Are you curious about the world of natural bodybuilding? In this article, we showcase some of the best and biggest natural bodybuilders on the planet. Not only are they ripped, but they also promote a healthy lifestyle without using chemical substances or steroids to do so.
Bodybuilding is a demanding field that requires a tremendous amount of dedication, hard work, and passion. It's not just about lifting weights; it's about pushing your body beyond its limits to achieve a better version of yourself.
Despite its admirable aspects, the field has also faced controversies, including those who discredit the hard work of others and resort to using steroids for quicker gains. However, those who truly understand the art of natural bodybuilding can spot the difference between steroid gains and those who have achieved their incredible physiques through their own efforts.
This article aims to shed light on the hard work, discipline, and dedication of the largest natural bodybuilders who have achieved their impressive physiques without taking shortcuts. Join us as we delve into their stories and learn more about the inspiring journey of natural bodybuilding.
Natty vs. Steroids: Understanding the Differences
While natural bodybuilding is a commendable approach that emphasizes clean nutrition and drug-free training, there's often a debate in the fitness community about the differences between natural (“natty”) bodybuilders and those who use steroids.
The distinctions go beyond just the use of performance-enhancing drugs. From training regimens to recovery times and potential muscle gains, the differences can be significant. To get a comprehensive understanding of the contrasts and make an informed decision about your bodybuilding journey, explore our detailed comparison of Natty vs. Steroids.
Let's start by saying that steroids are not as evil as they're often portrayed to be. While they may take away from the hard work put in by natural bodybuilders, it's important to recognize that steroids are just one piece of the puzzle.
It's unfair to judge someone solely based on their use of steroids, especially since they can be a legitimate aid for some individuals. Criticizing others for using them also undermines the efforts of natural bodybuilders who have achieved their impressive physiques through their own hard work and dedication.
That's why we've compiled a list of the best natural bodybuilders – those who have reached the pinnacle of success without the aid of steroids. These inspirational figures show that with hard work and dedication, anyone can achieve their fitness goals. Check out our top picks below and learn from their success!
The 24 Best Natural Bodybuilders in 2024
Chris Jones is a popular internet personality starring in the show Physique of Greatness. His current stats are at 5 ft. and 7 inches of height, 179-190 lbs. of weight, with a body fat percentage of around 5-8%. In case you are not as familiar with interpreting such results, this is massive – but in the sense that it is exceptionally ripped without seeming like he is overly huge.
For most steroid users, their weight would often range between 240-250 lbs. with the same body fat percentage, albeit most of them are around 6 ft. in height.
Some would often question whether he is natty or not, especially considering that he is a famous YouTube star who posts fitness videos of himself. However, while he does manifest very minimal symptoms of steroid use, such as having huge traps and delts along with heavy vascularization, the keyword in this context is “minimal.”
One way or another, it certainly gives him the benefit of the doubt, and until he is proven otherwise, his current progress is just inspiring to witness.
Similar to how other YouTubers behave, Connor Murphy's YouTube career revolves around the topic of pranks in the context of bodybuilding. Connor Murphy currently has 512k followers on Instagram and 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube – consistently appealing to the skinny college guys who would like to bulk up and, well, get girls by doing so. Connor constantly claims that he is indeed natty, and the evidence appears to support his claim.
The best way to know if a person is natty is by looking at them and looking at some features of their body. From flushed reddish skin to having massive shoulders that look like boulders, Connor has none of these while still boasting a solid physique and stats. If that is not natty, well, we don't know what is.
Coined as the real-life Goku, Jeff Seid, a 23-year-old man who partakes in Men's Physique Competitions, previously broke the world record as the youngest professional that participated in IFBB history. By real-life Goku, yes, we do mean Son Goku from the popular anime Dragonball Z due to his characteristic spiky hair and jacked muscles that all make up his aesthetic yet incredibly intimidating look.
With over 2 million fans on Facebook, he is indeed popular, what with all the you-only-live-once antics that seem to make him even more amazing to both professionals and non-professionals alike.
