The Art of Subtle Juicing You Don’t Have To Be BiG To Be On Steroids

| by Truth Seeker |

“There are no indications that he is on steroids,” wrote the dreamer with angry fingers stabbing the keyboard. In his mind, the body trapped in the digital pixels on the screen was “as natural as natural gets”. The delts were not reminiscent of 3D towers. The traps were not climbing all the way to the ears, but before all, the aura of the physique and the overall size did not allude to the magic that the molecules of a “real” juicer emit.

This behavior is common for the unaware who want to hold on to their fake reality. Eventually, however, the accumulation of personal failures grows and shakes the original belief. Questions arise.

How does someone on steroids actually look like?

Our perception of a roided physique loses its accuracy once the dose goes down. The pro bodybuilders are obvious cases, but what about the aesthetic heroes and the big guys in the local gym? Are they all natural because they are smaller? No.

The Invisible Cycle

My previous post received the following comment from the user twp:

One standard first cycle 500mg/wk for 12 wk will give you enough mass to be noticed, but not too much for everyone calling you roided. Even if someone calls you out you will say “I just fixed my diet, training and sleep, I wasn’t too serious about lifting before”. Yea, sure.

Note: Twp did not specify the compound, but I guess he is referring to testosterone.

This is indeed correct. Low to medium doses of testosterone can produce a decent amount of extra muscle. Yet even your family will have a hard time detecting the steroid use because 20lbs or so of lean mass (some of it will be water) distributed all over your body are not enough to activate the radar but can easily give you the “look like you lift” appearance that everybody wants.


In the photo, you see Victor Pride – the owner of the blog He is open about his steroid use as revealed in the comment exchange below. You can find the original post here.

He is not a shadow pinner, apparently, but many guys who are even bigger than him are.


Even 250mg of testosterone a week (essentially a generous TRT does) give the user a great advantage over a natural. In the best scenario, the average male body produces about 7mg of test a day or 49mg a week. Compared to 250mg that’s 5 (five) times less. In other words, a man on a high weekly TRT dose imports testosterone quantities that would otherwise require five weeks to produce.

While this individual will definitely experience muscular gains from this regime, he won’t stand out next to muscle celebrities thanks to his muscle mass because those individuals are injecting significantly more testosterone (sometimes grams) coupled with other compounds.

Only the unaware think that a roided physique is the result of one steroid. Bodybuilding is called chemical welfare for a reason. The pros take doses designed for horses.

Incentives To Subtle Juice/Shadow Pin

Subtle juicing is full of advantages in comparison to going full Tarzan mode in the steroid laboratory.

– less stress, fewer side effects

Fewer compounds in smaller quantities are not as dangerous to one’s system. There are 70-year-old men who are on low TRT doses.

However, sustaining the lifestyle of the average bodybuilder even on amateur level is basically impossible to do forever due to the extreme side effects and stress on the body.

– lower expenses

The less you need, the cheaper the goods. [The medical bill is smaller too.]

– invisibility

This is a huge benefit for those looking to play the role of self-proclaimed naturals. Nobody can say with certainty whether the extra 20lbs of muscle and water that you are carrying are the result of genetics or injections.

This alone can give one the credibility needed to become popular. Nobody listens to the natural who looks like an average construction worker. On the other hand, the men who clearly have extra muscle mass without being overly big, make the perfect natty prophets.

Detection – Is it even possible to spot a shadow pinner?

Since most subtle juicers rarely take harsh compounds (e.g., tren) they don’t showcase the “nasty” look. The shadow pinners are watery and on the fatter side in comparison to the YOLO needle samurai. Spotting them with 100% certainty is impossible. Nonetheless, there are some indications that you can take into consideration.

1.Unnaturally big muscles on smaller joints

Juicing can result in muscle size disproportional to one’s joints. Small joints are simply not designed to carry the same amount of mass as the XXL version. If an individual juices, the extra muscle added to the small frame can create an unnatural look.

2.Big gains after the initial phase

Naturals who make large jumps past their “noob gains” are often injecting.


Boy starts lifting at 140lbs. Boy gains 20lbs in 18 months. A big majority of it is muscle. Boys stays at 160-165lbs for years after that. Suddenly, boy upgrades to 180-190lbs while adding virtually no body fat.

The individuals who walk this path often explain their upgrade with ludicrous arguments – usually a change in their training, supplementation and/or nutrition. Of course, this is nonsense since those variables do not have the capacity to produce big gains past the first stage of one’s lifting career. I’m sorry, but it’s not the creatine.

In the chart above, the green line represents a typical “natural experience”. At first, decent gains take place, but after a few years, stagnation reigns supreme until the end of times. This does not mean that the appearance of the natural does not change at all. The muscles of the natty brah can become thicker looking, and some lacking body parts can improve. Nonetheless, no amount of appreciable muscle mass (8lbs+) will join the frame of the natty martyr past a certain point.

