5 Cruel Ways Natural Bodybuilders Torture Themselves

Pressured by a desire to acquire, naturals submerge in the muscle game with a heavy enthusiasm that makes the hard seem easy and the impossible possible.

Like a temp working all night accompanied only by the indifferent photons emerging from the dusty lamp in the office, the natties of this world spend their days and nights chasing an ideal resembling a rose holding on to the heart with stab wounds.

Focused on the wrong kind of pain, natties torture themselves until blood starts dropping on the floor in accordance with the blinking rhythm of their wandering eyes unable to see a reward anywhere except in the chamber of false hope that all humans carry since birth.


Enough. It’s time for the self-torture to end. And for that to happen, all naturals have to become aware that they are hurting themselves needlessly.

Below you will discover five of the cruelest techniques naturals rely on to generate self-harm.

1. Obsessive–compulsive disorders (OCDs)

The natty’s cranium often feels like the den of a thunderbolt made of vitriolic and intrusive thoughts toying with the homeostasis of the soul and demanding endless subordination. The psychotherapist says ”just mute them”, but that doesn’t work because the natty’s burning ambition to forge thicker muscle fibers has the capacity to power a nuclear power plant.

If you look closely at a natty’s eyes, you will see a spark of obsession refusing to leave as if it’s an alcohol molecule inhabiting the deepest, almost unreachable, layers of a drunk’s organism whose system is confused what’s blood and what’s whiskey.

Like a clock running on Tesla’s unlimited energy, the constantly unsatisfied demonic voice keeps saying: ”Did you take enough protein, boy? Did you let the weights dissolve your fibers in the gym, you lazy loser? At what time are you going to bed, YouTube binging pinhead? Look on Instagram! They are all better than you! Why are you so silent, numskull? What about PRs? Do you ever plan on improving your one plate bench? Answer me now, for I am the gate to muscle! Ho-Ho-Ho.”

”Where is this coming from,” says the natty, hands covering the ears.

What if I tell you that the voice you are hearing is the result of a chemical reaction between your desires and the bodybuilding ecosystem created by businessmen doing their best to monetize the construction of muscle fibers and the fight against gravity. The process is catalyzed by the physiques of roid users on social media – the place where human souls meet in the age of notifications.

The mainstream explanation how growth happens could be seen as an attractive girl seemingly showing signs of interest in you. ”If she’s winking and touching her hair, it must be love,” you whisper to your imaginary councilor.

It’s a game of deception, my friend. You only see what the label wants you to see. You only hear what the audio engineer allows you to hear. It’s not real love. It’s a business transaction, and you are often on the losing side not because of money losses, but because of the constant dread increasing the pressure in your head.

The human body is not made out of paper. It’s strong and adaptable. 20 grams of protein, an hour of sleep and a few extra sets will neither make you nor break you. Yet the natty keeps drowning in toxic thoughts generated by imaginary guilt.

Surprisingly, the solution to getting rid of your OCD is not to hit it with your fists. OCD powered thoughts are a river created by your brain reacting to internal and external stimulus. The more you fight it, the wetter you’ll get. Instead, just let it run and observe calmly from the shore while the sunlight penetrates through the water and exposes its content.

Thoughts are just thoughts. They neither define you nor own you unless you give them a permission. Let them run. They’ll go nowhere on their own.

2. Blaming Yourself for Things You Can’t Change

”If people don’t succeed, it’s because they don’t work long and hard enough,” rationalize the megaphones of the system.

Once injected into the natty’s head, this criticism triggers the formation of microorganisms transporting profound guilt and self-hatred straight to the heart. The infection intensifies when the social media start spamming the online realm with examples of success stories.

”If so many people are making it happen, I must be carrying a faulty mechanism,” says the natty to himself, eyes controlled by a mixture of perplexity and desire for repentance.

Powered by naivete, the natty finds a new program, promoted by successful people, and restarts the prayer for growth. Despite the five trucks of effort invested into the new mission, the results fail to thunderstrike anyone. Even the oxygen in the room laughs with one hand in front of the mouth when a natty starts flexing his biceps in the mirror until his face turns scarlet. Then, the same cycle and all of its painful phases repeat again and again and again.

