Hulk Hogan: Train, Say Your Prayers and Take Steroids
By Millard Baker
Terry Bollea, also known as Hulk Hogan, reflects on the hypocrisy surrounding his use of anabolic steroids in his second autobiography – “Hulk Hogan: My Life Outside the Ring”. Bollea used steroids for decades beginning in 1975 according to his first autobiography – “Hollywood Hulk Hogan” – published in 2002. Hulk Hogan hid his steroid use from his fans even going as far as publicly denying using steroids on the late-night Arsenio Hall Show in 1991. However, the truth about his steroid use was made public during the the Vince McMahon steroid trial in 2004. Bollea was subpoenaed to testify against his employer and admitted, under the penalty of perjury, to using anabolic steroids.
Hulk Hogan acknowledges in “Hulk Hogan: My Life Outside the Ring” that his trademark advice to fans was hypocritical:
“It’s also weird to think about the fact that I was doing all of this — and the steroids — while telling all of my young fans week after week, ‘Train, say your prayers, and take your vitamins.’ That line was like my own Bob Barker catchphrase. I threw that sentiment out into the world day after day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that message. It’s a great message. It was just a little bit hypocritical that my activities behind the scenes didn’t match the role-model persona I was putting out there,” Hogan writes. “I’m glad I did it, though. Putting that kind of positive message out there to millions of kids is one of the least self-centered things I did in all those years. I put it right up there with visiting kids for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other charity work I did. Throwing that kind of positive vibe out into the universe can only bring positive things in return.”
Filmmaker Chris Bell revealed in a interview that the revelation that Hulk Hogan used steroids was one of the main factors leading to his disillusionment with professional wrestling. Hulk Hogan’s hypocrisy regarding his public statements to fans regarding training, praying and taking vitamins were a major backdrop for Bell’s 2008 documentary about steroids in society entitled “Bigger Stronger Faster*“:
“The second thing was finding out they all did steroids. I always used to give the guys a benefit of a doubt even back when I started training at 16 years old. There’s no way! Hulk Hogan just wouldn’t do that. He’s a real American. He stands for what’s right. Then they go out on these TV shows… All these wrestlers and athletes alike are using this common ground excuse “Yeah I did steroids but I only tried it for a little bit.” But anyone in the know realizes that you don’t just get 24-inch pythons from taking your vitamins.”
Hulk Hogan nonetheless remains hopeful that his positive messages and activities overshadow the hypocrisy surrounding his steroid use.