The red line showcases gains suggesting injections. In the beginning, the individual enjoys the expected “natty gains” followed by a plateau. Then, out of nowhere, a high-level hypertrophy takes places.

If you have a friend who experiences similar fluctuations and explains them with “clusters”, “cheat” reps and drop sets, he is a liar very familiar with stealth injecting.

3. An incentive to inject

People inject in the hope to improve their lives. Some do it for non-monetary benefits while others earn their money through their muscle mass. Both groups have an incentive, but in the second case, it is more motivating because modern humans lead a constant economic war.

The life a weekend cyclist will not change significantly if he hopes on the juice and improves his time, but the pro needs the edge to compete against the elite and earn money.

The same goes for the members of the fitness community. If they were smaller and weaker than you, would you listen to them?

4. Insane bodyweight to strength ratio

There are steroids (e.g., halotestin, tren…etc.) that can increase your strength without excessive weight gains. How? Through muscle thickening – the muscle diameter does not increase significantly but the tissue becomes denser.

Those are the so-called “dry” compounds. They give you pure mass accompanied by the smallest amount of fat and water. In addition, steroids could make the user more aggressive. The new equalizer settings have a direct effect on the CNS and allow it to trigger a very strong effort. The result? More weight on the bar.

Many lean monkeys online present exceptional strength without the expected muscular development. As a result, the naive souls assume that those men are pure naturals. It’s true that some people are just gifted when it comes to strength. It’s possible for a natural to outlift someone on steroids provided that the latter is not exceptionally bigger than the former.

Nonetheless, naturals rarely reach exceptional strength to bodyweight ratios (e.g., 2BW bench press, 2.5BW squat, 3+BW deadlift). A natural can excel at some lifts thanks to his or hers favorable levers, but some peaks become a reality only with the help of pharmaceuticals.

5. Big muscles without the strength to back them up

This may come as a shock, especially after the paragraphs above, but there are many men on low doses who are rather weak for their size. Steroids will give you muscle mass, but the master level of strength requires dedication and oriented programming.

Some men on steroids lift embarrassingly light weights while spotting impressive development. I knew a lifter on steroids (according to him he was a former user) benching 135lbs most of the time while carrying an enormous chest. I’ve also met a guy whose back workout was a combination of machines and deadlifts with 135lbs. His back was significantly bigger than mine even though my deadlift at the time was 375lbs.

On another occasion, I witnessed the following – two men were doing lunges with 125lbs. One of them had tree trunk legs, the other was “normal” looking. The big guy had admitted to using Winstrol in the past. Yet he would have an easier time passing as a pure natural online.

Why does this happen?

The extra hormones trigger growth even though the lifter is not pushing himself that hard to develop strength. Since he is seeing material results (bigger muscles) anyway, he continues to follow a pump program that calls for little strength improvement.

A hard-working natural can develop more strength than a man in a similar position while wondering what’s causing the difference in size.

6. Visible side effects

The doses may be smaller, but they can still trigger side effects associated with drug abuse (e.g., gynecomastia).

If a natty hero has bitch tits, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to wonder whether he takes drugs.

Once a user, always a user?

“He’s probably done a cycle or two….but he’s natty now,” said the dreamer in defense of his favorite muscle constructor.

For some reason, the kids believe that a man can do a cycle or two, get some gains and keep them indefinitely. Thanks for the laugh. I am sorry to inform you that the world does not work like that.

Once the steroids disappear from the equation, it’s up to training and nutrition to maintain the extra gains. For better or worse, similar expectations are futile. If neither training nor nutrition has the capacity to trigger that kind of growth in the first place, how will they maintain it once the little secret helpers quit the task force? Obviously, this can’t happen. Consequently, juicers detransform when the drugs are discontinued.

The same principle holds true for the shadow pinners – if they want to keep the mass gained from the injections, they have to continue. Test boosters, creatine and ZMA cannot make up for the lack of drugs either.

This is the reality, boys. Big gains require big sacrifices. All else is a dream.

But he has weak {insert body part here}

Another wrong assumption is that steroids fix everything. They don’t. Steroid users are also subject to their genes. You don’t have to be natural to have weak body parts. Besides, some muscles like the calves can refuse to grow even in the presence of IFBB approved doses. Therefore, you can’t use this argument to prove that someone is natural.

Steroids just make your muscles bigger. They can’t change your insertions or frame.

The Wrong Impression Formed By The Digital Filter

Today, everything passes through a digital filter. People’s opinions, emotions and ideas are funneled through various online platforms.

