Why Natural Bodybuilders Don’t Get Big and Hate Talking About the Natty Limits 

| by Truth Seeker |

The inception of nattyornot.com created a reaction combining opposing sentiments – people were interested in learning who is natural and yet loathed hearing about the actual limits that natty bodybuilders face.  

This dynamic reveals the possession of a confused brain searching for answers. I went through the same phase myself and kept going through it even while writing material for the page.  

One day, it just ended. I lost my naivete completely. The world extracted it straight out of my intoxicated skull. [Thanks.]  

The interest in dissecting popular bodybuilders exposed accumulated anger at the system stimulated by the global inability to reach the high benchmarks that the mainstream media promotes through manipulative images and articles. 

The architects overdid it. Many men who were practically as big as Arnold and other bodybuilders from the 70s began to present themselves as pristine natty brahs despite taking anabolic steroids in quantities that the average creatine buyer could not conceive. Right at that moment, a slow awakening commenced.  

Initially, many, myself included, did not want to embrace the truth. I was still holding on to the irrational belief that a natty program could supply me with an extra 40lbs of pure muscle mass. 

Since there will never be a shortage of dreamers and believers, the same process continues to control the entire lifting consciousness. Once a man has left the factory of chimeras, a new naïve soul immediately takes his place.  

Why can’t naturals get big?

The culprit behind the failed natural growth is neither training nor nutrition, although those have an impact. The actual reason is devastatingly simple. Naturals don’t get big because we do not have the hormonal profile necessary to trigger and maintain the desired growth.  

Hormones are the ultimate regulators. They decide everything.  

What happens if a woman takes steroids? She becomes bigger than natural men. Conversely, a man who injects estrogen slowly transforms into a transvestite. This is how powerful those substances are. Deadlifts, squats, bench presses and milk do not possess the same level of anabolic sorcery. Even If a natural man trains for 200 years without aging, he still won’t experience muscle synthesis on par with one supported by steroids. 

We all want to fix our problems in the gym, but the mechanism doesn’t work.  

The Scam Loop

Like many other segments of life, the world of iron follows a “scam loop” {you heard it here first} which operates as follows: 

Step 1: Show the client a state of happiness.  

Step 2: Present a complicated path allegedly leading to the advertised destination. 

Step 3: When the subject fails to achieve their goal, blame them for the failure by showcasing real and/or false examples of success. If the lifter succeeds, use them as promotional material regardless of the path that has led to their ascension. 

Step 1 and 3 have a similar function. The difference is that they ignite the reactors of delusion at different stages of a dreamer’s evolution. Step 1 is broader and allows the architects to rely on a larger sample of illustrations whereas step 3 works best if the presented examples are more relatable.  

In other words, professional images could serve as motivation during stage 1, but eventually, the subjects will seek testimonials coming from social and genetic rungs closer to theirs. If that condition is not met, the chances for the loop to end augment, although not drastically.  

Another important condition to preserve the rotation is the development of extreme self-awareness within the target audience. They have to search for the problem within themselves rather than outside. As long as they are looking for an internal malfunctioning, the swindle circuit remains intact.  

For that very reason, the masterminds create many prerequisites for their programs to work. Every single requirement could later be deployed as an explanation as to why you are not getting big and/or lean.  

Another tactic that preserves and even amplifies the hope circulating in a desperate natty’s bloodstream is the “specialized” method. The target is led to believe that their anabolic bankruptcy could be reversed if an approach that takes into account unique parameters (e.g., blood type, muscle fiber density…etc.) is adopted. This technique extends the dream and provides an opportunity for the merchants to develop new series of highly customized blueprints distributed at premium prices. Our love for egoistical uniqueness catalyzes the process. 

As always, the truth is on the other side and comes with a degree of harshness determined by the checkpoint that a man is currently sitting on.  

There are vast differences between people, but we are still the same species and influenced by identical triggers.  

Steroids are a good example. Some men experience more side effects from injecting than others (e.g., acne, hair loss, gynecomastia), but virtually every user gains muscle mass which is the goal when the drugs are administered as a form of bodybuilding aid.  

Training is similar. Some lifters are stronger than others and respond better to training, but everyone adapts to the demand. Even if you are not gifted with the greatest body to play the game of human crane in the gym, after a while, you will improve and reach a higher level compared to where you were before. Nonetheless, no one, regardless of genetics, could experience steroid-like muscle synthesis solely by lifting barbells. That core mechanism applies to everyone. 

The Natty Limits 

We hate hearing about the natty limits because they do not coincide with the version of reality that we would like to inhabit. They demolish the state of delusion that the mind has been occupying for a little too long.  

When I first presented the article “How Big Can You Get Naturally” many readers said that they were just a few kilograms away from completely obliterating the outlined numbers and were soon going to reach the orbit. 

I asked myself what is the source of their anger. Why did those people feel obligated to inform me how stupid and wrong I am if they were doing so well for themselves?  

It’s now obvious. They weren’t satisfied with the report of the mirror. Why? My guess is that most were underestimating their body fat tremendously which is why they were feeling “under-muscled” and wanted to reassure themselves that more muscle mass can be added to their frames.  

The limits are real whether we want them to be or not.  

