T Nation

Why Stay Natural?


I’m just now looking into going the assisted route (undecided just reading).

For those who’ve been lifting for at least 5 years, why did you choose to stay natural or start juicing?

I stay natural for two reasons:
(1) Legality - basically comes down to being a pussy.
(2) don’t want to take away the option to compete in powerlifting (tested; IPF) - don’t want to be a cheater.

Depends on your goals, age, health, need or want for children IMO

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[quote]infinite_shore wrote:
I stay natural for two reasons:
(1) Legality - basically comes down to being a pussy.[/quote]

You can get a prescription easy for Testosterone at least.

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:
(2) don’t want to take away the option to compete in powerlifting (tested; IPF) - don’t want to be a cheater.[/quote]

I would bet many of those people are juicing, they just go off for competition. The same is true of Natural bodybuilding comps from what I’ve read.

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[quote]thehebrewhero wrote:
Depends on your goals, age, health, need or want for children IMO [/quote]

Right… that’s what why I asked what individual reason people have for using or not using…

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:
I stay natural for two reasons:
(1) Legality
[/quote]

#1 for me as well.

(2) Would have a hard time trusting something sold out of the trunk of a car. I could make my own, like some folks here do, but then again I’d have to trust myself to do it right…

not necessarily. most of the WNBF pros have been 100% clean for a long time, even though quite a few have used at the very least pro-hormones while building their foundation.

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:
(2) don’t want to take away the option to compete in powerlifting (tested; IPF) - don’t want to be a cheater.[/quote]

I would bet many of those people are juicing, they just go off for competition. The same is true of Natural bodybuilding comps from what I’ve read.
[/quote]

I’m only 25, not sure if that’s old enough to give you a good opinion or not on this subject.

Anyway I have a few reasons. Whatever strength and size you gain with steroids you will lose without steroids. Given enough time of taking nothing, you will lose literally all of it and go back to whatever your body can naturally carry (or less if your natural levels never rebound all the way…). So if I were to take steroids I would only feel as though I were “borrowing” that strength; like it wasn’t really mine. I don’t want to be dependent on a substance. I like having the kind of strength where if suddenly I had no access to steroids or I was dropped in the wilderness or something that I would know how strong I was. I can count on my strength and what my body can do and not be thinking about how much weaker I’ll become if I suddenly can’t “borrow” that strength anymore.

Also I don’t want to deal with having to undo any sterility issues should the need arise… I’m probably unnecessarily paranoid about this.

That being said… If I were like 50 right now instead of 25, and I was all nice and settled down and done having kids and had a big, healthy amount of savings and all that, you bet your ass I’d be cruising on test till the day I died lol. At that point I don’t think I’d really care anymore.

[quote]csulli wrote:
That being said… If I were like 50 right now instead of 25, and I was all nice and settled down and done having kids and had a big, healthy amount of savings and all that, you bet your ass I’d be cruising on test till the day I died lol. At that point I don’t think I’d really care anymore.[/quote]

Lol, agree with this too!

I remain natural due to the legality reasons mentioned and the fact I signed a contract with my employer stating that I would not use illegal substances. As much as I love lifting and getting stronger, I love supporting my family more.

The only thing that has stopped me is fear of acne and/or losing my hair.

[quote]jeremielemauvais wrote:
not necessarily. most of the WNBF pros have been 100% clean for a long time, even though quite a few have used at the very least pro-hormones while building their foundation.

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:
(2) don’t want to take away the option to compete in powerlifting (tested; IPF) - don’t want to be a cheater.[/quote]

I would bet many of those people are juicing, they just go off for competition. The same is true of Natural bodybuilding comps from what I’ve read.
[/quote]
[/quote]

We’re both speculating… how did you come to that conclusion?

My speculation is from other boards more aimed at competitors and I think I recall reading CT saying natty competitions at least in terms of bodybuilding a lot of the competitors are only off when they step on stage.

That’s the jist of what he wrote.

Also… dude that avatar… are you who I think you are? That guy who was revealing people’s personal identities on T Nation a while back?

Edit: are you tribunaldude?

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

(2) Would have a hard time trusting something sold out of the trunk of a car. I could make my own, like some folks here do, but then again I’d have to trust myself to do it right…

[/quote]

If you do some research and looking around, you’ll find it’s pretty easy to acquire good quality.

[quote]csulli wrote:
I’m only 25, not sure if that’s old enough to give you a good opinion or not on this subject.

Anyway I have a few reasons. Whatever strength and size you gain with steroids you will lose without steroids. Given enough time of taking nothing, you will lose literally all of it and go back to whatever your body can naturally carry [/quote]

That’s not necessarily true… Plenty of people keep most of the gains they made.

[quote]csulli wrote:
(or less if your natural levels never rebound all the way…). [/quote]

The only people who have trouble rebounding generally speaking are aggressive users who stay on for long durations.

[quote]csulli wrote:
So if I were to take steroids I would only feel as though I were “borrowing” that strength; like it wasn’t really mine. I don’t want to be dependent on a substance. [/quote]

When you go to a party, have a few drinks to loosen up, do you feel you are “borrowing” that fun because the intoxicated state isn’t really your true self? I don’t see it that way since you still need to lift hard, eat right and sleep correctly to even make substantial gains while using.

[quote]csulli wrote:
Also I don’t want to deal with having to undo any sterility issues should the need arise… I’m probably unnecessarily paranoid about this.

That being said… If I were like 50 right now instead of 25, and I was all nice and settled down and done having kids and had a big, healthy amount of savings and all that, you bet your ass I’d be cruising on test till the day I died lol. At that point I don’t think I’d really care anymore.[/quote]

I wonder how much of a real risk this truly is.