Spending too much time in the online realm creates a highly unrealistic expectation. It’s not different than overdosing on video games, movies and books. The technology available to us may be capable of producing high detail media, but it will never have the capacity to completely mimic real life. A game is still a game no matter how realistic it is. A photo of someone is still a photo no matter how advanced the lenses of the camera are. In other words, that digital filter comes with distortion and infatuation.

This mechanism affects the lifting world too. Many natties wrongfully conclude that they are bigger or as big as some of the smaller muscle celebrities when the reality is harsher – the dreamers are often smaller and fatter than they realize.

Seeing someone in a video clip is not the same as seeing him in real life. For example, many say that Zyzz was small, but I doubt they would have the same impression if they were to meet someone of his grandeur in the gym.

The self-proclaimed naturals are more muscular than you realize, but since their digital image appears smaller compared to others’, the kids make wrong conclusions.

P.S. Potential: How Big Can You Get Naturally is out.

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  1. shadow pinner

    great article my friend, i agree with what u said i was 225 ib at 6 feet tall looking good in upper body but my abs were hidden even in light, i had been lifting for 6 years now with 130 kg bench press, 160 kg squats and 180 kg deadlift at 225 ib , i decide to loss some weight and i was shocked that in order for me to see my abs i lost 40 ib and i need more to get that shredz look, ah talk too much thanks bra for the article great as always .

  2. OshKosh

    You think the Barbell Medicine crew is on steroids (Austin Baraki, Jordan Feigenbaum etc.)? What about Rippetoe and his crew? Just curious, thanks.

    1. Balint

      No, they are not. They just trained hard for 20+years. The author of this site is an imbecile, who never achived anything, because he doesn’t have the dedication, becoming a strength athlete requires. Thats why his only defense is wihining on the internet.

      1. Ansr

        Man, rippetoe has addmited to drug usage.
        Hey truth seeker, i’m a big fan of your work. This is the first time i comment though.
        I noticed a while ago that you edited your article on candito, did you change your opinion on him? or did you just wanted to improve your writings?

      2. Oli

        I bet you never achieved anything in bodybuilding too or you wouldn’t be here defending your idols.

  3. Me

    Its true, there are always couple of guys who do high reps Piano pump style and are 20-30 lbs bigger than 5×5 kids who push some serious weight while weighing less themselves and not being as lean as the 5% crew.

    Any more books or articles planned for the future?

    1. Fatman

      5×5 produces lifters who are good at pushing serious weight while being fat. It is not well suited for muscle mass gains.

      It is hardly surprising that people who train like bodybuilders look more like bodybuilders than people who are not bodybuilders.

      1. Me

        You’re not reading this blog? Any strength progression will get you to your potential

        1. Fatman

          I am reading it, but I take what is posted here with a grain (sometimes handful) of salt and have actual training experience to compare the claims against. 5×5 can make you very strong, and you can gain some muscle mass, but the gains will be concealed by lard, which you will struggle to get rid of. Compound lifts, which 5×5 programs are based around, are not the best way to develop certain muscle groups for 90% of trainees. Therefore people who pump with medium weights will often look better than permabulkers doing 5×5, even when steroids are not involved. Unless you meant to make a different point.

          1. Matt

            This is the exact opposite from my experience. I’m an intermediate lifter focused 100% on strength in squats, deadlifts, overhead press, etc. I have readily visible abs. I’m not 10% bodyfat or less or anything and don’t look like a fitness model, but I still have abs.

            I used to do typical bodybuilding bro stuff and other than bigger pecs and biceps I was a lot smaller and less impressive looking than I am now. And yes, I’m 100% natural, not even creatine.

          2. Fatman

            “I used to do typical bodybuilding bro stuff and other than bigger pecs and biceps I was a lot smaller and less impressive looking than I am now.”

            “Impressive looking” is personal preferences. I don’t now what you looked like before or look like now, so I wouldn’t speculate. For the majority, bigger pecs and biceps would be more “impressive”. Presuming that by “readily visible abs” you mean a clearly defined sixpack, that is also “impressive”. But abs are a product of diet, not training.

    2. Robert

      You’re the kind of idiot who thinks Mike O’Tren is natural lol deluded fool

  4. Jai

    Brandon Carter Comess to mind. That fellow will never do a carbon isotope test to prove his natty status , but will go on and on about y he is natty..

    1. Chorchie

      The compound exercises are the best way to add overall mass in your frame. But for the majority of people isolation exercises on top of that base will improve significantly your weak points.