If you are a beginner under the influence of imagery floating around the Internet, you will experience many phases filled with disappointment:  

Phase 0: Realizing that all current bodybuilding pros are not natural.  

It may seem surprising to many, but there are still individuals out there inclined to conclude that the pros are natural. Usually, those are men new to muscle construction. 

Phase 1: Realizing that the bodybuilders from the 70s weren’t natural either. 

Some dreamers think that only the modern muscle samurai are injecting whereas those from the Golden Era built their bodies with 5×5 or some other voodoo. 

Phase 2: Realizing that powerlifters aren’t natural.  

Once the bodybuilding dream has burst, many muscle constructors move to powerlifting and brainwash themselves into thinking that the oldschool barbell legends were the result of pristine programming, hard work and heavy barbells.  

False! Powerlifters take drugs toosome even more than bodybuilders.  

Phase 3: Realizing that fitness models aren’t natural. 

The global disgust with the obvious lies of the bodybuilding industry breathed air into the physique division. This was a great PR move and worked fine until the kids became acquainted with the fact that their heroes in beach shorts are injecting Trenbolona regularly. 

Phase 4: Realizing that even the popular dudes at your gym may be injecting. 

If you stay in a barbell house long enough, you will witness steroid consumption or at least hear about it. 

I’ve had similar experiences in every gym where I have trained seriously. One of the funniest stories happened a few years ago. I entered the locker room. After a minute, two dudes in training clothes got out of the bathroom. Seconds later, a smell of spirit used for disinfection conquered the atmosphere. The men began laughing upon seeing me.  

I easily decoded the event behind the scenes – they were injecting each other’s sensitive glutes with steroids. (The spirit’s purpose? Sterilization of the injection spots.) 

Did they look good? No. 

One of them was your typical fatso carrying some undercover muscle. The other guy was well built but nothing spectacular. Both of them could easily pass as naturals.  

Why do we hate the natty limits?

1. You’ve beenplayed.

One of the main reasons to safeguard a house of deception is the misery that the psyche encounters upon realizing that its sacred dream has been a phantom all along.  

Many remain in the middle of nowhere to keep the illusion alive just like Schrödinger’s cat – a quantum mechanics thought experiment that Erwin Schrödinger, an Austrian physicist, came up with to help understand quantum states. He imagined putting a cat into a sealed container with poisoned food. There’s a 50/50 chance that the cat will eat it, but until the box is opened, the animal is simultaneously dead and alive.  

To avoid becoming murderers of their own dream, bodybuilding dreamers keep their “box” closed. 

They never admit defeat because that would ratify the lie that they’ve been living. It’s a comfortable position to reside in because you avoid the world of absolutes.  

But the truth is the truth even if you don’t report it.

2. You began to question your entire life.

Everything is connected. The fake natty scam is omnipresent, and if you look closely enough, you will find it in many areas of life. That thought alone can inflict massive damage upon a man’s brain wiring and worldview. Hence why most chose to preserve their fake reality where a mythical combination of sets and reps could one day lead to unreal natty growth.

3. Exceptions.

Occasionally, you will cross paths with men who look great naturally. The most impressive of them owe their physiques to genes rather than actions.   

As they say – basketball players aren’t tall because they play basketball, they play basketball because they are tall. 

The three decisive factors for a superior natty physique are: 

1. Frame

large and robust skeleton comes with bigger muscles by default. However, height and frame are not always included in the same package. Two men can be of equal height while having different frames. The one with the thicker and wider skeleton will enjoy more “swollen” muscles naturally.

2. Muscle bellies

Long muscle bellies offer more fibers that could potentially hypertrophy. Conversely, short muscles and lengthy tendons come with unfillable “gaps” that make you appear smaller. 

3. Bodily chemistry

Testosterone elicits the development of male features (e.g., muscular strength). Boosting your testosterone naturally does not have a steroid-like effect, but having the hormonal profile that nature intended for you is always better than embracing the role of a bitch that the artificial world is offering you so aggressively.  e 

It’s pretty clear that millennials and zoomers suffer from testosterone deficiency. We’ve been raised in a politically correct environment that hates men. They’ve been injecting us with spiritual and physical estrogen for a little too long.  

P.S. If you want to learn more about the topic of natural potential, check out the book: Potential: How Big Can You Get Naturally. 

Thank you. 

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  1. Chunky

    Good post. Beyond a certain point in training, hormonal manipulation through steroid injections is the only way to gain mass.

    People still think steroids do not play as large as a role in strength sports as bodybuilding because many powerlifters don’t have a freakish physique.


    Is he natty? He looks “natty” but often times needle samurais are hidden amongst the general population all too well.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      His numbers are solid. He also has a powerlifting built. But honestly, it’s hard to tell with certainty. There are guys who are weaker than him while injecting.

    2. Tren&Clen

      I’ve been lifting for five years (dieting hard for two of them) and my numbers and far from his. But I am naturally lanky and really not intended for the sport of powerlifitng.

