Jeff Nippard – Natty Or Steroids?

| by Truth Seeker |


It’s time for another classic natty or not review. Our focus is on Jeff Nippard – a powerlifter and bodybuilder known for his mass and strength.

What are Jeff Nippard’s stats?

On October 10, 2016, Nippard uploaded a video entitled: “What’s My Bodyfat Percentage? | POSING Update | Training Cues to Target Lats”.

The video reveals that on that day, Nippard’s weight was 163.8lbs/74.45kg at 8.4% body fat.

Both metrics should be factual since the first is shown on an electronic scale whereas the second one is based on a DEXA scan.

The DEXA scan is a very accurate and effective way to register body fat and lean mass distribution throughout the body. It is “trusted by elite sports labs and research facilities”. In short, it’s the gold standard.

Other stats:

Height: 5’5″/165cm {source}

BMI: 27.2

Nippard’s weight that day.
Nippard’s DEXA scan result.

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

The Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI) belongs to the class of bodyweight indexes and accounts for the amount of lean body mass that an individual carries 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 with an FFMI equal or higher than 25 are most likely taking anabolic steroids. As a consequence, the FFMI has served as a natty or not detector for a long time.

The FFMI of Jeff Nippard is hovering around 27 which technically makes him a non-natural.

However, the FFMI system receives significant criticism, and many try to render it inaccurate and useless. In a video uploaded on YouTube, Alpha Destiny criticizes the FFMI approach himself. His major point is that the formula does not account for bone thickness. Thus, a short man who has extremely big bones could break the FFMI formula without knowing the difference between bananas and anabolic steroids.

To illustrate his point, Alpha Destiny gives as an example a man who is 5’5”/165cm tall and has a 10-inch (25.4cm) wrist. According to Alpha Destiny, a man with similar physical properties ”disarms” the FFMI completely.

In theory, somewhere in this universe, there may be men carrying skeletons of that magnitude. Yet a bone structure that thick would definitely be an anomaly rather than the norm.

Let’s see how common it is to have a 10-inch (25.4cm) wrist.

In the graph below, you see the results of a research published in a technical report entitled: 1995 Matched Anthropometric Database of U.S. Marine Corps Personnel: Summary Statistics

The conclusion is that out of 4447 males who took part in the study, 99% have a wrist circumference smaller than 7.67 inches (19.4818cm).

Note: A percentile means ”percentages below”. Thus, the people who fall in the 99 percentile form the top 1%.

In other words, it’s pretty safe to say that everything above an 8-inch (20.32cm) wrist is exceptionally rare.

The claim of Alpha Destiny that the FFMI is invalid by default because it doesn’t account for infrequent scenarios is subject to criticism because most statistical studies target the majority rather than the minority.

If a medicament causes side effects only in 1% of the patients, it would still be considered valuable because it helps the rest 99%.


Note: Even the wrists of a ”genetic freak” like the arm wrestler Denis Cyplenkov are not 10 inches. According to, they are 9.4 inches (23.8cm).

Conclusion: To find a fairly lean man who is 5’5”/165.1cm tall and has a 10-inch wrist, one would have to search for a really long time. Maybe forever.


Let’s assume that Jeff Nippard is 100% natural despite the significant amount of muscle mass that he is carrying.

What would hypothetically happen if this man decides to do a few mild steroid cycles and gain 20-25lbs (9-11kg) of muscle mass?

If Nippard was to do that, his stats would upgrade to:

Bodyweight: 163lbs (starting weight) + 20lbs (gain from a few mild steroid cycles) = 183lbs/83kg

Bodyfat: 8.4% (I will keep it unchanged although his body fat percentage should technically drop if his gains are lean.)

In that situation, the FFMI of Nippard would rise to about 28.


In comparison:

Serge Nubret had an FFMI of 25.7 at 6’@200@5% body fat.

Arnold Schwarzenegger had an FFMI of 28.6 at 6’2@235lbs@5% body fat.

Franco Columbo had an FFMI of 29.2 at 5’5”@185lbs@5% body fat.