  5. bosko buh

    Your permabulking stories need to be awarded, seriously. You should mention that the style of permabulking living is a ticking bomb. Heart attacks at an earlier years, diabetes etc etc – as near as 40, for what, for daddy replacement therapy, for being stronger (fat as fuck) ? We must be healthy and at a healthy weight to height ratio. for ex.180 cm – 80 kg , 170 cm – 70 kg, 5+ kg maximum. All the rest is a health hazard. I`m an 80`s kid , i started lifting weights cause of jean claude van damme. For a long time i haven`t seen some of his movie, and i noticed recently after i watched one of his 90`s old films that I am much bigger but a lot fatter than my idol. Big as a rock, and scary too. And through the years I haven`t noticed that until I started reading this page and took a good look in the mirror. Now I`m on a healthy lifestyle, counting the kilograms go down, and shrinking too, I might not look so tough, but life is getting better, I promise :). Hamstercheeks are not athletic. Best regards :).
    Good genetic and good nutrition you can go far with three times a week whole body program with six sets per body part.

    1. Chorchie

      The fitness community obsess a lot with the height and weight. I’ve been training for 6 years (I’m 24 now) and at first I remember reading and believing that I needed to match my height (183cm) with my weight, and several bulk and cut cycles began. After 4 years I did my last bulk, up to 88kg, thinking that after losing just 5kg I would look sick at 10%. In reality I needed to drop to 76-77kg to really be at 10%, I looked great, but felt puny and light (90-95% at my muscular and strength development), but nowhere close to the fitness community standards. If you say in forums or fitness communities that you are 5-8kg under your height at 10% you will be called a twig and that you should try to eat more and get stronger, but hey, I’ve been there and done that already. Two years later I’m maybe 0.5-1kg heavier at the same body fat, with virtually the same strength levels, my wrists and ankles are about average, I’m in no way narrow.

      This is a shout-out to all guys thinking that they have to match the weight and height requirements from their juiced up heroes, and when they do that they just look like inflated balloons with no definition and maybe an slight advantage in strength. Not worth it, if as a natural you want to be aesthetic you need to cut that body and face fat, bulking as a natural past the second or third year at most is a trap, never forget that.

      1. John

        “bulking as a natural past the second or third year at most is a trap, never forget that”

        I would say the exact opposite is true and bulking is required to make any progress at all once you’re past your second or third year.

        IMHO a lot of the problem with thinking everyone is on something comes from the fact virtually all lifters (including the owner of this page) are still novices.

        1. Truth Seeker Post author

          Hi. Rippetoe.

        2. Fatman

          “bulking is required to make any progress at all once you’re past your second or third year”

          Technically correct, if your definition of “bulking” means simply gaining weight. However, most weigh gained through such “bulking” will not be muscle mass.

        3. Chorchie

          GL bulking to then discover after cutting that 90% of the weight you gained was fat.

    2. Brett

      Although I always liked the idea of a full body routine. Its simply too draining of time. Six sets per body part with let’s say 8 exercises is quite hefty.

      Splits receive a lot of hate. But they do save time. At the end of the day neither a split nor a full body routine will make you “blow up”. It comee s down to progression. Whether you are using moderate weights or heavier weights.

      If you are using compounds then you may be on a fill body program weather you think you are or not. For example.

      Mon: legs: front squats, RDL etc
      Wed: torso: bent barbell row, shrug etc
      Fri: arms: chin-ups, curls etc

      You basically hitting your back three days a week on a split routine as per my example above, purely because you doing compounds.

      Not to mention that when you are doing certain pushing exercises like decline push-ups with handles your back is worked. When you do pull-ups your upper chest is worked and your tricep long head.

      So nothing against full body programs. But with the right exercise choice, you can achieve a full body program with a split routine while saving the time. Because yes it does take more time to go from heavy front squats to heavy rows to heavy bench, etc. Than to go from heavy front squats to lunges to Bulgarian split squats. Hitting heavy mainlifts is hard to do in succession in comparison to one main lift with two or three assistance lifts. Especially if you train at home and changing the weights around is time consuming.

      Feel free to disagree.

      1. Fatman

        “Splits receive a lot of hate.”

        They do, and I don’t understand why. There’s a reason why the entire weight training community (from bodybuilders to powerlifters to athletes) switched from full body to split training. No guessing here – because split training is more effective.

        Old-school full-body routines came into existence when programs included one set per bodypart, two at max, done with a challenging but not too heavy weight. Google Peary Rader and the routines he recommended in his magazine. One set of squats and 1-2 sets of a handful of basic exercises, and that was it. Try doing the same with 6 sets per muscle group, three times per week, and you’ll burn out long before you see any gains.

        1. Oli

          Split isn’t more effective for naturals.

    3. Alex

      Ah! A brother from the 80’s.

      Yeah … Have you realized that all this kids never saw a natural athlete. They lied to us a lot 30 years ago amd now the lies are even more shameless

  6. Brett

    Good article.

