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

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: December 13, 2023
The Meaning of "Natty" in Bodybuilding

In bodybuilding and fitness, there are a lot of different words and expressions people use to talk about the sport.

One word that’s gotten really popular lately is “natty.” But what does it mean to be natty in bodybuilding?

In this blog post, we’re going to talk about what natty means and why it’s important in the bodybuilding world. We’ll also talk about the good and bad parts of being a natty bodybuilder.

What Does “Natty” Mean in Bodybuilding?

“Natty” is a shorter way to say “natural.” When we talk about bodybuilding, it means someone who doesn’t use any drugs or steroids to get better at bodybuilding or look better.

A natty bodybuilder only uses their own body’s potential, their workouts, what they eat, and rest to reach their bodybuilding goals.

They decide not to use these drugs for different reasons. Some worry about their health or have personal beliefs against them. Others follow competition rules that ban these 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.
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Advantages of Being a Natty Bodybuilder

  • Reduced Health Risks: By abstaining from PEDs, natty bodybuilders avoid the potential health risks and side effects associated with these substances, promoting long-term health and well-being.
  • 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. 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. It 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. They provide a level playing field for those who choose to remain natty.


In bodybuilding, when someone says “natty,” they’re talking about a person who doesn’t use any special drugs or steroids. They just use their own body’s potential, workouts, what they eat, and rest to reach their bodybuilding goals.

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Being a natty bodybuilder has its good parts, like it’s safer for your health, your progress lasts longer, and it’s more affordable. But there can be downsides too, like you might not be able to reach as high levels, progress might be slower, and you might have a harder time in competitions.

In the end, deciding to be a natty bodybuilder is a personal choice, based on what you believe, what’s important to you, and your goals.

By knowing what it means to be natty in bodybuilding, people can make smart choices about their fitness journeys. They can find the path that fits best with what they want and believe in.

Dave Moffat

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.