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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

What Does Natty Mean in Body Building?

Embarking on a fitness journey can feel daunting, especially when confronted with unfamiliar terminology and slang. In the realm of fitness, you may encounter a term called “natty” at the gym. This guide aims to demystify the meaning of “natty” within the fitness community and shed light on its importance.

Whether you are a novice commencing your fitness endeavors or simply curious about gym culture, comprehending this term will enhance your ability to engage in discussions and establish meaningful connections with fellow fitness enthusiasts.

What Is Natty Anyway?

Is it considered positive or negative? Can we determine if a bodybuilder or athlete is natural or not? Does it have any significance? We delve into all these questions and more in the following sections!

What Does Natty Mean in Body Building?

In the “everyday” world, the term “natty” can have numerous meanings, sometimes even referring to an inexpensive brand of beer that was popular among college students in the past.

However, within the bodybuilding and fitness community, the term “natty” carries significant weight and holds a specific definition. Therefore, casually throwing around this term, particularly when accusing someone of not being natural, is often taken seriously.

In bodybuilding, “natty” refers to individuals naturally developing their physiques without relying on additional hormones such as steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

Natty bodybuilders take pride in achieving their results through what they perceive as the “correct” approach.

Please note that I am making generalizations here based on my perspective and insights from other natural bodybuilders. Some individuals may not care about others’ opinions and fall into that category, and I respect their perspective.

However, certain natural bodybuilders hold a negative view towards those who use substances to enhance performance or rapidly build muscle. They consider it a shortcut, although it doesn’t bother me personally.

What Does Not Natty Mean in Body Building?

There appears to be a clear distinction between natural bodybuilders who refrain from using any performance-enhancing substances and non-natural bodybuilders.

However, within the bodybuilding community, a concrete definition is lacking that precisely outlines what constitutes a “natty.”

Some individuals believe that natty bodybuilders are athletes who solely rely on regular food sources to fuel their bodies, even if it means consuming large quantities of eggs, steak, and milk, which may seem excessive to the average person.

Moreover, some argue that any supplementation, whether over-the-counter or not, disqualifies someone from being considered “natty.”

Ultimately, determining whether someone is natty becomes a personal and subjective interpretation that each individual must establish for themselves.

Similar to defining modern art or adult entertainment, it becomes challenging to satisfy everyone with a universally accepted definition. However, when confronted with it, you can generally recognize it when you see it.

Can a Body Builder Be Natty?


It’s worth noting that until the early 20th century, every bodybuilder in history was considered a natural athlete, at least in comparison to modern bodybuilders who use performance-enhancing substances.

Suppose you examine ancient Greek or Roman statues depicting legendary figures. In that case, you’ll observe remarkably well-defined physiques, sculpted muscles, and representations of strong men and women who appeared to have intentionally trained their bodies.

Consider the Strongmen of the past who entertained audiences in circuses and vaudeville shows worldwide. They achieved significant muscle size and strength without the existence of performance-enhancing drugs. Their approach involved heavy lifting, consuming ample protein, and dedicating more time to physical activity than most individuals in our sedentary modern lives.

Even today, it is possible to build a strong, solid, and aesthetically pleasing physique without using chemical aids. However, it is important to acknowledge that reaching the size of bodybuilders like Ronnie Coleman may require delving into the world of performance-enhancing substances (let’s face it, it’s true).

Nevertheless, you can develop a rock-solid, muscular, and visually appealing physique that would grace the pages of any fitness magazine without the assistance of steroids.

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Does It Matter If a Body Builder or Athlete is Natty or Not?

When considering whether it matters if a bodybuilder or athlete is natural or not, it ultimately boils down to individual perspectives.

Certain individuals place great importance on maintaining the bodybuilding community as natural, pure, and honest as possible. They are committed to implementing drug testing measures and imposing significant penalties for athletes who violate these rules, including fines and bans. They waste no time calling out and publicly shaming bodybuilders who claim to be natural but are later found otherwise.

On the other hand, some individuals (like myself) are perfectly fine with others exploring the use of chemical substances and modern scientific advancements to push the boundaries of the human body. They accept individuals who use performance-enhancing substances as long as they are open, honest, and transparent about their usage.

Ultimately, whether it matters or not if someone is natural is a subjective perspective that varies among individuals within the bodybuilding community.

Sustanon 300, an anabolic steroid, is well-known in performance-enhancing drugs.

Some believe there should not be any stigma attached to those willing to push their bodies to greater limits, even if it involves utilizing performance-enhancing substances.

In the end, you will often discover that most fitness and bodybuilding individuals fall somewhere between these two perspectives.

Some people strongly oppose the idea of non-natural bodybuilders competing against natural bodybuilders in competitions, regardless of any financial incentives. This viewpoint is reasonable and understandable.

Ultimately, it boils down to your personal goals, ethics, morals, and feelings about using chemical assistance versus striving to maximize your body’s genetic potential without external aids.

Is Creatine Natty?

Most individuals in the fitness community concur that using creatine is completely natural (natty).

Creatine supplements are categorized as such because they are, in essence, supplements rather than performance-enhancing drugs. They are predominantly derived from natural sources.

These supplements are intended to augment the creatine levels in your body, which is naturally produced and can also be found in red meat.

Moreover, established organizations like the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Association have no objections to athletes using creatine. This is in stark contrast to stronger performance-enhancing drugs.

Therefore, feel free to incorporate creatine into your regimen without concerns about being labeled as “not natty” due to its usage.

If you desire further information on creatine, refer to an article that explains how to dissolve creatine. This resource will guide you in eliminating the gritty texture often associated with using the supplement.

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Natty?

