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  1. #1
    Constantly Pushing cnock's Avatar
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    Let's talk - Natural Mr Olympia gives advice

    John Hansen says hes a natural competitor and has won the natural mr. olympia and universe. Do you think he is natural? He is a very big guy, probaly the biggest claimed natural. I know Ronnie and Jay and those guys claim natural but this guy actually has competed in national natural events. I know the human body is capable of great things but getting this big naturaly is hard top concieve. Whats your thoughts?
    Last edited by cnock; 05-11-2007 at 08:26 AM.
    You know your a bodybuilder when you stop seeing food and start seeing numbers.

    Mass impresses people but conditioning wins competitions.

    The difference between me and you is im willing to push it till it breaks and you only push it till it aches.

    Meal after meal. Rep after rep. All the while tired and stuffed. Why do i do this? So that one day i can look in the mirror and see something satisfying and complete. All the while knowing i will never be satisfied nor complete.
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  2. #2
    POWER! mindraper's Avatar
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    Is there really a contest called "Natural Mr. Olympia" ?
    "Also I do recommend steroids for all depressed males, and not anti depressants." - Nasser El Sonbaty IFBB PRO 2007
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  3. #3
    15 in my pics wanabeebig's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mindraper View Post
    Is there really a contest called "Natural Mr. Olympia" ?
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/johnh.htm
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  4. #4
    Clawing for 2k raw total percussion8903's Avatar
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    whats the average competition weight for an average height there
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  5. #5
    Im aware of your breast TheSheepdog's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cnock View Post
    John Hansen says hes a natural competitor and has won the natural mr. olympia and universe. Do you think he is natural? He is a very big guy, probaly the biggest claimed natural. I know Ronnie and Jay and those guys claim natural but this guy actually has competed in national natural events. I know the human body is capable of great things but getting this big naturaly is hard top concieve. Whats your thoughts?
    i beleive john hansen recanted those comments..testing is alot more stricter since he won his last one
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  6. #6
    pron posts mod LUKEDEICHER's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mindraper View Post
    Is there really a contest called "Natural Mr. Olympia" ?
    Photos don't lie........................
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  7. #7
    Registered User jjdrum06's Avatar
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    1. i guarantee bob does not respond to this post. i think he avoids the steroid talk whenever possible, which is totally understandable.

    2. that guy john hansen (or whatever his name is) is most definitely natural. i guarantee he works just as hard as jay or ronnie, but doesnt have the genes nor the juice to be competitive at the pro level.
    the best bodybuilders are far from meatheads.
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  8. #8
    IFPA Professional yzrider400f's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jjdrum06 View Post
    1. i guarantee bob does not respond to this post. i think he avoids the steroid talk whenever possible, which is totally understandable.

    2. that guy john hansen (or whatever his name is) is most definitely natural. i guarantee he works just as hard as jay or ronnie, but doesnt have the genes nor the juice to be competitive at the pro level.
    3. he is a pro
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  9. #9
    Registered User jjdrum06's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by yzrider400f View Post
    3. he is a pro
    i meant competitive at the untested level. my bad.
    the best bodybuilders are far from meatheads.
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  10. #10
    Registered User prgicp9's Avatar
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    Hansen works out at the same XSport I do..he's a big dude and works very hard. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. I have no reason to suspect he ISN'T natural.
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  11. #11
    Banned LOVINGTHEEIRON's Avatar
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    He might be natural. He is 5'10 and competes at 210. For comparison Jay is 5'9 and 270. Hell of a difference there.
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  12. #12
    Its time to EAT! Anabolistic's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=cnock;42009891] I know Ronnie and Jay and those guys claim natural

    WHen did Ronnie and Jay claim that they were natural? .. oR anyother BB they share the same stage with?
    Real friends don't let friends lift light.
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  13. #13
    Registered User a-dog's Avatar
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    there is a natural olympia, it's by one of the more legit "natural" org's out there vs. musclemania where it's just a contest to see who can get away with more.

    I think John is natural, although I think he admitted to using in the past if I'm not mistaken but he's been clean for along time. Really, is his phyique beyond the realm of possibilities of what a natty can achieve? No, he basically looks like the guys looked like in the "pre steroid" era of the sport just a little bigger and harder but dieting and supplementation has come along way since then so I believe he could be natty.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Natural_O's Avatar
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    Hey Guys, I saw you were talking about me so I thought I would jump in here. I appreciate the comments about how big I am. That is the natural bodybuilder's ultimate compliment, to be big enough that some people question whether you are natural or not.