    Something that comes to mind is one of Connor Murphies latest YouTube vids titled “why I lost all my gains” or something along those lines.
    I never actually finished watching the video, but after his first reason, which with critical thinking any logical person would realise makes no sense, I stopped watching.

    Basically his first reason contradicted the title of his video. The reason was that its hard to maintain low body fat (be in great shape) all year round. So his reasoning was that he needed a break from all the “dieting” and started eating more calories supposedly. Which according to him was one of the reasons why he’s gained fat and lost significant muscle mass.

    Clearly that makes no sense. Sure he would of lost definition and gained some fat from coming off his “diet” but that does not explain his clear loss of muscle mass. If anything upping his calories would of helped his “gainz” even more. Thus contradicting his video title, because it didn’t say “why I’m not as lean”.

    Of course reading through the comments below his video, all his fans were swearing on their mothers that he has always been completely natural. Anybody who came to the logical conclusion that he is just simply off cycle and thus the reason for his loss of gains, was basically chastized by the zombies and called a hater.

    Apparently even Connor was calling people haters that were simply commenting on their observation that he had lost gains. Not sure how that is hating.

    Just my observation. I though it might make for a good sequal article perhaps, to give a real life example of a shadow pinner trying to explain his lost gains without admitting that he is just off cycle. Makes for a good laugh.

    1. Peter South

      “There’s a reason why the entire weight training community (from bodybuilders to powerlifters to athletes) switched from full body to split training.”

      Steroids, otherwise they don’t work so well.

      Current research tells us that best training frequency is 2 times a week and that it’s better to break weekly volume up rather than to unleash it all on one day.

      Protein synthesis only takes place up to 48 hours after training so if the target muscle hasn’t fully recovered within 24 hours or so, you’re not growing.

      So after 48 hours, assuming you haven’t grossly over trained and gained something, you start the atrophy process.

      Steroids allow one to circumvent this limitation and grow all week, to take advantage of all that beating you get on those 20 sets of arms programs.

      Can you gain that way naturally? Sure, but it’s not the best and it seems to encourage overtraining, in which case no growth will occur.

      Also, 3 sets of 6 exercises is nothing. It’s best to do them twice per week though.

      1. Truth Seeker Post author

        It’s not so simple. There are some exercises (deadlifts for example) that do not allow you to go heavy that often because the structural components involved in the movement cannot recover. On the other hand, you can do pull-ups and row pretty frequently.

        The muscles may feel fully recovered in 48 hours, but they may not be. Not to mention that the joints also fatigue.

        Also, looking for perfect stimulation is futile. I can assure that you can reach your potential by hitting a body part once directly and once indirectly without overthinking all that.

        3 sets of 6 exercises is not nothing. It’s actually a lot of work, unless some of those sets are warm-ups.

        You don’t go into “atrophy” mode 48 hours after training.

        Seriously, do a heavy deadlift and tell me your lower back is good to go for the same thing after 48 hours.

        If you want to spend 5 days in the gym, be my guest. It’s fine if you like it and want it. But don’t think it’s needed for success.

  7. Donne the Conquerer

    Truthseeker, I knew this one gentleman once, of southern persuasion, who was in his late 30’s and used to work on the loading dock of a company I used to work at. Broad 3-D chest, large rounded bowling ball shoulders, ripped abs w/a tiny 30″ waist, eye popping forearms and jacked up arms popping out of his shirt sleeves. Not a very highly educated and well read man, but a very nice and friendly fellow all around, and always a pleasure to talk to. (I miss him.)

    Anyway, I had asked him once – as had many before me, come to find out – how often and where he works out, and what does he do for exercise. His response, ‘Nutin’…and he hadn’t seen the inside of a gymnasium since high school. This man had literally never formally worked out in his life and yet could easily best on stage a man who spent 20+ years busting ass in the gym, and maybe even one that takes steroids.

    While this one example always comes to mind, there are some like him (though none quite that pronounced) that I have seen over the years. Clearly, not a shadow pinner, or a PED abuser, and not even remotely a trainer altogether, but he would have no problem passing for a bodybuilder. In fact, about the only “exercise” he got was working on a loading dock (as well other laborious jobs throughout his life), though nothing super extraneously challenging there.

    My point is looks can be deceiving, there are always out liars out there in everything. For me, seeing was believing; that was the power of genetics right there.

    Or as one local juicer once told me: “You can give a Chihuahua steroids, and make it one huge ass Chihuahua, but it will never be a pit bull.”

    Just something to think about there when judging “Natty Or Not”.

    1. realitybites

      Sure, genetics mean everything. We realize this when breeding animals but for some reason a very large proportion of the population is still bound to believe that human beings are somehow exempt from the laws of nature :).

