Calum Von Moger is an Australian bodybuilder who is currently playing the role of Arnold Schwarzenegger in an upcoming biopic of the Weider family called “Bigger”.
One thing that many casual observers have noted is the striking similarity between Calum and the Oak.
Calum may never emulate Arnold’s dominance of the bodybuilding scene, but that is not necessarily down to talent. Bodybuilding has moved on a lot since the 70s and 80s (and arguably for the worst).
As with any bodybuilder, questions have begun to be asked about whether Moger is 100% natural, or whether steroids, growth hormone, and many other performance enhancing drugs may have had an influence on his impressive physique. This article will look to examine the facts and help you to draw your own conclusions.
Calum Von Moger Biography
Calum Von Moger was born in Victoria, Australia in 1990. His family were a mix of Austrian and Dutch which explains his exotic name.
According to his website, he grew up on a small farm until his family moved to a larger town. He started training at age 14 with his older brother.
During high school he would spend his days either at school, training, or eating food high in protein in an effort to overcome his average genetics (he was a self confessed skinny kid).
After high school Calum found it difficult to settle on a career, an article in The Australian  says that:
“Like many young men, Van Moger spent a few years drifting after finishing high school. He tried studying, the army, skippering yachts, he failed to get into animal husbandry, tried landscaping, health food stores, lifesaving, adventure tour guiding. Then the realisation hit: if he couldn’t go to the gym then he didn’t actually want any of these jobs”.
It seems that Calum was always intent on pursuing his bodybuilding career, and eventually realised that in his line of work you had to be pretty dedicated to it.
Nobody has ever won a bodybuilding event with one foot out of the door! If he wanted fame and success he would have to dedicate his life to it.
In 2010 this decision paid dividends when Calum won his first bodybuilding competition at the age of 20.
In 2011 he competed and won his first Jr Mr Universe title . What’s interesting is that Calum has decided to stick with the World Fitness Federation, a bodybuilding federation that favours good aesthetics over mass.
Mr Universe may not have the same gravitas as Mr Olympia, but for lovers of the 1970s aesthetics of Arnold Schwarzenegger et al it truly is the only federation worth considering.
Signing for WFF has allowed Calum to build his body in a similar fashion to his idols, and has led to him getting the nickname Arnold 2.0 thanks to his uncanny likeness for the legend.
In 2014 Calum’s hard work paid off when he won the Mr Universe competition, off the back of this success his fame has massively increased and he now has a huge social media following, is constantly on the covers of well known physique magazines, and he gets articles written about whether or not he’s on steroids all the time! (But obviously none of them are as good as this one … right?).
What are Steroids?
Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) are mostly synthetic (but sometimes natural) hormones that are taken to stimulate protein synthesis, improve recovery, and ultimately build bigger, stronger muscles.
Some steroids are used to improve athletic performance, but due to the high rate of drug testing the use of steroids for sports is quite rare compared to bodybuilding.
There are three main types of anabolic androgenic steroids, they each have different benefits and are taken for different reasons.
There are bulking steroids, cutting steroids, and steroids that are designed to help improve athletic performance.
The most well known bulking steroids are Trenbolone (often called Tren), Deca Durabolin (called Deca), and Testosterone. There are others too.
Bulking steroids are designed to help you grow bigger, stronger muscles, and are commonly used by bodybuilders.
Obviously, they are used during bulking cycles, where bodybuilders will maintain a calorie surplus (eat more calories than they burn) and look to build as much mass as possible.
Two of the most common cutting steroids are Anavar and Clenbuterol.
Technically, Clenbuterol isn’t a steroid, but is in fact a stimulant similar to Ephedrine.
Cutting steroids are used to massively increase thermogenesis, which raises your metabolism and leads to a high calorie burn throughout the day.
This can help bodybuilders and physique athletes create a calorie deficit and lose body fat.
Cutting steroids are used before a competition when the bodybuilder is attempting to get as lean as possible.
There are a couple of steroids that are taken to improve sporting performance. Winstrol and Testosterone are usually taken to increase power, improve recovery, and generally train harder and better than the competition.
Other performance enhancing drugs that don’t qualify as steroids are also taken, for example human growth hormone.
As you can see there are a lot of steroids available out there, we have barely scratched the surface!
Tren, Deca, Testosterone, Clen, Anavar, Winstrol, are well known in bodybuilding circles, but there are many more.
But it’s not just steroids that are taken by bodybuilders and physique athletes. There are many drugs taken such as Insulin. Used by millions of Diabetics across the world, Insulin is used by bodybuilders for two reasons.
- They take it before a workout to increase stamina and allow them to train at a higher intensity.
- Bodybuilders also take it after a workout to stimulate protein synthesis immediately.
Another common drug taken by bodybuilders is Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
It is anabolic, and can increase muscle protein synthesis and increase your metabolism – in other words HGH will leave you more muscular and with less body fat!
Often physique models who need to maintain a six pack 365 days per year for work will take HGH.
Benefits of Steroids
If real drug testing ever took place on bodybuilders, proper WADA drug testing rather than the type that are used on physique models (natural bodybuilders) there wouldn’t be a single bodybuilder in the IFBB who passed.
