The following is something I’m delighted to finally have up and ready to share. NattyOrNot.com is making bigger and bigger waves on the internet, to the joy of many, and dismay of some.
Allow me to preface this by saying: NattyOrNot is an anonymous website featuring the tales of a skinny kid trying to uncover the secret to muscle growth. There’s stories, training tips, reviews and most importantly…………the ‘natural or not?’ series. A series where he exposes people’s real life heroes that litter social media (Instagram, Facebook, Youtube etc..) for what they are……..lying steroid users. Or to be more politically correct, “fake naturals.”
Hate him or love him, he says what he thinks and wants. What is it they say, “rules are there to be broken.” We all love a rule breaker. Often because we wish we had the audacity to do what they do so well.
My own writing stems from personal experience, observations, others’ advice/experience(s), opinions, thoughts and even feelings. As you’ll see in the following interview, this is at least one thing StraightTalkingFitness and NattyOrNot.com have in common.
There is a huge air of mystery surrounding NattyOrNot and I think this actually contributes to his ever growing popularity. Us humans love a mystery, especially when the mystery raises questions that need answering. NattyOrNot does just that, and with subliminal style.
What you’re here for, the interview!
STF: First things first, for those completely oblivious, describe the premise/principles of NattyOrNot.com. What are potential readers most likely to gain from visiting your site?
NattyOrNot: When my doubts about fake naturals begin to grow, I started looking for similar sites, but the only thing I found were separate forum posts on getbig.com. There was nothing dedicated. That’s why I think NattyOrNot.com was a website many beginners needed to realize simple but hard to accept truths. You may not agree with everything I say, but I will make you question things.
STF: Your site has specific calculations of the limitations TRUE naturals face in terms of muscular development/aesthetics. Tell us the mechanisms behind constructing your infamous guide?
NattyOrNot: The infamous guide is not built on scientific research, which most delusional people are after these days. It’s built on observations with myself and other people. I can tell you one thing – that guide is largely optimistic, even though people often contact me to say they’ve broken those limits. I don’t trust them. haha
STF: Can you think of/have you seen anyone who may have actually exceeded those limits – if only by a few lbs?
NattyOrNot: Just like somewhere in the big ocean there are monsters, there are also freaks who can probably exceed the guide without lifting. But those are freaks who probably won’t even find a need to workout. Most people who workout have a reason to start – a weakness. You will be hard pressed to find a true natty breaking those limits.
STF: If one was wondering or looking for clues as to where their potential lies in regards to your guide for naturals, what would you suggest is the biggest clue(s)? Is it the usual recurring theme of ‘wrist & ankle size’ or do factors such as muscle fiber distribution and carbohydrate tolerance enter the equation? Anything else? Some might want to know if they have a seat on the train of the genetically blessed!
NattyOrNot: Bone structure is very important for muscle size when you are natural. People with big bones and large muscle bellies always hold more muscle as naturals. Obviously, when people take steroids even guys with small joints and less favorable insertions can grow, but naturally the big boned people have an edge. They may not look aesthetic or sexy, but they will carry more muscle than the Mr. Slim Bones naturally. That’s a fact.
STF: You’ve stated testosterone is the kingpin that regulates muscle growth. With that said, do you invest much into the concept of ‘natural testosterone boosting’ in the form of lifestyle modifications? Diet, sleep, stress reduction, mono-unsaturated fat consumption, sugar regulation, cold showers and even things like sexual abstinence and more……Do these have any impact on T levels in your opinion – for legit naturals? Or do you believe this is mostly hype?
NattyOrNot: Yes, those have an impact on testosterone but naturally you can’t boost it to the point where you start looking like a guy on steroids. I would say the so-called test boosters are a joke.
STF: Did you ever feel serious temptation to ‘join the darkside’ after finding out Santa doesn’t come down your chimney every Christmas and that you’ll never reach 300 lbs at 3% body fat? Were you ever seriously contemplating making the ‘switch?’
NattyOrNot: To be honest, steroids are a little expensive for me. I have never considered joining the dark side. The side effects are too much. I would only use drugs for medical reasons when I am old enough.