In conclusion, Nippard is a few cycles away from acquiring an FFMI that would classify him as an elite bodybuilder during the 70s when steroids were legal and therefore widely available and used.

In case you don’t know, a cycle or two don’t make a professional bodybuilder – neither today nor in the 70s. It takes more time in the drug zone to acquire that much mass.

This is how Nippard looked at 170lbs – a bodyweight that is considered high for his height.

He Is Big Because He Is Short

I have never heard an argument as illogical as this one, but since it seems to be the dominant opinion in regards to shorter bodybuilders, I have to address it.

Where is the logic behind this statement? Being short does not make you a hypertrophy machine. A 5’5” man does not possess better muscle building faculties than a man who is 6’2” tall. The only difference between the two is that the short man will have to gain less weight to fill out his frame. However, this doesn’t mean that the short man can build more mass than the tall man, nor does it mean that short men have a higher natural potential.

If the statement is modified to ”he looks big because he is short”, it would make a little more sense. Nonetheless, even a man who is 5’9”-5’10” tall would look like he lifts if he was to borrow the lean body mass of Nippard.

Bottom line: Being short does not make you better at building muscle. It makes you more efficient. Still, the world is full of short ”hardgainers” who would be lucky to break 130lbs/59kg at 5’5”/165cm in a lean condition.

How Strong Is Jeff Nippard?

In an interview from October 2015, Nippard reveals that he had the following lifts:

Squat: 446lbs/202.72kg
Bench: 353lbs/160.45kg
Deadlift: 451lbs/205kg

The interview states that the bodyweight of Nippard at the time was 155lbs/70.45kg. If that’s the case, the lifts above amount to:

Squat: 2.87 BW
2.27 BW
2.9 BW

Those lifts represent world-class strength. Finding a natural who can match them would be a hard task even for a bounty hunter.

Does Jeff Nippard Have The 3D Photoshop Look?

Yes. In some photos, he looks too big for his frame and showcases 3D deltoids. Naturals have a hard time creating an effect combining fullness, leanness and width.

Jeff Is Natural Because He Is Drug Tested

As a natural bodybuilder, Nippard is subject to random drug testing. He passes the tests and therefore he should be natural.

In a perfect world, this statement would be correct. But most people know better. There are ways to pass a drug test without being natural. Elite athletes in all sports do it.

A Man Is Known By The Company He Keeps

A man is known by the company he keeps. Millionaires hang out with millionaires. Beggars hang out with beggars. Fake natties hang out with fake natties. 

That does not mean, of course, that every single person in a video overloaded with juicers is on steroids, but there is a very high chance that the main characters are sharing more than the love for lifting and healthy eating.

Jeff Nippard has done collaborations with obvious juicers such as John Meadows.

In conclusion

Factors suggesting that Jeff is natural.

1. He tells you that he is natural.

2. He has a deep understanding of the human body and lifting. (Training programs do not have the capacity to break the natty limits, for they are incapable of stimulating an unnatural synthesis of muscle protein.)

3. The FFMI calculator is flawed.

4. He is drug tested. (drug tests in bodybuilding are the easiest to pass)

Factors suggesting that Nippard is not natural.

1. He is simply too big and lean for his height.

2. He has the 3D look.

4. He has insane strength.

In short, there is a very high chance that he isn’t a lifetime natural.

One thing is certain, though. Most people don’t have the capacity to build that mass 100% naturally.

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  1. forossa

    lol man. is there a question?! hahahaha

  2. Joshua

    truth seeker, is it possible to reach the genetic limit for a natty, train each muscle ONCE a week?
    not a single fullbody session, but something like.. upper on monday and lower on friday.

    It seems that with the modern PUBMED DOCS, you have to train always more. Always with more volume.. more frequency..
    ”Without 20 sets x muscle group you are losing shoulders like watermelons”
    ”without 2-3 session x muscle each week you are leaving gains on the table”

    Right or not? make an article about that Man!

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      It’s possible, but realistically, you will pass through many routines for various reasons – school, work, boredom, joint pain…etc.

  3. Alberto

    I fully agree with you on 3 things:

    1) Nippard is very likely on steroids. I believe he absolutely is and that coming off cycle would significantly damage his social media presence & suscribers (I know you didn’t explicitly say that but I wouldn’t blame you at all for believing the same).

