Elliott Hulse Is On Steroids?

| by Truth Seeker |

Elliott Hulse is a professional strongman and a former high-school football superstar enjoying a tremendous popularity on YouTube for his videos on strength, muscle, and philosophy. He has thousands of subscribers who follow him and aspire to acquire his mass and strength.

The question is – can that happen naturally?

According to official statements made by Hulse, he has used steroids in the past. In a YouTube video uploaded in 2012 under the title “How To Use Steroids”, Elliot Hulse informs us of the following:

– he didn’t take steroids during his football career
– he decided to try steroids out of ”curiosity” after lifting naturally for years
– steroids worked like magic for him
– he used a rather heavy cycle for a beginner – testosterone + trenbolone
– he didn’t feel fine on steroids, and his life started to fall apart – personal problems, torn biceps…etc.
– he considers his steroid period useful, for the fact that he can now educate his audience through his personal experience rather than second-hand knowledge

Hulse also talks about steroids on one of his websites where he states the following:

My personal experience is that manipulating my hormones unnaturally not only changed my body, but negatively impacted my physiology, psychology and character. I did not like the person I turned me into. I was NOT The Strongest Version Of Myself.” – Elliott Hulse


1. Elliot Hulse is not a lifetime natural bodybuilder according to the statements in his videos and website. Therefore, questioning his natty status makes sense only in regards to a specific time frame before or after his self-admitted steroid experience.

2. Elliot Hulse acknowledges the fact that steroids are very effective when it comes to building muscle mass and strength.

3. The cycle described in the video is not beginner friendly since it included multiple compounds, one of which was trenbolone – a harsh anabolic steroid.

Trenbolone (tren) was originally designed for animals. It’s common knowledge in the muscle community that beginners shouldn’t use tren. Moreover, most people rarely if ever combine multiple compounds during their initial cycles.

This is important because it partially explains why Elliot Hulse might have experienced so many negative events in his life during his steroid experiment. Many people who run a properly designed TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) actually report improvements in their life – more energy, more strength, more muscle…etc. However, since Hulse took trenbolone, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that this drug was the source of his physical and mental suffering.

This leaves us with one question:

Is the modern version of Elliot Hulse natural?

Elliott Hulse claims that he is no longer on steroids, but is this true?

Information provided by Elliott Hulse himself has revealed that when he is in shape he has the following body stats:

Elliott Hulse Is On Steroids?

Image from Elliott Hulse’s website: http://www.leanhybridmuscle.com/build-muscle.php


5’8” (173cm)


205lbs (93.1kg)

Body fat levels:


Let’s see how Elliot Hulse compares to Mr.Olympia Frank Zane.

In his prime, Zane had the following stats:

Frank Zane - Natty Or Not?

Off-season weight:

200 lbs (91kg)

Competition weight:

185lbs (83kg)


5’9” (175cm)




The data above reveals the following:

1. At 9% body fat, Hulse has 186.55lbs of lean body mass (LBM) (91% of 205lbs)
2. At 5% body fat Zane has 175.75lbs of LBM (95% of 185lbs)

Note:  LBM is the percentage of total body mass that is lean (muscle, bones, water, organs..etc.)

Elliott Hulse and Zane are about the same height. Yet Hulse has 10.8lbs more lean body mass than Zane. In case you don’t know, Zane competed against men like Arnold and Bertil Fox when steroids were widely available.

Let’s compare Elliott Hulse to another bodybuilding legend from the Golden Era of Bodybuilding – 1983 Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout.


In his prime, Samir Bannout had the following body stats:


5’8” (173cm)


210 lbs (95.5kg)

Body fat levels:


The data above reveals the following:

1. At 9% body fat, Hulse has 186.5lbs of LBM (91% of 205lbs)
2. At 5% body fat, Bannout has 199.5lbs of LBM (95% of 210lbs)

Former Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout had only 13lbs more LBM than  Elliott Hulse.

This leads us to a logical question – if the difference between a Mr. Olympia, albeit an old one, and a natural bodybuilder is 13lbs, why would anyone bother to use steroids? Why put your health at risk for 13lbs of muscle?

It’s best if you answer this question yourself.

What does the Fat-Free Mass Index (FFMI) calculator say?

The Fat-Free Mass Index (FFMI) belongs to the class of bodyweight indexes. It measures the lean body mass of an individual in relation to his weight and height. The formula was originally created in 1995 after a sample of 157 male athletes (83 users of anabolic-androgenic steroids and 74 nonusers) underwent an analysis. The conclusion was that men whose FFMI is equal or over 25 are most likely taking anabolic steroids. As a consequence, the FFMI has served as natty or not detector for a long time.

