Professional Bodybuilder Rich Piana Passes Away at Age 46

In a truly saddening turn of events, the strength sports community is mourning the loss of professional bodybuilder Rich Piana. NY Daily News is reporting that Piana passed away unexpectedly earlier this morning after being in a coma for two weeks.

Piana’s wife Chanel recently tweeted, “I’m in tears writing this that @1dayumay has just passed away. I can can hardly believe this… I am so saddened & heartbroken that he didn’t make it.”

On August 10th, news broke that the 46 year old professional bodybuilder was rushed to the hospital due to health complications. Reports say that Piana had lost consciousness in his bathroom, and his wife Chanel was unable to catch him. When she called 911, they advised her to perform CPR, but she was unable to. Piana was then placed in a coma, which is where he’s remained the last two weeks. Exact details behind his medical complications and passing are still uncertain, and won’t be confirmed until the official biopsy takes place.

This loss comes with great sadness for the strength community. Piana was a professional bodybuilder known for his bodybuilding prowess, large presence on social media, acting career, and personal businesses. In addition, Piana featured heavily in the new “Generation Iron 2” documentary.

Many strength athletes have posted photos with Piana accompanied with lengthy descriptions mourning his death. Piana’s friend professional bodybuilder Phil Heath was one of the first to break the news in an Instagram post.

Heath wrote in his post’s description, “Just woke up at 2:30am to a few messages on my phone…I thought maybe this was all just a bad dream. This has been a very sad and heartbreaking week for many of us. May you rest in perfect peace Rich @1dayumay. I know my brother Dallas @dallasmccarver was there to welcome you.”

“May god rest your soul. My deepest condolences to @c_no5 , Rich’s family, friends and all of his Fans. We must celebrate his life and pray for the families of Rich And Dallas…may they find peace and understanding during this tragic time. Please keep your comments respectful.”

Piana is the second major named bodybuilder to pass this week. On Tuesday, Dallas McCarver was also pronounced dead. We’re sending our thoughts and prayer to Piana’s loved ones, friends, and family.

Feature image from @1dayumay Instagram page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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