    3. twp

      This guy? Look at Galabin Boevski, bulgarian olympic lifter from 90s, 69 kgs and 250 kg ATG squat clean as baby Jesus. https://youtu.be/nLNzd_FcThs?t=124

      And he is not that short 5’8” or 9”. Bulgaria, Russian and ex CCCP countries are well know for their steroid use. Most of their lifter look natty af, but are able to lift insane amounts of weight, because they take compounds that increase mainly your strength. You don’t to take any high levels of testosterone, or any deca or dbol, because they bloat you and make your muscles big. Tren is also lame for weightlifting, cuz fuck ups your sleep. You wan’t something that bodybuilding models call “light”, which provide you with dry gains, or barely any gains(because you wan’t to stay in your weight category), better recover and better CNS response and recovery, basically better CNS gains. Halotestin do wonders in that regard.

      Probably that’s the reason there a lot of russian calisthenic guys who are able to do muscle ups with 30 kgs and 10 one arm pulls ups, planches for 30 sec and other shit. In Russian and Balkan countries is easy af to acquire steroids, they are not regulated by the low in any way.

  2. Adam

    I like this article – well done!

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thank you for the support.

  3. Joda

    The implementation of Schrödinger’s cat was genius.

  4. Tren&Clen

    I spent five years busting my ass in the gym. Primarily 5×5 and Rippetoe’s bullshit. I’ve probably gained some muscle, but my old photos are not that different from my new ones. No one accuses me of being too big. Those motherfuckers, to be honest.

    Anyway. Life goes on. But you are damn right about many things. I am still far away from what yourr book on natty potential projects. I don’t think I will ever reach those numbers. Then again some may say that my genetics suck. They probably do, but it is what it is.

    Thanks for the books and articles. Looking forward to the next.

    1. John South

      5×5 and Starting Strength are beginner programs so if you were doing daily linear progression for 5 years, something is wrong.

      It should take 6 months to a year to achieve the following numbers with a linear progression and eating enough

      135 OHP
      225 Bench
      315 Squat
      405 Deadlift
      15 Bodyweight chin ups (with all of the above lifts and extra bodyweight that comes with it)

      That is the main goal of those programs and you would have to gain significant weight and muscle to do it.

      Once those numbers are achieved you’d move on to Texas Method or another weekly intermediate program.

      After 5 years of training, you should have graduated both SS and Texas Method and moved onto an advanced program outside of the scope of the Starting Strength universe.

      You should have a 315 bench and a 400lb, squat, 500lb deadlift or so, for example. I’m pretty sure at that point you look like you lift.

      If you didn’t hit these metrics with reasonably average genetics then something is wrong. Then you start asking yourself, “did I actually do what I think I did?”.

      Did you have a coach or did you just do stuff you vaguely read about on the internet?

      Because it kinda sounds like you don’t even know what Starting Strength is for.

      1. CJ

        Who tf achieves that in a year?? Not me I guess. Personally I never believed/was always weary of such “programs” from the start. 90% of (naturals) probably fall short of everything you just said, with or without a “program.” Idk, the only natural lifters I have ever witnessed get significantly above a two plate bench were large, heavy mofos. Smaller individuals, who care about staying lean, no way within any short time frame, it seems. Can you vouch for your written word? Did u hit such numbers in such a time frame, without the aid of anabolics of course?

        1. Tony C.

          Even I suspect that I’ll have to take longer than most people to bulk up since I’m 5’9″ and barely 120. Regardless, I’ll still be a dwarf compared to most men anyway.

      2. Jason

        2-3-4 after 6 months to a year…
        3-4-5 guaranteed after 5?
        Maybe if you have no life, no job, no responsibilities, no injuries and never get sick.

  5. Ryan

    There is a doscount Code for potential?
    Im a student, and every money for me is important!


    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Currently not.

      1. RockyBalboa

        It’s a great book. Read it a year ago and loved it.

  6. Jim

    Well…i look perfect. No need to ever consider roids.
    Focus on fitness not on size. Like you say…90% is diet and hormones.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Congratulations 🙂

      1. John Smith


        Good for you. It’s a breath of fresh of air to read someone being happy with what God gave them naturally.

  7. Jim

    Last time in the gym i saw a lot of fatpeople working out. Probably yjink over eating is the key to big muscles.. They would be better off droppi g 20lbs of fat

  8. Chris

    Excellent article , and a timely reminder before we all get bent out of shape with our New Year Gym and body composition goals. I.E – realty check.
    This is not a negative folks, the positive benefits of exercise go much deeper than the b.s referred to by truth TS. So don’t dispair fellow normal nattys, im 56 and i still love training , 40 + years on and counting..

  9. Atilla

    Does în The US of A are injecting you with spiritual estrogen? I guess you like Jordan Peterson. În Eastern Europe where i am from there isn’t any feminist propaganda s-o i guess the men are spared of this intoxication.
    Steroids are cheap here and easily accesible

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I am not following Peterson and have no intention of doing so. Feminism’s headquarters may be in the west, but EE is heavily affect too. Not to the same extent, but as much as currently possible.

    2. Popescu René

      You are Romanian, right? That “în” tells me that you are a Hungarian living in Romania. ???