At 205lbs @ 5’8′ ‘@ 9% BF, the FFMI of Elliot Hulse is 28.42 – a very high number for a natural athlete.

source: https://www.thecalculator.co/health/Fat-Free-Mass-Index-(FFMI)-Calculator-794.html

In comparison, the FFMI, of Zane in his prime was 26.01 whereas the FFMI of Bannout was 30.40.

According to the research behind the FFMI, a score between 28 and 30 is highly unlike to be reached without anabolic steroids.


Q: Hulse is 100% natural now. The muscle mass that he has today is every so slightly higher than the natural limit because he has kept some of his steroids gains. Correct?

A: You don’t get to keep your steroids gains after stopping steroids, contrary to popular belief. Anabolic drugs make you bigger by altering the regular synthesis of protein within a cell. When you remove them from the equation, the synthesis of protein returns to baseline levels, and the gains start to slowly disappear.

In order for someone to keep his steroids gains forever, his training and nutrition will have to compensate for the lack of drugs. That is impossible to happen.

If training and nutrition have failed to create the growth in the first place, how are they supposed to keep it?

In simple terms – if you work two jobs and suddenly lose one, the job that you still have will have to pay you more money in order for your income to remain the same.

Q: Hulse is not 9% body fat in the picture above. He is 13-14%. Therefore, he is natural. Correct?

A: You may be right. Who knows? The information was taken from material uploaded online by Hulse or someone from his team. One thing is certain, however – even at 14% body fat, Hulse’s stats are amazing for a natural. At 14% body fat, the FFMI of Hulse would be 26.86, which is still a very high number

Q: Hulse has been training for decades. Therefore, he is natural. Correct?

A: Many wrongfully assume that one could get exceptionally big with time. This is not correct.

Past a certain threshold (3-5 years), every extra year is negligible when you are natural, for the fact that you are already maxed out or brushing the limits of your potential. Even if you train for 50 more years past that threshold, you are not going to gain much. Not to mention that with age, there’s a natural decline. However, even if humans didn’t age, stagnation would still occur.

This is why steroids are so effective. They simply allow your body to synthesize more protein. Time, training and nutrition cannot do that. They simply don’t have the capacity to alter that process.

Training stimulates growth by damaging the muscle and putting it recovery mode whereas food provides the building blocks to repair the damage. Neither has an effect on how much protein the body is pre-determined to synthesize. Steroids, on the other hand, have that ability.

Nonetheless, even people on juice face a limit because the androgen receptors and the internal organs wear out sooner or later.

1.http://www.leanhybridmuscle.com/ (visited on March 9, 2014);
2.http://www.hulsestrength.com/steroids/ (visited on March 9, 2014);
3.http://www.bodybuilding.com/ (visited on March 9, 2014);
4.http://www.wikipedia.org/ (visited on March 9, 2014);
5.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHOm89QUchk [How To Use Steroids by Strength Camp] (retrieved on March 9, 2014)

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  1. Frank

    There are 2 points worth making.
    Elliott admits to taking steroids.
    There is no way he is 9% bodyfat on the before and after picture.
    He looks about 13%-14% in my opinion.

  2. Rob

    I think if someone has admitted to using PEDs, then it’s moot to argue whether or not he’s on gear.

    If you gained a bunch of lean mass while on steroids, even if you stop using them, it’s pretty easy to maintain the muscle mass. You don’t start deflating like a balloon after you stop using them, of course, there are other factors like your BF% going up and stuff, but if your diet’s on point, I don’t see any reason why you’d start losing all the muscle.

    1. mitch

      Ask any professional bodybuilder, you lose all of your roid gains within a year of quitting steroids. Look it up before you parrot your pseudo-science next time.

      1. Eric

        You’re kidding, right? So, there’s a separate kind of muscle that steroids build, that you just can’t have otherwise? Is it made of gold? Yeah, if you have completely topped out what you’re capable of naturally then start gaining with steroids, sure. I don’t think anyone over 5’5″ is topped out at 200#. Grow up.

      2. James

        Professional bodybuilders are NOT REAL FUCKING PEOPLE YOU JACKASS!! Do you know what it takes to maintain 300lbs fucking pounds of lean fucking mass! You’re whole goddamn life is eating and training. They don’t “lose all their gains”, they shrink because being a top tier professional bodybuilder DEMOLISHES your joints and they stop lifting heavy. They stop eating 6000 calories a day, the muscle disappears pretty quickly. Dorian Yates is in his 50’s and he’s still a monster and hasn’t used PED for decades. Look at Tim Kennedy. He took PED’s a long time ago. His body is forever different. PED effects don’t “wear off”, they remain forever.