    I started bodybuilding at 14 years old and I was pretty skinny, 135 pounds at 5'8". I didn't have great genetics for putting muscle on very quickly as some bodybuilders do. I had a good frame (wide shoulders, big ribcage, etc) but it took me YEARS before I had built enough mass. I started competing at 16 years old and I got sort of addicted to competing in bodybuilding competitions for the next few years. I entered 10 teenage contests between the ages of 16-19 years old. The biggest I got as a teenager was about 185 pounds and I would compete at around 170-175 pounds.

    When I reached my 20th birthday, I was no longer eligible to compete as a teenager so I decided to take at least a year off to get bigger. My goal when I started bodybuilding was to win the Mr. Universe and be featured in the magazines like the bodybuilders I admired when I was growing up (Arnold, Franco, Frank Zane, Robby Robinson, Lou Ferrigno, Mike Mentzer and Kal Szkalak). I wanted to bulk up to at least 100 pounds heavier than when I started bodybuilding and then work my way up the ladder from the Mr. Illinois to the Mr. Midwest to the Mr. America to the Mr. Universe.

    Within 6 months after my last teenage contest, my bodyweight shot up to 205 pounds. I think this was a reaction to finally being off my pre-contest diet for awhile and letting my body grow. When I was competing so much as a teen, I was dieting every 3-4 months and I never gave myself time to grow and get big.

    I thought for sure I would be 230 in another six months. Unfortunately, my body reached a sticking point and I couldn't get bigger no matter what I did. I started bulking up by eating even more food than I was eating previously. I had to eat so much food to get bigger, it was unbelievable! I actually got tired of eating so much. After awhile, it started to work. I was able to train heavier and heavier every week using the basic exercises. The more calories I ate, the more weight I was able to lift at the gym. I increased my strength by lifting really heavy. For my last couple sets, I would shoot for 3 reps on my own and have my training partner give me another 2-3 forced reps. This really helped to get me stronger (and eventually, bigger).

    After six months of this bulking up program, I weighed 230 pounds. I was pretty bulky, believe me. I looked more like a football player than a bodybuilder but by doing this, I had the mass I needed to compete over 200 pounds. So, that's how I did it. It was a lot of eating good bodybuilding foods along with training heavy using the basic execises four days a week. I trained chest, delts, triceps and calves on Monday and Thursday and legs, back and biceps on Tuesday and Friday. I covered this routine in my book "Natural Bodybuilding" and in my new DVD, "Natural Bodybuilding Seminar and Competitions". Incidently, my new DVD features not only a 90 minute seminar on training and nutrition but also most of the natural bodybuilding competitions I competed in from 1991 to 2004. This is very interesting as you will be able to see the progress I make from each year in the competitions. I also have a commentary option on the DVD so you can listen to my thoughts on how I prepared for each show, what went right and what went wrong, what happened behind the scenes, etc.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to express my thoughts!
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  15. #15
    Clawing for 2k raw total percussion8903's Avatar
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    john hanson

    hey man wassup, i've heard about you. I looking forward to major natural competitions in the future as well. how do you determine what contest weight would be? I was the same way at age 13, being someone who puts on mass slow but overtime, it just added up.
    Last edited by percussion8903; 05-15-2007 at 08:31 AM.
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  16. #16
    IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Pro Bob Chick's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cnock View Post
    John Hansen says hes a natural competitor and has won the natural mr. olympia and universe. Do you think he is natural? He is a very big guy, probaly the biggest claimed natural. I know Ronnie and Jay and those guys claim natural but this guy actually has competed in national natural events. I know the human body is capable of great things but getting this big naturaly is hard top concieve. Whats your thoughts?
    I don't know John personally, but I have no reason to doubt his claim...

    Neither Ronnie or Jay claim to be natural...

