T Nation

Great Genetics vs. Steroids


I was just read this and thought I would share (Disclaimer: I'm not sure how accurate the info is on this page, I just thought it was interesting):

You hear all the time about "great genetics" being the #1 factor in bodybuilding greatness (and for the most part, I still think this is true), though these pics do suggest that (for some) you would have never guessed that these guys would have been the greats that they eventually became...at least not in the beginning.

In fact, I remember seeing a pic of Arnold and Patrick Schwarzenegger, shown side-by-side, both in their early teens, where they look exactly identical. Yet look what each look in their early 20's...shocking!

And, on the opposite end of that spectrum, you have guys like Sergio Oliva and Ronnie Coleman, two guys that surely looked the part long before hitting the gear.

No real point to this post, it just makes you wonder where, for some of these guys, genetics leave off and drugs take over in the great scheme of things (or perhaps more aptly put, where the two create a greater synergy). It seems that the "amazing one-in-a-million genetics" that we keep hearing about, for some bb's, weren't as evident in some folks as they are for others.

Any thoughts gents?


Use your search engine (and look up guys like Dorian Yates, Bertil Fox and Nasser El Sonbaty), put in the words "Larry Scott & before and after steroids", the pics you'll see on that page are quite shocking to say the least.

Basically, it shows you the muscular base that these guys started with when they were naturals, along side what they became years later after extensive drug use.


You also have to keep in mind that not everyone with "great genetics" for muscle building is necessarily muscular before training. You could have fantastic bodybuilding genetics but not look the part due to lifestyle.... drug use, over-eating, under-eating... I don't think how someone looks before they started training is exactly the best way to judge bodybuilding genetics.


Agreed with Dbol and how you look before drug use is kinda moot, since the genetic factor is a lot about how their body responds to drug use. There are plenty who take as much or more drugs than some of the greats and never achieve half of their physique.


Good point, I've noticed this before myself. Like just about any pharmaceutical compound, the individual response to said drug(s) will be varied across an entire group of recipients.

Equally noteworthy is the fact that some individuals can tolerate a lot of drugs much better than others, which obviously goes a long way in determining the end result.