Mal O’Brien is a figure who has made significant strides in the world of fitness and bodybuilding, attracting attention and admiration for his impressive physique.
His achievements have led to speculation and curiosity about his training methods and whether they involve natural bodybuilding or the use of performance-enhancing substances such as steroids.
This article aims to shed light on this topic by exploring the signs of steroid use versus natural muscle development and analyzing any available evidence related to Mal O’Brien’s fitness journey.
Does Mal O’Brien Take Steroids?
There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that Mal O’Brien has taken steroids.
She has never publicly admitted to using steroids, and there are no reported instances of her failing a drug test.
However, as with any athlete, without specific testing and confirmation, it’s impossible to definitively state whether someone has used performance-enhancing substances.
It’s important to note that accusations of steroid use should not be made without substantiated evidence.
Common Signs of Steroid Use
Steroid use among bodybuilders can manifest through various physical and behavioral changes. Here are some common signs:
Rapid muscle gain: Steroids accelerate muscle growth, so a sudden increase in muscle size might be a sign of steroid use.
Excessive body hair and facial hair (in women): Steroids can cause increased hair growth all over the body, including the face, especially in women.
Acne: Steroids can trigger acne outbreaks, not just on the face but also on the back and shoulders.
Fluid retention: Steroids can cause water retention, leading to swollen tissues and a puffy appearance.
Enlarged breasts in men (gynecomastia): Some steroids mimic estrogen, which can lead to breast development in men.
Behavioral changes: Steroids can cause mood swings, aggression, irritability, and other changes in behavior.
Deepened voice in women: Anabolic steroids can cause a deepening of the voice in women, which is usually irreversible.
Baldness and hair loss: Some people who use steroids experience pattern baldness or accelerated hair loss.
Increased training capacity: Steroids can significantly boost endurance and reduce recovery time, leading to a noticeable increase in workout intensity and duration.
Changes in libido: The use of anabolic steroids can lead to changes in sexual desire, either increased or decreased.
It’s important to note that these signs are not definitive proof of steroid use, as they can also be caused by other factors. The only surefire way to know if someone is using steroids is through drug testing.
Who is Mal O’Brien?
Mallory “Mal” O’Brien is a rising star in the world of CrossFit. Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, she began her journey into CrossFit at a young age and soon showed exceptional talent.
In 2022, at just 18 years old, O’Brien placed second at the CrossFit Games, becoming the youngest person ever to podium at the event. This achievement quickly catapulted her into the spotlight and made her one of the most talked-about athletes in the sport.
O’Brien’s performance is characterized by her impressive strength, agility, and determination. Her workouts often include high-intensity training routines that test the limits of her physical capabilities.
However, her 2023 season was cut short. She announced on Instagram in May 2023 that she would not be competing in the North America East Semifinals, effectively ending her season. While the exact reason for her decision is unknown, it was mentioned that she was facing personal challenges that required her attention.
Despite this setback, Mal O’Brien remains a highly respected figure in the CrossFit community, admired for her grit, discipline, and athletic prowess. As of now, she has over 732K followers on her Instagram account, where she shares glimpses of her training routines, competitions, and personal life.
Reasons Why Mal O’Brien Looks Natty
Several physical characteristics of Mal O’Brien suggest that she could be a natural athlete, i.e., not using performance-enhancing substances like steroids.
Here’s a breakdown based on the points mentioned:
Lack of Facial Hair
Steroid use can lead to increased facial and body hair in women, a side effect of the hormonal imbalance it causes. Mal O’Brien does not show this sign, which indicates she might be natural.
Normal Voice Tone
Anabolic steroids can cause a deepening of the voice in women. Mal’s voice appears to be within the typical range for her gender and age, suggesting she might not be using steroids.
Lack of HGH Gut
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and certain steroids can lead to an enlarged abdomen, often referred to as “HGH Gut” or “steroid belly.” Mal O’Brien does not exhibit this characteristic.
Steroids often result in disproportionately large shoulders compared to the rest of the body due to the high density of androgen receptors in this area. Mal’s shoulders, while muscular, are proportionate to her physique.
Steroids can increase vascularity, making veins more prominent. Mal’s vascularity appears normal for a highly conditioned athlete, suggesting she might not be using steroids.
Reasonable Body Fat Levels
Some steroids promote extreme leanness. Mal, however, maintains a healthy level of body fat, indicative of a balanced diet and regular exercise rather than steroid use.
Is It Possible To Bulk Up Like Mal O’Brien Naturally?
Bulking up to the level of an athlete like Mal O’Brien naturally depends on various factors, including genetics, diet, training regimen, and dedication.
Genetics plays a significant role in determining how quickly and how much muscle mass you can develop. Some people naturally have a higher muscle growth potential due to their genetic makeup.
Diet is another crucial factor. Consuming enough protein and maintaining a caloric surplus are necessary for muscle growth. Adequate rest is also important, as it allows your muscles to recover and grow.
A training regimen is equally important. Regular and intense workouts that focus on strength training and resistance exercises can stimulate muscle growth.
However, it’s important to note that achieving a physique like Mal O’Brien’s naturally is a long-term commitment that requires consistent hard work, discipline, and patience. It’s also important to have realistic expectations and understand that every person’s body responds differently to exercise and diet.
According to a source from Vitalized Future, “No matter how gifted your genetics are and how much you train, bulking up while maintaining a sub-12% body fat as a female is nearly impossible.”
This suggests that while it’s possible to make significant improvements and gains naturally, reaching the level of conditioning and muscle mass of an elite athlete like Mal O’Brien could be challenging without the aid of performance-enhancing substances.
Remember, it’s essential to approach bodybuilding healthily and sustainably. Consult with fitness professionals or a healthcare provider before starting any new workout or diet program.
It is clear that Mal O’Brien has achieved an impressive level of physical conditioning, and it may not be possible to reach her level without taking performance-enhancing substances.
However, with the right genetics, diet, training regimen, and dedication, natural bodybuilders can make significant progress in their muscle mass and strength gains.
It is important to remember that any fitness or dietary program should be approached healthily and sustainably. Consulting a professional for advice before starting is strongly recommended.
With these principles in mind, anyone can set out on their journey towards achieving remarkable results naturally!
Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of steroidsourcetalk.com and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.