    You can achieve what John has naturally...just takes the components of a champion...dedication, consistancy, and hard work.
    Bob Cicherillo - IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
    IFBB Athletes rep
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  17. #17
    Registered User Natural_O's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by percussion8903 View Post
    hey man wassup, i've heard about you. I looking forward to major natural competitions in the future as well. how do you determine what contest weight would be? I was the same way at age 13, being someone who puts on mass slow but overtime, it just added up.
    As for contest weight, it really all depends on how you look. You don't want to try and go for a specific weight, you just want to compete at the weight you look your best at. It all depends on how much fat you have now. I used to be 230 in the off season and I would compete in the low 200's (201-205). I liked bulking up a little in the off season so I could lift heavier and put on more size as opposed to staying lean all the time which makes it difficult to add more muscle and get stronger, especially for guys like us who find putting on more muscle mass challenging.
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  18. #18
    Clawing for 2k raw total percussion8903's Avatar
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    cool. I'm at 240 now, but the look is 'not ripped but not fat' look. If I stand directly under a light at night, the definition is there, but the water look can be seen too. My body fat is shown to be at 10%, hopefully I could come in at 200 contest but I would have to do everything right to pull it off.

    The main goal I'm looking at is achieving not just a great physique, but one I could keep for several ages look you. (gasp at twice my age too)
    Last edited by percussion8903; 05-15-2007 at 09:36 AM.
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  19. #19
    Constantly Pushing cnock's Avatar
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    John i no way meant disrespect by the thread i made. It was more of a compliemnt and im glad that you took it that way. Your just an amazing specimen among bodybuilders that chose a different path. With my comment about jay and ronnie claimng to ne natural i shouldnt have mentioned them speficailly i just meant IFBB pros in general that claim they are natural.
    You know your a bodybuilder when you stop seeing food and start seeing numbers.

    Mass impresses people but conditioning wins competitions.

    The difference between me and you is im willing to push it till it breaks and you only push it till it aches.

    Meal after meal. Rep after rep. All the while tired and stuffed. Why do i do this? So that one day i can look in the mirror and see something satisfying and complete. All the while knowing i will never be satisfied nor complete.
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  20. #20
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    Give John Hansen A Bold Text And His Own Thread

    Originally Posted by Natural_O View Post
    As for contest weight, it really all depends on how you look. You don't want to try and go for a specific weight, you just want to compete at the weight you look your best at. It all depends on how much fat you have now. I used to be 230 in the off season and I would compete in the low 200's (201-205). I liked bulking up a little in the off season so I could lift heavier and put on more size as opposed to staying lean all the time which makes it difficult to add more muscle and get stronger, especially for guys like us who find putting on more muscle mass challenging.
    JOHN SHOULD HAVE HIS OWN THREAD LIKE THE IFBB PROS
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  21. #21
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    i agree. dang, two natural pros in the same thread! (no way that 6'2 255 isnt pro qualifiing)
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  22. #22
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    John,

    I have been wanting to talk to a real natural pro for a long time now. I have a few questions that would be really intersting to hear your answers too.

    first of all when you are training in the offseason did you train till exhaustion everytime? if so did you use a high rep high set form of training or the dorian yates high intensity technique?

    When dieting as a natural competitor did you find it harder to shift those last few pounds and what fat loss routine worked best for you?.

    and finaly, do you minimise cardio when looking to gain weight or cut it out completely?

    thankyou john,

    keep kicking ass!
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  23. #23
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    John, a couple of guys earlier in the thread alluded to you in the past admitting to not always have been entirely natural. I've read a few of your articles and don't remember you saying that but your reply here does not deny it either.....so are you natural or not?
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    Originally Posted by percussion8903 View Post
    cool. I'm at 240 now, but the look is 'not ripped but not fat' look. If I stand directly under a light at night, the definition is there, but the water look can be seen too. My body fat is shown to be at 10%, hopefully I could come in at 200 contest but I would have to do everything right to pull it off.

    The main goal I'm looking at is achieving not just a great physique, but one I could keep for several ages look you. (gasp at twice my age too)
    One piece of advice I would give is to not just go by your bodyfat percentage when you are getting ready to compete. Bodyfat percentages are like how much you weigh or how big your arms are. The judges don't care about all that stuff, only how you look in comparison to the other competitors. If you know someone who is experienced in watching bodybuilding competitions, you could have them take a look at you every so often to see if you are on the right track. Another good method is to take pictures of yourself every couple of weeks to see if you are making progress. Just take the pics in the same light every time so you can make an accurate comparison.
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  25. #25
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    Originally Posted by cnock View Post
    John i no way meant disrespect by the thread i made. It was more of a compliemnt and im glad that you took it that way. Your just an amazing specimen among bodybuilders that chose a different path. With my comment about jay and ronnie claimng to ne natural i shouldnt have mentioned them speficailly i just meant IFBB pros in general that claim they are natural.
    No need to apologize, I didn't take as disrespect in any way. Thanks for the compliment.
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  26. #26
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    Originally Posted by Briggsy View Post
    John,

    I have been wanting to talk to a real natural pro for a long time now. I have a few questions that would be really intersting to hear your answers too.

    first of all when you are training in the offseason did you train till exhaustion everytime? if so did you use a high rep high set form of training or the dorian yates high intensity technique?

    When dieting as a natural competitor did you find it harder to shift those last few pounds and what fat loss routine worked best for you?.

    and finaly, do you minimise cardio when looking to gain weight or cut it out completely?

    thankyou john,

    keep kicking ass!
    When I was training in the off season, my primary goal was to get bigger and make improvements in my weak bodyparts in preparation for my next competition. I was trying to go heavier on the basic exercises and use them for a moderate amount of sets. The way I would train harder or increase the intensity was to use heavier weights with proper form. If I was using the basic exercises and training very hard, I did not need to use a lot of sets. Typically, I would do about 12-14 sets for bigger bodyparts like legs, back and chest and only 8-10 total sets for smaller bodyparts like delts, arms and calves.

    When I was dieting for a competition for the natural shows, I would give myself plenty of time to diet. I would diet for as long as 16-20 weeks depending on how much fat I had to lose. The reason I did this was to keep all my muscle when I was dieting. If you don't give yourself enough time, you will probably have to lower your calories and/or do lots of cardio to play catch up and get ripped in time for your contest. If I dieted slow enough, I could get away with eating more calories and sometimes not doing any cardio at all. This way, I was able to hold onto more of my muscle mass and still compete ripped for the contest. The best situation to be in was to be ready for the show a week before the actual contest. That way, I could just maintain my condition the last week and go into the contest with no stress.

    As for the cardio when I was trying to gain weight, I didn't do any at all. I was eating lots of calories and conserving my energy in order to put on more size so cardio was the last thing I was doing. I even tried to avoid cardio when I was getting ready for a competition. If I was cutting back on my calories, I had to be very careful about losing muscle. Doing both cardio and cutting the calories is dangerous for muscle mass. That's why I preferred to get cut just by dieting and avoiding the cardio if I could.
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  27. #27
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    Originally Posted by samsbolton View Post
    John, a couple of guys earlier in the thread alluded to you in the past admitting to not always have been entirely natural. I've read a few of your articles and don't remember you saying that but your reply here does not deny it either.....so are you natural or not?
    Thanks for asking that question and I would love to explain my answer to clear everything up.

    The short answer is, yes, I did use steroids about 20 years ago when I was in my early twenties but I used them only in preparation for the competitions I was entering so that was for 12 weeks once a year. I DID NOT use them to build my physique, only to hold onto muscle and keep my strength up when I was dieting.

    My original goal when I started training at 14 years old was to win the Mr. Universe and be in the magazines like the guys I read about in Muscle Builder Magazine. I didn't know anything about steroids until I read an interview with Arnold in a 1978 issue of Muscle Builder magazine. In that issue, Arnold admitted that he used steroids in preparation for a contest and that all of the top bodybuilders competing in the Mr. America, Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia used them. However, Arnold said that the drugs were only being used as a "finishing touch" and that they only accounted for a 5-10% improvement in the physique but, without that 5-10% extra improvement, you would risk losing the contest.

    Arnold also advised young bodybuilders to not use the drugs to build their physiques because, if they did, they would have a drug physique, a body built with the use of steroids. He said young guys (like myself) would be much better off building their bodies through hard training and good nutrition. This would create a body built through hard work and not on drugs (a temporary condition). Since Arnold was my idol, I took his words to heart and made the decision to build my body through hard training and good nutrition.

    I started competing in the teenage bodybuilding competitions at 16 years old and it didn't take long for me to realize that many of the competitors I was up against were not natural. At first, I could not believe this because Arnold said that only the top national level competitors were using steroids but here I could see that even the teenage bodybuilders were taking them.

