Table of Contents
You can usually spot clean muscle from a mile away, and are the “natural” bodybuilders really natural?
There’s usually a distinct difference between natural lifters and steroid users but can you tell what they are? Many people are very naive to the fact that a lot of so-called “natural” bodybuilders are using Performance Enhancing Drugs.
Here are “6 obvious signs of a ‘true’ natural bodybuilder”…
Less Than Impressive Traps
This one muscle can do so much to give the illusion of a huge neck and it symbolizes sheer power at the same time (A big neck is intimidating). The Trapezius muscles are awesome for filling out T-shirts and even show through shirts when viewed from the back (It’s an impressive muscle, to say the least).
If you see someone with massive traps then you know there’s a good chance steroids were responsible for their massive trap development. There is, in fact, a connection between androgenic-anabolic steroid use and Trapezius androgenic receptor myonuclei which is responsible for muscle growth and strength. (1)
Natural bodybuilders have less than stellar trap development most of the time as a result and you’ll seldom see a natural with shirt stretching traps.
A Reasonable Bodyweight to Body Fat Ratio
Ok, this is painfully obvious. If you are huge and ripped at the same time (Way outside of what’s naturally possible) there’s something fishy. Now, we’re not saying you can’t get big and ripped (Keyword “big,” not huge) naturally because you absolutely can.
But we know the difference between a natural and a steroid user and we cannot pretend otherwise.
You can usually tell a natural by the amount of bodyweight they carry relative to their body fat levels. There’s a believable range and then there’s a “not so believable” range, which anyone who knows about lifting, can easily discern between the two.
Naturals Don’t Have That Enhanced Look
We’ve seen “naturals” who look enhanced but are they really natural? Sure, many are but we’re all aware of the certain bodybuilders who claim to be natural but without a doubt use PED’s (We won’t mention names).
Some natural bodybuilders look amazing and there’s no denying that but the ones who use cannot fool us. These guys have striations which rival those of IFBB pros and muscle mass which blows away 99% of lifters period.
Most enhanced athletes have a 3D appearance (If they do it right that is) and everybody part pops out at you. A natural lifter will look pretty good and may even turn some heads (Depending on body composition) but will never look like an IFBB pro (Just not happening). (2)
A Natural bodybuilder Has Different Bodily Changes
The difference between enhanced and natural is the changes a testosterone-filled lifter experiences which a “natty” doesn’t. For instance, have you seen a female bodybuilder all juiced up? The deeper voice, superior cuts, and rippling muscles are all signs of an enhanced bodybuilder.
Naturals do not experience these changes since androgenic hormones are not introduced into their bodies.
A natural lifter has no noticeable changes other than muscle growth and fat loss.
More Flat, More Often
One thing enhanced bodybuilders differ on from naturals is the flat look they appear to have when they are depleted. Depleted of what, you ask? Well, water and carbohydrates which fill out the muscles. Coming down to the end of prep for a show or if cutting down on the body fat, things start to look flat.
Certain steroids can help to keep the full look in the muscle bellies and when we say full we really mean it! Enhanced athletes have a visual advantage which drugs provide and naturals don’t have this luxury. In fact, a natural bodybuilder must be careful to keep the muscles full looking through diet and hydration.
Proportionate Head to Body Ratio
When you see a jacked and juiced up bodybuilder, you see a normal sized head on top of a big, muscular body. Now, it’s not to say a natural can’t have a small head compared to his body but you’ll seldom see this.
Usually, it’s the very large and enhanced bodybuilders who have heads which look tiny comparatively. Many people believe (And it seems to be the case) Human Growth Hormone use causes a larger looking face and head.
This has truth to it but really when your body gets out of proportion due to enlarging your muscles, it’s normal to have a smaller looking head.