Natty Or Not | How To Tell If Someone Is On Steroids

Natty Or Not

Here we will discover Natty Or Not “ How to find someone is on steroids or is he natty.

We all like to compare ourselves to our fellow gym rats. But how can we be sure that all of these jacked dudes in our gym and online are actually natural? Below are some signs that can give away whether someone is on the juice or in fact “Natty”!

Note: A natural guy in rare cases could have 1 or 2 of these. However, multiple occurrences of several of the below symptoms definitely point to steroid use.

How To Tell If Someone Is On Steroids

Here are some signs and symptoms which helps you to determine if someone is Natty Or Not.


In my earlier post, “Is Jinder Mahal On Steroids Or Natural?“, I mentioned that “gyno” is an unfortunate side effect of anabolic steroids. Gynecomastia occurs when high levels of the female hormone, estrogen, are present in a man’s body. Consequently, this hormonal imbalance results in the accumulation of breast tissue (as shown in the left picture below).


Steroid-use causes testosterone levels to increase to an unnaturally high level. In an attempt to keep in homeostasis, the body regulates testosterone back within a normal range. It does this by raising estrogen levels, which in turn lowers testosterone.

Why doesn’t every steroid-user have gyno? Gyno essentially is determined by the aromatase enzyme. Aromatase is responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen. Depending on a person’s genetics, this conversion may be high or low.

For those that have more aromatase enzyme activity than average are at risk of developing gyno during a steroid cycle. An anti-estrogen can be used to combat this from your genetic make-up; however anti-estrogen supplements can also lead to a spike in blood pressure (I explain the correlation between testosterone/estrogen and blood pressure in the next steroid symptom – flushed skin).

Flushed skin

Flushed/reddish skin can be seen in some steroid-users. This indicates a higher than average body temperature. High body temperature can represent an irregularity in the blood. It is almost certain that steroids will spike an individual’s blood pressure, being the cause of such an irregularity.


But why do steroids raise blood pressure? Steroids enhance testosterone levels (the male hormone) to extremely high levels. When testosterone rises, LDL cholesterol levels also rise. LDL levels are considered the “bad” cholesterol type, because when these go up, so does BP.

Exceptional trapezius muscles

The below image is a good contrast between a bodybuilder on steroids vs a big natural bodybuilder. On the left is Mr. Olympia, Phil Heath (known to be on steroids), and on the right is lifetime natural bodybuilder Shane Raymond. Shane is a member of Team Grenade and is drug tested at random times each year. His sheer size is a testament to hard work and exceptional genetics.


The muscle receptors in the traps are a lot more responsive to growth during a steroid cycle, due to them containing more androgen receptors compared to other muscle groups. Both athletes (in this picture) look to have a similar level of muscularity, yet Phil Heath’s traps are considerably bigger.

Bloat (Face/stomach)

Unnatural bodybuilders with extremely low body fat % ironically have rather large waists, due to bloating caused by water retention.

Steroids causing water retention is mainly down to high estrogen levels. When this female sex hormone peaks, your absorption of sodium salts increase. This means that after a salty meal, you will retain a lot more water than usual due to this hormone abnormality. A tip to reduce water retention (if any steroid-users are reading) is to increase your water intake and reduce sodium/salt intake on a daily basis.

anabolic steroids side effects

Despite estrogen being a factor in retaining water, water retention is common for any dangerous compound entering the body. It will process added testosterone/steroids as a potential threat to your system. Thus, to nullify this your body releases cortisol (a stress signal), enabling you to retain water and dilute the threat so it is more easily manageable.


This is down to your sebaceous glands releasing oils in the skin, which is stimulated because of androgen compound use (steroids). If the type of androgen is a particularly powerful one (i.e. trenbolone which is an androgen 500 times greater than regular testosterone), then acne can turn quite severe and even result in red blemishes forming.

Gaining large amounts of muscle mass fast without fat

In my post, Is John Cena on Steroids or Natural, I referred to a study on wrestlers, testing their fat-free mass. They concluded that several wrestlers carry as much muscle mass as steroid-induced Mr. Olympia’s. Thus it is possible to gain huge muscles naturally in some rare cases, however, it is unheard of for a natural athlete to gain much muscle mass without initial fat gain. So, rapid lean muscle gains is a sure sign of a steroid-user.

Note: It is also possible to gain large amounts of muscle mass without fat gain, however, this would happen over a long period of time and can be done with the principle of progressive overload.

Again this doesn’t mean if someone has one of these symptoms they are 100% on steroids. But you’ll now have a better idea of telling who’s natty or not based on these clear physical correlations. And one more thing…

…Stay Natty!

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