I often get asked the question “John, how muscular do you think I can get NATURALLY and/or LEGALLY?”
First off, most of this is going to be dependent on your genetics, but I will say I've seen a guy with the worst genetics in the world for bodybuilding get to a natural (natural meaning without the use of steroids) 215 lbs at a height of about 6'1″.
When he started he was about 135 lbs at that same height. Was he ready for a bodybuilding contest at 215 lbs? No, but he WASN'T FAT AND LOOKED REALLY GOOD!
The first thing I tell people is to look at well-known bodybuilders before steroids were involved in the scene.
Larry Scott was about the last of the dying breed of bodybuilders who trained naturally. Now I don't know if Scott eventually used steroids for a few cycles or not, but the reason he got out of competitive bodybuilding was because of steroids.
Another good example would be Leroy Colbert. Colbert was the first man to achieve lean arms that measured 21″ and he didn't use steroids.
Steve Reeves would be another good example to look at. Reeves did total body routines about 3 time a week and ate a plentiful and healthy diet to achieve his look.
Are steroids necessary to look amazing? Absolutely not.
Hard work and good diet practice will always achieve better results than what any chemical could do for you.
It just so happens that many of the guys heavily involved in bodybuilding are on steroids but are just as dedicated as guys not on them. Sometimes they are even more dedicated to hard training and diet.
What if there was a way to walk the fine line between size and definition and accelerate results in the gym?
What if there were products you could use on an occasional basis to help achieve a desired look without having to do anything illegal?
Well my friends, there ARE products to help you with this journey. These products are so effective that even guys who use steroids use them because they actually work!
I'll be the first guy to tell you that a lot of supplements are bullshit.
I'll also be the first guy to tell you not to rely on protein powder all day and that without hard work and proper eating you're wasting your money using anything!
I'll also be the first guy to tell you NOT to use anything as your motivation to get back into a gym routine, but to turn to them when you need something to accelerate results and you've exhausted every other avenue you've tried to go down!
The products I'm speaking about are SARMs, test boosters and fat burners. Specifically Ostarine and Arimistane.
Let's start with Ostarine…
Ostarine is a new breed of supplements that were designed to specifically work only on the Androgen receptor sites and are called SARMS (selective androgen receptor modulators)
The beauty of SARMs is that they are highly effective and only produce legit, quality muscle mass.
SARMs elevate the body's testosterone levels through their own conversion process but because they only act on androgen receptors you get all of the benefits of building muscle without the nasty side effects that can come with prohormones, steroids, or other growth factors.
Ostarine also comes with the luxury of not holding water weight like some prohormones and steroids can cause. Everything gained on Ostarine is quality and the nice part about this is you can actually see the results because they're not covered up with bloat!
Recovery on Ostarine is faster than prohormones or steroids, and because the product is non-methylated there is no risk to damaging your liver. There is a brief recovery period with Ostarine but nothing that takes a long time.
I've used prohormones in the past such as Superdrol and 1-AD and despite a longer recovery time I still recovered from them using nothing in terms of PCT (post cycle therapy, didn't know as much about it back then).
So my fear of guys recovering from Ostarine is pretty much non-existent unless they had a low testosterone count to begin with.
Ostarine doesn't work the same way as prohormones and is a healthier alternative to increasing testosterone levels and sustaining gains.
Even if you were to look at certain steroids, there are ones that you lose the gains from as fast as they came on, and ones that you tend to keep a little bit more from for longer.
Benefits of taking Ostarine:
- Increased energy and recovery
- Increased strength
- Better muscle retention when dieting
- Huge increase in sex drive due to increased testosterone production
- Beneficial for females as well as males
- Faster recovery off cycle when compared to other supplements and steroids
- Can take full days dosage at one time since it's active for 24 hrs
- Not illegal
I've seen guys who were veteran steroid users pack on additional muscle mass within a short 8 week cycle of using Ostarine!
