Natty or Not – Worth The Risk?

by Christian Duque

This article isn’t about which path is healthier. It’s not about any risks associated with the use of performance enhancing drugs either. It’s also not about promoting natural bodybuilding. In fact, you won’t read a single part of this story that speaks to any of these points.

When I ask if natty or not is worth it I’m speaking to the genre in terms of content creation. That’s because there’s a whole category of filmmakers on YouTube that have cornered this segment of the bodybuilding media. In a very well way it’s their attempt at reality tv. They go to expos, contests, in-store appearances and gyms. Their goal is to ambush athletes who they believe are lying about their natural status.

These content creators (not to call them trolls) base their suspicions on things like the size of muscles, the condition some athletes can achieve, and/or the consistency they have with training (e.g. how long they’ve been lifting). They have a set standard of what someone should look like in their 20’s vs their 50’s. They don’t believe it’s possible to be over 200lbs natty muscular and ripped. Why? Why can’t someone be over 200 and be jacked naturally? It might be because they can’t do it, right?

Many of the limits imposed on what’s natty and what’s not are based on the critic’s own estimation. It’s not based in science or any objective criteria. There are no blood tests involved, no urinalysis studies, no polygraphs, but even when those come into play they’re still not deemed conclusive by these hecklers.

Realize that there have been natty federations that hang their hats on testosterone ratios that have been totally disproven. There have been natty athletes that have surpassed accepted testosterone to epi-testosterone ratios who were100% natural.

Imagine being natural but having to admit guilt or get punished for something you didn’t do, in order to satisfy conditions to regain good standing. Sound stupid? Well that’s just what it is!!

Again, we could sit here all day and wax intellectual, but the point of this article isn’t about that either. All I’ll say is that knowing who’s natty or not isn’t something that can be determined simply by looking at someone. Nonetheless, there’s a huge number of content creators doing just that.

Guys like Kenny KO and Greg Doucette have an endless number of videos getting huge numbers of hits calling out “fake natties.” They base their suspicions on any number of theories that seldom – if ever – hold water. Some sit in front of their webcams casting all sorts of aspersions on people they’ll never confront. That’s pretty lame in that the accused have no way to refute the allegations on the same forum on which they’re vilified. Sometimes they’ll reply in kind on their platforms but no matter how strong their rebuttals might be, it’ll only further fuel the debate.

I have never ever heard of an accused fake natty being able to provide enough evidence so as to silence someone calling them out for “cheating.” That would only be the case if the accuser was truly on a quest for truth. Not only isn’t it their business to care, but it’s really nothing more than a trap. This is why seasoned veterans of the sport will never answer the question to begin with. The only answer the accusers want is an admission. Anything short of that and they’ll roast the accused. They’ll call them hypocrites, liars, and fakers. Some athletes who can’t ignore the allegations might half admit them, usually employing humor in the process, but sometimes that won’t work either.

A lot of top guys have taken to answering the natty or not allegation with creatine or protein references. If the clips are funny enough it might satisfy the hecklers. If the star is big enough, however, they’ll keep coming back for more.

Take Mike O’Hearn or Simeon Panda for example. These guys have spent the better part of fifteen years reiterating the fact they’re drug-free. Other guys like Skip LaCour and Jeff Willet have been hearing the allegations for 20 years. Even though they admitted to using prohormones, which were legal at the time they competed, that still wasn’t enough to get the clickbaiters to leave them alone.

And the reason why guys like Kenny and Greg keep making videos like this is because they get hits. This is why newer content creators like the UK’s George Osborne have taken to going to crowded expos and putting a mic in fitness celebs’ faces asking the same stupid question over and over again. I personally can’t watch these types of videos for more than five or ten minutes. It angers me that these guys think they have the right to ask personal questions of people they don’t know and people who owe them zero explanations.

I’m sure most of the answers they get range from “go fuck yourself” to “get lost,” but all the viewer sees are those poor souls who actually answer. But these trolls don’t care what the answer is. In fact, they care even less when stars admit to use and try to explain the why.

They’re not journalists and if this content wasn’t getting truckloads of hits, they wouldn’t be doing it. Moreover, quite a few of these guys have gotten very close to getting their asses kicked and that’s probably the jackpot for them. I have no doubt these guys would happily take a push, a slap, a punch or more. I think many of them dream of taking a slap like Jason Genova did from Rich Piana. All they’re after is hits. For some it’s about the money, for others it might be the hype, and some are maybe just after an adrenaline rush.

They live for the day they can walk up to a huge star, surrounded by their staff with throngs of loyal fans waiting to meet them and just create chaos. They turn the whole mood by making the celeb angry. Their stupid questioning might result in a full-on melee and they couldn’t be any happier. Others take it to another level walking around with scales and measuring tape. They don’t stop at asking if the athletes take PED’s, but they want to embarrass them by challenging them on how tall they claim to be or how much they weigh. Nothing about their coverage comes from a good place; they just want to start shit. That’s their entire modus operandi.

I don’t have any ill will against anyone looking to make a name for themselves . Just recently I wrote an article about the Brazilian Hulk who died at 55 after pumping homebrew oil concoctions into his arms, delts, and pecs. Whereas most of us would think that anyone who looked like this synthol clown was a moron, it was a vehicle to getting famous. Similarly I can’t watch a video consisting of some tool asking 20 random fitness celebs if they’re natty or not – let alone subscribe to a channel that consists of only this type of rubbish.

Frankly, I’m surprised that many of these trolls don’t get kicked out of expos or beaten up, but fitness celebs have incredibly thick skin and expo production teams have far bigger fish to fry than dealing with dweebs walking around with little microphones looking to get a rise out of superstars who are making real moves in life and not living off Google Adsense revenue.

The question of whether doing natty or not content is worth it or not really depends on how low you’ll go for clout. I think it’s garbage content and I couldn’t watch more than two or three minutes of it. That said, it does get huge traffic and it’s not going to end anytime soon.

Trolling will always have an audience but that’s not to say it’s quality content. What’s your take? Do you find this bullshit entertaining? You can be honest.