      1. twp

        You realize genes matter most when you see an average weighted 18 yo girl with more muscular calves then yours.

      2. joe santus

        We humans like to believe that “anything is possible if you sincerely want it” and that “positive thinking overcomes every obstacle”. It’s part of our need for what we term “hope”. Seems to be integral to our survival wiring — we homo sapiens seem to have evolved to be a mix of not-quite-enough-rationality-to-overrule-reproducing-for-species-survival. The tendency serves adequately in many situations but makes us think absurdly in others, such as “If I believe strongly enough, then I can be a pro basketball player, even though I’m only 5’0″ !”

        While it’s true that there’s usually no success without passion, ambition, and hard work, it’s not true that passion, ambition, and hard work guarantee success. In bodybuilding, dedication and hard work without appropriate genetic potential guarantees disappointment and disillusionment (even with steroids).

  8. Dan

    Hey Truth Seeker
    Great article.
    I know you’ve mentioned this before but I don’t remember.
    What are your stats out of curiousity?

  9. Oldboy

    You are right about low doses of aas. When i was 20 years old i self administrated 20mg of Dianabol a day for 3 months. During that time i went from 75kg to 90kg. After i stoped, i lost 5kg in 2 weeks. But i kept my gainz. Side note: i am 1.98m tall, medium girth joints. The used Dianabol was real , and in my country was an over the counter drug at that time.(year 2000).

  10. Matt

    Not the same Matt as above. I am continuing to follow my simple routine of twice a week close grip bench, power cleans and Front Squats. I got leaner from 180lb to 170lb since I had to really dial down the weight on squats and walking more. My traps and shoulders, triceps and quads seem to be getting the most growth after switching from training three times a week training 3×5 with Press, Low bar Squat, and Bench and 1×5 with deadlift doing 2×8 Rows inbetween Bench and Squat and Curls inbetween Press and Deadlift.

  11. Artifically Natural

    just watched a youtube video (MattDoesFitness) “I ate 6,000 CALORIES A DAY for 120 DAYS and this is what happened.” He says he gained fat but it’s in areas that aren’t visible.. apparently he doesn’t gain any on his abs or waist because that doesn’t look any different. I’m sure like most things — a bunch of people on his channel will say he’s got great genetics, he works hard, etc.. and on here, he’s a shadow pinner… It really is hard to tell. I don’t know his weight or height stats but it seems very strange that a man does not put on visible stomach fat from eating that much for 4 months…….

  12. Brett

    So I went for a fitness asessment today at the local gym. The lady is a Biokineticist. She measured my shoulder flexibility which was good. My hamstring flexibility not so much. I couldn’t bring my leg to a right angle to my body while lying flat on my back.

    Turns out my cardio could use some work too. Here’s the thing. She measured my body fat percentage as well. It wasn’t part of the test but I asked her too.

    It was the classic flesh pinch test. She used a device to pinch by my waist, the fat by my bellybutton and by my triceps. She tried to pinch some fat by my thigh, but there was nothing to pinch (after a few attempts on relaxed thigh). My thighs are quite muscular I guess. Anyways she emailed me my results and told me my body fat is 11 %.
    I guess I want to know how accurate this test is. I will say this, I don’t have a six pack. But my waist is narrower than my hips (as measured by her) and my chest circumference far out measures my waists circumference. I can feel that my abs are strong. However I can’t see them (maybe top two). I basically have no fat below my waist, as attested to earlier, there is no fat to pinch on my thighs and certainly not on my calves. Pinching now I can barely pinch any fat on my glutes either.

    So I want to knows how accurate is this test. Before this test I thought I was about 15% at least. I also discovered today that I’m 187 cm tall not 186. Can’t complain.

    My weight is 86kg and I’m 22. Kinda skinny with 6’7 (17cm) inch wrists. Any advice from real world experience would be greatly appreciated.


    1. Fatman

      “I will say this, I don’t have a six pack. But my waist is narrower than my hips (as measured by her) and my chest circumference far out measures my waists circumference. I can feel that my abs are strong. However I can’t see them (maybe top two). I basically have no fat below my waist, as attested to earlier, there is no fat to pinch on my thighs and certainly not on my calves. ”

      Seeing top two abs most likely means you are above the 15% BF range. I can see top 4 and am definitely not close to 10%.

      Adding 5-8% on top of the caliper measurement, as proposed by Balint, would put you at about 16-19%. From your description, that sounds about right.

      Caliper tests are notoriously unreliable. People who are into accurate BF measurements go for the scan or the water dunk test, but these might be expensive.

  13. Balint

    Caliper is not accurate, i use it but only to track changes. For example during my last cut i went from 12% to 7.5% according to the caliper, but in reality it was closer to 20% to 14%. I ususally say to people that you need to add about 5-8% to the caliper reading.