Can the loop be broken or is it infinite?

It will be infinite if you make it infinite. The deception works only if you agree to participate.

If you have tried your best, guilt becomes nonsensical and reveals an underlying insecurity.

Why do you feel guilty? Can’t you see that the official instructions don’t lead to the official reward? Can’t you see that bodybuilding is all about genetics and drugs? Protein powder and reps come last, kid.

3. Constantly Looking for Someone’s Approval

”Can I do high bar squats instead of low bar squats, coach,” types the natty with trembling fingers and a soul trapped in future expectations.

”No,” writes back the coach. ”If you do high bar squats instead of low bar squats, you are not doing MY program. And if you are not doing MY program, you might just as well hang yourself.”

”Low bar squats it is, sir,” responds the natty, deeply afraid that he will be IP banned and rejected by the cult.

As humans, we are always looking for a way to join a group and experience the pleasure of being a member, for there is nothing scarier than loneliness. The fear of rejection often turns us into beggars for approval.

I’m sorry, but it’s time to set the beggar mentality on fire. Once you know the basics, you don’t need anyone’s permission to train the way you want to train. There are no perfect exercises routines or rep ranges. Those elements are simply variables designed to change.

Eventually, you have to grow up and make decisions on your own. At first, it will feel weird and maybe even frightening, but after the period of adaptation, you will never look back to the life of a beggar seeking validation.

If you want to do high bar squats, do high bar squats.

If you want to curl in the squat rack, curl in the squat rack.

If you want to train only the left side of your body, do it.

You are the one in charge.

4. Training Too Hard

The natty knights like to think that their attempts to separate iron from the ground represent the greatest work of their lives. It doesn’t matter if the cold outside is turning air into ice, or if the sun is trying to melt the earth – they are always in the gym; bewildered eyes possessed by obsession.

Infatuated by barbell induced adrenaline, the natties invest a piece of their psyche in every rep. Sadly, the madness can only go for so long. Like youth dried by the sword of time, the desire of a natural starts to lose its life juice sooner or later. You can’t mute the mirror and ignore the balance sheet forever. Those with brain cells capable of activation will one day decode the pyramid scheme called bodybuilding.

Gym-slaving is very similar to an ungrateful job – even if you work twice as much, your salary only moves up once every 10 years to account for inflation. What’s the point of killing yourself when your extra efforts do not result in extra rewards? Some may say that they love it, but that’s a lie. You don’t really love all 9 sets of it. You just brainwash yourself into believing your own delusions.

Just like the coins you receive at the end of each month, the mirror’s reports could make the love for what you do colder and colder, my friend. Therefore, you have no choice but to slow down and do just enough work not to get fired. Focus on the essentials and forget about everything else. Reduce the number of exercises, sets and reps to an absolute minimum. If something is not important to you, don’t do it.

5. Trying to Explain What You are Doing

Listen. People don’t take you seriously until the table is covered in green. Nobody cares that you swim unless you’re Phelps. Nobody cares that you make videos on YouTube unless they are crashing the servers. Nobody cares that you work hard when there’s no money on the table. Nobody cares that you are spending day and nights in the gym when you don’t look like you lift. People only care when there are visible, undeniable results. In the meantime, you are alone – a ghost forgotten by everyone except the dust. Trying to explain to your family and friends why are doing what you are doing is a painful waste of time.

When I was in high-school, I wanted to become a pro skater. I invested a lot in the pursuit of this dream. Nobody from my family cared. They thought that I was basically an idiot trying to break his bones, which I did, by doing an activity designed for 5-year-old kids. They didn’t see the struggle because they couldn’t. They didn’t feel my pain, for they weren’t hurting. But before all – they didn’t see results.

I was never good enough to earn a sponsorship from a local skate shop let alone something bigger. The facts are the facts. I wasn’t built for it. But you can be certain that if my plan had succeeded, I would have received respect from my family.