STF: Do you think naturals should bother with traditional assessment methods such as checking their scale weight regularly, taking 27 photos of themselves from 54 different angles to see if the ‘lateral head’ of their left delt is up a tenth of an inch from last week, wrapping tape measures over every muscle and whatnot? Or is it simply: strive for progressive overload in whatever fashion you can achieve it, and let the rest take care of itself?
NattyOrNot: It’s pointless because it’s like checking your bank account every day when your salary is 5 dollars per 3 months. You will drive yourself crazy. The fastest thing for a natural is losing weight and then gaining strength. Progressing in skill elements seems to keep most people sane during their muscle fairy tale.
STF: You’ve written quite extensively about your experience with highly publicized routines such as Starting Strength, 5×5, high volume ‘pump’ routines and more. I know you didn’t receive the magic pot of muscle gold the authors of these routines promised, but, on the flip-side, have you ever found a program or scheme that worked much more than you expected? Are there any dark horse training styles out there that people could benefit from?
NattyOrNot: It’s all about progression. Reps and sets are a joke for the most part. Just pick one that you think works for you and stick with it. Nothing worked more than I have expected. Nothing. Everything worked less than expected. The dark horse is the progression itself. Just use training cycles. All else is literally pointless.
STF: You have a son who’s 17, 6 feet tall and 135 lbs. He doesn’t like being ‘twig-boy’ anymore and want’s to do something about it. What do you tell him? Should he get into lifting, or should he learn to love the way he was created and ignore the desperation to get ‘jacked’?
NattyOrNot: . He should start training at least for a while and see how it goes. There’s more to learn in the barbell room. Strength cannot be built without training.
STF: If you could only do one exercise for the remainder of your life, what would it be? Or to put it another way, your hypothetical son is only going to do one movement and master that or the entirety of his training life; what do you let him do?
NattyOrNot: Probably pull-ups or deadlifts.
STF: Are there actually any figures among the lifting/strength training industry of which you actually respect – or dare I say ‘admire’? What’s the best source for training info? Besides NattyOrNot, of course!
NattyOrNot: While many gurus are cocksuckers, sometimes you will find pretty nice ideas in their work (probably stolen from other people). You just have to be aware and skeptical. It takes some experience. Nobody is 100% right or wrong. In general, if something is too good to be true, stay away. Progress is always slow. Nobody is 100% pure, not even me.
STF: Piggybacking off the last question, you post daily on your site. Where do you get the bulk of your inspiration for posts? Are you much of a reader? I assume your posts are born from a combo of past experience, trending topics, reader suggestions and hypothetical situations/scenarios. Would I be somewhat correct?
NattyOrNot: Yes, you are correct. This is where my posts come from.
STF: Do you still train regularly? And do you follow any routines anymore, or is it sporadic visits to the gym just for old time’s sake, and to possibly obtain more writing inspiration?
NattyOrNot: I actually still train. I do pull-ups on Monday. Legs on Wednesday and Dips on Friday. haha The gym is a nice place to find inspiration for writing and so is the public bus.
STF: What can we expect in the future from NattyOrNot? Have you anything new on the agenda; Q&A’s maybe, Possible programs, more reviews of things you’ve tried? Or are you just going to stick to your roots?
NattyOrNot: I will definitely stick to the roots. I was thinking about making a page with example routines, but I can’t say it will happen.
STF: If you was to share ONE lesson/takeaway form your experiences in life – and particularly lifting – what would your words of wisdom be?
NattyOrNot: Don’t fall for the glossy packaging. Read the label. Nobody is better than your best self.
And there we have it! Plenty of in-depth info there. Some may say this is controversial, I say it’s merely expressions of one’s opinion.
I would like to say a massive thank you indeed to the man behind the operation that is NattyOrNot.com. Do go and check out that site if you haven’t already, like he said, he’ll make you question stuff. That I promise.
Also, a big shout out goes to No Bullshit Bodybuilding (nobullshitbodybuilding.wordpress.com) for the inspiration to do this interview.
Hope you guys enjoyed it. Something different from the norm.
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.