  14. Peter

    Don’t forget, if you do it right, you keep the muscle/muscle memory.

    And it’s more than you can achieve naturally, at least in my case.

    If you recover your testosterone ok then you are at a permanent advantage.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      That’s not true. Once you go off, you lose all gains sooner or later.

      1. impatient undertaker

        Not all, steroids permanently increase AR-containing myonuclei (whatever that means, I googled it). That’s why “once unnatural, always unnatural” is the thing.

    2. joe santus

      1) “You keep the muscle”…
      IF a person begins dosing with (sufficient) steroids BEFORE he’s already reached his natural genetic maximum muscle mass potential, then what steroids can do is get him to and then above that natural genetic maximum much sooner than it would have taken him to reach it drug-free.

      For example, if he had the potential to naturally build 25 pounds of mass, it typically would have required about four consecutive years of progressive training and proper eating to get it; however, if he began dosing with AAS at the point he’d built 10 pounds of mass naturally after his first year of training, then he could then easily get to the 25 pound-mark (or more) by the end of his second consecutive year of training.

      Here’s the point: since his body, naturally, can sustain 25 pounds of muscle, then when he quits using steroids, and does proper PCT and his natural testosterone production resumes, then his body can hold on to 25 pounds of muscle. Steroids radically shortened the time required to build 25 pounds, but once he’s built those 25 pounds, his body can naturally sustain it. Because, whether he built that muscle naturally or with steroids, his body naturally produces enough testosterone to sustain 25 pounds of mass as long as he keeps training and eating properly.

      However, his body cannot sustain any significant amount of mass above 25 pounds. So, if steroids had got him to, say, 35 pounds total of muscle, which is 10 pounds above his natural genetic maximum, then once he quit steroids, he’d keep the 25 pounds but eventually lose those additional 10 pounds. Because, his body naturally produces only enough testosterone to sustain 25 pounds (with proper training and eating), but not enough to sustain 35 pounds. It requires exogenous testosterone at levels much higher than his natural testosterone level to build and hold 35 pounds of muscle.

      Meaning, if a guy juices before he had already built what his body can naturally build, then the muscle he’s seeing on himself after he quits juicing is what he could have built naturally anyway in about four years. Steroids got him there far sooner, yes, but he could have got there without steroids anyway.

      2) “It’s more than you can achieve naturally”
      The only way a person could know that is to have trained/eaten consistently and progressively for about four consecutive years, to be able to have seen what his body could build naturally. Otherwise, it’s speculation.

  15. Dr. Arthur DiAntonio

    I am 65 years old. My P.h.d. is in Biomechanics and I run a totally and always steroid-free facility. My concentration is in rehab and progression and return to training. I enjoy your writing and it illuminates my day. I look forward to more from you and less”voodoo” from the real world. Dr. Arthur J. DiAntonio

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thank you for the support, Arthur.

  16. Jay

    Hi Natty,

    Thanks for the article

    Is it possible to achive a body similar to Maximillian tapper?

    Please answer, I really need to know.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      In theory, yes. ;P

  17. pedro

    “Some men on steroids lift embarrassingly light weights while spotting impressive development” those are the ones who claim their gains are all about the form, time under tension…

  18. Rick

    Could someone build the most amount of muscle naturally by training two days a week fullbody and using only landmine excerises such as
    Landmine squats
    Landmine rdl
    Landmine press
    Landmine row

    1. Brett

      I think the rule of thumb is you can train whatever and however you like.

      With that being said, perhaps there are better exercise to choose if you only want to do four.

      Of course you calves, forearms, neck and triceps long head probably won’t reach full development depending on genetics. You might be predisposed to have big calves naturally or big neck.

      So I would replace the landmine:
      – Squat with regular back squat or trap bar deadlift.
      – Romanian deadlift with regular RDL or thigh curl (good option if you choose TBD over landmine squats)
      – press with regular dumbbell bench press or weighted parallel dips.
      – row with regular T-bar row or seated pulley row.

      I would then add in one type of arm curl (EZ-bar curl is fine), if you are arm dominant then I would just add chin-ups over the arm curl. I would also add in standing calf raises (only if you have average calves), one type of neck exercise (most people could use some direct neck work).

      Twice a week is just fine. 3 sets of each exercise is fine also. Reps can be any number as long as you apply progression. But I would suggest reps between 5 – 10. Stick to whatever you choose so progression is easier to track. Reps for Calves and neck should be higher though (15+)

      So in conclusion yes you will build muscle naturally from the four landmine exercises you chose performed twice a week.
      However, if you are an ectomorph or aren’t a naturally large boned individual you will benefit even more from adding in certain isolation exercises as mentioned earlier.
      The reason I suggested alternatives to the landmine exercises is because landmine exercises operate similar to a machine because of the smooth range of motion, and we know that free weights are better than machines.