The majority of pre-workout supplements, much like creatine, can help you maintain your natural (natty) status.

As long as you are not experimenting with anabolic steroids, steroid cocktails, SARMs, or other performance-enhancing drugs for muscle growth, you would still be regarded as a natural bodybuilder in terms of the natty or not-natty distinction.

Incorporating caffeine, nitrogen, glucose, BCAA’s (branched-chain amino acids), and even small amounts of creatine or protein does not categorize you as not natty.

Are Steroids or PEDs, Natty?

If you start using steroids or any substance classified as a banned PED (performance-enhancing drug), you have likely transitioned from being natty to non-natty.

At this point, you fall into the category of bodybuilders who rely on the assistance of modern chemical cocktails to build a bigger, stronger, and faster physique.

I want to emphasize that I am not implying this is inherently wrong or morally reprehensible behavior, nor is it something to be ashamed of.

As I mentioned earlier, there are likely millions of bodybuilders worldwide currently using such substances, and if it brings them happiness and fulfillment, that is their prerogative.

While it may not always be evident, we know that many fitness models and professional athletes utilize steroids and performance-enhancing drugs to gain a competitive edge.

If this approach works for you and you are comfortable with the associated risks, there is no reason to feel ashamed. However, it is important not to present yourself as a natty bodybuilder any longer, as honesty and transparency are valued within the fitness community.

How Do You Tell If Someone is Natty?

Determining whether someone is natural (natty) can be quite challenging, especially without observing them competing in natural bodybuilding contests. It is nearly impossible to know for certain unless they undergo a blood test or test positive for the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in an officially sanctioned competition.

However, a few indicators can provide some clues suggesting that someone is likely using performance-enhancing substances and not maintaining a natural approach.

How To Tell If Someone Is Using Steroids To Build Muscle?

  • Extremely Muscular and Lean Physique: Look for individuals with exaggerated or almost exaggeratedly large and ripped appearances. Bodybuilders and athletes who appear unrealistically massive and shredded may be using steroids.
  • Exceptional Strength: Compare their strength levels to others of similar size and build. It could indicate steroid use if someone displays remarkably superior strength, especially considering their physical proportions.
  • Rapid Transformation: Pay attention to individuals who have experienced sudden and significant muscle growth. It may suggest steroid usage if someone has transformed from being small and scrawny to big and muscular in an unusually short period.
  • Pronounced Muscle Separation and Definition: Observe for well-defined muscle separations and clear muscle delineation, commonly called “dry” or “shredded” appearance. Steroids can contribute to enhanced muscle visibility and separation.
  • Unnatural Muscle Size and Growth: Take note of individuals who exhibit abnormally large muscle size and show rapid muscle development that seems disproportionate or unnatural for their body type.
  • Open Communication: Engage in a conversation and respectfully inquire about their training methods, diet, and any muscle-enhancing substances they might be using. Though not always reliable, some individuals may openly admit to steroid use.
  • Physical Signs: Look for signs commonly associated with steroid use, such as severe acne (especially on the back or chest), sudden patches of baldness, and other related symptoms. However, it’s important to remember that these signs alone are not definitive proof of steroid use.

Ultimately, respecting an individual’s choice regarding their use of performance-enhancing substances for muscle growth is important. The bodybuilding community holds varied opinions on this matter, and it’s essential to acknowledge and accept their personal decisions.

Closing Natty Thoughts

Whether a bodybuilder or athlete is considered “natural” (natty) depends on whether they rely on steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs during training.

Natural athletes abstain from such substances and instead rely on over-the-counter supplements, a disciplined diet, and a rigorous training routine. These individuals are commonly referred to as natural bodybuilders or “natty.”

On the other hand, individuals who use steroids and banned substances to enhance muscle growth fall into the category of non-natty.

The significance of this distinction and whether it should be viewed negatively or embraced is a subjective matter that can only be determined by personal judgment and perspective.



“Natty” refers to individuals who solely rely on legal supplements and employ natural methods to stimulate muscle growth.


This topic has been a subject of frequent discussion among gym enthusiasts. Muscle gains can be achieved through legal supplements and questionable anabolic steroids. For those who prioritize maintaining a clean and safe approach, natural methods and legal supplements are the recommended choice.


It is impossible to ascertain whether someone is a natural bodybuilder or not. Unless explicitly asking them or having knowledge of failed drug tests, speculating about their status will not provide any conclusive evidence.


Using steroids and depending on them to build muscle mass indicates that you are not a natural bodybuilder. Using substances leading to failed drug tests is a definitive indication of unnatural methods.


The “natty limit” concept is firmly rooted in utilizing natural methods to achieve muscle growth. Natural bodybuilders rely on over-the-counter legal supplements and maintain a healthy diet as their primary means of support. They actively steer clear of illegal performance-enhancing substances.


If you exclusively rely on specific legal supplements, such as creatine, BCAAs, whey protein, and other over-the-counter products, you are considered “natty.”


When considering the comprehensive definition of “natty,” it becomes clear that natural bodybuilders do not include human growth hormone (HGH) supplements in their regimen. Instead, they prioritize the natural production of anabolic hormones within their bodies. This viewpoint is widely acknowledged and agreed upon within the fitness community.


The term “natty” in the fitness community refers to individuals naturally developing their physiques without relying on performance-enhancing drugs like steroids or steroids. Natty bodybuilders take pride in their results and believe in using the correct approach. However, there is no universally accepted definition of “natty” in the bodybuilding community. Despite the challenges, building a strong, solid, and aesthetically pleasing physique is possible without using chemical aids. Understanding “natty” is crucial for engaging in discussions and establishing meaningful connections with fellow fitness enthusiasts.

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