  10. Tony C.

    Greetings. I first came upon your blog when I read the article “15 Things That Only Natural Ectomorphs Understand.” Most of the article resonates with me since I’m between 5’8″ and 5’9″ and barely weigh 120 pounds sopping wet. Been thin since childhood but I started lifting in 2017 due to being fed up with being called the world’s prison b*tch by peers and strangers alike. I still didn’t have enough confidence to go to any gym, so I often lifted rice bags at home. Over time, though, I learned that I barely made any gains despite my improved form. Reading your blog reminded me that natural lifters like ourselves may never fully bulk up even if we consume carbs and proteins to feed universes.

    I might as well ask. How do we hardgainers and ectomorphs come to terms with our “skinny b*tch strength” if our deadbeat genetics don’t allow us to be thick, thicc, and whole? Is there any hope for the thin crowd to not be thinned out by society? How do we live with the skinny stigma?

    I’ll try not to hinder you, so feel free to respond when you wish. By the way, I can imagine you writing hardgainer haikus like I did earlier this year.

    1. John Smith

      I took up boxing training and all I can say is it radicalized my physique. Did for me what years of being a “human crane” didn’t. I’m certain the boxing was the element that polished up what I did in the weights room.

      Boxing allowed me to observe other boxer’s physique development from beginner on up. The best physiques, for me, are in the welter weight to light heavy classes. People have to watch their weight and do massive cuts to stay in their weight division, and man, people have no idea how awesome a dude looks, at a lean 6ft 175lbs. Athletically built and deadly.

      Conversely, nothing incites my contempt more than when I’m watching a YouTube video of some fitness guru from Pencil Neck City, Nerdville, pumped full of a cocktail of steroids, strutting around, ELS-ing (exaggerated lat spread) trying to put on some lame gangster attitude they ripped from a corny rap video from the 90s. lol What a fucking wanker. You need to dose yourself with battery acid to feel yourself. To me they just look and act exactly like what they are. Artificially blown up nerds from the ‘burbs. No game, no swag, no aura.

      But watching them is interesting because they’re the type of puny, unathletic, runt who, in the pre mass roiding era, when they felt condemned to eternal mediocrity, would claim they were gifted with superior intellect and were too high brow to pursue a low brow body beautiful obsession.

      Clearly this attitude was a compensatory cope, when you watch how they revel in the physiques they’ve acquired after discovering roids. So now the nerdy fake natty fitness guru has arrived and taken over YouTube. But I don’t think he/she’s here to stay.

      I think the fake natty fad will soon go out of vogue, destroyed by a saturation of cookie cutter six packs. They all look the same; cartoonish and fake. I think the worst thing about them is their undue pride in achieving a physique that requires daily high dosages of artificial man juice injected directly into the arse to maintain. When it penetrates deep enough into the collective that it’s all syringe and no ninja fake natty will be cast back into true natty oblivion.

      Aesthetic standards will return to more realistic expectations, the good people of Nerdville can stop poisoning their organs trying to be what they never had in their genetics to be and take up a physical challenge better suited to their hormone profiles. Something sedate like Tai Chi or yoga or something. 🙂

      1. JD

        What kills me is these roid idiots just walk around the gym trying to make eye contact with the non roid plebeians in there who are surely wasting their time because they aren’t on the growth serum. These goons are mainly in there with the sole purpose to remind you how great they are and how not great you are. These days I just laugh because they are easy to spot and look like complete tools.

        1. Truth Seeker Post author

          The more successful you are at something, the more addicting it becomes due to the persistent admiration that you receive. When you have a great physique and everyone looks up to you, your workout quickly transforms into the highlight of your day. Conversely, when you are not winning, you began to despise training.

          1. Tony C.

            I admit that I’m guilty of living off of people’s praises like most Libras, if anyone’s had a brief interest in astrology. In my case, if I don’t feel that I made gains and if others haven’t seen said gains, I feel less inspired to train.

          2. Truth Seeker Post author

            This is the case for everybody regardless of what they say.

    2. Truth Seeker Post author

      At the end of the day, you can only do so much. Don’t be embarrassed to go to the gym if you want to. Just like I said in my previous post, at one place where I train I am constantly surrounded by mutants. Lifting rice bags is conditioning rather than muscle training. Besides, tracking progress is somewhat difficult. If you don’t like going to the barbell house very often (I understand), go 1-2 times a week to hit your lower body and or back and do bodyweight exercises at home. But the true liberation will come once you accept yourself.

      1. Tony C.

        I can only try. I’m already in my 30’s and I still find fault with myself. Not being close to six feet is still a sore spot for me sometimes no matter how much milk I drink. Still, I’ve been a late bloomer, so perhaps I’ll attain muscle enlightenment later on while being aware that we ectomorphs have limits … laughable limits.

        Do me one favor despite that we never met. Show the mutant men and women who ever spat on you that you can be the Dragon of Dojima and the Ghost of Sparta. Sorry. Video game jargon

  11. Ess Queue

    @ Tony C

    I have the exact same problem. I hope I can one day reach the same stage as Jim and be content with what I have.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Once the initial euphoria wears off and you age, self-acceptance becomes easier and natural.

    2. Tony C.

      But not without training to fight like Kazuma Kiryu from the Yakuza games or Kratos from God of War, I hope.