      Hope this helps Rick.

  19. Rick

    Wow thanks a lot good info. The reason for the landmine movements was because I’m training around some elbow tendonitis so mostly every compound movement with a barbell was causing some issue. This was my solution for a temporary fix. Thanks again!

  20. jack

    How is Mike o Hearn staying to big so long? He’s like 50 now and has been a freak for decades and it doesn’t look like he’s getting any side effects.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      You are not him to know whether he is side effect free.

      He has sick genetics for this stuff apparently.

    2. Fatman

      Unless you’re heavily abusing steroids, the side effects will be pretty minimal. “Steroids kill” is a myth perpetuated by the whiny, the ignorant and people with agendas to push. Yes, there are risks to health to steroid use, but these are lower than, say, the risks from alcohol or tobacco use, both of which are perfectly legal drugs that come with no stigma attached.

      Mike O’Hearn probably uses moderate doses, monitors his health markers regularly and takes adequate PCT. If so, he could go on doing this for another twenty or more years with no ill effect.

  21. oz

    Wow! My pet peeve.

    The general public laugh at how huge bodybuilders and wrestlers built there physiques. But there is a belief that fitness models and Hollywood heart throbs achieved theirs through gymnasium and chicken.

    I actually believed this myself.

  22. MB

    Can steroids make that the head grows a little?

    1. oz

      Growth Hormone (GH) can make the jaw grow.

      1. MB

        Is it possible that the head or skull can grow too?

  23. arwin

    first of all I want to thank the author for this great website I really like it
    I have a question hope the author can answer but first let me tell you my story
    I’m 21/m started to go to the gym a month ago I’m about 6’1(184cm) and 196 lbs you will never think I’m fat when I’m in a shirt and even shirtless I can still push my belly in and look fit ;)) I’m something you called skinny-fat in another post
    my question is what does good genetics actually mean how do I know if I have good genetics or not. so i describe my body more
    about 5 years ago I was a wrestler competing at 133 lbs but I quit due to shoulder injury when I turned 18 I applied for driver licence and measured at 182 lbs so I gained a lot of weight in the past years before I quit wrestling I was a skinny boy everyone in my family told me that I’m skinny and need to eat more but after I quit I choose the gamer life and never did a sport and that’s when I started to gain weights
    let me describe how my body looks like now ;
    wide skinny chest
    fat belly but I still can hide it and look lean if I push it in a little so I think you can imagine how it looks
    big butt I always had this big butt I can remember people tell me you have a big butt even when I was skinny
    big thighs and I always had them a lot of friends mentioned it when I was like 125 lbs
    average biceps and skinny forearms

    since I started to go gym ( 1 month ago ) I can clearly see that my biceps got harder and look more shredded when flexing them my chest also looks better. as you said beginners gain fast to some point

    about a year ago I noticed that my hairline is receding from the sides at the age of 20 its fucking insaneee!! so I went to doctor he ran some test and said oh boy I don’t know if I have to say I’m sorry or congratulation cause your testosterone level is high as fuck and that’s why your losing hair at this young age and he gave me finpecia pills. from what people say on the internet it doesn’t affect muscle gains cause it only prevents testosterone to form into dht which is responsible for hair loss. anyway doctor said at this testosterone level it won’t stop the hair loss just slowing it at best

    now the question is does that mean I have good genes? if yes then why I’m getting fatter if testosterone supposed to make you lean. is it because playing 10 hours of video games for 5 years? I just want to get rid of my belly fat no need to rush muscle gain any suggestion?

    sorry for the long comment and bad English

  24. Toledo

    Really great post !!! again a lot of people don’t know anything about going on gear and coming of of it. Low doses still give you an edge. You still taking in more T than the average joe in the gym. That little dose will go a long way and add some decent muscle and help with sports performance / recovery.

  25. Shadow pinner

    Some good points i have to agree with, but bullshit on the arbitrary strength limits you set

    As a shadow pinner myself around powerlifting circles, (actually im not a shadow pinner since i admit im not natty to people even on just 250mg of test lifelong) I have seen some crazy shit.

    There are people out there who I know for a fact are natural. How? These people have very childish mentalities and intelligence levels that overblow the stigma of steroids. They flat out refuse to acknowledge anyone who takes them and always get this knee jerk reaction when they are brought up. A couple of them have impressive strength. A 690 deadlift at 200 and a 363 bench at 156.

    Ben Rice is a great example. Genetic freak who works hard – natty. If he isn’t, I’ll eat my hat

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