T Nation

Can you tell if someone is on?


Simple question here boys. I think plenty of here have been around this game for awhile (some more than others). With that in mind, do you think you can tell if someone is as I like to put it "playing with the chemistry"?

Recently I've seen some posts around here of people claiming to be "natural", that have made me raise an eyebrow. Why do I think these people are on steroids? Is it because I'm a "hater"? Is it because I'm jeleauos I could never look like that? No, it's because they look exactly like peopl I know WHO ARE ON STEROIDS.

I'll admit I'm a little crabby right now due to the low carb diet/clen sides ect. But this is a question that I'm seriously curious about. BTW drugs or not (BIGGG eye roll) it doesn't take away from the accomplishment much IMO.


interesting question...I know people on roids that keep a pretty low bf and it is virtually impossible to tell. However, if you notice a dramatic weight gain on some people in say 3 weeks, that could be a sign. Also, if you know someone who didn't lift very heavy and suddenly seems to be lifting beyond his natural ability, that could be a sign. puffiness, bloating, abnormal sweating(Deca side), that could be a sign.


The funny thing is alot more people then you think around the gym are "on" - Its just that they don't know what the hell their doing or taking, so results don't come as much as you would expect


True. However I'm saying that say you just saw them for the first time/aren't around to watch for sides.


I think after you've been into the game for several years and have a good amount of experience you can accurately guess at about 90% of the time when someone has juiced, either presently or in the past. They always have a different look to their bodies, even after they go off. Always much more impressive than a life time natural guy. Not to say that some natural guys can't look juiced with very dedicated training, diet and genetics but the juiced guys always look better. Even the half assed juicers and newbies who don't even do it properly or put a great effort into it. And Wideguy, you being from Jersey like myself which is the mecca for juicers I'm sure you can agree.


sometimes you can and sometimes you cant. i mean if you see some dude that is 5'4, 220, shredded and hard as a rock i think its pretty obvious. extreme vascularity is a pretty good sign too.

on the other hand it is pure speculation. you really cant tell just by looking at someone.


Ok. Now we're getting somewhere! Look at Mule's pic on the photo forum and the pics of his buddies on their website.


i find that most people on.. develop a more 'full' muscle.

i also find that the shoulders are usually more developed on 'users' than on non-users.



Vascularity and pumps dont tell much, for example bruce lee was an extremly ripped sob does that mean he was on roids? Using the school of thought being passed around i am beginning to doubt if he was natural.

The only way you can tell if a person is on is by the sudden increase in size and strength not possible by hard work and eating clean. I think looks alone are never enough to convince you someones on unless we are talking IFBB pros.


lets not kid ourselves there is only so much muscle that any human being can develope without AAS and I hate to say this but mule is no exception


I always feel like I can spot em a mile away. If someone is on, they have a harder, more dense look to their muscles generally. Not to say that some of my guesses are wrong, but I think I'm pretty accurate.


mule wouldnt be able to play football if he was juicing... kev does not want to get dq'd after hitting a good max.. i dont know why the others would want to juice... i know these ppl.. there are not ones to lie or embellish stats...

if you're trying to come up with a surefire way of knowing who's juicin from looking at photos, then you should exclude these guys from your sample.


I agree and disagree. I'm involved in a major pro sport. The past few years I found myself surrounded with amazingly gifted athletes. Some are 'on', and look the part, others however, stay clear and look just as impressive. Of course, I am speaking of highly genetically gifted people here. But I still found little diference between those using AAS and those not. I'll be it those who were on had the advantage of being more 'liberal' with their diet, and rest. I think nutrition and knowledge in general, are spreading deeper into the ranks. Those who want to 'look good' have more options than ever before. It really is dificult to make the call on first impressions. All of us have days when we look great, other days when we feel less enthusiastic about our physique. You really need to watch someone over the course of a few months to determine the on or off position. With all that said, the gap is growing. Those of us dedicated to our bodies are fitter than ever while the rest of society eats like garbage, then burns calories trying to decide what miracle diet will work best. Great question!


"Mule wouldn't be able to play football if he were on" LMFAO!


I believe that after many years of experience talking with guys on juice and working in various gyms around my province in different cities, I've seen a wide range of looks for guys on steroids. But I agree with the above post of 90 percent of the time I can tell from the first look. The human male can smell testosterone. Its instinctive. He can spot a high testosterone guy from a mile away like he can spot a hot woman. Its his instincts zeroing in on the competition. But then you throw in guys like me, not to sound egotistical but I've been asked if I do roids on many occasions. Why? Because I do what 99.9 percent of the males on this planet don't do: I'm extremely conscious about what I eat and I train smart. That's it. Plus if you know the person's history, like me I've been over 200 since grade 7, always a big kid. But most roid users are smaller and have the "little man" syndrome, so they go from a buck forty to 200 in a year or whatever. Its rare to see someone who has reached their natural potential and then do the roids intelligently. Oh I've rambled enough for now... the only person in the gym i have to concentrate on is the one staring back at me in the mirror:)


Wow...it amazes me how naive people are at times. "he wouldn't be able to play football" Do you have any idea how many pro's use anabolics?? MUCH more than you think. Also, if you knew how the drug testing procedures actually worked you'd understand why so few, if any, ever get caught. My god, that's ALMOST like saying, "Ronnie coleman is a Pro Bodybuilder, if he used steroids he wouldn't be able to compete" Is that an exaggeration?? Not really, because steroids and Growth hormone are used in most professional sports. It's a part of the game, accept it.


believe whatever you wanna believe..i dont freaking care


I've been around the iron game for a long time now, and I don't think you can ever tell for sure, but you can come pretty close.

The trouble is with the guys that use and don't look like it ('cause they're idiots) and the guys don't use but look like they might (because they have years of training under their belt, have their diet, training, recovery down, etc.)

But then there are the guys you know have crossed the line but will never, ever admit it.

I'm sorry, but when some guy in his teens is 6' 300 and pretty ripped, he's either has a 1 in six-billion rare genetic disorder -- or he isn't natural. Don't get me wrong, there is always the chance that he's telling the truth and truly is that 1 in six-billion guy that achieved such a high level of development without juice.

I mean come on, Schwarzenegger was 6'2, 250 when he was 19, juiced to the gills, with undeniably awesome genetics. How many people do you honestly think could surpass that naturally?

How many people have you seen bench 500 naturally?

In the end, it doesn't make a difference to me what people claim.


climbing gingerly onto the soapbox because my legs are sore as hell

Why does this even matter?

Even if you're "on" you still have to bust your butt, sweat, diet, train, ostrasize yourself from regular society, and dedicate yourself to your body more than the most devout clergy dedicates his life to the almighty to achieve the best physique possible.

When I see pics of a jacked quadraped like Mule, I think of all the work that had to go into that, chemically induced or otherwise.

And how many of us are "natural" anyway?
We're all on some sort of supplement that increases our metabolism, increases our protien intake, helps keep water in our muscle tissue, increases our natural testosterone, inhibits our myostatin, and suppresses our hunger...

It's what we do with those tools, the product (read our bodies) that we put forth with all of that in place that matters.

Baseball is better, more exiting than ever, football is supreme, hell even the TDF is worth a gander during the dog days of summer not because it's the same ol' same ol', but because athletes are bigger stronger faster, and doing things that other athletes back in the day couldn't dream of doing... If steroids are a part of that, who cares? They aren't the sole reason, they're only a small factor...

end rant



Just to reiterate (sp?) I was not trying to take away from anyone's accomplishments.