Differences Between ‘Natural’ And ‘Roided’ Bodybuilders

1.Natural bodybuilders look smaller.

Even a child can tell the difference between Ronnie Coleman and a natural bodybuilder. Big Ron carries five trucks more muscle. But weight alone is not always indicative.

One of the trademarks of fake natural bodybuilders roiding their brains out is that on paper they are quite light, but in reality, they look extremely muscular. That’s a look achieved through superior conditioning and quality mass.

The bodybuilders from the lower divisions who weigh about 160-180lbs and yet look 200-220lbs thanks to their superior 3D muscle are a perfect example.

For instance, Jeff Rodriguez weighs ‘only’ about 180 lbs, and yet he appears bigger than life. Most people would believe him if he says he is 220 lbs.


On the other hand, true natural bodybuilders rarely look heavier than they are.

If we compare Jeff Rodriguez to Eugen Sandow, who was a bodybuilder from the pre-steroid era, we see that Rodriguez ‘dwarfs’ him even though Sandow’s weight was about 170-180 lbs at 5’7”.


Jeff Rodriguez is supposedly as heavy as Eugen Sandow and also 2 inches taller. Nevertheless, his muscular development is light years ahead of Sandow’s.

Moreover, Rodriguez has a much better chest. The reason for Sandow’s poor chest area is that the lifters from the past focused primarily on the overhead press, which does not develop the pectorals as much the bench press and dips.

2.Natural bodybuilders are depleted while ‘roided’ bodybuilders are full.

One of the hardest things for natural bodybuilders is to keep their fullness during cuts.

When the diet is restrictive, the muscles become flat, depleted and weak. This is especially true for keto diets. In the initial stages, the lifter loses water weight and consequently his muscles look fragile and beaten.

A good way to spot the fullness of steroid users is to examine the shoulders and trap area of the athletes. Enhanced lifters have very well developed 3D delts and traps. On the other hand, naturals have a really hard time preserving shoulder mass on a cut.


The man in the photo is Jim Cordova. Pay special attention to his 3D delts with visible striations. Natural bodybuilders rarely exhibit such powerful and ultra-lean deltoids.

3.’Roided’ bodybuilders have deep 3D cuts that make you go ‘wow’.

‘Roided’ bodybuilders have really deep cuts that turn heads on the street. Below is a picture of Lazar Angelov famous for his ‘perfect’ abdominal development. Notice that he has super deep cuts.

Even if you are able to get to his levels of body fat as a natural bodybuilder, achieving such insane cuts is quite hard.

Lazar Angelov - insane lower abs

4.’Roided’ bodybuilders look synthetic and composed in Photoshop.

If you look closely at ‘roided’ bodybuilders, you are going to see that they just look synthetic and have a ‘plastic’ Photoshop appearance.

In the photo below, the popular fitness model Jaco De Bruyn displays the synthetic/robotic look.


5.Bodybuilders on steroids age faster.

Without a doubt, large amounts of anabolic steroids and other muscle-building drugs change your facial aesthetics. Many users suffer from male pattern baldness and faster aging. It’s not uncommon for individuals who are 20 something to appear 35+.

In the photo below you see the transformation of Hafþór J Björnsson who got from point A to point B in 2 years. In the first photo, he is about 21 years old. Currently, he is 25 years old. Does he look 25?


6.’Roided’ bodybuilders have funny head to body ratio.

Many bodybuilders have bodies making their heads look unnaturally small. A good example would be the supposedly natural bodybuilder Jeff Willett.


7.’Roided’ bodybuilders look grainy and ultra dry.

The grainy and striated look presented by many bodybuilders is unachievable without the heavy usage of muscle building drugs.

In the picture below, you see Helmut Strebl and his insane muscle quality.

image via: http://www.muscle-base.com/;

image via: http://www.muscle-base.com/;

8.Natural bodybuilders gain muscle slowly.

True natural bodybuilders have a very hard time gaining muscle. The process is very slow and painful. Meanwhile, steroids users often display amazing Hollywood style transformations in a few months.

9.’Roided’ bodybuilders do not follow strict diets.

Regardless of what the ‘roided’ bodybuilders try to sell you – many eat junk food all the time and use crazy amounts of fat burning drugs to compensate and remain lean and mean. That’s why people usually get quite fat when they follow a high-calorie diet plan prepared by a professional bodybuilder.

10.’Roided’ bodybuilders train with light weights and get away with it.

It’s not uncommon to see huge bodybuilders training with small weights. Most do pumping exercises and that’s about it. They don’t have to lift heavy because the drugs are doing most of the work.

Moreover, lifting heavy when you are loaded with hormones could be dangerous for your tendons and ligaments. Steroids increase your strength fast, and the connective tissue does not have time to adapt. Smart bodybuilders know that and stop themselves from putting too much iron on the barbell.

At the same time, natural bodybuilders need to progress methodically and constantly improve their lifts.


  1. Zorba

    Oh my gosh.. the aging of Hafthor (whatever it’s spelt) is astounding.. My mouth fell open when I saw the pre-steroid and post-steroid pics. I guess his bones, however, grew considerably within 2-3 years. His skinny self has narrower bones than his “Big” self. Humans continue growing till about 21-22 I guess.

  2. Medical Knowledge

    Zorba, bones stop growing after your teenage years. When you are growing there is a line in your bones called an epiphyseal line. It is cartilage that lets the bones grow in length and it becomes fully fused by the end of your teen years.

    Your bones do not grow in width just because of steroids. The difference in width comes from more muscle mass than what he had before.

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