Steroid use has, and probably always will be, the mass monster elephant in the bodybuilding room. It’s not something a lot of people like talking about, but we all know it’s there.

Ronnie Coleman, though, had no problem discussing it during a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience. The eight-time Mr. Olympia, and perhaps greatest bodybuilder of all time, laughed when podcast host Rogan mentioned that many bodybuilders promote supplements and creatine as they keys to their success.

“They’ll help,” Coleman told Rogan, “but it’s not going to get you to 330 pounds and 3 percent body fat.” He also said he never hid the fact that he took gear. “I didn’t have a reason to hide it,” he says. “People aren’t stupid.”

Coleman started bodybuilding when he was 24, and for the first six years of his career he was all-natural. He started taking steroids because he was tired of having his “ass kicked” during shows. “The highest I would place was third,” he told Rogan. “The other guys had a competitive advantage … so I was like, ‘Let’s make this thing equal.'”

In fact, it was one of Coleman’s fellow competitors who helped him secure his d-ball supply: Flex Wheeler. “That’s one of my best friends in the world,” Coleman says. “He taught me everything I know.”

The steroids didn’t make him exponentially stronger (he could deadlift 750 pounds naturally) or bigger, but he quickly became much more shredded once he started taking the stuff. “As far as my conditioning, it was night and day,” Coleman says.

While he didn’t reveal the exact details of his cycle, Coleman said he wasn’t taking a massive amount of steroids while training for the Mr. Olympia or other contests. “I probably wasn’t taking much more than what those baseball players was taking,” he says.

And in a revelation that stunned Rogan, Coleman says he never cycled off gear in the off-season — he just stopped taking them cold turkey. “That didn’t bother me one bit,” he says.

He attributed that to his genetics. “You have to have genetics,” Coleman says. “They can’t get that big if they’re not gifted for it.”

Coleman also revealed all of his steroids were provided to him by a doctor, because the Drug Enforcement Agency was trying to crack down on steroids in the black market. “Any kind of test or growth hormone, they’d give you a prescription for it,” he says. “They’d give it.”

Rogan questioned why the DEA was going after steroids and not meth dealers, to which Coleman responded that some teens were committing suicide after cycling off (depression is a common side effect of gear).

And if a bodybuilder was caught with steroids, the DEA would confiscate everything. “That was just when the heat was on,” Coleman adds. “I don’t think they got the heat on like that now.”