I'll also tell you that even if you use testosterone replacement therapy you can achieve increased results by using Ostarine since you're just targeting androgen receptors!
It's sort of like making sure you cover all of your bases, or firing at it from every angle.
Now, onto PCT…
Not too long ago there was a knock-off of the aromatase inhibitor Arimadex that was produced as a legal alternative to those without a script.
That product is called Arimistane and it's just as effective as Arimadex (although dosed in different milligram calculations than it's cousin Arimadex).
It's most commonly used as a post cycle recovery agent (product taken after Ostarine cycle to bring natural testosterone levels up higher).
SOME GUYS who are extremely prone to gynecomastia can get a slight case of gyno from taking Ostarine at higher dosages (just like some young males get gyno from puberty alone) but this is a small % of users… a very small % of users.
What I recommend for guys who aren't sure if they're gyno prone or not is to use just 1 capsule of PCT per day during cycle then go to 3 capsules per day as traditional post cycle recovery.
This comes with knowing your body so if you don't know then it's good to use just a small amount or at least have it on hand.
The PCT product is most beneficial at keeping estrogen levels from being converted from the increase in testosterone levels from Ostarine.
The problem with ANYTHING that increases testosterone either through conversion or exogenous introduction is that estrogen levels often go up.
The key is to keep the right balance between testosterone:estrogen.
You want estrogen to be normal and men do naturally have a small amount of estrogen, but we don't want it going too low.
Estrogen that is too low can cause all of the same symptoms of low testosterone (fatigue, lack of sex drive, irritability, lack of concentration, brain fog, sleep disturbances, etc etc) so we are aiming to use PCT in a small fail-safe method IF USING during your Ostarine cycle!!
- See also: How to Keep Estrogen Under Control
Now onto Supplementing for Increased Fat Loss…
I always diet as hard as I can regardless of what I'm using (or not using) but I will tell you that there comes a point when your body wants to resist further change and hunger begins to set in BIG TIME!
From that point it almost becomes a battle of “how much can I fight this?” or “how much further can I push the envelope?”
Mother nature eventually sets in during dieting and this is when you get hungry and your demeanor can get pretty irritable.
If you can take anything to ward off hunger it's beneficial to you as you try to get more and more ripped.
The hard part about dieting is our bodies normally use stored fat as energy.
Well most of your stored fat is gone now, and you aren't taking in enough food to sustain good energy levels either.
So this is where a fat burner supplement would definitely help you push through this struggle.
Find a fat burner that serves as an appetite suppressant as well as a good pre-workout supplement but also provides thyroid support. I'll explain why…
Have you ever tried dieting and all of a sudden it seems like what should be working to help you lose more fat can sometimes go the opposite route?
It's like your body fights fat loss and becomes stagnant no matter what you throw it's way!
Some of this has to do with thyroid suppression (along with elevated stress levels and cortisol buildup).
Red supplements fat -burner (Red-burner) includes a compound that promotes a healthy thyroid function and keeps the thyroid active during periods of low caloric intake and depletion.
This helps your body act like a furnace without going stagnant and hitting the common halting points that dieting can often cause.
It's also the energy you need on those days where you don't feel as motivated to hit the gym because you have low energy levels from the diet.
AGAIN, GO BACK AND LOOK AT THE OLD TIME BODYBUILDERS PRE-STEROID ERA!
This will give you a good reference point on the size that can be achieved naturally with hard training and a good diet.
Now throw in improved conditioning through advanced knowledge of nutrition and smart supplementation and that's about your ceiling.
The major difference between back in the day and the days of now is the ratio of size:conditioning.
Back in the day they walked a line that allowed them to stay big and strong but were not over-conditioned and depleted all the time.
My advice to the non-competitive bodybuilder is to emulate this look because it's a better balance between feeling good and strong while having better conditioning than most others anyways.
Throw in quality supplements that promote CLEAN muscle mass increases and body-fat reduction and you're as good as you'll need to be and you won't have to look out for Johnny-Law either!