The bodybuilding game is no different. Unless you start earning money or mutate into a beast turning heads on the street, the radar won’t detect you. You are a joke. No one wants to hear how sore you are or how many months it took you to set a deadlift PR. Save it for yourself, and before all, forget about approval, support or applause. You ain’t getting anything until the trophy is over your head. And as we all know, there isn’t a socially accepted trophy when you are 100% natural because people have been conditioned to believe that the bodies on the covers are the product of perfectly timed intake of broccoli and chicken breast.

Just give up. They don’t understand you, just like you don’t understand them.

Everyone’s struggle is invisible to strangers who haven’t tried to walk on the same road.

P.S. If you like this post, you will probably enjoy my book A Hater’s Synthesis.

54 comments

  1. AlpineSemilanceata

    Hey NoN, you’re such a good writer I’m happy I spent some actual money on one of your books.

    “If you have tried your best, guilt becomes nonsensical”

    It’s synchronicity that I read that today. I literally “cured” my depression by starting to live in accordance with that statement.

    Also, the fact that people only care about results, not the processes to get to them…is so true, especially when it comes to women.

    I think that what it boils down to is that to live in this world, it takes an ocean of acceptance and submission to reality. And the strength to be alone, and walk alone. And all of this takes faith. Something we have to rediscover without the help of “sacred” institutions.

  2. Justin

    Dude you are truly a Word saint ! Where did you learn to write like this? I do against the fake natty and came across the a lot of anti enchanced bodybuider articles that said the same shit over and over again. And your articles are the only one there that fascinated me to keep reading.

  3. Visto

    I could’nt agree more. The results are the only thing the society cares about irrespective of how you got them. Nobody cares if you benchpress 400lbs if your chest is still the ironing board.

  4. Steve Crook

    I have given up. I don’t search the forums, I don’t read the exercise articles. I go to the gym, do my exercises the best I can, eat decent food and know that I’m stronger, fitter and leaner than any 60 year old (or 50 year old for that matter) I know.

    Once in a while I train with a good coach, and she checks out my form on the exercises I do. It’s incredibly simple.

    The only thing that matters to me is progress in my training diary and the knowledge that there’s no magic in any of it.

  5. Junior

    Thank you, your article is fantastic. I am tired of each month or week a new program of diet or exercises promising the revolution, only for maintenance of the slavery.

  6. jaycdeez

    It took years for me to figure out that I would never be as ripped/big as the non-natty’s. During those years I did what you said – felt guilty about not being able to attain that level of strength and muscle mass. It was only as I matured that I realized there are so many people on gear and that is the main reason they look this way. Not the only reason, but that main contributing reason, period. Before and after pics of bodybuilders who get off the gear are laughable and not even remotely worth it. Just can’t do it. I just train for small increases in strength and a way to get my mind off of every day life now. I do exactly what I want in the gym as you suggested as well. It’s a lot more fun this way. Thanks Truth Seeker for telling it like it is.

  7. pedro

    i’ve got to say you killed it with the “guru IP ban” part, that was awesome, also you nail it when you use the word “obsession”, because thats exactly what it is, it is not love, it is a delusion that becomes an obsession over and over again.

  8. 5iiiii

    ”If people don’t succeed, it’s because they don’t work long and hard enough,” rationalize the megaphones of the system.

    Something that so many people deny for whatever reason is that cheating and luck are far more important factors for success. You don’t even need to work hard just take every possible shortcut, be an actor and make social connections. Some people will see through you and how lame you are, but that doesn’t matter because majority won’t.

  9. Santsephai

    The world of fake naturals is a microcosm of our entire culture. Fake food, fake news, fake eye lashes, fake tits, fake money, fake government…it’s an all pervasive illusion designed to steal your vitality. Your writing on this small piece of the entire puzzle of falsity is eye opening. I’ve been weight training for 25 years. Have varied in size, weight, strength and conditioning…but never looked close to what you see on IG. Weight training, at one point, was the antidote to succumbing to the illusion. It made your mind and body strong. Stronger enough to see through the lies we have been sold. It’s unfortunate that the simple act of being ‘fit’ is now subject to the same level of deception. Love your work and contribution to the mass ‘awakening.’ keep it up.