    You have to understand that the situation in the 1970's and 1980's was much different than it is today. First of all, steroids were not a federal offense, only a misdemeanor IF you got caught taking them without a doctor's prescription. Most of the general public and the media was not aware of steroids and it was never talked about in the sports pages or on television like it is today. There was a doctor only a few blocks from the gym I trained at who would readily prescribe steroids to anyone who wanted them, whether for a competition or just to get bigger.

    My training partner at the time was about 5-6 years older than me and he told me he could get some steroids for me to take so I would definitely win my next teenage competition. I have to admit that it was very tempting because I was getting tired of getting beat by bodybuilders who had an unfair advantage. Even at that age, bodybuilding was my life and it was extremely hard to go into a contest and lose. I finally decided that I wanted to win Mr. America a lot more than I wanted to be Teenage Mr. America. I was going to do as Arnold said and just wait to build my physique naturally, no matter how long it took. I continued to compete naturally in all of the teenage shows I did and usually got my butt kicked. When I competed in the 1982 Teenage Mr. America, I really felt out of place. Although I took 5th place, it was a distant fifth because those guys who placed ahead of me looked unbelievable. David Hawk won my class and I swear he looked as good that night as he did when he won the NPC USA three years later and got his pro card.

    When I reached my 20th birthday, I decided to take a year off of competition in order to bulk up and get as big as possible. I was 205 pounds about six months after my last teenage show and I got up to 230 pounds at 21 years old. Since I started off at 135 pounds when I began training at 14 years old, that was almost 100 pounds heavier in 7 years.

    When I began competing in the open division competitions like the NPC Illinois State Championships and NPC Mid-America, I started using the drugs 12 weeks before the contest to hold onto my muscle mass and keep my strength up and get that finished look that Arnold talked about. My competition weight from 1985-1990 for these contests was between 201-208 pounds. I actually lost weight when using the drugs because I was dieting and trying to get ripped. After the show was over, I would get off the drugs and stay off them until the next year when I competed again. In the off season, my natural bodyweight would go back up to 220-230 pounds.

    Although I won some state and regional contests, I never did well at the national level shows. I entered the NPC Jr. Nationals twice, in 1986 and 1989, and I never made the top 10 in either show. It didn't help that I was competing as a heavyweight only weighing about 205 pounds. However, I thought I could emulate other pro bodybuilders like Rich Gaspari and Mike Quinn, both of whom were my height and they weighed less than 210 pounds for competitions. At the 1988 Olympia, where they did an official weigh-in for all the competitors, Rich weighed 208 pounds and Mike weighed 204 pounds. Since I was right there, I thought I had a shot.

    However, by the late '80's and early '90's, the competitors were getting much bigger. It didn't seem possible to make it to the top at the national or pro level by only doing the drugs for 12 weeks prior to a contest. I did not want to start taking the drugs all year long or start using the drugs to build my physique. Although it was my life-long dream, I decided to stop competing and give up my goal of becoming a pro bodybuilder.

    Around this time, the natural competitions were starting to get popular. Since I had built my physique without using the drugs, I thought I could make the transition very easily and start competing naturally. My first natural show, the 1991 NPC Natural Illinois, required their competitors to be drug free for 12 months. I competed at 195 pounds which was about 5-7 pounds lighter than when I was using the drugs. However, one of the reasons I competed lighter was because I didn't give myself enough time to diet and I had to add a lot more cardio and cut my calories in order to get ripped in time for the contest. As a result, I was cut but too flat for my first natural contest. I learned that I would have to diet much longer to compete naturally.

    The next year, I dieted for 16 weeks and competed at 198 pounds when I won the Natural Mr. Universe and I looked much, much better. I was 204 pounds when I competed in the 1995 Natural Universe and 208 pounds when I won the Natural Mr. Universe in 1996. Today, at 44 years old, I am about 215 pounds in lean condition and I get down to about 205 pounds for photo shoots and guest posing.

    My point is that I developed my body through lots of hard and heavy training and good nutrition. The steroids were only used in small amounts and for short periods and only to create the finished look to compete. If I had used the drugs to build my size, I wouldn't have had that size when I went off the drugs.

