Pham Vu, who is also better known as Pham Woodbridge, is an American Bodybuilder and fitness model who is going to get evaluated and based on evidences that I am going to find throughout this article – determine if he is used steroids or not for achieving the physique that we can see. Although his real name is Pham Vu, he is known as Pham Woodbridge because of an error that has been made in an online interview of a popular bodybuilding website a few years ago. He was called Pham Woodbridge, but his real surname is Vu. Woodbridge was actually the name of the city he was living in at that time.
So, Pham Vu has been born and bred in the USA and he is resembling a smaller version of the Japanese IFBB pro Hidetada Yamagishi (for those who don’t know who Hidetada Yamagishi is – I am going to share a link at the end of article).
Pham Vu is not as popular as other bodybuilders, nonetheless, he is still quite a popular guy as he is having 150 k of followers on his Instagram account and as much as I found, he has gained a lot of famousness after bodybuilding.com has featured him as their bodyspace member of the month where people where particularly admiring his abs and trap development. After that, he has attracted even more eyeballs after his interview with Simply Shredded.
So, even though a lot of people are speculation either is he natural or not, checking his body I can say this: if you wish to get as jacked as Pham is all naturally (without the use of steroids), I can say – it is definitely possible, nonetheless, first of all it would require some first class genetics and even if you do have them, it would require a lot of work to fulfill the genetic potential.
However, only because Pham is having a body that can be achieve without the use of steroids, it doesn’t mean that he never used them. That’s why, has Pham ever used steroids in order to get as jacked as he did, or he has simply won some of the genetic lottery? And obviously… has worked his butt off, obviously. Before continuing, let’s check
Pham Vu’s status:
at the age of 35 years old (as of 2019) he has a height of 5’5” and a weight of 150 lbs. It is obvious that checking these stats doesn’t sound like absolutely anything extraordinary. Having a height that is not very tall, he has a weight of only 150 – 155 lbs which is very light. That is why, it would seem like this amount of fat free mass is pretty possible to attain even without drugs, however, that stat is pretty deceptive as Pham’s height is only 5 ft 5. That’s why I think that it is actually pretty heavy for a guy when he is only 7% body fat.
I decided to check Pham’s body composition because very often those people who are using steroids are having at least a few symptoms on their body that can be seen with naked eye. Pham’s physique doesn’t immediately jump out as being a physique of a juicer, he’s not too big and doesn’t have steroids symptoms. This is the main reason why there are a lot of people who think that he is all natural and there are only few who think that he may still be using something. He is not bloated, he is not having a HGH gut and there is no gyno, however, he does have some cobra traps – the main reason why there are still some people thinking he might have used something.
The traps are much more susceptible to the growth when the person is on a steroid cycle and that’s because they are having much more androgen receptors than any other muscle groups. So, when a person starts running steroids – their traps and muscle groups with most androgen receptors will see most muscle gains. Therefore, when the testosterone levels are raising up – they are blowing up.
Having extraordinary big traps is a huge sign of taking steroids, but although Pham Vu does have big traps, I wouldn’t say there’s anything extraordinary. So, it is very possible to have very big traps and not to be on steroids as natural guys can also develop their traps too. With this being said, we started wondering if there are any other evidences that could suggest that Pham Vu has been juicing up.
As I very often said in numerous of my other articles on this website while analyzing other bodybuilders – the gains timeline is a very helpful way to determine if a person is natty or a juicer. The gains timeline is what most often gives away a steroid user. Since I couldn’t find any evidence of taking steroids checking his body composition, it is obvious I started to check his gains timeline. I wanted to see if Pham Vu’s gains timeline are any dubious or not and luckily, I did found photos of him taken in many different years with the oldest photo of him taken back in 1999. Below, you can see what Pham Vu was looking like when he never touched a dumbbell and then what he looked like 2 years after he started working out as the before photo was taken in 2003.
In the before photo which has been taken back in 1999, Pham has been only 15 years old and he never worked out. In the after photo he was already 19 years old and he was working out already. Here is his story. Pham Vu said that he has bumped into an old high school friend back in 2001 (which means that he has been 17 years old during that time) and he said that he was shocked to see how swole his friend was. He said that he was shocked and was immediately inspired by his friend’s transformation where he went from scrawny to buff, therefore Pham wanted to do the same and reach same results.
With this being said, we can see that Pham in the photo *before* has never been lifting weights but in the photo *after* we can see that he has finished his puberty period and has gained quite a good amount of size from the first 2 years of lifting weights. It is obvious, that there’s absolutely nothing that could indicate Pham has used steroids until 2003 period so it all looks pretty legit and all natural. Then we have the 2003 and 2010 transformation:
Well, as much as we can see, from 2003 to 2010 period we can see that Pham has gained what looks like to be another 30 lbs of muscles and his traps; delts; chest and arms has blown up and got much bigger. He transformed from 2003 to what looked like a decent shaped guy to a really huge guy in 2010. That’s a big transformation because as much as we can see, he has built a lot of muscle and burned a really good amount of fat during those 7 years and his traps and delts are literally popping out looking like cannonballs.
