Did the Incredible Hulk Take Anabolic Drugs?

Lou Ferrigno Steroids: Did the Incredible Hulk Take Anabolic Drugs?

Posted by admin in Steroids & Sport Category. Reviewed and Updated: 1 July, 2019

Lou Ferrigno (aka Lou, “the Hulk”) is one of the famous bodybuilders of the last century who motivates the young generation even now. Thanks to his outstanding physique, success, and recognizability. He acts in films, television series and cameos playing Hulk, a paramedic (Trauma Center, 1983), a regular on King of Queens, etc. Like many other bodybuilders, Lou Ferrigno likely used steroids.

Biography of Lou Ferrigno

The history of this incredibly talented and scrupulous athlete began on November 9, 1951, in Brooklyn (New York). From the beginning, Louis Ferrigno’s life was accompanied by hardships. When Lou was only 3 years old, he suffered a severe ear infection which caused him to lose 80 percent of his hearing because the disease was not treated properly. Later, his partial deafness became the cause of school bullying and ridicule. But that urged him to go to the gym. A coach said that because of the boy’s weak parameters, he doubted he could achieve anything.

After that, Lou unleashed his full potential and began to work with iron in a basement converted to a gym. The guy’s determination soon produced its results, and after a while, Lou turned into a real athlete. At 16, he had remarkable parameters and started to train in a real gym. At 18, he won the Mr. America title, 4 years after he received an honorary award: IFBB Mr. Universe. This was an unrivaled case for such an age; he became the youngest owner of this award in the history of this contest.

Dedicated workouts and extra special determination made him a leading bodybuilder and the key opponent in rivalry with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 1975, Lou lost in the competition “Mr. Olympia” following by his decision to take a pause in hard training and take part in the program “Superstars”. There he was a participant of the Canadian football team.

In 1976, the inimitable athlete returned to bodybuilding and worked hard to conquer new Olymp — Mr. Olympia competition. He got into shape quickly, Lou was ready for the competition, but at that moment he received an offer which he could not repudiate: he was asked to play the role of Hulk in “The Incredible Hulk” (1978 TV series) along with Bill Bixby, Jack Colvin, Charles Napier, and Ted Cassidy (as a narrator).

In the 90s, the bearded guy returned to the pro bodybuilding, but he visited only tournaments for old stagers. Initially, Lou was prophesied as having a promising future with many victories in bodybuilding. Pundits predicted that Ferrigno would outperform Arnie. Although they considered him the youngest and most real pretender, that never happened.

The antagonism between star athletes — Schwarzenegger and Ferrigno — remained forever. When Lou quit his bodybuilding career, he worked as a gym instructor. Among his trainees were such celebrities as Michael Jackson, Chuck Norris and Mickey Rourke.

In one interview, the ex-bodybuilder said he owed his personal development to musclebuilding, which had taught him to sustain exorbitant loads and to focus on the pre-established objectives. The athlete added that being involved in the sport had made him more persistent, hardworking, and self-reliant while being aware of his own drawbacks and treating himself objectively. Because of bodybuilding, he had stopped perceiving himself as an underdog or an outcast. The sport had increased his self-esteem, which had helped him radically alter his attitude towards himself.

Lou Ferrigno in Cinematography

Acting in movies and participating in TV shows were other important aspects of Ferrigno’s life which he managed to interweave into his sports career. He gained popularity as a movie star due to playing the part of Hulk (a giant) in “The Incredible Hulk” series in 1978-1982. Despite Lou’s huge success in the realm of cinematography (he starred in 20 films) he faced some difficulties on the set caused by his hearing disorder. To help the actor cope with the problem and perceive his colleagues’ counter replies properly, a hired professional taught him how to understand peoples’ words by their lip movements. Later, when the celebrity used hearing aids, no one noticed his impaired hearing problem

In 1983, Luigi Cozzi invited Lou to play the main character in “Hercules”, which was another successful project in the athlete’s movie career. He sometimes appeared on the screen together with his wife Carla who co-acted with her world-famous husband in “The Seven Magnificent Gladiators” (an Italian peplum film), “The Adventures of Hercules” (a sequel to “Hercules”), “Black Roses”, and “Sinbad: The Legend of the Seven Seas”, an Italian fantasy film, released in 1989. All the films added to Ferrigno’s popularity.

However, Lou’s roles were not always appreciated. Thus, the anti-prize “Golden Raspberry” was given to him two times (the worst new star and the worst actor) for his Hercules role.

Lou Ferrigno and Steroids

In different interviews, Lou spoke against the use of anabolic steroids. But he admitted that he had experimented with anabolic steroids when preparing for competitions and said that about 90 percent of bodybuilders used anabolics both before and after the competition. Anabolics were legal steroids at that time.

The athlete can be blamed (although not wholly) for the popularization of anabolics. The “anabolic steroids rebellion” among bodybuilders and other athletes took place during the 1970s. In bodybuilding, that was because of a sharp jump in muscle mass, starting with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, and Francesco (alias “Franco”) Columbu. In 1990, the US parliamentary body included anabolic steroids on the list of “controlled substances”. In Canada, due to a doping scandal with Ben Johnson (Benjamin Sinclair Johnson) at the Olympics in Seoul (South Korean Capital), the Criminal Code of Canada introduced a responsibility for steroids’ usage. Benjamin’s gold medal was later rescinded.

Lou’s Steroid Cycle


If Lou took steroids, his steroid cycle might have included the following medicines:

  • Dianabol. In the 1970s, it was the basic oral steroid that was used in combination with Nandrolone. It helps to increase muscle mass while improving power performance. This is an alpha-alkyled steroids with tweaks in its chemical structure which decrease affinity for binding globulins like SHBG, hence it can act more freely and strongly.
  • Deca Durabolin. The main active component of this drug is Nandrolone decanoate. This anabolic steroid is typically used with Dianabol to skyrocket muscle mass gaining. It helps to build a giant-like musculature, thanks to it, athletes look like mammoths.
  • Primobolan. Primo was used in the 1970s as a steroid for cutting, they also included it in the accumulation cycles in the form of a mild anti-estrogen. However, Primobolan is much more suited for cutting phases.

This cycle just represents our surmises. There is no proven substantiation.