How Muscular Can You Get Naturally?

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!!

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.


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!


30 thoughts on “How Muscular Can You Get Naturally?”

  1. Thanks for reviewing RED Fat Burner JD. Every time I lock in my diet for any period of time (more than a few months) my body compensates quickly (Can’t get past 13% body fat), I never thought about taking a thyroid supplement. I did Chris’ Good Looking Loser no-carb diet for a while and lost 20 pounds but boy that was hell. Irritable as shit and felt like a zombie. Now I’m just going with oatmeal in the morning and lean meat for the rest of the day. , I’ll check it out!

  2. Great article. I have recently learnt a little about natural test boosters. Some seem to be quite effective. I would like to know how they fompare to Ostarine. Are they in the same league in terms of results?

    • If you’re talking about boosters in terms of things like DHEA or Tribulus then no comparison to Ostarine. There have been countless studies that have came out showing these products were not as effective as they were made out to be in the past

  3. Just to clarify — While SARMS themselves are not illegal, it is illegal to buy them unless you are a licensed researcher, and they are absolutely illegal to put in your body. There’s no getting around it. Even the site you link to says they are not approved for human consumption, and almost every site you buy them from makes you click on an “I agree” statement saying the buyer understands it’s illegal for anything other than licensed laboratory testing. If this weren’t the case I would be using SARMS in an instant.

    I respect you, and your site, but I wish you’d be more clear on this topic.

    • SARMS in liquid form are sold as research products, in supplemental capsule form they are perfectly legal. Nobody is going to b knocking your door down over SARMS man, trust me

  4. Hi John, nice post! It’s a very good eye opener for me. I have now been training for 3 years, however I have never used any steroids and never plan to! Tbh, I don’t know much on the topic of steroid use but it is very good to read up on it!

    Thanks for the post, I like your blog and website!

    All the best,

  5. SARMS ostarine are the most powerful muscle building supplements still available legally. Prohormones that are still legal are shitty. Osta-Red was tested with mass spectrometry and showed super high purity too.

  6. Hi
    Great web sit and book, I have be taking prohormones for a few years but been banned now. I need something new and am thinking roids do you think 44 is to late to start, I was thinking of your beginners cycle first?.

  7. John, im 36 and have been training naturally for 20 years. Im 8 weeks into my first cycle ever, 500/wk test e. But this has been a miserable experience with test flu and high temps after almost every pin, infection in my arm with pitting edema etc. Is this normal for a first timer, or am I just having a crummy first go? My gains haven’t been enough to make it worth all this pain!

    • you shouldn’t be experiencing test flu for 8 wks straight, it sounds to me like you have shitty gear with bacteria in it

  8. Hi I have been on test E for 2 weeks but don’t feel any different should I use more, add something in the mix or wait a bit longer?

  9. Hi John,
    It’s 3 weeks tomorrow and still don’t feel any different not lifting and harder. I am on 500mg a week of test E once a week, do you think I should up the dose or add any thing to the mix?


  10. Man, Larry Scott was definitely on steroids, also did Steve Reeves but in lower dosages, those two guys are not examples of natural bodybuilding at all.

    If you want to pick a natural athlete it would be Eugene Sandow, simply because roids didnt exist at his time.

    • Sandow used cocaine to help get shredded FYI, everyone used some form of help from day 1. Larry Scott got out of the scene because of the drug use, and Reeves probably didn’t touch it seeing in how steroids didn’t become prevalent until after World war 2 and he was aready well built by the time steroids came onto the scene. It’s speculate that he may have used something but if he did it was very minimal and only towards the end of his career. As far as I’m concerned these guys were religious about training and nutrition and their bodies didnt’t represent drug bodies. It’s possible they used something, definitely Larry Scott but probably not much at all. Some guys just had the genetics for it, Leroy Colbert being another one

      • Larry Scott said that he did dianabol at low doses, like 10 to 20 mg. Whether that dosage level is accurate or not, you can definitely see a difference with how much bigger he was in the later 1960s compared to earlier years.

          • I’m 22, been working out since I was 16, do you think something like ostsrine would be beneficial to me or should I wait till I get near my genetic potential? As of right now I’m a fairly lean 180lbs or so

    • Larry Scott openly admitted using steroids.