  12. JD

    After training for three decades, I have learned the following:

    1. It was much easier to fool the 90’s kid than a present day kid. The reason is simple – there was no internet. The 90’s kid had nothing but Flex magazine roid heads to try and aspire to. They pushed the latest fad supplement and always had a new one waiting in the wings when ultimately the current one didn’t get the look the roid heads were pushing. Most present day kids at least realize with help of the internet that many of their physique idols are juicing. At least, the kids that have a lick of common sense.

    2. In the 90’s I ate what the roid heads suggested to eat quantity-wise not knowing they were juiced to the gills and got fat.

    3. After many years later and figuring out that I will never get the physique of a roid head, I took a break from the gym for a good six months. I still kept active but didn’t go to the gym. Guess what happened? I had virtually no change in muscle quality visually. When I got back in the gym, sure I had lost some strength, but it wasn’t that dramatic. It certainly wasn’t at the level the roid heads pushing supplements want you to believe will happen if you miss one single day of their pristine muscle building program.

    4. The scam loop is spot on. There is always a problem with YOU. It is never that their program doesn’t work, it just means you are doing something wrong. Of course they don’t tell you about the blasting and cruising they are doing which isn’t included in their strength program or supplement list.

    5. Keep up the good work Truth Seeker and keep educating folks about the scam artist lies that the “fitness industry” keep making on a daily basis. It is a sham industry and they know it. They just hope the general public never finds out.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thank you for the detailed comment. It is the truth. At the time, the outlets talking about the dark side were fewer. The mainstream media had no incentive to even mention steroids apart from demonizing them. The most common way to become “enlightened” was from personal real-life experience or through the acquaintance of someone in the know.

  13. Fake natty hunter


    Do you believe this guy is natural?

    He made a recent post showing his lunch and talked about how his recent change in diet has made him bigger, leaner and stronger. He measures all his food down to the gram. He even listed out his macros for that meal. USA weightlifting claims to have the strictest doping control in the galaxy.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Barbells sports require drugs to excel. Period. The dude is snatching 176kg and cleaning 223kg. To comprehend how much that it is, imaging snatching or cleaning your best deadlift. If he can have that much muscle mass 100% naturally, how big will he become on Ronnie Coleman’s celltech?

      1. Fake natty hunter

        Great analysis. I highly doubt he is “natural” but for athletes, until they fail a drug test, they are innocent until proven guilty.

        The strange thing is American weightlifters complain about the widespread systemic doping in many top weightlifting countries. This sort of accusation stems from what? Moral superiority? Or maybe they are “clean”?

        It becomes more suspect to me when lifters start to talk about their diet and macro nutrition. How much carbs they ingest or that red meat is magical in building dense muscle. When in reality anyone with a bit of knowledge in regards to training and human physiology knows that if the supplement works, you probably cannot purchase it legally.

        Great writing as usual. Look forward to more.

  14. Dudeman

    “Natural can’t get big”, bullshit. MOST natural can’t get big but some can. The fact that you can’t get big (and I too) doesn’t imply that all naturals bodybuilders can’t as well. Genetics determine your potential, most men have shitty genetics and will have hard time or even impossible time reaching 16 inch arms in a lean condiiton. But some few people can reach 17 inch, or 18 inch or even more. Most men have normal size dicks, but some have big dicks, or most men are average but some are geniuses it’s the same thing essentially. Genetics.

    1. Random Guy

      Fair point, but the problem is what you define as big. Many natties that would be considered big in a world where steroids didn’t exist are seen as mediocre because they will be compared to a guy on tren who claims to be natty.

    2. John

      All naturals can get big,but all of them will carry 15+ percent of body fat.
      As natural,you can be shredded and small, or big and kinda fat,but to be 6’2 ,200 and single digit,no.

  15. Luciano

    I have always been the weakest guy in the crew. So I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with hemocromatosis. This condition makes me stay in a catabolic state, and alongside my low testosterone we decided to start TRT. I still need to follow a good diet to see results ( insulin sensitivity is important ). Now I just started my first cycle yesterday, uping my dosage to 500mg. The difference is clear, one day after and my muscles are already fuller, have better pumps, more vascularity and my powerlifts went up.

    Trt got me out of depression medicine, now I am happier guy, though still living in this dark modern era…. For me it was a.good thing.

    Also, women treat me different now. I despise these thots even more because I can see they are shallower than I thought. Anyways I love this blog and your books. See you my friends.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thank you for the support.

      500mg is not TRT. Neither is 250mg. Those are mild steroid cycles.

      1. Luciano

        It was not clear. Let me reestate. This January I complete 2 years of Trt. Better dosage for me is 100mg per week.

        Cycle staters yesterday.

    2. Tony C.

      Glad to find a kindred spirit, Luciano. I’m also considered the weak runt among people. I still lift weights on occasion to change that fact even though I’ve seen little to no gains.

      Here’s to 2020 and more of the same inequality and double standard that we ectomorphs face.

      1. Luciano

        For me what worked, irrespectively of trt, was fucking high volume push pull legs and few carbs, lower calories, and no junk food. Of course sometimes we chest but we try not to. The lazy full body three or two times a week over 85 percent rm sets didn’t work. Bench press was an awful exercise for my chest. Mind muscle connection is important and cables are good.