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:
The only thing that has stopped me is fear of acne and/or losing my hair.[/quote]

Accutane and Rogaine.

Hair loss only will speed up if you have a predisposition. If you don’t nothing will change.

Regret.

Not saying it will happen, but if I developed some sort of medical condition later on that my steroid use likely contributed to or legal trouble, it would mentally screw me, especially because of so little reward for such a risk at this level (bodybuilding/power sports…NFL/MLB contract might be different). I imagine looking at my kid’s face while I was in a hospital bed or in handcuffs and telling him, “Yeah, Daddy is a selffish dumbass”.

Worry.

Is this stuff legit? Is big brother watching me? What would my family think? If I take X, I need to get YZ to counter the sides. Enough mental energy is used on kcals, marcos, rep schemes, mealing planning etc. Add sources, supplies, money, lipids profiles, blood pressure, organ stress, estrogen rebound, gyno, surgery etc and its just too much to worry about (I suppose it is alot easier if you don’t care).

For those that referenced that they would use if they were older, overall health magically becomes much more important than biceps and abs as we age (still nice to have though). Also, our responsiblities tend to grow as we get older, so you tend to be more risk adverse (not saying there are not tons of older people on TRT etc) but you are not going to acheive the “bodybuilding” look on test alone.

Yeah, I am a pussy.

What is technically completely natural? There are plenty of sythetic and supplementation used that are legal.
Your multivitamin is additional supplementation.
I don’t think anyone is really capable of eating sufficiently all the foods that would provide the best nutrient profile.
That being said, AAS in itself is a grey area. Depending on how far down the rabit hole you go.
If using bio-identical hormones to supplement and regulate your body to “optimal” levels, I’d say go for it. Live out your QOL.
And if using this guided by legal drug dealers (aka your physician), it should be good.
Even if your agency or sport has rules against PEDs, most are for the extreme end of supplementation/doping. Anti-aging/Vitality is below that spectrum.

If you want to live out an extraordinary lifestyle, then by all means, use the full gamut of the pharmocology available.
It’s your life, and if you want extreme results, extreme measures are needed.

Either way, your using modern knowledge in pharmocology to make your life better and easier. Why not? Does all of life have to be a constant struggle and anguish to your goals?

[quote]therajraj wrote:
Plenty of people keep most of the gains they made.
[/quote]
No they really don’t… Not that I have seen. They’ll keep them long enough to get them to their next cycle. If you stop taking steroids completely it will all go away eventually.

[quote]therajraj wrote:
When you go to a party, have a few drinks to loosen up, do you feel you are “borrowing” that fun because the intoxicated state isn’t really your true self?
[/quote]
Yeah you can look at it that way if you want. It’s not very analogous unless you’re drunk 100% of the time though such that you’re never your true self and constantly “borrowing” like you would be with steroids. In that case you’d just be an alcoholic, and I don’t want to be an alcoholic.

[quote]therajraj wrote:
I don’t see it that way since you still need to lift hard, eat right and sleep correctly to even make substantial gains while using.
[/quote]
You have to lift hard and eat and whatever regardless. That doesn’t really factor in to my decision at all.

[quote]therajraj wrote:

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:
The only thing that has stopped me is fear of acne and/or losing my hair.[/quote]

Accutane and Rogaine.

Hair loss only will speed up if you have a predisposition. If you don’t nothing will change.

[/quote]

True, but, my thinking is I am taking steroids and now I have to take other shit on top of that. Seems like a lot when for me it would be for strictly vanity.

Not to mention the thinning of skin, flushing, drying, and everything else that comes from accutane. I mean what is the point of looking awesome when, you can not be in the sun for a long time.

Rogaine has some side effects to aside from the libido stuff many have reported aging of the skin probably because it rubs off on your pillow and then you sleep in it.

A large part of me wants to use, but there are so many reasons that keep me from it. If it was just one or 2 of the reasons I’m about to list, I probably would have taken the plunge already.

  1. Having kids. This one is almost out of the way, as my wife is due in a few months. Assuming a healthy baby and all, I’ll eventually be able to cross this off my list.

  2. Financial justification. I could afford it, but it’s hard for me to justify the expense. I know I’ll never make any money off my physique, so the return on investment would need to be a quality-of-life return, and I just don’t see it panning out. I go back and forth on this one though.

  3. Legality is a big one. I can’t afford to put myself in a legal situation for more reasons than I can count. This is by far the biggest reason, and will probably always be the hang up.

  4. Availability. I have no connections. I also don’t know a lenient doc that would prescribe me Test or anything in my area. My levels are way too high to be considered a low-T candidate in any capacity, even by the loosest standards. I would basically have to get a doc that truly didn’t give a shit what showed up on my labs. That’s not the easiest thing to find. I’ve looked. I’m still looking. I’m in Dallas if anyone wants to drop a knowledge bomb on me.

  5. Competition. I’m aware that lifters lie about their natty status, but that has nothing to do with the ethical standards I hold myself to. Lying for a PL competition is just shitty. It’s not something I could/would do. If I used, I would have to do untested comps, and I wouldn’t be very competitive, because I would be the dummy just using Test.

  6. No real goals. If I had a particular goal like: DL 700 lbs, or BP 400, or whatever, then I might have more incentive to use. I don’t. I like to look good, and I enjoy the process of getting stronger, but I’ve hit enough lifting milestones to know that I’ll always be chasing the next one. There’s no satisfaction in reaching these goals.