    2) A short man doesn’t have special muscle advantages over a tall man.

    3) A normal 5’5 guy who is natty and not a genetic superfreak or a juicer will not go past 130 lbs in a very lean state. I’m also 5’5 and hover around 140-145 lbs while lifting progressively for 3 years. I consider myself lean but realistically speaking, I would need to lower my weight below 130 lbs to reach single digit body fat.

    Thank you for the great article.

    Best regards,
    from a long-time lurker.

    1. Jamie

      Your 3rd point is correct, im an even shorter guy (161cms) and at the moment hovering around 72kgs and that would be around 15% body fat for me to get into the single digits i would need to drop down to at least 63-64 kgs! Jeff Nippard is around my weight now and lean and swole AF!

  4. jimjohnson

    ok..i have not the read article yet….because right away looking at his picture 100% not natural….no maths numbers needed….

    Naturals simply can never have that much muscle…end of

  5. Lee

    The delts alone give it away. No natty can develop 3D shoulders like Nippard or Dana Linn Bailey.

  6. rick singh

    He does look like a steroid user. he probably does oral steroids to avoid becoming a avid juicehead. It is impossible to eat healthy diet and caloric deficit and maintain his strength and mucle belly fullness. Majority of natties are better off being on an permanent lean bulk with days of IF and cutting carbs and doing cardio. If natties want to gain size limit cardio and eat then spend later months fasting and incorporating cardio.

  7. joe santus

    Heheh…you and I may differ about the date at which bodybuilders began experimenting with anabolic steroids, TRUTHSEEKER, but even with my conclusion that none used even testosterone until 1951, the practical outcome remains the same for us for any bodybuilder post-1950: “If someone carries that much mass at that low of bodyfat, assume steroids until proven otherwise.”

    1. joe santus


      1) He’s such a rare genetic anomaly that no other guy should point to him as an example of what can be achieved without PEDS, since virtually no other guy can achieve results like that PED-free.


      2) He’s careful not to explicitly explain what he means by “superior genetics”, because he knows his “superior genetics” are “genetics with superior response to PEDs”.

    2. twp

      I say he is cycling low doses of test and anavar to avoid bloating. Something like 200 mg/wk test and 20-30mg/day anavar will give you some mass and strength over your natty limit, but not too much to obvious for everyone that you cycle.

  8. Matt

    He’s not natty. Isn’t that obvious? Lol

    1. Jai

      You foolishness is off the charts
      . But yess.. u cud become a lawyer because you have the unique ability of attempting to convince people that even shit can smell good….
      Your arguments sound kindergarten like to me because I’ve done courses on steroids and can spot one instantly…
      But your pathetic attempts to make him look natural are really laughable….

  9. JonnyDeath

    It’s far more likely the BMI simply isn’t accurate having seen enough photos and watched enough videos of him.
    I’ll wager he’s 5’3 or 4 in bare feet not 5’5 or 6.
    He’s lean enough to exploit modern photographic equipment, techniques and exaggerate mass through tried and true setups.
    In casual video shots and photos he’s not the freakish monster as depicted but rather in scale, the same size as millions of us, in scale for height variation, not taking drugs.
    His competition numbers are very good for a natural, not superb, and less than mediocre for someone taking drugs regardless of height.

    I tend to think people blown away by him and supporting him are just like their counterparts insisting he’s on drugs; guys with absolutely terrible genetics.
    On a 6′ frame and lifetime vegetarian diet I’ve matched his size to scale doing calisthenics and resistance bands and can say this about a heap of people well known in social media. My training on point but without being professional level has gotten my arms to 18″ and I am confident I can hit AT LEAST 20 naturally if I focus more and adhere to a strict program.

    Bottom line is I just think he’s extremely photogenic, has a very well balanced physique head to toe and minds his diet well enough that 2 or 3 days of reduced calories is all he needs to produce the sensational, glamorous fitness model photos.
    The only ground I ever see for a lot of these arguments is the round look rather than flat mass which is sometimes an indicator and that body fat is so low with a shredded look.
    So what?
    Fast for 5 days at peak of natural building you’ll get the same photo and video effect.