While he previously mentioned that steroids are against his philosophy, what makes his natty status even more prominent is that his physique is enormous, but it is not overly massive that his proportions are way out of control. He essentially possesses the dream body that most ectomorphs aim for, and this is on top of his fantastic genetics that has continuously helped him with his gains since he was 12.
Simeon Panda is an English bodybuilder with over 4.7 million fans on his page and claims that he has indeed been natty throughout his career. He currently possesses a Musclemania PRO card that led to him competing alongside personalities such as Ulisses and Chul Soon while obtaining a sponsorship grant from MyProtein.
With a height of 6 ft. 1 in., a weight of 230 lbs., and an estimated body fat percentage of 7%, many people have resorted to calling him a liar as these stats, no matter how you look at it, are just insane, to begin with. However, what trumps these claims is the evidence that Simeon has world-class genetics, and this is already downplaying that fact. From 2002 until the present, one could clearly see that he somehow plateaued after obtaining massive newbie gains – and that is proof that his body is not overproducing muscles as a response to steroid use.
Steve Cook is a 31-year-old fitness model and bodybuilder who consistently participates in a competition known as Mr. Olympia, along with personalities like Jeff Seid and Jeremy Buendia. He is currently receiving sponsorship grants from Optimum Nutrition and Bodybuilding.com, but he also has his own product line known as Swoldier Nation.
He currently has around 800k fans on Facebook, mainly due to his ripped physique, natty claim, and incredibly attractive personality. With stats of 6 ft. 1 in., 212 lbs., and 7% body fat percentage, one would naturally question his claim, but his lack of steroid-use symptoms, such as overdeveloped traps and bloated abdomen, proves otherwise.
Mike Thurston, a 26-year-old English bodybuilder, standing at the height of 6 ft. with a weight of 205-215 lbs., is an online personality that is just gifted with incredible genetics to reach the physique that he is currently rocking today. He once admitted that he used to consume a lot of alcohol in college. However, his pictures show that he is still ripped despite doing so – leading to him obtaining massive gains when he decided to maximize his body's natural muscle-building process and lead a healthy lifestyle focused on improving his physique.
A few years later, bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, we witnessed another force of nature be born in the fitness industry.
Jeremy Buendia is known as the 3-time Mr. Olympia Men's Physique Competition Champion, and it is definitely for a good reason. Within all of the competitions he participated in, you could almost guarantee that Buendia would be incredibly ripped compared to his competitors. This obviously raised a few eyebrows thinking that he was using performance enhancements to improve.
However, with a height of 5'8″ and weight of 165 lbs. during his competitions, one could argue that he looks and weighs normal compared to those who use steroids to supplement muscle growth. As a cherry on top, we could also look at 17-year-old Jeremy, who was already incredibly huge then – a factor that would make him just massive now if he indeed used steroids to compete.
With over 5 million followers on Instagram, 14 million on Facebook, and around 700k on YouTube, Lazar Angelov, with his chiseled abs and extremely lean physique, is undoubtedly a personality to watch out for in the online fitness industry.
He currently stands at the height of 5'11, weighs 195 lbs., and has an average body fat percentage of 5% – stats that show that he is incredibly lean on top of having an impressive muscle mass to boot.
While some will question his authenticity, his gains timeline shows that he gained the mass that he is currently rocking at a steady pace; his relatively average gains for a man with his height and his lack of disproportionate muscles despite being extremely fit highlight that steroid use is almost nonexistent in his routine.
Sadic Hadzovic, while it might seem like he is from another nationality, is an American bodybuilder who has won 4 IFBB events, one during the Arnold Festival in 2015 and the 2nd place in Mr. Olympia twice, losing to Jeremy Buendia on both occasions. Mr. Olympia essentially highlights the aesthetic ripped look that is otherwise not present for overly bulked bodybuilders – one aspect that is indeed present in the overall build of Hadzovic.
With stats of 5'11” and 190 lbs., he is undoubtedly rocking an extremely lean build – one that he had even way before he started participating in competitions. In a sense, he was already big before then. While he does appear bigger in his current form, he does lack the specific characteristic look of fluid retention, muscle overdevelopment, and other symptoms of steroid use – making his natty status one that we could safely stand behind with this evidence.
