The Meaning of “Natty” in Bodybuilding: A Comprehensive Guide

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: June 1, 2023
The Meaning of "Natty" in Bodybuilding

In the world of bodybuilding and fitness, various terms and slang words are used to describe different aspects of the sport.

One such term that has gained popularity in recent years is “natty.” But what does it mean to be natty in bodybuilding?

In this blog post, we will explore the meaning of natty, its significance in the bodybuilding community, and the advantages and disadvantages of being a natty bodybuilder.

What Does “Natty” Mean in Bodybuilding?

“Natty” is short for “natural,” and in the context of bodybuilding, it refers to an individual who does not use performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) or anabolic steroids to improve their physique or performance.

A natty bodybuilder relies solely on their genetics, training, nutrition, and recovery to achieve their desired physique and performance goals.

They choose to abstain from using PEDs for various reasons, including health concerns, personal beliefs, or adherence to competition rules that prohibit the use of such substances.

The Significance of Being Natty in Bodybuilding

The concept of being natty holds significant importance within the bodybuilding community for several reasons:

  • Health and Safety: The use of anabolic steroids and other PEDs can have numerous potential side effects and health risks, such as liver and kidney damage, cardiovascular issues, hormonal imbalances, and psychological effects like mood swings and aggression. By choosing to remain natty, bodybuilders prioritize their long-term health and well-being over short-term gains.
  • Ethics and Fair Play: Some bodybuilders view the use of PEDs as cheating or unethical, as it provides users with an unfair advantage in terms of muscle growth, strength, and recovery. Natty bodybuilders often take pride in their commitment to hard work, discipline, and fair play in achieving their goals.
  • Competitive Regulations: Many bodybuilding competitions have strict drug-testing protocols and ban the use of PEDs. Thus, being natty allows bodybuilders to participate in such events without fear of disqualification or penalties.

Advantages of Being a Natty Bodybuilder

  • Sustainable Progress: Natty bodybuilders often experience more gradual and sustainable progress compared to those who use PEDs. This can lead to a healthier relationship with their training, nutrition, and body image, as they learn to appreciate and celebrate their achievements without relying on external substances.
  • Cost-Effective: PEDs can be quite expensive, and by choosing to remain natty, bodybuilders can save money that can be invested in other aspects of their fitness journey, such as gym memberships, personal training, or high-quality nutrition.

Disadvantages of Being a Natty Bodybuilder

  • Limited Genetic Potential: Every individual has a unique genetic potential for muscle growth and strength, and natty bodybuilders may reach this limit more quickly compared to those using PEDs. However, it’s essential to remember that reaching one’s genetic potential is still an impressive achievement and should be celebrated.
  • Slower Progress: Natty bodybuilders may experience slower progress in terms of muscle growth, strength, and recovery compared to individuals using PEDs. Patience, consistency, and dedication are crucial for natty bodybuilders to achieve their goals.
  • Competitive Disadvantage: In some cases, natty bodybuilders may face a competitive disadvantage against competitors who use PEDs, particularly in competitions without strict drug-testing protocols. However, many organizations and competitions cater specifically to natural athletes, providing a level playing field for those who choose to remain natty.


The term “natty” in bodybuilding refers to an individual who chooses to abstain from using performance-enhancing drugs and anabolic steroids, relying solely on their genetics, training, nutrition, and recovery to achieve their goals.

Being a natty bodybuilder has its advantages, such as reduced health risks, sustainable progress, and cost-effectiveness. However, it also comes with potential disadvantages, including limited genetic potential, slower progress, and possible competitive disadvantages.

Ultimately, the decision to be a natty bodybuilder is a personal one, based on individual beliefs, priorities, and goals.

By understanding the meaning and implications of being natty in bodybuilding, individuals can make informed choices about their fitness journeys and find the path that best aligns with their values and aspirations.

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Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of 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.