        Go on steroids, drink your beer and don’t sleep well, eat shit, and you will end up bloated with nothing to show anyways. So its not magical ( maybe higher dosages and using tren, high, but I won’t delve on that ).

        Everyone knows I use my stuff, so no need to acuse me of anything haha I try to be strong doing my human crane stuff and help beginner when they ask and be friendly with everyone in gym. Where I train it’s like a family. Good atmosphere makes lifting productive and “funny”. Sorry my atrocious English

        1. TheFinisher

          High Volume works, period.

  16. coron3

    If natural cant get big, explain IronLoo then.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      What is there to explain?

  17. mattsk1

    You won’t get huge, unless you blessed with genes of a people that had to be bigger and stronger to survive thousands years ago. The only way to cheat that is to juice. If you want to get bigger than your genes allow you to be and do it naturally you will have to accept some bodyfat because you will shrink to I have to take off my shirt to get noticed if you get shredded.

    I know because I carry some bodyfat 15-20% and some size notable enough that I don’t have to take off my shirt. I am not huge. 5ft 8in 175lb.

    1. Tony C.

      Even I’m slowly starting to accept that. I’m 5’9″ and barely 120. Since I’m Asian, I don’t know if I’m a descendant of those who had to be bigger and stronger to survive throughout history.

      1. mattsk1

        You do have descendants that are more like Tony Jaa and Bruce Lee. Those two have bodies that some people seek but can’t achieve easily because they are naturally huge.

        1. Tony C.

          The work to be flexible, nimble, and coordinated is still daunting, though. Plus, I suspect that there are those who believe that looking like a lineman while moving like Bruce Lee is the ideal fitness goal.

  18. David

    True freedom is in awareness.
    Thanks for ‘potential’ book man.
    It is in my top 5 book read this year

    Greetings from Italy

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thank you for the support, David.

  19. MB

    Again a great article.
    I wonder, with the drug based bodybuilders there are much muscle size differences.
    Some people who take drugs are not realy big and other are super big.
    Is this because their body respond different? Or Do the bigger ones take more drugs?
    Does more drugs means more muscles?
    I have seen a woman who looks big next to a physique male competitor (who already was muscular). But the woman trains also very hard. Does that make a difference or can the extra muscle size be the result of more drugs in combination with the way the body respond to it?

  20. Mark

    This is unrelated to the article, but how do you activate an account on the forum? I followed the instructions in the activation email a week ago and I still can’t post/make new threads. Thanks

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I activated the account. Sorry for taking so long.

  21. CJ

    Question for Truth, what do you think of the notion that naturals will forever be “novice,” or “intermediate.” I am starting to feel this way. Particularly within today’s strength standards. As a (natural) lifter for a few years now, I cant quite surpass what would even be considered the natty standards like a 225 bench for reps. Past 200, ALL lifts are a struggle to the point where I feel there is no way to reach anything “impressive.” Sure as hell wont ever make it past 300 at this rate. Been in more or less the same spot for a while, and surely this is a predicament within the “natty circle.” Maybe the human capacity for muscle hypertrophy is something that is ultimately limited, but what about strength. In other words, why am I weak af? Just me, or is everyone lifting “big” or I guess bigger weight pretty much on one?

    1. Chris

      Hi CJ, firstly i advise you to discard the novice and intermediate tag. They are just b.s, and cannot universally apply.
      Secondly don’t beat yourself up, most untrained Guys would struggle to bench 1 plate , and the vast majority benching plates 3 are on gear.
      Concentrate on a couple of lifts, say bench and TBDL. Follow something like Wendlers 5/3/1 on these 2 lifts, be patient, leave the ego and poundage greed at the door, and im sure you will hit that 225. Just give it time, think where you would be in a year, not a month.
      All other exercises, hit them for 8 – 20r , only a few sets, avoid failure, but don’t beat yourself up {again} if it happens. Rotate, have variety here, maybe adding these exercises that help the big 2. Two – three days a week.
      Eat for health, allow a slight calorie surplus, but don’t go Sumo, a few extra carbs on training days, lower when off, maybe consider 5g a day of creatine a day {it does work}.
      Oh – and don’t forget cardio, but not excessive, just enough to maintain a reasonable base level. Work more on that when you make your strength targets.

      1. CJ

        Thanks Chris for your response and advice

  22. Mark Rogers

    Another great article thanks, it describes my journey through the lifting world to a tee. Arnold in the 90s, 3 sets of 10, then 5×5, then old skool dinasaur training, Pavel and kettlebells, power lifting…. I was about to embark on body weight training when I discovered this site – which opened my eyes.
    Cheers truth seeker I can’t thank you enough

  23. MB

    I don’t hate talking about the natural limit, but I think it’s regrettable that talking about PED still is taboo.
    From the moment you bring up this topic on social media you even become a so called ‘hater’ in the eyes of the supporters. There are probably people who do that to start annoying discussions, but also if you are serious about the topic, they still will see you as a hater.
    And always the same lie: ‘Hard work and genetics’

    1. TheFinisher

      People who use ‘Genetics’ as an excuse, are the ones who are NOT training correctly. They all do low volume and chase nonsense numbers – “gotta bench 3 plates to get big!”

