Is Donte Franklin Taking Steroids?

Donte Franklin is a pretty young bodybuilder who has recently been hailed as the “greatest natural bodybuilder” in the world by Generation Iron. It is obvious that by calling him the greatest NATURAL bodybuilder while having such a huge body, it has caused a lot of speculation whether is that statement by the Generation Iron accurate as claimed, or Donte Franklin is actually taking some steroids secretly and knows how to hide it.

With this being said, people got in 2 different bases with 2 different opinions – one of the base thinking that Donte is actually taking steroids while the others are adamant he’s actually natural. Nonetheless, by doing the research in trying to find out information about Donte and whether or not he is juicing I found out that he claims to be natural harder than any other bodybuilder I’ve seen. In fact, saying that Donte is only saying that he’s all natural would be a big understatement. He tries to make it clear to all over the world that he is natural and he is always trying to let all of his followers know that he is not using steroids and is referencing this in nearly every single post he uploads on his Instagram account. Even so, haters are still trolling his posts and account further, but he doesn’t give up and makes it clear he’s all natural.

To be honest, I do really think that this mentality Donte is having about letting everyone know by every method possible is something that I’ve always agreed with and it is something that I would do myself if I would be as huge as him, be all natural and get accusations online. I would definitely want to let everyone know, all my followers and the entire world the truth which is only one – I am natty. Of course, I would try to do that if I would be indeed natty and especially if I would get accusations online as he gets when I know the truth.

Before continuing, let’s check Donte Franklin’s stats: at the height of 6 ft he has a weight of 215 lbs. I do understand that this may not surprise many people as checking these numbers it is very clear that Donte is pretty much light for an extremely muscular and tall guy he is. But, to be honest, that’s already something that we should take in consideration and that’s because weighing less is actually something that is very often correlated with being all natural. But of course, that’s not enough to make a conclusion so I decided to check some more evidences. Many people may be wondering the following: does Donte Franklin


Has an Achievable Size?

For those who are wondering if having a size as Donte Franklin all naturally then the very simple answer is yes. It is definitely possible to be as huge as Donte is without taking steroids BUT – it is not possible for everyone. What I’m trying to say is that if you think that Donte is taking steroids only based on the size of his muscles then that’s definitely not a credible argument, BUT, only because such a size is achievable naturally doesn’t mean that he actually achieved it naturally. It all depends on the genetic factor and if you’re wondering how do I know about it?

Well, IFBB Pros such as Phil Heath is the real living proof of this. Yes, Phil does use steroids, but you can’t compare Phil Heath with Donte Franklin as Phil is twice as much. You should compare Donte with Phil back in the days when Phil was not using steroids. This is what Phil Heath was looking like as a natural guy in his younger years:


The way how this guys are getting so huge, as I said, is thanks to the genetic factor. IFBB pros such as Phil and Kai Greene as seen in the photo above are on the top of genetic pool when it comes to build up muscles, therefore we can assume that Donte’s genetics could very well be in the same genetic category so he can achieve such a size naturally.

Gains Timeline

Checking gains timeline is one of the very best methods out there which can help us determine if a guy has been juicing or not. simply by looking at the person’s progress over the years is a pretty sure way to find out whether they have taken steroids or not and so, let’s check the evidences.

According to Donte’s own words – he started to lift weights at a very early age of 12 years old. Now, we should take in consideration that natural guys, as we all know, are going to build most of their muscle amount very quickly when they are firstly starting to lift weights. Unfortunately, after the initial growth spurt, the gains are slowly going to go down and so, you are going to stay pretty much in the same size from that moment on, with extremely slow and little gains.

Luckily, it was pretty easy to find out his gains timeline as he has uploaded several amazing before and after transformation photos on his Instagram account and that’s a very good thing as it allows us to check his gains since he was a teenager. Here’s a photo he uploaded showing a transformation of him with a 6 year progress. On the photo on the left he is 18 years old and on the photo on the right is the way how he looks right now.

Comparing those photos, one could very easily assume that Donte is surely on steroids and that’s because he has got much more bigger in those 6 years and that’s taking in consideration that he was already lifting weights in the picture on the left which means that he plateaued from newbie gains. you can’t gain so much size after plateauing from newbie gains unless you’re juicing.

I would agree with it if the photos shared would be of him in the same position. Everyone know that the same person can look very small or huge, mostly depending on his position. That’s why, I think that the above pic is not a reliable way to compare a person’s gains over the years and that’s because he is posing in completely different positions which might create illusions of him bigger/smaller. And that’s especially when you are flexing in one photo and you are not doing it in the other. In order to be able to make a good comparison we need to find a photo of him in the same position. So, let’s take a look at the following photo:

Well, now, when we can see that Donte is in the same front and relaxed position, can we say that he’s ridiculously bigger? I doubt about that. To my observation he has got only a bit bigger compared to what he was looking like at 18 years old. So yes, I would definitely say that this is a totally realistic progress for a natural guy, and that’s especially as I found out that Donte has done some extremely aggressive bulks in the offseason while he was increasing his body fat % trying hard to put on even more size… and as you can see, all of his extremely big efforts gave him extremely little progress – which is natural for any bodybuilder who is NOT juicing. Because if Donte did used steroids with all his bulking and years of training he would have looked A LOT much bigger. Plus, take in consideration he didn’t tried to stay ripped to shreds all the year round for many years – he tried to pack on some size.