    1. Seamus Flannigan

      I’d ask for pics to support your outrageous claims of 18 inch arms with the potential to hit at least 20, but we both know how pointless that would be.

      (and L fucking OL at your claim that 2.3 BW bench press is only “less than mediocre)

      God this site seems to bring out the worst keyboard warriors.

  10. Jesse

    More proof exercise “science” experts shouldn’t write until they acquire the actual expertise.
    This is why the whole article is invalid:
    “Both metrics should be factual since the first is shown on an electronic scale whereas the second one is based on a DEXA scan.

    The DEXA scan is a very accurate and effective way to register body fat and lean mass distribution throughout the body. It is “trusted by elite sports labs and research facilities”. In short, it’s the gold standard.”

    This is simply not true. DEXA is not the gold standard for measuring body fat in exercise research (maybe by bodybuilders though!). This is the four compartment model, while DEXA is a type of two compartment model. How does DEXA stack up against the four compartment model? Not too well; studies have the margin of error for the body fat of an individual at 4% to as high as 10% ( mean Jeff could be and probably is, well above 8% body fat in the 10-13% body fat range which would give him a FFMI below 25 in the natty range (and this is what he claims on his facebook, to be 5’5, 165 and around 10% with a FFM of 24.7). Also keep in mind neither DEXA or the four compartment models are measures of body fat. You can’t measure body fat without stripping off the fat of a corpse and calculating its mass as a percentage of the corpses total mass. Both the four compartment model and DEXA are predictions of your body fat based on markers like water retention etc, hence the high margin of error.

    In short, Jeff is within the natty range of FFMI, has a deep understanding of exercise and works hard to look the way he does. You should take down or at least severely alter this article to reflect the fact it was based on faulty premises.

    1. Yep

      We have to remember that he has elite level genetics, his calves were almost the same size when he was on 6th grade. His parents were bodybuilders and that could be the reason for his impressive physique.

      1. Goat

        LOL bodybuilder (roidhead) parents is evidence he’s natty? No, the opposite, and you inherit their genes, not their doped affected physiques.

    2. Goat

      Your only argument is DEXA is not 100% reliable? We know that. However, you’ve taken its “margin of error”, and all of your hand picked stats for Jeff, to sneak him under the 25 FFMI, being as generous to him as possible.
      You have ignored the fact he could equally have less body fat than it estimated. Jeff’s also been higher than “165lb” cut.
      All you should need to know is that squatting >200kg and benching >160kg is not happening at 11st, without roids – if you’ve even lifted, clean.
      Did you look at the first pic of him as a huge, ripped, speccy, school kid, deadlifting 190kg?
      Clue: Jeff’s parents were both bodybuilders (thus junkies); He has 18″ biceps/triceps and cannonball delts (at 5’5″); He’s making a living being a natty bodybuilding ‘expert’ (qualifications?) on Youtube, where all the natties are fraudsters.
      You’re either dumb, naive, or Jeff himself.

  11. Gtfo

    Lmao not Natty in a million years gtfo you ass kisser

    1. Sean

      If his parents were bodybuilders that could mean genetics or it could mean he was around steroid users all his life and got exposed to steroid use early. ALL professional bodybuilders without exception use or have used steroids. There is no way to compete without them.
      And I won’t add the usual caveat about “I don’t care if you use steroids just don’t lie about it”. I do care if you claim “scientific” training principles that only work because you are on steroids.

  12. George

    Just look at this guy and use your common sense: He’s not natty at all.

    Once the numbers on YouTube are climbing so much that it yields a significant portion of your income (or the whole income), one can’t expect people to admit they’re not natty, hereby destroying their whole income and existence. As a matter of fact, building up such a fake existence is very, very coward and mean however.

  13. Alfie

    Your all so stupid and the dexa scan not gold standard has a 6% degree of inaccuracy so he could of been 14% and looked for like ten to me the guy is tiny it’s easier to put on muscle he’s not even in that good shape this really is the stupid uninformed weak pussy page init

  14. Michael

    Is Jeff natural?

