To be natty or not to be — that is the question. So you’ve been training for a few years and wonder whether you should continue as a natural athlete or take the plunge — quite literally!
You barely have to skim the surface of the internet to find out that most gym bros recommend at least 5 years of solid training and dieting before diving into PEDs. Some bros say 7 years above the age of 25.
Being Natty in The Fitness Industry
Whatever the answer may be, the fitness industry will distort what is actually achievable naturally to sell you their over-the-counter placebos and marginally beneficial, but expensive, supplements.
And this misrepresentation of what is natural tricks hundreds of thousands–if not, millions–of young up-and-coming lifters.
Usually, their models and spokespeople boast a combination of good genetics, rigid discipline, the revocation of their “natty” status, and are carb-loaded, dehydrated, and on anti-diuretics to pose for photos in good lighting.
Their bodies are not sustainable. A lot of the time, they only look like this for a matter of hours. Additionally, the combination of good genetics and lifestyle dedicated to training will trump the average person’s best efforts to attain such a physique.
But still, though, people are duped into believing that the pricey supps they pop will at least help them look a certain way.
While it’s not my intention to jump into a lengthy treatise critiquing society’s over-idealized representation of a fit body, attaining half of what these fitness models show off is admirable–especially at a time where so-called “fat acceptance” has gained more traction and mediocrity is celebrated.
You can absolutely get an amazing physique while natty. Most gym bros, in my experience, could achieve their ideal physique with never taking the PED plunge. But most of them have high time preferences and decide to hit a few cycles ahead of waiting the long game.
I’ve been training natty for 15 years and I still make gains to this day. Of course, it has slowed down immensely, and I will take the PED plunge soon, but I am getting stronger even though my muscularity has not made any significant increases for years.
Some over-the-counter supplements can help to break past plateaus well into one’s natty life. For example, I only started taking creatine seriously a little under a year ago and it help to add around 50lb onto my bench press while improving body composition.
However, despite these recent gains, progress is, overall, slow.
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Fat loss, in particular, is the most frustrating endeavors while lifting natty. You can put on good lean muscle tissue, but when you want to reveal those hard-earned gains, a lot of muscle is shedded in the process of getting peeled.
The fullness and roundness of many natty lifters is lost as they near a single-digit body fat percentage. Areas such as the upper chest, side delts, and arms have a nasty habit of attenuating when cutting.
To be continued…
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