  10. MB

    Interesting article, but a little bit negative. I believe you can make great progress as natural and I know a few who became awesome natural.
    Funny about the ‘one plate bench’. I use at least 2. Otherwise I lose stabilization. LOL

    1. Visto

      yes in my experience average lifters can gain 30 to 40lbs and freaks over 40lbs towards 50 and ecto just 25 to 30 lbs naturally. Having said that they won’t look like fitness models in magazines quality mass of steroids and natty is light years different enhanced lifter will look big and better conditioned even at the same weight with nattys

      1. MB

        It’s true that the steroid user will be bigger than a natty, but a natty with many years of training and knows what he or she’s doing, can have the (almost) fitness model look of the magazines when they work with good photographers.

        1. Visto

          that’s exactly my point but don’t expect the synthetic and deep cuts look it ain’t happening but you can look good for someone who lifts

  11. McF7y

    Finally!! Another article after what seemed like ages! It doesn’t matter that I haven’t read it because…finally! Will be my lunch hour reading material. Thank you.

  12. Brett

    Good to have another article. Now I know why you wait so long, you edit them to perfection. I deal with loneliness everyday and ive been dealing with rejection all my life. Reading your articles always improves my mood. Doint listen to anyone who tells you your writing sucks or your articles are negative or depressing. Fuck that. All this false happy (follow the leader off the cliff with a smile on your face) bullshit is how the fake world sucks you in. Sometimes i think is there something wrong with me that i am not socially accepted, its not my physical appearance that causes it, its something inside me that makes me act different to others. Wlaking alone is not easy. Its become a trend these days to say you walk alone. Thats not what i am talking about. Only those who truly walk alone will know about how truly lonely it gets and how your thoughts hold you captive. You just cant stop thinking. When you finally speak to someone who has some idea about what you are about, its like those thoughts just get released like a catharsis. And that could take weeks or months. What gives me comfort is nowing that it is a choice. My choice. I know I would rather be spat out than swallowed.
    You cant be melted down and shaped if you aren’t made from the same materials.

    Thanks truthseeker.

  13. s.h

    hi truthseeker how are you dude?long time no see!!!
    thanks for the great article,
    by the way i have a question,in one article you said training each muscle once a week is useless because of deadaptation,and in another one, you mentioned that it depends on weekly tonnage and it is not necessary to train each muscle twice a week!!can you guide me more?please

  14. Marcin

    Great, well polished piece! I have started reading, no…- devouring- your site couple months ago and just can’t get enough. Sometimes you seem a little bit too bitter, but still I can relate to a lot of things you’re saying and I too know where they are coming from. I really like how insightful are most of your posts and the delivery with all these metaphors. This is not exception. Or I should say- it’s exceptionally good. Like someone already mentioned, naming the behaviour of most naive natty’s obsession is a bullseye and, God damn it, I suffered from the same disease! Keep the good work and cheers from Poland!

  15. Another Voice

    The truth is: Since we have decided not to take drugs, we have no other choice than to train. So why waste our time writing up stuff like this, why don’t we just train and go on with our lives?

    Who cares whatever shape OTHER people are, we may not look good, but for sure I look like shit if I do not train.

    Therefore these postings are nothing else but demotivating and a waste of time.

    We have no choice but to train. And it is a deal that works. Just train. End of the Story.

    1. BB-amateur

      Good luck in your belief in “train hard, eat big,, looking out for more pussies”.

      *Unfortunately chronic blindness has no cure as of date.*

    2. Yen

      Yeah it would be best if we could just ignore what the fitness culture is telling us — that we are tiny and weak because we are unmotivated and don’t take enough whey. But if you are bombarded every day by that kind of shit, eventually it can get in your head. The point of the article is show people the harmful and pointless thoughts that are eating away at them.

