Whether you follow bodybuilding or not, chances are you’ve wondered if all those guys are using Steroids. PEDs. Juice. The Sauce. Or, as my one ex called it, brotein.
In the environment the fitness industry finds itself today, being called out for being unnatural can be a blessing or a curse. We were spot on with Liver King months before his emails were leaked. But he still made a boatload of money.
Having the public know you use great could costs you millions in cash or subscribers. So, with that said, are there even natural bodybuilders left on the planet? Which are the best ones?
- Being Natural means not using any PEDs, only supplements are permitted
- This is a list based on the professional opinions of people who have been working in the fitness industry for years
- We will never truly know if someone is Natty
The Best Natural Bodybuilders on the Planet
1. Kiyoshi Moody
Moody has won the Natural Mr. Olympia a staggering six times over the course of his career. He started his career very early on in his life but finds his sporting origin in track and field events. Today Moody is still a massive advocate for the sport and retains his Natty status.
2. Paul Krueger
Paul won the Natural Olympia back in 2021, and has made a lot of people question his own natty status. The reason for the doubt is because Paul finds amazing balance between retaining size while getting shredded for shows.
Paul has become somewhat of an influencer with his own Instagram channel and everything.
3. Ron Williams
Big Ron weighs in at 190lbs and is currently the most decorated Natural bodybuilder on the planet!
- 7-time Mr. Natural Olympia
- 7-time Mr. Natural Universe
- 7-time Natural World
- Hall of Fame Inductee (2008) — International Natural Bodybuilding Association
Ron isn’t all brawn though, but also a lot of brain as well. He is known for being quite scientific and meticulous with his diet and training style.
4. Steve Cook
Steve hardly needs an introduction if you’ve been into fitness for longer than a minute. Steve has been featured on numerous magazines and articles. Steve is not as much of a ‘bodybuilder’ compared to some others on the list, and falls into the category of fitness influencer.
In this category we are going to look at the lifters and bodybuilders who claim to be natural but when you look at the evidence, they probably are not natural at all.
Mike “O Tren” is one of the most famous bodybuilders on the planet, and whether you like him or not, the fact remains that he has done a great amount for the sport.
Mike has been accused of using all kinds of steroids, including the aforementioned Trenbolone. More realistically, he does what Liver King did which is using a tremendous amount of Growth Hormone.
Another factor to consider is that you can never find a bad picture of Mike. He’s always shredded, always looking good. This is one of the key signs of steroid use, if someone is always in great shape, they’re probably on the juice.
Another figure that is always brought into this conversation is Sadik. Sadik is a professional bodybuilder and is still competing to this day. Sadik is now small person, as you can see, and the levels of vascularity and graininess he brings to the stage draws an immense amount of suspicion.
Sadik has been accused of the whole lot. Steroids, Growth Hormone, etc. Truth be told, for any human to step on the modern Mr. Olympia stage they most likely are taking a lot of stuff. ]
Ryan is another popular bodybuilder that has claimed to be Natural. However, Ryan has competed on the Mr Olympia stage for multiple years now, and as with Sadik, that is really, really hard.
Ryan carries a massive amount of muscle, but is also always in shape. Again, a tell tale sign that someone is on gear is if they are lean or massive year round.
Ryan makes his living off his body, so, it would not be a stretch to think he does everything he can to win.
What does ‘Natural’ mean?
The term natural is the polar opposite of the term enhanced. Natural or natty refers to someone who is not using any PEDs or products listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency. These include:
- Certain Stimulants
- Certain Fat Loss agents
How do they Test if someone is Natty?
WADA has some interesting methods of testing, however, what you have to remember is that bodybuilding is not regulated by WADA. WADA has no jurisdiction over bodybuilding. That said, there are a few methods in which WADA can do testing:
- The athlete will choose a urine sample collection vessel from a selection made available by the doping control personnel
- If a blood sample is collected, the athlete will choose a blood collection kit from a selection made available by the doping control personnel
Then, the athlete’s sealed sample is secured and sent to a WADA-accredited laboratory. A blood sample collected as part of the ABP program may be analyzed by a WADA-approved laboratory. The laboratory copy of the DCF that accompanies the sample is anonymized, indicating only the sample bottle number, sport and the athlete’s gender.
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How to know if someone is using Steroids?
So, your buddy or boyfriend has suddenly gotten really strong or jacked and you suspect they might be using the juice. What are the signs to look out for? Well, there are quite a few:
- Most Steroid users will use an injectable version. This means they might have bruises or swollen areas around their body, especially the shoulders and buttocks
- Because Steroids will all typically increase muscle protein synthesis and recovery, users have an amazing ability to gain muscle mass rapidly while also recovering faster than their natural peers
- Steroid users might experience hair loss on the head, but see an increase in bodily hair
- If you are close enough to the user, you might see a huge increase in libido
- Contrary to popular belief, roid rage isn’t really a thing. However, backnea is not. Users will often experience acne breakouts
Conclusion: Natural Bodybuilding
Natural bodybuilding is a tricky one. There are a bunch of people who claim to be natural when they most certainly are not. Unfortunately, this makes it a lot harder for those that are actually natural.
There are some who are natural, and I truly believe them – like the ones who compete at Natural Mr. Olympia. The rest… not so much.
Is natural bodybuilding possible?
It depends on your description of the word “possible”. Without the advantage of things like androgens and hormones you are limited greatly by the amount of muscle mass your can build and retain. Therefor, it is possible, but there’s a reason no one really follows it.
Do natural bodybuilders live longer?
Without a doubt. Steroids (and the size that comes with them) will dramatically shorten your life and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and even diabetes.