Ryan Terry is an English fitness model who currently boasts a height of 5 ft. and 10 in., a weight of 187 lbs., and a body fat percentage of around 5%. Even from a young age, he has always been athletic and fit – leading to him participating in the Men's Physique competition and even placing 4th in 2015 and 2nd in 2016.
Some people keep quoting his 2013-2014 gains difference through a photo he posted before to assume that he is using steroids, but some do not realize that pumping helps make the muscles look bigger than they are – one point for misinformed speculations.
Besides, Ryan has been weightlifting for almost 10 years, and he has never experienced any steroid-specific symptoms that would show that his body is being supplemented by an external product.
For us, that's grounds for speculation leaning toward the natty category.
Ron Williams is a fitness idol from Indianapolis who started participating in several weightlifting competitions before age 20, making him such an icon in the bodybuilding industry with his successes in over 250 competitions, including Mr. Natural Universe, Mr. Natural Olympia, and Mr. Natural World.
If that recurrent “natural” title rang a bell, it should rightfully so, as these competitions employ an all-natural approach that Williams would have otherwise failed at if he used certain steroids to boost his performance.
Other than that, his journey from being a sports enthusiast to a bodybuilding monster certainly inspired many people, and his natty status, no matter what it may be, will not take anything away from that.
Rob Riches is a fitness personality who, like many others, claims that he is 100% natty and has been natural since the moment he began his journey in the industry. However, this 5'10” and 180 lbs. fitness model came across a particular controversy when he allegedly failed a drug test, leading many to question his previous claims.
However, this issue was rendered moot when it was found that a supplement he was taking, Craze, had an undisclosed content of amphetamines – the molecule that pinged his test and subsequently produced a failed result. If that alone is not enough to convince most, looking at his build, to begin with, would do the rest.
From such defined and evident muscles that seem to be proportionate with each other, along with the absence of any signs of bloating, skin flushing, and overdevelopment of shoulder muscles, everything seems to be pointing towards Rob's initial natty claim.
Brandon Carter currently possesses a 6'2″ height, 175 lbs. of weight, and around 5-8% body fat percentage. To those who know how to interpret results, that weight is not as massive as you would expect from someone using steroids – a point in favor of a natty status.
This is further highlighted with the help of several of his fitness videos, where it is evident that he has a very balanced physique that even highlights his well-developed legs that are appropriately separated.
In a sense, no overgrowth is observed in his physique – a factor found in most steroid users due to muscle overstimulation. Understandably, many would question him as he looks like he carries around 200 lbs. of muscle mass, but the evidence shows otherwise – highlighting that he is indeed 100% natty from the get-go.
Donte Franklin is a 30-year-old bodybuilder from Missouri, USA, with over 80,000 followers (2021) on his Instagram page, who all flock to him in response to the videos that he posts about his workout routines, fitness tips, and diet plan – all of which seem to have worked for him if you are looking at his gorgeous chiseled body.
He is currently 6 ft. tall with a weight of 226 lbs., meaning that people were bound to question his muscle mass at this point.
The thing is, though, some people are indeed capable of obtaining this weight naturally – Phil Heath is one of the personalities that come to mind. We also learn that Donte started lifting weights at around the age of 12, making it more reasonable for him to obtain such stats even at the age of 20.
This is further reinforced by his glaringly consistent gains that average at around 20 lbs. within 9 years – showing that he is only relying on his genetics, time, and effort to develop the muscles he is currently rocking in the industry.
Participating in the professional IFBB league, specifically in the Men's Physique competition, Anton Antipov is undoubtedly a bodybuilder in a league of his own. Anton certainly is one to watch in the fitness industry with his current height of 5'11”, a weight of 186-193 lbs, and approximate body fat of around 7%.
Despite garnering several accomplishments, some of which may include successes with the NPC and IFBB, there are still those who are adamant that he is juicing and that he made his way to his current status with the help of performance enhancements.