      If think these articles are a waste of time why are you here reading the website? You can get plenty of training advice over on T-Nation, and I’m sure you won’t find them demotivating. Of course, once you go long enough following their programs promising insane mass with little to no gains while constantly seeing instagram success stories of people easily benching 315 in just one year of training, you might start feeling bad about yourself too. And then you can come back and read this article and maybe you’ll feel a little better

  16. BB-amateur

    You are like a rope down the dungeon trying to pull-out confused natties from the “World of fake nattiness fueled by YouTube/Instagram”.

  17. Ethn

    Great read, thanks for taking time to write this. Being a ectomorph who tried to bulk up with mass gainer and whey which gave me several nasty side effects, every idea of yours makes sense. Keep up the great writing.

  18. Ethn

    You nailed it here:
    ”If she’s winking and touching her hair, it must be love,” you whisper to your imaginary councilor.

    Lol! After being duped few times with this line of thought, I have woken up. You obviously write with lot of experience.

  19. McF7y

    Hi guys, I’m a rather recent fan of natty or not and have read some of the past articles; really enjoyed reading them and still do. I look forward to the next article.

    I am no bodybuilder in any sense but I do work out to keep fit, agile and try to look good for the wife as I am now in my mid 30s.

    I am curious though, where do we draw the line when it comes to natty vs not? I mean, I can understand the steroids, drugs, PEDs, what have you. But what about supplements like protein shakes, wheys, amino acids, recovery shakes etc? (To be honest I’ve never really read into these supplements and I am not aware of what else is out there). These ‘other’ supplements, would they be ok for a natty to take? Or is being a pure natty, basically eating healthy, watching your diet, MAYBE having a cheat day or two (or week) and not supplementing with shakes etc.

    Hope someone can shed light on this.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Giuseppe

      Natty usually means no AAS, SARMS, strong stimulants (Amphetamine, Clenbuterol), cutting agents (DNP or diuretics).
      The majority of people still says that you are natty if you use bland stimulants such as nicotine, ephedrine, caffeine or yohmbine. However, they are considered doping in sport competitions.

      Finally, I think that everyone agrees that using protein powder and creatine is ok for a natty.

      1. McF7y

        Giuseppe,

        Thanks for the reply, really helps me understand a little more in to this natty/not world.

        So far I’ve not taken any supplements whatsoever, mainly relied on what I eat. Perhaps I should read a bit more into things like protein powders, creatine etc to see if it would help in achieving certain goals.

        Thanks again!

        1. Giuseppe

          If you use SARMS you cannot be defined natty. They are in the same league of AAS, the only difference is that the effect is selective for the skeletal muscles and not the other organs. Still, they increase permanently your muscles nuclei, giving you an unfair and long lasting advantage over a natural.
          They also suppress your testosterone production, so your body reacts to them the same way it reacts to AAS.
          The only reason why people claims that using SARMS is ok for a natty, is because they effect is not as drastic as cycle of TEST+TREN.

          For the strong stimulants, it depends. In my opinion, if you compete in strength sports you are not natty, the WADA bans that substances. If you are a bodybuilder that uses them pre-workout it could be ok.

      2. McF7y

        What about thermogenic supplements? Are those considered under the unnatural category or just doping?

        I say doping since from the little that I know, the main ingredient is caffeine and it elevates the heart rate, hence as a stimulant to increase metabolism and burn more fat faster I guess?

          1. McF7y

            I’ve not heard of DNP but interesting to note that from the Wiki article one of the first to report about DNP’s ability to increase metabolic rate is someone called ‘Cutting’. Is that some word play or what? Thanks Giuseppe again for sharing this.

    2. Brett

      sorry to be blunt bro but the fact that you have to ask that shows how easy it is to be duped into buying shit you doint need. first of all, you can take all the protein powder, creatine or supplements you want, you will always be a natural. why? cause they suck, they doint do anything for you. The only time you aren’t natural is when you start using testosterone. that’s all you need to know. protein powder is just another way of consuming protein. perhaps the placebo effect could help, but that’s it.

      1. McF7y

        Brett, no worries man. I have to admit, me asking these questions is also due to my ignorance. I haven’t done my own reading into these supplements and PEDs. For now I’ll just stick to home cooked meals.