As we can see, he has put around 15 to 20 lbs but if he did used steroids then he would gain at least 50 lbs of muscles, but it can be up to 80 lbs. Comparing those photos we can see that there is not at least 30 lbs of muscles which he would have put on if doing at least a few cycles. In the end, his weight gain does correlate to adding an approximately of 2 lbs of muscle each year and that’s perfectly possible for a natural guy to achieve it, and that’s especially if you are regularly bulking up as Donte was doing. Especially because in the first photo he was 18 years only.

Drug Tested

Unlike many other bodybuilders out there that are having some competition histories but never passed drug tests that can be considered actually LEGIT, Donte Franklin did passed some of the drug tests which can be considered legit. He passed rigorous drug tests from credible natural bodybuilding federations such as the INBA and the NANBF which are having some of the strictest and hardest tests to pass because it is near to impossible to beat them, unlike other federation’s drug tests which claims to be natural bodybuilding shows. I guess this may be one of the reason why Generation Iron said Donte is “natural”!

So, those federations that I have mentioned are genuine natural federations that are performing strict tests at random times throughout the year without anyone knowing when exactly, therefore such tests are very easily exposing anyone who is not a lifetime drug free bodybuilder. Anybody who has ever been on steroids and trying to keep their “natty” status won’t ever been seen competing in those shows because of the very high risk to lose that status since it is very well known the accuracy of those tests.

Those other types of federations which are also claiming to be “natural shows” are not testing their competitors randomly throughout the year, instead they are only giving the exact date of any tests. By knowing the exact date of the test, anyone who is on steroids can very easily pass it. bodybuilders on juicing can stop taking the certain substances in the time for them to clear out of the system in the time for the test. And that’s pretty much the only test you need to perform. Any juicer can easily beat that test up.

However, if you want to compete in INBA or NANBF shows then you are going to need to pass any/ all of the following test at any unexpected time for you which means you don’t have time to cycle off the steroids: the polygraph (which is a lie detector); urinalysis (when you need to pee in a cup); blood tests; saliva tests and voice stress tests.

Donte became the NANBF Novice champion if there’s still someone who didn’t know it and it is obvious that he passed all those tests before becoming the champ. As much as it seems, he only competed in the even just to prove a point to the people that he is actually a natural guy. I do think that’s a good move and a fair play! If you’re wondering – here is the interview that he went through with the federation:

Conclusion: Donte Franklin seems to be frank!

Based on the evidences that I have managed to find while doing research about Donte Franklin I found nothing which could indicate that he is taking steroids, for this reason, my verdict is that he is natural. It would be strange for a guy who is battling so much to prove that he is natural and trying to make everyone understand that he is natural by writing this in every Instagram post and openly discussing about it to be a juicer.

Donte Franklin has already been JACKED after he has finished puberty at the age of 18 years old only which means that if he ever took steroids then he would have gained A LOT much more muscle mass over the years which would make him be a lot much more swole than he is now which would allow him to compete in Mr Olympia Pro.

But with the size he has right now, he wouldn’t stand a chance there, of course. That’s why it does look he is all natural as he currently looks like what Mr Olympia pros as Phil were looking before they started with steroids. Those guys were already HUGE before they started with the juice, and they become monsters after it.

Another thing is that those very strict and rigorous drug tests that Donte has passed with the INBA and NANBF without ever being red flagged is another essential evidence in proving him natural. Anyone who took steroids and trying to compete there would be caught.

So, it does look like Generation Iron were correct when they said that Donte is the best NATURAL bodybuilder around. That’s because it does look like Donte is natural and I think that he is most likely the biggest natural bodybuilder that I have ever analyzed so far. That’s because he is a genetic beast! He has some arms that even Arnie would agree with. It is obvious that there are guys that are much bigger, but it comes the factor that they have same genetics as Donte AND they are taking steroids!

The moral of the day is: only because a guy is really huge it doesn’t mean that they are taking steroids. I’ve seen a lot of guys doing such mistakes, calling a person a juicer only because he is big. There are many other factors that should be taken in consideration. Especially because there are guys that are taking steroids and they are not the size of Donte Franklin – this doesn’t make them natural.

Write in the comments below what do you think about this guy. Do you agree with Generation Iron on calling him the best/ biggest natural bodybuilder? Or you have a better candidate? Special thanks to these sources:


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