However, when looking at the timeline of his gains – showing that most of his existing muscle is due to his “newbie gains” back in 2002 (he was already ripped here, by the way) – it suggests that Anton is just indeed gifted with the ability to grow that much muscle naturally, one that plateaued over the years, to boot.
With the lack of physical signs that he is using steroids, perhaps it is time to acknowledge the effort he has put into his craft for years.
Aaron Curtis started his career in the fitness world around 2008. Since then, he has won several competitions, including the 2012 NABBA Class 2 State Championship and the 2013 INBA State Championship.
Unfortunately, he suffered several injuries in the past, which resulted in him being banned from competing to preserve his health. However, he still was able to maintain his current stats of 5'11” and 185-195 lbs. even then.
These stats are relatively average for a person of his height and build. Still, some YouTubers insist that he is using steroids on the grounds that he has a “neck vein” when looking away from the camera in a particular video that he was featured in.
While this is already a piece of inconsequential evidence to boot, Aaron does not appear to have the telltale signs of steroid use that would otherwise make him stand out so much – not that he's not standing out in his current physique.
With the lack of signs of physical overgrowth, core temperature increase, and hormonal imbalance, there are no grounds for his supposed steroid use, much less abuse to obtain the current body that he has.
Paul Kruger is a fitness icon who is currently juggling being a supposed natural bodybuilder, a champion in several competitions, and a coach to many other individuals looking to bulk up and improve their physique even more.
He is a lifestyle coach and YouTube content creator who focuses on natural ways to improve your physique – frankly, there is little to no basis for the doubt he is receiving with his “natty status.”
From participating in all-natural competitions such as the 2021 INBF Phoenician Classic, the Grand Canyon Classic, and the 2021 Natural Olympia, his body, to begin with, immediately suggests an all-natural development that does not show signs of any disproportionate areas.
While this could be simply masked by a well-regulated steroid cycle that aims to limit his gains, this would still be moot as testing would show otherwise if he is indeed using.
Mike O'Hearn, the man who is coined as the real-life Ken doll with his chiseled features that almost seem plasticky, is a fitness model, bodybuilder, and actor in the USA. Throughout his career, he was crowned as the winner of Mr. Universe 4 times and likewise became the fitness model of the year 7 times in total. If that is not a feat, we don't know what is.
His current controversies revolve around the expensive products he sells online that could range from $500 to $1500 for mundane items such as duck eggs and ab wheels.
Of course, he received a lot of backlash with this issue, with some even going as far as to question whether he is using steroids to build up his body and then subsequently using his career to scam people for their money.
The overpricing issue is justified for sure, but his use of steroids could be tackled a little bit more, especially considering that he currently weighs 247 lbs. with just 4% of total body fat percentage – and yes, that is beyond what anyone would normally expect.
While this is undoubtedly an issue that would always warrant a closer investigation, looking back to Mike O'Hearn's appearance when he was still 14, it was apparent that he was already jacked even then – indicating that he just has an excellent genetic background to pull off his current feats.
If that is not enough to convince you, he also passed several drug tests when participating in Mr. Universe with INBA, along with a polygraph test that all returned normal.
Maybe it's high time for some to rein it in and focus on the issues with a solid basis for a change.
Jamie Alderton, also known as Grenade Jay, is an English fitness model and bodybuilder who is currently receiving a sponsorship grant from Grenade Supplements, thus granting him the nickname. Grenade supplements are famously known for their products that help burn fat. Jamie, famous for his journey towards fitness, endorses the product through several channels.
While Jamie's transformation may be used as grounds to question whether he is natty or not, the first great sign that he is indeed all-natural is his openness to consuming products that sometimes even promote fat deposits – highlighting that he does work for anything that he eats.
He is well aware that it would cause several weight changes in his physique. This is particularly evident throughout his career that his weight constantly changes – gaining so much weight during the off-season that it could even amount to 40 lbs. in total, depending on how much he consumed during this period.
While his 2014 transformation from a flabby 226-pound man to an 189-pound chiseled body shocked and perhaps inspired many people, one thing that struck the most is that Jamie did not gain any muscle at all.