That’s the reality of bodybuilding these days and you need to be aware of this. You can’t train at the level that bodybuilders do without drugs. Nor could you reach the size that they reach.
Steroids allow bodybuilders to train harder, for longer, and more frequently than non assisted lifters.
They can come back from injuries much quicker thanks to drugs like HGH, they can gain more muscle thanks to Testosterone, and they can burn fat better with the help of Clenbuterol.
Competing in professional bodybuilding without the assistance of steroids and similar performance enhancing drugs is like competing in a 100m race in high heels, technically possible, but you’re not going to reach the top.
When it comes to building muscle, steroids give bodybuilders a clear advantage.
Studies have shown that taking testosterone can lead to increased muscle mass and reduced body fat. A study by Nordstrom et al (2012) in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that athletes using steroids reported superior muscle mass and lowered adipose tissue .
A similar study in 2014 by Yu et al found that long term supplementation of Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) led to increased lean mass, increased muscle fibre size, and increased strength . It does this through increased muscle protein synthesis, which was pointed out in a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 1989 .
If you have two men who eat the same calories, are the same weight, and who both train daily then give one access to every single performance enhancing drug available to competitive bodybuilders and leave the other drug free, you will see a marked difference in what they are able to achieve and the results they get.
The drug taking lifter will be able to train for longer, will be able to train at a higher intensity, and will be able to recover faster from each session.
If they both attempted to lift the exact same weights, the drug taking lifter would feel less fatigued the next day, and their recovery would be superior.
Over a month, even if they trained exactly the same way (which would be almost impossible) the drug assisted lifter would see better results due to an increased protein synthesis threshold.
Staying drug free and competing with the best bodybuilders in the world is just not viable.
Common Signs of Steroid Abuse
Before accusing someone of steroids, it is important to examine the evidence. It’s not always easy to tell if people are on steroids or not.
Many people think it is, and of course in extreme cases it is, but just because someone has big muscles or a six pack, that does not necessarily mean that they are on steroids.
But also, you can have the signs of taking steroids without taking steroids. Acne, baldness, small testicles – all achievable without steroids (trust us).
On the other hand, you can be taking steroids without suffering from any of the side effects – most bodybuilders who take steroids are either experts themselves, or they are getting coached by someone who is!
Still, it’s worth talking about some common side effects as they can be an indication of steroid abuse.
The first thing that you want to do (if possible) is compare photos of their physique now to when they first started out. How much muscle mass did they put on? In what time frame?
You can build a lot of muscle quite quickly if you start training as a teenager, but there’s still a limit that natural bodybuilders can reach.
If your suspect has built more than is realistic for a non assisted lifter, then there is a strong possibility that they have received assistance from performance enhancing drugs.
Acne or needle marks are another example, flushed skin, and ridiculous vascularity are also possible examples.
HGH can lead to swollen looking fingers, a more masculine jawline, and the infamous HGH gut – where you get mild bloating around the abdomen.
Again, these symptoms will not affect everyone. More aesthetic bodybuilders will actively try to prevent this by taking less HGH, but in bodybuilders looking for mass it’s a sacrifice that they are willing to take.
Is Calum Von Moger Using Steroids?
Yes, he absolutely is taking steroids …
Usually we try to be more diplomatic in our answers, we’re very aware that we are discussing people’s lives and questioning their integrity when we write articles like this. You can never be 100% certain about whether a person is taking steroids or not …
Unless they specifically admit to taking steroids while doing a podcast. Which is exactly what Calum Von Moger did in an interview with Generation Iron Fitness & Bodybuilding Network.
What this means is that Calum has taken steroids to achieve his physique. This is not surprising, his body is massively muscled and insanely ripped year round.
He has created a similar size and aesthetic to Arnold Schwarzenegger who has also admitted steroid use during his career.
What is surprising is that Calum admitted it, this took a lot of guts and a lot of integrity. It is a shame that more bodybuilders haven’t felt able to do the same.
Partly there are the legal issues, then there are endorsement issues. Calum may have given up quite a bit of potential money from supplement companies by admitting to taking steroids.
But we’re in a crazy situation right now, where all bodybuilders are taking steroids, all the fans know it, all the supplement companies and federations know it, yet everyone has to walk around pretending that the sport is drug free. Madness!
Calum is a great bodybuilder with an excellent future in front of him. We wish him the best of luck.
How to Gain Muscle and Strength without Steroids?
It is certainly possible to build muscle without the use of steroids.
Increasing the intensity of your workouts would be a good start, as would getting adequate nutrition from your diet.
There are also supplements available that can mimic the effects of anabolic steroids, but without the side effects.
Crazy Bulk is our preferred choice. They sell a number of legal steroid alternatives, including D-Bal, which is a safe and legal alternative to Dianabol.
Made from proven ingredients that include BCAAs, Whey Protein Concentrate and Tribulus Terrestris. Using D-Bal can increase nitrogen retention within your body, which in turn helps to increase protein synthesis.
Benefits on offer include:
- An increase in muscle and strength gains
- Improved endurance
- More nitrogen retained
- Improved blood flow due to the additional oxygen sent to muscles
If you are in any doubt about the effectiveness of D-Bal you just need to visit the Crazy Bulk website to read the testimonials available that prove these claims.