T Nation

Natural Bodybuilders

A few months ago while thumbing through a copy of Ironman magazine at Barnes & Noble, I read a question posed to Mr. Natural Olympia Jon Hansen.

I have nothing against Jon. He appears to be a nice guy and always answers everyone’s questions thoroughly. But the person that asked him this question had some balls. The question was had Jon every used steroids in his life. Hansen went on to say that he had used them for a short time in his late teens or early twenties, I can’t exactly remember, then abandoned them and has been “natural” ever since.

He’s not natural. That would be like saying someone that used juice for ten years but for the past two hasn’t used, yet has a great physique due to juicing for ten years, is now a natural. Uh, no.

I lost some respect for Jon Hansen after that. To me, a natural is someone who has never taken anabolic steroids, ever, even for a day. Anyone agree? Disagree?

Hmmm, I like to think of myself as being “drug-free” - since, technically I ain’t “natural”. IMO, it’s rather difficult for a competitor these days to place in the top two of your weight class in ANY national qualifer w/out the help of supplementation.

I agree, however, that Jon Hansen ain’t natural. Patricia:-)

Ah, yes Pandora’s box has been opened! I think it’s high time that “natural” is defined once and for all. Definitely use of anabolics at any time should disqualify one from claiming “natural” status. But should we stop there? Is vitamin supplementation natural? I await discussion and flames.

Interesting! Been thinking that myself. Would one say that you are NOT natural if, and only if the supplementation you are using is illegal? Who knows?

well,would it be safe to say that someone who has used prohormones is natural or would they fall into the unnatural group of illegal anabolic steroids???

That ain’t natural, no sireee.

Would you consider one natural if they use Mag-10??? Where to draw the line…

This kills me - all you people who claim to be natural (avoids roids) have probably used Mag-10. What is Mag-10? hello its a steroid! Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean your still a natural athlete if you use it. Knowone is natural - we all take supplements to push our bodies beyond natural.
The ingredience in Tribex contain steroids. Just get off you high horse and Admitt that your jelouse of anyone who has a better body. Oh well he’s built - must have used steroids before - what a loser - he’s not natural - get real.

Well i think it can’t be that cut and dry. Let me give you some examples. If you juiced your way up to 260 lb at 5"10 and then went natural and now you compete at 225 or 230 that aint natural. But what about the other end of the scale. There are tons of kids who say are 150 at 5’10, experiment with some roids and go up to 170 loose it all and vow never to take them again. Now this kid works out hard and 6 or 7 years later is 200 lb and lean. He’s much bigger then when he “juiced” and so should never be disqualified or called unnatural. Just my 2 cents.

I would have to fall on the “natural” side, as I cannot recall using any performance enhancing drugs besides caffeine, and rarely do I imbibe that anymore. I have a difficult time, though, telling a lifter that they have to give up their “natural” status after one cycle. To be natural would be to currently lift without the aid of anabolics, but to compete in a “natural” competition might require a higher standard. An x year hiatus from anabolics might be one option.

It’s entirely a function of gains.

The consensus now is that vitamins, protein, and to an extent, creatine, are legit. Anabolics and prohormones are not. But if vitamic C produced anabolic gains on par with Test, you can bet it wouldn't be considered quite so 'natural'.


the problem lies mostly in people pride lying in the word natural. emotions tend to cloud rational discussion

I am not sure there is need to argue about what is natural i.e. is using vitamins not natural. I think the whole reason they use the term natural is to avoid saying “Mr. Non-Steroid/Growth Hormone freak Olympia”. That does not exactly have the same ring as Mr. Natural now does it.

Natural is just a politically correct term for not juicing. Just my opinion. Take it as you will.

  • Mark

Lets just make is simple…Natural means use only legal sups, Not Natural…whatever you want. Thats the easiest and most senisble way to define it from what i see. Because you can’t test a guy for gear 5 years down the road, i guess we’re just at the mercy of their honesty there.

In the INBF and other natural bodybuilding federations, “natural” isn’t so much a matter of gains as it is a matter of exogenous sex hormones. This includes steroids and prohormones, so someone taking MAG-10 or even DHEA is not considered natural. The INBF’s standard is seven years hormone free, so I suppose if someone were to juice up to 260, cut back down to 225-230, and maintain it for seven years, he could compete as natural, but it’s not real likely to happen.

If someone used roids for a short period of time many years ago there is no way he is still experiencing any benefit in terms of size today!

there is a big difference between someone having recently done any form of anabolics and some one who did them a long time ago. If someone says that they have been off for a long time then their body will show what they really are made of. Remember the anabolic support does not stay with you forever. once you are off you need to recover and have only your natural hormonal support to help run your body. So if Jon Hansen said he did them several years ago, then in my book he is natural. I used to be one of those people who would frown upon steroid users, but that was ignorance, and i’ve learned their uses and appreciate what they can help accomplish. I say good for anyone who can get good gear and do smart cycles to help accomplish certain specific goals. The fun happens after you get off the gear and try to maintain those goals. If someone does not have the correct mentality concerning diet and training then he will lose his gains. laters pk

Ever had braces? Tonsils out? Colored your hair? Then you’re not “natural”.

I think this whole discussion is a whole lot of mental masturbation. Natural? Not Natural? Whatever.

What is "Natural"? How do you define "Natural" in this context? If you're talking about never using steroids, then what about all the steroids that flow through your body right now? Let me tell you a secret, MAG-10, and 4-AD-EC contain "steroids", so does anything with cholesterol in it (like Surge), and so does your body, right now. Even those of you who don't take "steroids". The reason Biotest can sell products with "steroids" in them is because those chemicals are found in "natural" sources. Anyone remember the Hatch act? Also as Bill Roberts has repeatedly pointed out, a steroid is a common chemical structure that applies to many substances.