Well, we all know that those guys who are all natural are looking pretty amazing even before they are starting to lift off weights, after that they are gaining an approximately 20 lbs or so from their newbie gains (as soon as they start to lift weights) and after that the newbie gains stop. As soon as the newbie gains are stopping – they are struggling a lot to gain very little in size after that. But as much as we can see, it is a bit different in Pham’s case and that’s because he has experienced quite some amazing newbie gains and then, he has also added some other 30 lbs of lean muscle after that point. Those are some typical gains of a steroid user, usually, that’s because a natural guy is definitely and inevitably going to plateau from the newbie gains phase and as soon as this phase is over – their gains are close to zero.
There are some people who might said the following: “oh well, he has only gained like 30 lbs of muscles over a period of 7 years which is not that much in such a long period of time. That’s because it makes it only over 4 lbs of muscle per year”.
Yes, 4 lbs a year doesn’t sound as much, but even this little amount of muscle to gain on a yearly basis is unrealistic (and it is far fetched) taking in consideration that you are an experienced lifter. That’s unless you have cracked the matrix and have invented quite a new and revolutionary way to build muscle (taken in consideration you’re a natural builder without steroids).
The reason of that is very understandable: your muscle building potential is drastically reduced after your first year of lifting and so, it is making it extremely difficult for you to keep on growing anymore in size. And plus to that, when you are combining that with a dude who is staying shredded all the year round, instead of constantly bulking up and gaining fat (there are a few exceptions when a few bodybuilders gains a bit of size after plateauing from newbie gains because they constantly bulked up, A LOT and for MANY years with very LITTLE gains) – the muscle building potential is even less than that.
Plus, if we are up to compare what Pham Vu has been looking like as a 15 years old kid back in 1999, in the contrast to what he was looking like in the 2010 photo, he has gained a HUGE amount of muscle mass, looking nothing like that kid in 1999. That’s, as a matter of fact, pretty impossible. Those natural guys who are genetically gifted, as we can see with Mike O’Hearn or with Mike Thurston and many others; they are looking extremely jacked even as very young boys who are going through puberty. You can also look like what Chris Hemsworth was looking like before he ever touched a dumbbell. Many gyms rats who are working out for years don’t look like Chris before he ever stepped in a gym. That’s what means the genetic factor. And Pham Vu didn’t exactly looked like he is a monster at 15 years old.
A boy that is going through puberty, who is later going on to lift weights is going to add an around 30 lbs of muscles and that’s pretty the maximum of what he’s going to put on. But Pham looks like he has gained an approximately 60 lbs of pure muscle mass since he was 15 years old and that’s just not possible. That’s an extraordinary amount of muscle mass that he has added which simply doesn’t add up if he is a natural guy.
But on the other hand, if we have 20 lbs added for the newbie gains and then add another 40 lbs of muscle mass added thanks to steroid gains (both are normal muscle mass added thanks to newbie gains and thanks to steroids gains) then we now have that 60 lbs of pure muscle mass is starting to make sense. Plus, he does not seem to have any steroid symptoms on his body, but we can see that his traps and shoulders are really big, and I think that this is quite a bit of coincidence it happened. Especially because they are growing up even without training them. That’s a normal phenomenon to happen when you are taking a compound that is making your testosterone levels to go throughout the roof.
What’s the conclusion: Is Pham Vu (Woodbridge) on Steroids?
Based on the evidences that I have managed to find while writing this article (mainly on Pham’s gains timeline) it does seems as if he could have taken some steroids. Pham Vu’s gains timeline doesn’t look very natural as it looks like he took steroids in order to build the body that he has today. So, if he did took steroids then which ones is he likely to have taken?
Well, Pham’s body is fairly natural looking and is not overly dry plus he’s not bloated and that is why I think it is making quite a good sense if he has taken testosterone. I am quite sure that if he did used something (and I’m quite sure he did) then it was testosterone. The reason for that is because testosterone is going to give a user some huge muscle gains and a decent amount of fat loss. In addition to that, it is also going to increase the muscle hardness and it is going to keep your muscle bellies look very full. Pretty similar to what Pham Vu looks like.
But, remember that testosterone is not going to automatically get you shredded as much as Pham Vu is. This is why – credits are going to him for nailing his diet consistently for more than a decade and trying hard with years of training trying to build some world class set of abs. Abs that even Frank Zane or Arnie would be proud of! Plus, the lack of steroid symptoms explains why he could have taken testosterone only which, if taken wisely, might not offer you visible side effects, but can make you gain the muscle mass Pham has gained.
In the end, do you think that Pham has made a mistake by taking test? What do you think about this guy and his physique? Has he ever inspired you? I still think he deserves a lot of respect – his dedication, years of training and hard diets made his way to the way he looks because only taking testosterone won’t ever get you look like Pham Vu does. Tell us what you think about this guy in the comments below. Special thanks to the following sources: