Can a bodybuilder really call himself natural if he had used steroids years earlier before going clean?

We are less than one week away from the release of Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life – the fourth film in our Generation Iron franchise exploring the world of professional natural bodybuilding. Available this Friday – you can pre-order it on digital here. In prepping for the release, we spoke with one of the stars in the film, Adrian Pietrariu, about how the ideology of being an all-natural bodybuilder. Specifically, can an athlete who used to take steroids and is now clean consider himself a true natural bodybuilder? Or does it give them an unfair advantage? In our latest GI Exclusive interview Adrian Pietrariu shares his thoughts on what constitutes a true natural bodybuilder. 

Adrian Pietrariu is a lifetime natural bodybuilder. What this means is that he had never once taken any illegal or banned substance to enhance his physique. This isn’t necessarily true for other pro natural bodybuilder. In order to qualify as a natural bodybuilder in the INBA/PNBA, you simply need to be clean by the time you get tested. This means an athlete can spend years training with steroids before they ever compete, build up a lot of mass, then come off the drugs in order to later compete in the league.

While these athletes are technically natural by the time they start competing in shows, it begs the question as to whether or not this gives them an advantage. Does a former steroid user have some sort of advantage over an athlete who never enhanced their physique at all?

Adrian Pietrariu does think this is an important distinction – but doesn’t think it’s completely unfair in a competition sense. Instead, he finds this to be more about personal ideology rather than rules and regulations. Adrian doesn’t see anything wrong with a former steroid user competing in the natural leagues so long as they aren’t cheating. But he does find there to be more pride in a natural bodybuilder who has been clean their entire life.

Natural bodybuilding is more than just a competition for Adrian, it’s a way of life. He wants to be clean not just to compete on a fair playing field. He is clean because he wants to stay healthy while also sculpting a massive physique. In this way, he can be more proud of his accomplishments. He has a physique that makes him proud without having to make a health sacrifice.

You can check out Adrian Pietrariu’s full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

If you want to see our interviews with the rest of the cast of Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life. Check out our GI Exclusive segments with Rob Terry and Philip Ricardo Jr. as well!