  3. chris

    i follow you and admire your work. I really believe that 95% of cases you’re right when speaking someone is he’s natty or not.

    But this time i think that you wrong. Check much betters the photo of Elliott, it looks like natural. When i was training hard, i achieved a body really close like that. Sometimes after a ‘hard’ workout, like pull ups or bench pressing with some grams of AAKG Arginine i was really impressive, doubting myself if taken steroids ahah ! but obviously i was (and i am) natural. bye!

  4. mitch

    Ask any professional bodybuilder, you lose all of your roid gains within a year of quitting steroids. Look it up before you parrot your pseudo-science next time.

  5. Justin

    Its obvious he used, easily 20lbs heavier 2013. respect to him for admission through experience. Pics are lies tho. 5″9′ ( by his account) & def 13% at 190. He isn’t that lean.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I’ve searched for his height. Some say he is 5’7″, others says he is 5’8″ or 5’9″. I used 5’8″ as a middle ground. But even at 5’9″ nothing changes significantly.

  6. rottenapple

    I have seen some exercise videos from this guy and he looks pretty buffed and with very thick muscles – frankly, he doesn’t look like natty to me

  7. Joe Smartington

    I actively dislike Hulse, at least the more recent weird version of him, but this article is utter trash.

    Protip, author, getting down to 5% bodyfat is difficult. Hard to be at your highest LBM when you cut down that low, steroids or not. Hulse being 200 lbs and reasonably lean is obtainable for most lifters (looks more like 12% to me in his picture)

    Being 185 lbs and build like Zane at 4-5% is a whole different level.

  8. Keith F

    Just by looking at the size of his chest, not much lagging upper chest, traps, and shoulders in general, Eliot appears to be on steroids no question (still to this day) Its only common sense, that if you are taking test and tren you cannot have any lagging muscles. If he had a lagging chest or maybe rear delts I’d say hes natty but that isnt the case. You see with logic, if he is on drugs, one body part wont just lag they will all grow and mature. As far as im concerned, he has no lagging muscle groups. Yes I can say his traps are much too developed to be natural or I could say his upperchest is, but use that common logic i pointed out and it will make the answer quick and to the point. Thanks for the post.

  9. Skommelling Champion

    I think we’re getting into one of those zones of being very very selective with information. In that transformation picture firstly you can see the difference in lighting, like all transformation pictures they take the worst possible picture and the best possible picture. I also doubt the body stats of any youtuber ever, if we’re looking at him in the best possible lighting and he looks like he’s 14% body fat or so he’s probably higher. I’ve been measured at 8%, personally thought I was 12-14% and looked much leaner than him under good lighting. Another 2 things is that 5% body fat with a high LBM is much harder than floating around the 15% mark with a high LBM, I gained weight from 82kgs to 90kgs and my body fat reading peaked at around 16% (again probably not even close to true) I think these guys will manipulate data and take their best body fat reading, highest weight reading and best photo in the space of a few days which could be significantly different.

    Finally the guy already admitted he used so he’s not technically natural, I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s still using but I’ve watched the guy’s videos and he isn’t as lean or as big as that picture suggests. I definitely think people with the right body type (unlike me, my body wants to stay smaller) could look similar to him in his videos without steroids

  10. Simon

    Elliot has a much thicker bone structure/ skeleton than Frank Zane so I don’t think comparing them is valid.

  11. James Richards

    Comparing Elliot Hulse to Samir Bannout is downright laughable. Use your eyes, it is extremely obvious that the latter is carrting way more lean muscle mass than the former. Elliot would probably weigh but a mere 165 lbs in contest condition as a natural.

  12. James

    Lot of weak wristed soy boys on here. Yes Elliot Hulse took the gear. No he doesn’t take it anymore. But it doesn’t matter. You take a cycle, you go off the cycle, your body is forever changed. Your muscle insertions are different, you’re not the same person anymore. Look at MMA fighter/Green Beret Soldier Tim Kennedy. He’s admitted to taking juice years ago. His body will NEVER look normal again. That’s what it does. I’ve seen that a hundred times. Skinny guy takes a cycle, gains 20lbs. Stops cycle, loses 8lbs, body is now changed. He gains another 20lbs of muscle over the following two years as a “natural” but his endocrine system is different now.

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