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The Big Benefit of NATURAL Bodybuilding No One Talks About

What is the biggest drawback of using SARMs or steroids?

In this article, we delve into a topic rarely discussed – the remarkable advantage of natural bodybuilding when it comes to maintaining muscle after discontinuing the use of PEDs.

Jabari Martin, Registered Dietitian, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Written and researched by Jabari Martin R.D., NASM C.P.T.

The Big Benefit of NATURAL Bodybuilding No One Talks About

In the world of bodybuilding, discussions often revolve around gaining muscle, sculpting a chiseled physique, and pushing the limits of human potential. But what about the less glamorous, yet equally crucial aspect of maintaining muscle? In this article, we delve into a topic rarely discussed – the remarkable advantage of natural bodybuilding when it comes to muscle retention during challenging times.

Visual Progress vs. Scale Weight

In episode 3 of Vitruvian Physique's "Ascension," we follow Igor Opeshansky's journey as he prepares for a bodybuilding competition. Igor highlights an intriguing paradox that many natural bodybuilders face – the contrast between visual progress and scale weight. Despite seeing noticeable changes in muscle striation and vascularity, Igor scale weight has remained relatively stagnant, only down by about two pounds from his starting point.

This phenomenon challenges the conventional belief that significant changes in appearance should be directly reflected on the scale. It raises questions about the nature of muscle gain, fat loss, and the unique advantages of natural bodybuilding.

What is the biggest drawback of using SARMs or steroids?

The biggest drawback of enhanced bodybuilding is that steroids and SARMs make it incredibly difficult to keep muscle hypertrophy and strength gains after their use is discontinued. This why many bodybuilders and athletes that use PEDs, continue to use these drugs for years.

Want to learn more about this? Read this science abstract on the long-term effects of anabolic steroid use on muscle. Study

The Natural Bodybuilder's Advantage

Igor Opeshansky's experience serves as an excellent example of why natural bodybuilding has its own set of advantages. Natural lifters build muscle gradually and methodically over time. Their muscle growth is like a durable spring, slowly stretching and adapting to the stresses placed upon it. This organic process allows the body to integrate muscle mass more efficiently, resulting in muscle that is better maintained when external factors change.

Enhanced bodybuilders, on the other hand, experience rapid muscle gains, often facilitated by performance-enhancing drugs. However, this growth is more like stretching a rubber band to its limit. It requires constant tension to maintain, in the form of continued drug use. When the external support is removed, the rubber band snaps back to its original size. Similarly, enhanced bodybuilders often lose a significant portion of their muscle gains when they stop using steroids or other performance enhancers.

Muscle Maintenance and Natural Bodybuilding

One of the unsung benefits of natural bodybuilding is the body's ability to maintain muscle even during periods of reduced training intensity or frequency. Life can throw various challenges at us, from demanding work schedules to personal obligations, making it difficult to maintain a rigorous training regimen. However, as a natural lifter, you can take solace in knowing that your hard-earned muscle won't easily disappear.

Studies have shown that even minimal training, as little as one or two workouts per week with a single exercise per major muscle group, can be sufficient to maintain muscle mass. This means that when life gets tough, you don't need to train as vigorously to keep your muscles engaged and intact.

Balancing Act: Maintenance vs. Growth

Maintaining muscle isn't the same as actively growing it. While muscle maintenance can be achieved with significantly less effort, muscle growth requires more time in the gym, increased training volume, and a carefully planned diet. Natural bodybuilders must strike a balance between these two goals.

Igor Opeshansky's journey illustrates this point. Despite being in the midst of competition preparation, he manages to maintain his muscle mass with a reduced training load. This is a testament to the adaptability and resilience of the muscles developed through natural bodybuilding.

Who is the YouTuber, Vitruvian Physique? 

Vitruvian Physique is run by Igor Opeshansky, an amateur bodybuilder, content creator, and former volleyball player living in Toronto.


In the world of bodybuilding, much emphasis is placed on achieving extraordinary muscle growth and aesthetics. However, the less celebrated aspect of muscle maintenance holds tremendous value, especially for natural bodybuilders. The ability to retain hard-earned muscle during challenging life circumstances is a distinct advantage that sets natural bodybuilding apart.

While natural bodybuilders may not experience the rapid muscle gains seen in enhanced bodybuilding, their methodical and gradual approach ensures that the muscle they build is more resilient and easier to maintain. It's like building a sturdy foundation that can withstand the test of time.

So, the next time you consider the benefits of natural bodybuilding, remember the often-overlooked advantage of muscle maintenance. It's not just about getting there; it's also about staying there, even when life throws its curveballs. In the end, it's not just about being big but being able to stay big, naturally.