    For example, there was a bodybuilder in the '80's who had great potential and was placing high in the national level events. He placed 3rd in the heavyweight class at the 1986 Jr. Nationals weighing about 215 pounds. Several years later, he decided to compete naturally. I saw him in a magazine around 1992 and he was weighing 185 pounds. Although he looked really good at this lighter weight, it was still 30 pounds less than when he used the drugs. My point is, if you use the drugs to build your size, you will lose the size when you stop taking the drugs. You don't get to keep the size or keep some of the size as so many young bodybuilders mistakenly believe.
    Like Arnold said back in 1978, the drugs are only temporary and their benefits go away after you stop taking them.

    I have always been honest about the drugs that I took in the past because I have nothing to hide and I don't think they created my physique. Of course, I could have just never said anything or lied about it but that's not me. I have seen bodybuilding forums where I was called a liar and a fraud but I have always been upfront and honest about this. I think many of the people who say this don't know that I built up my size naturally or that I only used the drugs for the last 12 weeks before a contest when I was dieting. Like I said before, if I used the drugs to build my physique, I would not have the physique I have today (20 years later).

    Sorry for the extremely long response but I wanted to fully explain this so you get the truth from the horse's mouth.
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  28. #28
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    good reads natty Mr. O

    why dont you have your own thread yet?!?!
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  29. #29
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    Originally Posted by prgicp9 View Post
    Hansen works out at the same XSport I do..he's a big dude and works very hard. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. I have no reason to suspect he ISN'T natural.
    i use to work out there and i didnt see anything that great. yeah he was one of the few that did front squats but woopdy doo!

    nothing personal about him i just dont see how his training deserved your respect.
    i have pics with my face, and no disgrace!

    if your bods so perfect than why dont you have pics up?

    gaining muscle is easy, its just expensive!

    poseing and flexing are two different things!
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by Natural_O View Post
    Thanks for asking that question and I would love to explain my answer to clear everything up.

    The short answer is, yes, I did use steroids about 20 years ago when I was in my early twenties but I used them only in preparation for the competitions I was entering so that was for 12 weeks once a year. I DID NOT use them to build my physique, only to hold onto muscle and keep my strength up when I was dieting.

    My original goal when I started training at 14 years old was to win the Mr. Universe and be in the magazines like the guys I read about in Muscle Builder Magazine. I didn't know anything about steroids until I read an interview with Arnold in a 1978 issue of Muscle Builder magazine. In that issue, Arnold admitted that he used steroids in preparation for a contest and that all of the top bodybuilders competing in the Mr. America, Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia used them. However, Arnold said that the drugs were only being used as a "finishing touch" and that they only accounted for a 5-10% improvement in the physique but, without that 5-10% extra improvement, you would risk losing the contest.

    Arnold also advised young bodybuilders to not use the drugs to build their physiques because, if they did, they would have a drug physique, a body built with the use of steroids. He said young guys (like myself) would be much better off building their bodies through hard training and good nutrition. This would create a body built through hard work and not on drugs (a temporary condition). Since Arnold was my idol, I took his words to heart and made the decision to build my body through hard training and good nutrition.

    I started competing in the teenage bodybuilding competitions at 16 years old and it didn't take long for me to realize that many of the competitors I was up against were not natural. At first, I could not believe this because Arnold said that only the top national level competitors were using steroids but here I could see that even the teenage bodybuilders were taking them.

    You have to understand that the situation in the 1970's and 1980's was much different than it is today. First of all, steroids were not a federal offense, only a misdemeanor IF you got caught taking them without a doctor's prescription. Most of the general public and the media was not aware of steroids and it was never talked about in the sports pages or on television like it is today. There was a doctor only a few blocks from the gym I trained at who would readily prescribe steroids to anyone who wanted them, whether for a competition or just to get bigger.

    My training partner at the time was about 5-6 years older than me and he told me he could get some steroids for me to take so I would definitely win my next teenage competition. I have to admit that it was very tempting because I was getting tired of getting beat by bodybuilders who had an unfair advantage. Even at that age, bodybuilding was my life and it was extremely hard to go into a contest and lose. I finally decided that I wanted to win Mr. America a lot more than I wanted to be Teenage Mr. America. I was going to do as Arnold said and just wait to build my physique naturally, no matter how long it took. I continued to compete naturally in all of the teenage shows I did and usually got my butt kicked. When I competed in the 1982 Teenage Mr. America, I really felt out of place. Although I took 5th place, it was a distant fifth because those guys who placed ahead of me looked unbelievable. David Hawk won my class and I swear he looked as good that night as he did when he won the NPC USA three years later and got his pro card.