  20. The mexican truth seeker

    Hey NoN, I’m very happy to read you again, after so long…
    Listen, Here in Mexico, there is a HISPANIC CHANNEL called LA VERDAD SOBRE EL FITNESS. LVF, in English The truth about fitness.
    Who is a COPY-PASTE of your articles,with a bot voice who translate from English to Spanish they have a high amount of views and followers in LATIN AMERICA, and they are getting all the credit of your work. I Think u should do Something about it, Because you start something big, you expose the industry, you tell the people the uncomfortable truth that they don’t want to hear, I’ll allways be grateful for your advice and the way they changed my life. thanks, you teach how to not care about what people say, and question everything. SALUDOS DESDE MEXICO!!! SIGUE ASI!

  21. forossa

    hey man,
    i don’t know if someone asked this before, but have you read henry rollins’ “The iron”?
    He writes with a similar mentality to yours.

    And as always a sincere thank you for your contribution to the world of natural bodybuilding.

  22. Arnaud

    You are a good writer, and you can offer interesting view on many subjects. To bad you decided to limit yourself solely on exercise.
    I understand that this is you passion, but occasional detour in other fields would be nice break, deload.

  23. cogos

    Bodybuilding has always been a scam. Most of us don’t have the genetics to make it naturally, this is a sad reality and there is nothing we can do about it. Bodybuilding is a paradox, you realize the truth, but you cannot quit, otherwise, you would look like shit. You have no choice but to keep training, the problem is that after realizing the truth, you will have no motivation, because now you know, you will never achieve what you want, so whats the point

    This is where either take steroids, or forget about bodybuilding and do bodyweight exercises, either you are fucked. The way I see it, if you really want it, why not take steroids? just do a few cycle, it has been proven that even if you stop steroids, due to muscle memory and increase of muscle nuclei, you will have higher ability to retain and build muscle than someone who never took roids

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      There is no such a thing as a few cycles. Once you are off gear, all gains will go away sooner or later.

      1. cogos

        Some studies have proven that steroids will increase the number of muscle nuclei exponentially. “Evidence shows that the number of nuclei generally remains proportional to the size of the muscle fiber, meaning that when a muscle fiber grows, the number of nuclei also increases. cell nuclei are added during strength training and not lost upon subsequent detraining,[3] the nuclei might provide a mechanism for muscle memory. Thus, upon retraining the extra nuclei are already there and can rapidly start synthesizing new protein to build muscle mass and strength”

        This explains why people who exercised when younger, have an easier time building muscle mass and staying leaner when they join the cult of bodybuilding. This also explains why once you have built a certain amount of muscle tone, even if you stop training, you can quickly recover your lost gains due to muscle memory.

        Therefore, cycles of steroids are not entirely USELESS as you and many other people claim they are. They will have a permanent positive effect on your muscles, regardless if you stop using them or lifting weight altogether. Why do you lose your gains after a cycle? It is simple. Your test is lower, but you will not lose ALL your gains. Some will remain, assuming you did everything correctly. That’s not the benefit, though, the main benefit, is the now permanent change to the muscle nuclei numbers and muscle fibers. I see this very similar to liposuction.

        Many people believe that liposuction is pointless, why remove fat that you can simply lose, and that it could return? Wrong. The benefit of liposuction is the permanent removal of fat cells, which permanently alter your body shape and the way the lipoed area functions. So, even if you were to gain weight after the surgery, is not pointless, not only will the lipoed area not get as big as before, but if you were to diet down to your surgery weight or even below that, you will quickly recover and improve your results, why? because the machinery underneath, the fat cells, have been permanently altered, so it doesn’t matter if you gain or lose weight, same concept applies to using roids for nuclei increase, it doesn’t matter if you lose most of your gains right after the cycle, cause now you have gained an advantaged over your previous natty self, now you have more muscle nuclei, which will help you in the long road

    2. MB

      I disagree.
      There’s definately something to achieve natural for everyone. I even know someone who has awesome results as natural. Of coarse one will be better than the other, but you still can become the best version of yourself.

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