      Speaking of idiots, where is that HIT ‘expert’ John? you need more than one set for size John, you nut job.

      1. Chris

        Hi TheFinisher, – Good to see you posting.

        Whilst i believe one should try to get stronger {slowly} I also agree with chasing nonsense numbers you refer to.
        Not using genetics as an excuse for might or muscle, one still has to real.
        Constantly trying to be a human crane is a one way ticket for frustration and injury.
        Long into over………….. i have a question.

        Q – how do you apply high vol.

        Look if someone can bench 200 x 10r, and you say do 5 x 10, with one minute rests, and the 200/10 Guy tries he will fail by the 2nd set.
        So with this hypothetical lifter, where would you start him ?
        I guess around 150.

        All responses appreciated

        1. TheFinisher

          If 150 is where someone needs to start in order to get the 5 sets of 10 with 1 minute rest, then 150 it is.

          I am NOT saying lifting heavier doesn’t matter, progressively lifting more, increases reps etc are what is needed for sure. Muscle fatigue via volume is NEEDED for maximum growth.

          But people thinking when they hit 315 on the bench for a couple sets of 5 they are magically going to be huge, they are completely wrong and will be disappointed. Then they start blaming their ‘chest genetics’ or whatever lolsy excuse.

          1. Chris

            Hi TheFinnsher, and thanks for the response,

            traded posts with 2 lifters this year, both naturals, both well past 40, both like me pushed low vol’s 5 ‘s exclusively for ever.
            One lifter went high reps {30+} over 2/3 sets, working up to 150 pounds on the BP for 60 straight reps.
            One day he went for a Max PR, and hit 295.
            Said he never got past 265 training heavy {relative}
            The other lifter went from 5/5 resting by the calendar to 5/10 with resting 30-60s. After a year, he also went for a BP PR hitting 315. Again his best prior was well South of 300.
            Both lifters reported better conditioning and increased muscle gain.

          2. TheFinisher

            Funny you should mention that Chris, I also believe those guys – I’ve seen it myself.

            Serge Nubret used to talk about testing his strength every 3 months or so to see if he got stronger whilst doing his ‘pump training’ – Which apparently doesn’t work for naturals, just me i suppose with my ‘superman genetics’ Pshh.

            Serge was a genius, he knew his style of high rep, low rest, training would produce strength gains without taxing the CNS.

            High volume does NOT cause overtraining, Continuous heavy weight training and or training to failure burns naturals out. People need to get over it and train like a bodybuilder.

      2. MB

        Maybe you misunderstood me.
        What I meant was that when an athlete get big by using drugs, it’s not fair to say it’s because their great ‘genetics’.

  24. MB

    Wel… there are people who use genetics as excuse and use low volume, but I know there are some who do 90 pounds dumbbell rows and barbell bending deadlifts.

  25. EM

    Just pick a couple of lifts to work the whole body, maybe one or two exercises that you just happen to like, work as hard as you can on those exercises for one or two sets for the rep range of your choosing and do so once every 5 to 7 days for a couple of years and with that simple approach to weight training you’ll achieve whatever potential you have. You really don’t need to know much of anything else.

    This simple approach has gotten me to 400×15 in the dead, a dip of 120 for reps, and 700 for reps in the calf raise. I don’t look anything like a steroid user and never will, but I look like I lift. I can say, that at least for me any volume over 1-2 sets per exercise is just wasted effort. I’ve never gotten anything out of it.

  26. Jeff

    I got a taste of what you call the Scam Loop 8-9 years ago when I encountered a strange network of fitness gurus who all promote each other’s impossible-to-follow programs. It takes extreme dedication to follow any of these programs completely, and while I did follow one of them (the first one I found) 100% for about a year with good results (set a bench PR of 280 and got my bodyfat down from 23% to 9%), I found that most of these programs are impossible — they tell you to lift heavy, with such high volume that each workout would take 2.5 hours to get through, and with working the same muscles to failure on consecutive days! And then when you’ve make your best attempt to follow it for a few weeks, they send you an email praising some “colleague” as being an expert in some aspect of fitness. (“You can learn their secrets for only $200! And if you order within the next 90 minutes we’ll throw in a bonus presentation…yada yada”) Since that first program I did worked so well, I fell for this tactic a couple times. Then got disgusted and unsubscribed from all their email lists.

  27. Paul

    Yep article is on point. One has to only look around and observe the multitude of examples to draw from in their own gym. If you are discerning and intellectually honest you will realise that there are no dramatic transformations to be seen, Im my 30 years of training I’m yet to see any. Every subject more or less looks the same. Some small amounts of muscle gain can be had but not much more than that.
    I was drawn to aesthetic body building because my natural make up led me towards this endeavour being as I’m naturally lean and muscular and have a distinct advantage in the field.

    I agree that most are drawn to a particular activity due to having a natural advantage in said vocation. If you are 6’-8” you are more likely to be drawn towards basketball than being a horse racing jockey! Horses for courses, as it were. Excuse the pun!

