Is Barthel Fitness Natural?

J.R. Barthel is the owner of a YouTube Fitness channel operating under the name of Barthel Fitness. He has a very well developed physique and thousands of followers. Can you build similar body naturally or is Barthel Fitness on steroids?

1.J.R. Barthel is a big guy.

image source:

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According to the bodyspace page of J.R. Barthel he is 6’1″  – 185 cm, 240 lbs – 110 kg at 12% BF. This means that at 5% body fat (contest condition) he will have the following stats:



185 cm


215 lbs*

97 kg

Body fat:



*There is no way to tell exactly how heavy J.R. Barthel will be in contest condition but there’s no reason for him to be under 215 lbs, if he diets correctly and does not lose too much muscle mass.

Let’s compare J.R. Barthel to bodybuilders who have used anabolic steroids during their prime as IFBB professionals. The references of choice will be the legendary bodybuilder from France Serge Nubret who is the same height as J.R. Barthel. In his prime he had the following stats:


Off-season weight:

212 lbs (96.6kg)

Competition weight:

200lbs (91kg)


6′ (182cm)

Body fat


Conclusion: J.R. Barthel has more muscle mass, on paper, than well known IFBB pros such as Serge Nubret.

How is it possible? What are modern natural bodybuilders doing to surpass the bodybuilding legends from the past? Back in the day training was training and nutrition was nutrition. Not much has changed in that regard since the so-called Golden Era Of Bodybuilding.

2.J.R. Barthel has the Photoshop look.

Just like all the other suspicious ‘natural bodybuilders’ J.R Barthel has the so-called Photoshop look. The lifter looks dry, shredded and synthetic – traits never seen among real natural bodybuilders.

Conclusion: Similar to the rest of the guys we’ve presented J.R. Barthel is too big and has too low body fat levels to be a true natural bodybuilder.

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