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Several bodybuilders have taken to social media to pay tribute to Rich Piana amid unconfirmed reports he has passed away after spending more than two weeks in a coma.
Friend and fellow social media body building star Bradley Martin posted the following photo with himself and Piana earlier today.
REST IN PEACE 🙏
Piana’s ex-wife Sara confirmed the news: “I’m in tears writing this that @1dayumay has passed away. I can hardly believe this…I am so saddened and heartbroken that he didn’t make it.”
So far, neither Piana’s partner of company have confirmed the reports, but hundreds of other tributes have been posted online.
Professional bodybuilder Dan Fine posted a tribute saying, “RIP to my great brother in iron @1dayumay #richpiana. Love you brother and I know you’re crushing it at the Great Gym in the Sky. You’ve left behind a legion of friends and fans the world over.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Piana Had Been Placed In a Medically Induced Coma
Piana collapsed in his home on Monday, August 7, while his girlfriend, Chanel Jansen, was giving him a haircut. According to Daily Mail, Piana, 46, lost consciousness and hit his head as he fell. Jansen called 911 and reported that Piana had suffered a possible overdose according to Daily Mail.
When medics arrived, Piana was unresponsive and was transported to a nearby hospital where he was placed in a medically induced coma, according to TMZ.
According to TMZ, Jansen administered CPR to Piana until help arrived.
2. Piana is a Former Mr. California
Piana won Mr. California in 1998. He won the overall with a perfect score.
Piana also placed first in the Sacramento Pro and the Border States Classic XXX Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships in 2009. He took 11th at the NPC USA Championships in 2003 and 7th in 1999. He had a record bench press of 495 lbs.( 3 reps) and record squat of 585 lbs. (2 reps).
According to a Deadspin article, Piana ate nine meals a day along with drinking gigantic protein shakes.
After his competitive days were over, Piana started investing his time in business and acting. Piana started several businesses including a clothing line company, supplement company and a food prep delivery company.
Piana cited his mother and Bill Cambra as influences.
“All those monsters at Golds Gym when I was 6-years-old,” said Piana. ” Bill Cambra was the biggest influence and we are still in touch to this day!”
3. Piana Had a Gigantic Social Media Following
Piana, who posted many pictures of himself training and pictures with his girlfriend, has over 1.2 million followers on Instagram. He also has nearly 1.2 million followers on his Facebook page.
Piana also hosted a YouTube channel, where many of his videos routinely get 200,000 or more views.
In addition to pictures and videos, Piana posts advertisements for his 5% Nutrition products. The mission statement for 5% Nutrition reads as follows:
The 5% Nutrition mission is to provide the best possible supplements for the best possible results to help you be the best possible version of you. Leading ingredients backed by research combined with high end quality, formulated and manufactured in a cutting-edge, technologically advanced facility.
Piana’s net worth is an estimated $2.5 million, according to Mirror.
4. Piana’s Girlfriend Is a Fitness Model
Piana’s girlfiend, Chanel Jansen, who phoned 911 after Piana collapsed, is a fitness model.
Jansen also spent time in Las Vegas as a blackjack dealer on the strip. While she doesn’t have quite the following that Piana has, she has built a large following on her Instagram account as well.
Jansen has her own YouTube channel where she shares videos called “Our Travels,” which highlight vacations that she and Piana spent together.
Jansen’s and Piana’s most recent travel video:
Piana was previously married to Sara Heimis. The two decided to split up after nearly one year of marriage. Piana released a video accusing Heimis of marrying him so she could obtain a green card, according to Inquisitr.
5. Piana Admitted to Taking Steroids Since He Was a Teen
Piana, whose mother was a body-builder in Los Angeles, California, got introduced to the world of weightlifting when he was just 11-years-old, after going to the gym to watch her train, according to Daily Mail. He began weightlifting shortly after, and competed for the first time at age 15.
After a few unsuccessful competitions, Piana turned to steroids to help him bulk up at around age 18.
In one of his training videos, Piana explained his choice, saying, “If you have the choice to steroids or stay natural, stay natural stay natural. There’s no reason to do steroids, you’re only hurting your body and hurting yourself. But if you want to become a professional bodybuilder, guess what? You’re probably going to have to f**cking do them, you’re not going to have a choice. That’s the boat I was in.”
“I was competing on stage and I was getting to the point where I was getting blown off stage if I wasn’t going to do steroids, so I took that step.”
Piana estimates that he was spending $2,500 on growth hormone per month, without even taking steroids into account, according to Daily Mail.