  28. Theguywholosteverythingcuzoffalsedreams

    i just wanna say thanks to you nattyornot. Everything you said in this site , i experienced those, , i went from fat bloated face permabulker powerlifter to skinny but better face and less acne vegan guy.

    I had alot of dream benching 3 plate deadlifting 4-5 plate than i realized im killing myself in the gym while the guys injecting all kinds of drugs. And making hella gains.

    I spend my teenager life from 16-19 killin myself in the gym, i lost most of the fun in my life , i lost the partys on the highschool, i lost getting a girlfriend chance on highschool (im still Virgin cuz i was antisocial who spends 7 days in gym). I even had shit grates cuz of lifting, i thought i was hardcore, I WAS JUST STUPID.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thank you for the support. But don’t be so self-critical. Mistakes are part of the learning process.

    2. JD

      Fear not hoss. It’ll be ok. Life is a brutal teacher. You always get the test first and the lesson after. Peace.

  29. MB

    There’s a lot of focus on training and the natural limits in the articles.
    But why are there not much articles about food, nutrition, macro’s and so on… ?
    The fitness industry makes a big deal of this, but I don’t see this topic as much as the articles of the natural limits.

    1. Tom

      What worked best for me:

      Carbs below 150g per day
      Protein between 150 to 180
      Sugar under 50g
      Calories at all, around 1800.
      Diet? Eat 7 hours, then only water or coffee, except weekends.
      Gym 3 times a week for about an hour. Full body routine.

      And if the weather is fine, maybe jogging for an hour or so on the weekend.

      1. MB

        Thanks. But aren’t the calories a little bit low?

        1. Tom

          Depends on your physiology. I want to lose fat and maintain my muscles. If i wanted to get power and mass fast, i would jump up to 2200 around. But i have an office job and do no cardio at all for the most time. More calories mean the risk of putting on fat for me. And believe me, its not that easy to eat 1800 kcal in 6 to 7 hours.

          1. MB

            Why 7 hours? Even if you sleep 10 hours, you still have 14 hours left.

  30. Tom

    Hi, my name is Tom and i started lifting when i was 15. I am 35 now and still go to the gym. At first, only at home with two dumbells my father built for me. I always loved schwarzenegger movies and thought i want to be as muscular as him. I think theres another point why i started lifting…i got acne at around 13 to 16 and girls didnt look at me. I couldnt change that, but i could change my body to feel better and maybe improve my chances.
    It didnt improve my chances well, but thats another story. Anyway, i needed a long time to accept that my idols were juicing. I had to get to the point myself to see where my limits are. I never juiced but thought about it more than once.
    My best figures were 110kg on the bench press when i was 23 or so. Didnt have much stress, slept well and had much free time. I was always around 85kg but gained weight in the years to come til i reached around 100kg. But guess what… It wasnt muscle mainly. A few years ago i decided to stop and get lean to the amount a natty could get lean. I am at 80kg now and i am around 14% bodyfat. I dont have bad genetics regarding my frame but i guess if i am at 10% bodyfat, i am around 75 kg. The physique i am trying to achieve now is the one from brad pitt in troy. And by the way, i am doing a full body workout 2 to 3 times a week now and its perfect for me. I tried nearly every method years ago. My guess on figures for natural bodybuilders is classical… Height in cm – 100 at 10% bodyfat and youre genetically gifted. Anything above that is unnatural to me.

    1. Tom

      Well, it is called intermittent fasting i guess. Works well for me with 7 hours. Better sleep and better metabolism.

  31. not a retard

    lmao nattyornot is a weak faggot that cant handle the fact that people train harder and have better genes than him. Reminder that hes so salty he wrote not one, but MULTIPLE books to bitch about the same shit over and over. Kill yourself.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thanks for the support.

      1. Tony C.

        Never mind him, Truth Seeker. While you and I never met, I think that we both have common ground since we’re both skinny men who are condemned by genetics and who face double standards imposed upon us.

      2. CJ

        Wtf. Either a troll or a juicehead or a dyel skinnier than Truth.

        1. Tony C.

          I’m most likely thinner than Truth myself, but I’d rather call him a fellow comrade who knows the skinny shame. We hardgainers and ectomorphs must stick together.

          1. CJ

            Ya well as naturals we’re all “hardgainers” so sure.

    2. MB

      I think Truth Seeker write great articles that make much more sense than what I hear from some muscle heroes (… correction: 99 % of the fitness industry).

  32. Adam

    There’s a lot of talk about the “genetically advantaged.” Lots of pro bodybuilders talk about being genetically superior. What they focus on is an extremely narrow set of components related to skeletal muscle development. Mostly, it’s how significantly they respond to PEDs. There are tons of other categories that define a person’s genetics. Some of the best vertical jumpers have the smallest calves but do have significant neurological input and the ability to recruit the largest and most explosive motor units. Others have incredible cognitive skills. Others have exceptionally long life spans. All of these are genetically influenced. Anyone who is ectomorphic and finds it challenging to increase muscle mass should not wall around feeling genetically impaired. You might have a number of other genetic gifts. Personally, I don’t think it’s any kind of genetic superiority that pro bodybuilders respond significantly to exogenous hormones. It’s exceptionally risky. Most of them have health issue for life, some real bad. They’re nutless morons.

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