INBA PNBA Natural Olympia 3x Classic Physique champion Brandon Lirio discusses distinguishable characteristics of enhanced bodybuilders.

Some lifters choose to stay natural, and others take performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in the weightlifting world. The disparity between natty or performance-enhanced is especially true in bodybuilding. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a lifter or bodybuilder’s physique is natty or not, though. Brandon Lirio interviewed with Longevity Muscle Podcast and gave the scoop on how to identify performance-enhanced bodybuilders. 

Brandon Lirio is an International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA)/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) Classic Physique professional natural bodybuilder. He’s a 3x Natural Olympia champion, 2x World champion, and 2x Natural Universe champ. Lirio also competes in strongman and powerlifting and has a multi-media contract with Generation Iron and Iron Man Magazine

Recently the Longevity Muscle Podcast released footage on their Instagram (IG) page with a clip from their interview with Brandon Lirio, specifically touching on the critical differences between a natural bodybuilder and an enhanced bodybuilder. Lirio stated:

“If you see somebody who wasn’t show-ready a week out and then out of nowhere, they’re super hard, dry, and dense. Alright, the percentage meter’s going up a little bit on the BS call here. 

If within one year, they’ve put on 20 pounds of lean muscle naturally. Alright, that 99 percentile is starting to come back here.”

Brandon Lirio went on to say that most people posting comments online don’t understand how to differentiate natural and enhanced. Or they’re there to hate. 

You can see an IG clip of Brandon Lirio discussing this on the Longevity Muscle Podcast below. 

Difference Between Performance Enhanced and Natural Lifters

Of course, their size is a distinguishable difference between performance-enhanced and natural bodybuilders. For example, if you look at the International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro league, their contenders are noticeably bigger than INBA PNBA athletes. 

INBA PNBA’s natural bodybuilders’ physiques are impressive and show us how much muscle you can build naturally. Although, they won’t be able to compete with bodybuilders taking PEDs such as steroids. This is why leagues that don’t test for drugs are separated from those that do. 

INBA PNBA natural bodybuilders prove the amount of muscle mass the human body can produce naturally with hard work and dedication. But it takes time, consistency, and following a well-structured plan. As Lirio denoted, naturals won’t randomly be able to put on 20 pounds of lean muscle mass in one year. 

Natural Bodybuilders 

Not all bodybuilding leagues will drug test their athletes, but natural bodybuilding leagues do. And the INBA PNBA screens its athletes through the most thorough drug testing standards – the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). 

Of course, some INBA PNBA natural bodybuilders disobey this. But these athletes are banned from competing, stripped of their titles, and placed in the Hall of Shame

Natural bodybuilding leagues such as the INBA PNBA put fair competition and the health and safety of their athletes a priority above all. Moreover, the INBA PNBA rewards and recognizes its athletes with more cash and prizes than other natural bodybuilder federations. It also helps set their athletes up for success through opportunities like multi-media contracts. 

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more insight from the most elite natural bodybuilders!

As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.