Natural Olympia Champion Brandon Lirio on How to Spot an Enhanced Bodybuilders

Spot An Enhanced Bodybuilder

3x Natural Olympia Classic Physique champion Brandon Lirio has experience in strongman and powerlifting but managed to reach incredible heights in natural bodybuilding. In a recent interview, Brandon explains some of the noticeable differences between natural athletes and those who might be using performance-enhancing drugs. 

Brandon has been a dominant force in the world of natural bodybuilding. He is an International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) and Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) Classic Physique Pro. As a natural competitor, Brandon has earned the distinction of having become the Natural Olympia Champion a total of three times. In addition, he is a two-time World Champion as well as a two-time Mr. Universe winner. 

The bodybuilding landscape is diverse, with some athletes preferring to push physical boundaries with the help of performance-enhancing drugs. However, bodybuilders like Brandon choose to compete naturally and have managed to find success during their time competing. The IFBB Pro league showcases mass monsters. Conversely, the INBA and PNBA bodybuilders feature different sizes and proportions compared to enhanced athletes. Unlike the IFBB Pro League, the INBA and PNBA take part in drug testing provided by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). 

Natural Bodybuilder Brandon Lirio Chimes in on the ‘Natty or Not’ Discussion

Speaking in a recent interview with the Longevity Muscle Podcast, Brandon voices his opinions about athletes taking PEDs and the pressures of social media when addressing the natty or not discussion. 

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

If in one year, they put on twenty pounds of lean muscle mass, actually, that 99 percentile is starting to come back here so, all of those comments and stuff like that is either one of two things, people just not understanding, how to measure that and how that’s supposed to look like or flip it to the other side.

They don’t even understand what’s capable in terms of people who are natural versus performance enhanced. The other camp is just they’re there to say those things. They came to the social media post to be that prick, that guy. They came there for that confrontation.”  Brandon Lirio said.

According to Brandon, people online struggle to differentiate between bodybuilders who are natural or enhanced. One driving factor he credits as evidence of PED use is an athlete who is not show-ready a week out from an event, who suddenly shows up in pristine conditioning days later. Another dead giveaway for him is when he sees a bodybuilder gain 20lbs of lean muscle mass within a year. 

The natty or not discussion rages on. As of late, celebrities like The Rock have been in the limelight as many wonders if his physique is enhanced or not. In addition, popular natural bodybuilder Mike O’Hearn is another example of a physique that commonly sparks the natty or not discussion

The three-time Natural Olympia champ maintains that there are distinguishable differences between those who use PEDs and those who don’t. Brandon understands how to detect enhanced physiques in natural bodybuilding because the sizes and proportions are different. 


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