    Well, we don’t know that for sure. But we do know something for sure: The entire fitness industry is built on FAKE NATTIES.

    Now Jeff, he has 2 million subscribers on Youtube. Does he claim natural? Yes. Is he making big bucks by doing so? Yes. Is he getting away with it? Yes.

    Conclusion: The boi is juicy af.

  15. Bob

    If I were an impressive natural bodybuilder YouTube amateur I would also claim natural . The difference is I would also be obsessed with proving it even if it meant sacrificing my income by testing for lots of hpta hormones

  16. Sean

    On this post:
    Jeff Nippard admits he has an FFMI of 24.7 and complains that people think he is on steroids. 24.7 is conveniently just under the steroid cutoff of 25. Also Jeff admits his body fat is “roughly” 10%, if it were “exactly” 9% his FFMI would go over 25. It’s just too convenient that Jeff claims basically the highest possible FFMI without reaching the steroid cutoff.
    Also remember 25 is not a bright-line, as you get closer to 25, more likely on steroids.

  17. AJ

    Umm…in the 70s, steroids weren’t “legal,” I don’t know what you’re talking about. You needed a doctor’s prescription, Or, you could buy several different veterinary steroids at the horse supply store (they were for our horses, wink-wink).

    Here in Columbus, Ohio, there was one osteopath quack in town that would write us prescriptions for different stuff and/or give us some in the office. Good ol’ Dr. John Gardiner. Every lifter in town went to him. It was surreal, I’ve never experienced anything like him. He was eventually kicked out of the profession for running his in-office diet pill operation.

  18. tim

    There are in fact different types of muscles which make it easier for some people to get that muscular look than others. You also have to account for the length of a person’s arms and legs, not so much their height, it just so happens height correlates to limb length. This is why it seems easier for shorter (stockier) mean to build that muscular physique than it is for “lanky tall” people.

  19. Sean

    Jeff Nippard has posted several videos claiming he was tested, one even shows him walking into the testing center, but he never shows the actual test result. For some time I have posted a comment to his videos very politely asking that he post his test results. He always deletes my posts and never answers. If Nippard will not post his actual results after claiming repeatedly that he is tested, then he is not natural. Either the tests are positive or, more likely, the tests are so rudimentary they don’t prove anything at all. Rigorous tests are very expensive and there is no money in natural bodybuilding to pay for that kind of testing. It may be Nippard is trying to the next Mike O’Hearn, another so-called “lifetime” natty who pushes a lot of merchandise.

  20. Aaron

    Guys the reason why he can lift so much for his BW is because of his height. Your right that it would be very difficult to find someone at that bodyweight that can lift as much as him, but thats only because he is so short. For example, I am the same height as jeff but can outlift all my taller friends who weight much more than I do. We have all been training for similar amounts of time as well.

    1. Goat

      I agree that this article’s claim that shorter people aren’t more muscular, stronger, and stockier, relative to a tall man is obviously nonsense – although it also says they look like they are, are more efficient, and shows Columbu with the highest FFMI, too.
      Even Shaquille O’Neal on ‘roids at 7’ 1″ and 370lb looked nowhere near as muscular/stocky as Jeff.
      Columbu (5’5″, 185lb/84kg) was far stockier than Arnie and their cohort, and Naim Suleymanoglu (4’10”, 137lb/62kg) will always be history’s strongest man, pound for pound, easily – especially versus heavyweight lifters.
      However, you aren’t squatting over 202kg at 11st/155lb, let alone benching >160kg.

  21. MiniMuscleMan

    My parents are two construction worker men with dwarfism so I’m built like a brick shithouse, totally natty.

    1. Goat

      LOL, 2 construction worker dwarf men for parents. Despite Jeff having the advantages of 2 roidhead bodybuilder parents, he does have the inconvenience of a female mother.

  22. JCB

    I honestly feel bad for people on here that think he is not natural. This is a 100% naturally obtainable physique given good genetics and proper training. Literally 0 red flags besides the ego hurt people here that are mad that he looks better than them after many years of high quality diet and training.

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