      However, regarding Reeves…

      Reeves’ last contest was his 1950 NABBA Mr Universe win. He retired from 1950 onwards. Testosterone (as the injectables test suspension and test propionate ,and as the oral methyltestosterone ) had been available before 1950. However, NO other anabolic steroid was available until 1953, because no other was developed nor marketed before 1953. The first anabolic steroid available after testosterone was Nilevar. Nilevar was first developed in 1953 then marketed in 1956, by Searle pharmaceutical. Dianabol was first developed in 1955 then marketed in 1958, by CIBA pharmaceutical. Durabolin was first developed in 1957 then marketed in 1959 by Organon pharmaceutical. Decadurabolin was marketed in 1962. Primobolan (as an oral acetate) was introduced in 1961 (the injectable enanthate form was introduced in 1962). NO OTHER anabolic steroid besides testosterone was available until 1953.Meaning, Nilevar, Dianabol, Deca-Durabolin, and the other earliest testosterone derivatives didn’t exist during Reeve’s contest years.

      Yes, testosterone injectables suspension and then propionate, and an oral, methyltestosterone, did exist in Reeves’ competition years. However, the anabolic effectiveness of supra-therapeutic doses of testosterone on healthy young males was unrealized by EVERYONE until after 1950. In fact, the little research on healthy young males which had been done before 1950 had led researchers to (erroneously) conclude that testosterone was useless for anyone except old men (as TRT is used today), young men debilitatingly-lacking normal levels of it, or those seriously ill or injured. Consequently, until 1950, testosterone was commonly known to the general public, to bodybuilders, and even to most doctors and researchers to be effective only as a therapeutic and restorative for aged, injured, unhealthy, or hypogonadal men. Paul de Kruif’s 1947 reprinting of his pro-testosterone book, “The Male Hormone”, as well as (anti-steroid) John Hoberman’s thorough, 2005 book, “Testosterone Dreams”, evidence that situation clearly. Read the entire books and see what they actually state — they’re available ( I own both).

      While speculation can be interesting, evidence is what’s needed. And frankly, despite rumors and tales and hear-say to the contrary, ZERO documented evidence exists of any competitive bodybuilder using testosterone for building muscle until after 1950. The 1950s is when it gradually became known that testosterone in supra-physiologic doses could add muscle mass in healthy young guys; and the 1950s is also when the other steroids besides testosterone were first developed then made available. Ziegler didn’t begin experimenting in the U.S. with injectable testosterone to learn its anabolic effects on young healthy bodybuilders until after 1950. World-class bodybuilder Bill Pearl admits trying Nilevar but not until 1958. Ziegler didn’t begin experimenting with Dianabol at York Barbell until 1959.

      So, agreed, after 1950, everyone is suspect, including Reeves — because, sure, he might have used steroids after 1950, despite insisting he didn’t. But, seeking to be objective with all evidence as it stands points to the conclusion that Reeves did not use testosterone (nor its derivatives, which didn’t exist yet) during his competitive years which ended in 1950. Meaning, Steve Reeves was steroid-free when he won the 1947 AAU Mr America and the 1950 NABBA Mr Universe, his last contest.

  11. Regarding Larry Scott and anabolic steroids…
    I’m age 65, been bodybuilding for almost fifty years since I began at age 15 in 1972 (which was before the book and then the documentary film “Pumping Iron” made Schwarzenegger known to the public).

    Scott weighed about 205 lbs when he won his two Mr. Olympias; however, he has stated he’d weighed 171 lbs when he won Mr. Idaho and before he transplanted to California.

    In the late 1970s, Scott was holding seminars; I attended one at Central City Gym in Springfield, MA, about 1977. He candidly answered questions, including questions concerning steroids. He recounted being told about what ended up being Dianabol after moving to California, and then using subsequently using it during his Olympia win years. He admitted continuing to use it. Someone asked him, “What happens when you quit using it?” He instantly replied, “I get smaller!”

    Point being, yes, the size he was when he won those Olympias was due to anabolic steroids…HOWEVER, even before steroids, he’d built a physique good enough to win a state contest, the 1959 Mr. Idaho.

    • Thanks for sharing that! He had a hell of a build that’s for sure. I don’t think some guys understand how impressive a body is that is 200 lbs when it’s lean muscle, they think you have to weigh 250 lbs to look impressive and it’s simply not the case


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