Instead, he simply lost the fat that he retained during the off-season, leading to a more refined body upon cutting his body fat percentage from a whopping 15% to a mere 4% by the time he competed.
And if you are asking whether that is what an all-natural routine looks like, yes, his transformation appears to be natural, as otherwise, he would gain a lot more mass and would retain his original weight, to begin with.
If being swole is a feat on its own, then Ulisses Jr. can perhaps be called an icon with his ripped and highly defined body that simply inspires all gym junkies that likewise aspire to have that type of body and build.
From an initial look, one could immediately assume that Ulisses is natty due to the definition of his body, which does not seem to present any exaggerated muscles or any skin tone changes that bring to mind the common symptoms of steroid use.
Furthermore, he was also an avid participant in the Musclemania Pro competition – winning 4 natural titles that all previously required the necessary drug tests to determine whether a participating person was genuine.
Sure, it can be argued that the tests can be tampered with as it is only performed after the competition.
Still, with a trail of drug tests that led to him winning 4 titles throughout his career, I think it is safe to assume that his integrity is still intact and that his efforts are indeed genuine.
Currently standing at the height of 5 ft. and 2 in. and a weight of 170-185 lbs., Meshack Ochieng is one of the fitness personalities in the world that is commonly mistaken for a juicer due to his massive-looking physique that could even rival the best of the best within the industry.
However, Meshack's career and natty status are convincing because he participates in several “natural” competitions that employ several drug testing procedures to determine whether a participant is juicing and ensure that the tournament is fair for everyone involved.
This includes the INBA and NANBF – these federations are known for their 100% natty status, reflecting on Meshack's status ultimately.
Jeff Rodriquez is famous in the industry for his 100% natty claim despite having a height of 5'9″ and around 185 lbs. in total.
While this is undoubtedly a little average for guys of his stature, his bulky appearance led to many people questioning his natty status and discrediting the efforts that he has made to achieve this physique. This is entirely understandable, as he does appear too jacked, even when his stats show otherwise.
For reference, he can be compared to the best bodybuilders in the field's history and easily go toe-to-toe with these icons.
However, what most people need to understand is that if Jeff Rodriguez is indeed using steroids, no matter how impressive his physique may be, he will be showing several telltale signs that could include overdeveloped traps and delts, an evident bloating within the abdomen, hair loss, a darker skin tone, and several other symptoms that would all point towards this assumption.
Considering that Jeff does not have any of these symptoms, it might be wise to assume a natty status rather than discredit the hard work he has put into his career.
Brandon Lirio is massive – and that is something that no one could ever refute. Evidently, he is ripped and jacked beyond belief with such well-defined muscles and chiseled features, but to assume that he is using steroids simply goes against the track record that he was able to build for himself in the past.
Considering that Lirio is a 3-time Mr. Natural Olympia Champion, a 2-time Mr. Universe Champion, and a PNBA Hall of Famer, it can immediately be assumed that his claims are backed by standard drug tests that he would have taken while participating in these competitions. That alone is evidence enough for his status and claiming otherwise simply is moot.
David Laid stands as a beacon of inspiration in the realm of natural bodybuilding. His journey, marked by dedication and a steadfast commitment to natural methods, resonates deeply with fitness enthusiasts across the United States. Laid's story is not just about physical transformation; it's a testament to the power of resilience and self-belief.
Born in Estonia and raised in the United States, Laid's early years were shadowed by personal challenges, including the tragic loss of his father. This pivotal moment in his life sparked a profound transformation. At the tender age of 14, Laid turned to bodybuilding, not merely as a sport but as a sanctuary and a means of self-empowerment. His initial goals were modest: to gain strength and confidence. However, his journey unfolded into something far greater.
Laid's approach to bodybuilding is grounded in the principles of natural athleticism. Shunning performance-enhancing drugs, he has shown that one can achieve a remarkable physique through hard work, proper nutrition, and intelligent training. His regimen, a blend of weightlifting, cardio, and meticulous diet planning, is a blueprint for those aspiring to enhance their physique naturally.