    When I reached my 20th birthday, I decided to take a year off of competition in order to bulk up and get as big as possible. I was 205 pounds about six months after my last teenage show and I got up to 230 pounds at 21 years old. Since I started off at 135 pounds when I began training at 14 years old, that was almost 100 pounds heavier in 7 years.

    When I began competing in the open division competitions like the NPC Illinois State Championships and NPC Mid-America, I started using the drugs 12 weeks before the contest to hold onto my muscle mass and keep my strength up and get that finished look that Arnold talked about. My competition weight from 1985-1990 for these contests was between 201-208 pounds. I actually lost weight when using the drugs because I was dieting and trying to get ripped. After the show was over, I would get off the drugs and stay off them until the next year when I competed again. In the off season, my natural bodyweight would go back up to 220-230 pounds.

    Although I won some state and regional contests, I never did well at the national level shows. I entered the NPC Jr. Nationals twice, in 1986 and 1989, and I never made the top 10 in either show. It didn't help that I was competing as a heavyweight only weighing about 205 pounds. However, I thought I could emulate other pro bodybuilders like Rich Gaspari and Mike Quinn, both of whom were my height and they weighed less than 210 pounds for competitions. At the 1988 Olympia, where they did an official weigh-in for all the competitors, Rich weighed 208 pounds and Mike weighed 204 pounds. Since I was right there, I thought I had a shot.

    However, by the late '80's and early '90's, the competitors were getting much bigger. It didn't seem possible to make it to the top at the national or pro level by only doing the drugs for 12 weeks prior to a contest. I did not want to start taking the drugs all year long or start using the drugs to build my physique. Although it was my life-long dream, I decided to stop competing and give up my goal of becoming a pro bodybuilder.

    Around this time, the natural competitions were starting to get popular. Since I had built my physique without using the drugs, I thought I could make the transition very easily and start competing naturally. My first natural show, the 1991 NPC Natural Illinois, required their competitors to be drug free for 12 months. I competed at 195 pounds which was about 5-7 pounds lighter than when I was using the drugs. However, one of the reasons I competed lighter was because I didn't give myself enough time to diet and I had to add a lot more cardio and cut my calories in order to get ripped in time for the contest. As a result, I was cut but too flat for my first natural contest. I learned that I would have to diet much longer to compete naturally.

    The next year, I dieted for 16 weeks and competed at 198 pounds when I won the Natural Mr. Universe and I looked much, much better. I was 204 pounds when I competed in the 1995 Natural Universe and 208 pounds when I won the Natural Mr. Universe in 1996. Today, at 44 years old, I am about 215 pounds in lean condition and I get down to about 205 pounds for photo shoots and guest posing.

    My point is that I developed my body through lots of hard and heavy training and good nutrition. The steroids were only used in small amounts and for short periods and only to create the finished look to compete. If I had used the drugs to build my size, I wouldn't have had that size when I went off the drugs.

    For example, there was a bodybuilder in the '80's who had great potential and was placing high in the national level events. He placed 3rd in the heavyweight class at the 1986 Jr. Nationals weighing about 215 pounds. Several years later, he decided to compete naturally. I saw him in a magazine around 1992 and he was weighing 185 pounds. Although he looked really good at this lighter weight, it was still 30 pounds less than when he used the drugs. My point is, if you use the drugs to build your size, you will lose the size when you stop taking the drugs. You don't get to keep the size or keep some of the size as so many young bodybuilders mistakenly believe.
    Like Arnold said back in 1978, the drugs are only temporary and their benefits go away after you stop taking them.

    I have always been honest about the drugs that I took in the past because I have nothing to hide and I don't think they created my physique. Of course, I could have just never said anything or lied about it but that's not me. I have seen bodybuilding forums where I was called a liar and a fraud but I have always been upfront and honest about this. I think many of the people who say this don't know that I built up my size naturally or that I only used the drugs for the last 12 weeks before a contest when I was dieting. Like I said before, if I used the drugs to build my physique, I would not have the physique I have today (20 years later).

    Sorry for the extremely long response but I wanted to fully explain this so you get the truth from the horse's mouth.
    props!!!
    i have pics with my face, and no disgrace!

    if your bods so perfect than why dont you have pics up?

    gaining muscle is easy, its just expensive!

    poseing and flexing are two different things!
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