T Nation

Natural Bodybuilders


I would imagine sex hormones are illegal precisely because they produce such significant gains, and thereby undermine drug-free competitors.


There is such a thing as “muscle memory”. It doesn’t matter when you’ve done steroids, if you have used them you are NOT natural. Quit rationalizing! Drugs help you break through plateaus and are a shortcut, plain and simple. Prohormones also fall into that group. You could call yourself “drug-free” if you do not use steroids currently, but you should not call yourself “natural”.

It’s like saying “I used to be a felon, but I’m not anymore”.


That’s why I brought up DHEA, which doesn’t do a damn thing to promote gains. It’s not legal in natural federations because it introduces hormones to the body. Creatine, which does help with mass gain, is legal, and ECA, which does help with fat loss, is legal. I think the gains/no gains paradigm is overly simplistic, when both the letter and the intent of the rules states “No exogenous hormones.” These things are banned in natural competition to ensure as level a hormonal playing field as possible.

the legality way of classifying things is the most absurd way by far. malaysia for instance has creatine banned but legal steroids.

to whole context of amking the hormonal field equal does not go, since everyone is different in the amount of natural hormones their body produces. Would taking something like tribex, which boosts your natural testosterone levels to the high range, thus giving you a huge advantage over the regular to normal level humans, make you an un-natural athelete? laters pk

I’d have to say that taking anything that isn’t already included in a natural human diet would make you unnatural.

Vitamins, minerals, aminos, EFAs, BCAAs, Creatine and HMB and a few others would be natural. Just refined forms of those nutrients, just like refined sugar or refined fats, but better for you.

Then I'd draw the lines at things like prohormones or anything else that would get you banned from Olympic competition if you were using it the day of your banned substances testing.

I agree with Mr. 100% Beef. Any hormonal manipulation is no longer “natural”. It doesn’t matter if it is legal or illegal. You can’t start rationalizing this and making up all kinds of loopholes. Otherwise you’ll have guys saying “I did a cycle, but I wasn’t working out very hard” and all kinds of other excuses. This is not being judgemental about hormonal manipulation. But be honest with yourselves. If you take substances to enhance or stimulate testosterone, you are not natural. That includes Tribex, in my opinion.

dont you think “natural” started off as being more of a legality thing. people who wanted to kept on the right side of the law could still compete and not get their asses handed to them by some guy of lee hanley proportions who has been training for 2 weeks. Now with andro etc around the testing becomes an issue because how do you determine andro use or steeeroid use? easy take andro out of the equation. no andro = no false positive, well hopefully… In my mind you are natural if at any time in your life you could have been tested under IOC and passed with flying colours, not because you are a master at masking, but because you are natural! sure this may not align with the ethical debate but at least this draws a very distinctive line in which peolpe can either say they are or are not natural. just my thoughts

I agree to a certain extent. I believe that if the bodybuilder took steroids and only made modest gains within his natural genetic abilty he can compete fairly as a natural BB. Though he isn’t really. Also if he was perscribed steroids for other purposes such as injury recovery etc then he can compete naturally so long as he isn’t on a perscription at that time. That’s fair, though I agree technically anyone who ever uses any preformance enhancement other than whole natural foods is not technically natural either.

" I believe that if the bodybuilder took steroids and only made modest gains within his natural genetic abilty he can compete fairly as a natural BB."

This reminds me of the phrase “I’m a little pregnant”. Either you ARE or ARE NOT.

It’s also not related to being able to pass a drug test. Again, this is not being judgemental about steroids or pro-hormones, it’s just trying to say “be honest”.

You guys might as well say “Hey, maybe I can fake a bad limp, and get into a “handicapped” level physique contest.”


I agree that we all start with an unequal hormonal playing field. It is, however, our own baseline level. That was what I meant with the “as possible” qualifier. As far as Tribex goes, it would indeed be banned under INBF rules, as it’s a product taken to boost one’s test levels. Should someone who takes it be considered natural? Not as far as I’m concerned. To me, once you’re taking anything specifically designed to change the levels of sex hormones in your body, you’re no longer natural.

Out of curiosity – isn’t this like virginity? If you did it once, you’re not a virgin–er…natural?

I’m only stateing what I think is fair. If I ran a natural BB federation and bodybuilder came up to me and said, “I compete natural but I have taken steroids about 10 years ago with a modest outcome.” I’d say, “So.” He is not natural. “Natural” is just a class where the athlete decided that preformance enhancement was not nessasary and did not dable in it much. Natural though to me means only whole natural foods and not even medicine, maybe a bit of holistic medicine but that is it. Those are two different classess really. But they are easy to define. Live like an indigenous tribesman and maybe you’d really fit the natural bill.

I knew it was just a matter of time until someone would try and redefine the definitions of “natural” to suit their purposes. Like “taking high doses of vitamin C isn’t natural”.

Sorry, but “natural” means you have never taken steroids or manipulated your hormones… EVER.

it would be interesting to see if you posted this question in the steroid forum considering you are talking about that specific topic. I don’t see any of those contributors responding to this thread. I’ve been in the iron game for a few years. I’ve seen people blow up on anabolics and i have subsequently seen them come back down to size and maintain certain body levels. I know when they are training naturally and when they are not. Besides who cares if you are natural or not. You still need to train and eat correctly, it’s just that you are taking a faster path there. If your body can not handle it then time will tell through the way your body changes. Face it, some people will never look like other people no matter how much juice they do. I used to have a better then you attitude towards the steroid users, but i realized that it was egotistical and dumb. Any t-man will realize the benefits of anabolics and will not abuse them himself or put down the people who decide to use them. laters pk

The only Real T-man Naturals in my book are The Forever Natural’s (INBA)- Life Time drug free, even though some dubious drugies have competed in this class most are for real.
You have to use your brain to optimise training, diet, supplementation & discipline. No prohormones! Ephedra, Myostat, Methoxy, Tribex O.K. If you’ve taken drugs in the past you shouldn’t be given the honour of the title “Natural” you should be called something else. Hard but true!