But David Laid's influence extends beyond his workout routines. He has become a digital era icon, leveraging social media to share his journey, struggles, and triumphs. Through platforms like YouTube and Instagram, Laid offers more than just fitness advice; he provides a window into the lifestyle and mindset required to excel in natural bodybuilding. His candidness about his struggles, including dealing with scoliosis, makes him a relatable and motivational figure.
A key aspect of Laid's philosophy is balance. He emphasizes the importance of mental health alongside physical fitness. His holistic approach underscores the belief that bodybuilding is not just about muscle gain; it's about overall well-being. This philosophy has endeared him to a wide audience, making him a role model for young athletes.
Laid's journey is a powerful reminder that natural bodybuilding is more than a physical endeavor; it's a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. His story encourages others to pursue their fitness goals with integrity, patience, and perseverance. David Laid embodies the spirit of natural bodybuilding, inspiring a new generation to embrace the journey with honesty and hard work.
Are the Largest Natural Bodybuilders Also Considered the Most Shredded?
Natural Bodybuilders FAQs
What is a natural bodybuilder?
A natural bodybuilder is someone who builds and maintains their muscles through natural methods such as eating healthy, exercising, and resting without using drugs or steroids.
Who are some of the largest natural bodybuilders?
Some of the biggest natural bodybuilders are Ulisses Jr., Jeff Seid, Simeon Panda, Calum Von Moger, and Chris Bumstead.
How do natural bodybuilders get big muscles?
Natural bodybuilders get big muscles by eating healthy foods, working out hard with weights, and taking rest days to let their muscles grow. They don't use drugs or steroids to get bigger.
Are there any natural supplements that can help with muscle growth?
Can women be natural bodybuilders too?
Yes, women can be natural bodybuilders too! It might be harder for them to build muscle because they have less testosterone than men, but it's still possible with dedication and hard work. Check out our guide on muscle-building for women!
Is it possible to compete as a natural bodybuilder?
Yes, it is possible to compete as a natural bodybuilder. There are many natural bodybuilding competitions around the world where athletes can showcase their physiques and compete against others who also do not use drugs or steroids.
How long does it take to see results as a natural bodybuilder?
The time it takes to see results as a natural bodybuilder varies from person to person and depends on factors like diet, exercise routine, and genetics. Generally, it can take several months to a few years to see significant changes in muscle size and strength. Consistency and dedication are key to achieving results as a natural bodybuilder.
What are legal steroids, and are they safe for natural bodybuilding?
Legal steroids are natural supplements that claim to mimic the effects of anabolic steroids without the harmful side effects. They typically contain ingredients such as protein, creatine, and natural plant extracts. While they may be legal and safe for natural bodybuilding, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements to ensure they are safe and effective for you. Additionally, legal steroids are not a substitute for a proper diet, exercise routine, and rest, which are key to natural bodybuilding success.
Unleashing the Power of the Biggest Natural Bodybuilders: A Path to Physical and Mental Strength
The best and largest natural bodybuilders are undeniably exceptional individuals, boasting impressive strength, lean physiques, and remarkable levels of athleticism that far surpass those of the general population. Yet what truly sets them apart is their unwavering commitment to staying natural. Despite the prevalence of synthetic methods for enhancing muscle mass and strength, natural bodybuilders proudly refuse to take shortcuts, demonstrating remarkable dedication and integrity.
Moreover, natural bodybuilding offers numerous benefits that extend far beyond just physical fitness. By promoting discipline, perseverance, and a positive mindset, this pursuit can enhance mental clarity, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. By staying true to their values and principles, natural bodybuilders demonstrate that true strength comes not just from muscles but from a steadfast commitment to excellence.
Despite its relative lack of mainstream popularity, natural bodybuilding is a worthy pursuit that yields impressive and sustainable results. By promoting and practicing natural bodybuilding, these remarkable individuals offer a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work, dedication, and a commitment to staying true to oneself. In doing so, they inspire and motivate others to pursue their own goals and aspirations, not just in fitness but in all aspects of life.
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