It all seems like too much. The perfectly coiffed hair. The millions of dollars—stashed away from years of TV and hundreds of photo shoots. The veritable castle in sunny Southern California. The loyal huskies who come to the gym with him every day, walk on the treadmill beside him, and never seem to bark.
The self-satisfied smirk in all those social media pics (and God knows he posts enough of them). But if you looked like Mike O’Hearn, you’d probably be smirking all day, too. Because at 46 years old, the 6’3″ O’Hearn is a rock-solid 262 pounds of perfectly shaped muscle, shredded right down to a year-round body fat percentage of six.
Yet for all the gifts that have been bestowed on Mike O’Hearn, the rest of us mere mortals can always take solace in the fact that we know how he really got these muscles and what he does to maintain them, right? Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Except Mike O’Hearn swears up and down, on the bible, and on the grave of your choosing, that he is and always has been natural.
Could He Really Be Natural?
When they hear it, would-be fans turn away in disbelief. They take to message boards and cry bullshit. Because most of us have our own ideas of what one man can have, and by any standard, O’Hearn has too much. You can’t be one of the most celebrated fitness models of all time, with strength to match your aesthetics and fashion-model face—and longevity to top it all—and still be natural.
“I was 270 pounds as a 16-year-old,” O’Hearn says with a laugh. “I’ve been hearing ‘you’re on steroids’ my whole life. I was always the same weight, really. What I learned how to do over the years was take the fat off while keeping my muscle.”
If classmates wondered about him at 16, the rest of the world’s been wondering about him—and eager to knock him down a peg—ever since he appeared as Thor on the first run of American Gladiators in the early ’90s. Many of O’Hearn’s cast mates later admitted to using steroids, thus implicating him by association.
But O’Hearn always maintained that he was natural, even though he was bigger and stronger than his juiced-up colleagues. When he went on to become the only member of the original cast to appear in the 2008 reboot—this time as Titan, and in even better shape—it made you scratch your head even more.