Layne Norton is a quite popular bodybuilder guy that it is known to be a “natural” guy that is possessing a PhD in nutritional sciences and a BS in biochemistry – something that not all bodybuilders have, so that’s worth of respect.
To my opinion, to be as jacked as Layne is and in the same time to be a scientist is quite a good combination when you are trying to gain the respect of the weight lifting world community, and that’s compared to a 22 years old “bodybuilders”, who is eating clen as his dinner, trens hard and preaches broscience for a living.
Also he may not look as huge as the nowadays Mr Olympians that we know, Layne’s power is something that deserves our admiration as he is extremely strong. In fact, I would say that he is so strong he can easily play the next Hulk with little GI as he might crush things in his way with ease (pretty much as the incredible Hulk does). That’s because he has set a world record of squat of 668 lbs (which is 303 kg) at 205 lbs (93 kg) and has put another record (US record) when he has successfully deadlifted 323 kg at a bodyweight of 93 kg.
Although he is not as popular on social media compared to other bodybuilders, like Calum, Phil or Lazar (yet he still has a good amount of followers) and although he has PhD in nutritional sciences and although he doesn’t look as the monsters of the Mr Olympia contestants – there is still some speculation over is Layne indeed natural or he is using some steroids or PED’s to have the physiques he has managed to reach. Today I am going to try and find evidences proving him natty or proving him taking steroids. First thing that I am usually researching is the subject’s own words about steroids.
What does Layne Norton say about Steroid use?
Although this guy is known to be “natural” I was still wondering if Layne ever claimed to be natural and by doing this research here’s what I found: on bodybuilding.com website, I have found information suggesting that Layne Norton is natural on his author page on their website. I am going to share the exact link to find that information at the end of this article.
Plus, I have found a youtube video with Layne’s words about steroids. carefully listed to what he says at 1.54 from the youtube video link I am going to share below. His words sound like: I have never really felt the need/ desire to take steroids. I am not in it to get famous”.
By saying this, we can conclude that he has never used drugs as he’s a lifetime drug free bodybuilder. Check Layne’s words at the link below:
Before continuing any further, let’s check the numbers where his stats are: height of 5 ft 10; contest weight is 191 – 195 lbs while off season (current) weight is 205 lbs; his arms measures 18 inches; chest 48 inches; thighs 27 inches and calves 17 inches. Many pro bodybuilders might not be impressed by these numbers but taking in consideration that he is a natural bodybuilder who has a height of only 5 ft 10 inches tall, these are some really huge measurements to my opinion.
When I said that I found information on bodybuilding.com, I know what many of you were thinking. We all know very well that Bodybuilding.com is not the most trustworthy company around as we all lost their trust after they were lying about smuggling some steroids in supplements (which, for those who don’t know, pleaded guilty to in court some time later) and for this reason they have been consequently sued for 7 million of dollars back in 2012. If you still don’t know this story, take a read at the link that I am going to share below. So when we found information on Layne Norton being natural on bodybuilding.com many of you might say “yeah, right” but only due to the fact that this website may not be a credible source when trying to dig in whether is somebody juicing or not – we just cannot assume that Layne is on steroids only because this is what the information on that site suggests. So, let’s take a look at what other evidence is suggesting – is Layne Norton natty or taking steroids?
The first thing that we should mention here is that genetics are playing a huge role in bodybuilding role. Standing at a height of 5 ft 10, it is obvious that Layne hasn’t really got the best genetics out there, by far. So, Layne Norton is by far not a mass monster as we know the contestants in Mr Olympia. Well, even if Layne is indeed natural, he definitely isn’t at the top of the genetic pool when it is coming down to muscle hypertrophy.
Checking his body composition I can easily conclude that his size is definitely possible to be achieved for naturals with many years of hard work, dedication and dieting and combined with good genetics. But pay attention as one very important thing to mention – good genetics.
To start off, I can say that there’s nothing on Layne’s body that would indicate steroid use to me. I tried to analyze a lot of his photos and video with his body and carefully check if there are any steroid warning symptoms but there doesn’t seem to be any. Usually, these steroid warning symptoms are usually seen on a juicer’s body. There are guys out there that you can simply look at and get a pretty good idea not only about the fact that he uses steroids, but even say what exactly he is taking, but that’s definitely not the case with Layne (which is why, as much as I can assume, he’s considered a natty bodybuilder – no external symptoms of steroid use). The shoulders and traps are the first muscles to pop up when you use steroids but these muscles are far from being considered 3D for Layne and plus to that, he hasn’t ever been seen looking particularly shredded to bone or dry.
In addition to that, Layne Norton doesn’t even have a great deal of vascularity (many much younger bodybuilders are having a lot much more vascularity than Layne does) and plus to that, he is not possessing a classic steroid gut that many monsters nowadays have, this is why I definitely couldn’t find any signs of using HGH as well. This guy doesn’t seem to use steroids or HGH because usually bodybuilders use both, or at least one of these compounds.
Nonetheless, I still need to mention the fact that there are some guys that are taking steroids (in case they are lucky enough, who are not experiencing any external symptoms at all. These are very rare cases but they still occur. Usually, the external symptoms are giving away a steroid user because they have at least one but usually several symptoms. Such external symptoms that can be seen on a juicer’s body typically include: acne; bloating; gyno; super dry; flushed skin; excessive vascularity; overgrown traps and / or shoulders; steroid gut and some others.
A lot of the steroid users are going to have at least a few of those side effects, nonetheless, there are still some rare cases when they would avoid getting any of the symptoms I mentioned. But in addition to that, there are some natural guys that may have one or two of those symptoms while not ever taking anything at all. This is the reason why I think that simply checking a person’s body for external symptoms simply isn’t enough and it is not an accurate way of definitely saying that a person is on steroids or is not. That is why, I am usually checking the body transformation or gains timeline of the person which is a more accurate way of telling.
In the photo that I have shared above, you can see what Layne Norton used to look like in the past (as much as I can assume, that’s the photo of him before he has ever started to lift weights) but the photo on the right is of him nowadays, he does look jacked. From as much as it seems, it does look as if he managed to gain approximately 60 lbs of muscles over the years and that’s huge.
We do know very well that people who are having really good genetics and are naturally jacked, are going to look pretty swole even before they are ever going to ever lift weights. A very good example is Chris Hemsworth who was looking as if he spent his life in gym while he never touched an iron. He has been looking already big and jacked before he has ever started to train for Thor. I guess there’s no need to mention that this guy got extremely big after he regularly started to work out in order to play Thor where he put at least 20 lbs of muscles.
With this being said, those people who are being blessed with some amazing genetics are always going to tend to look really big even before they are ever going to start to lift off. If they do start to lift off then they are going to put on some weight, but pretty much the same amount of muscles as all the rest of us will.
With this being said, we can notice that in the left photo *before* we can see that Layne Norton is having some very average genetics. With this being said I think that for becoming as muscular as this guy is now, he would have need to have some good genetics, or at least he would need to train and to eat a lot, much more and even differently to everyone else on the earth which is going to allow him to make twice the gains he got. It is pretty clear that even though Layne is a pretty smart guy with PhD, he doesn’t actually claim to have come up with some kind of a revolutionary method of building up muscle that it is much more effective and that nobody else in the world has ever discovered it and nobody following this method.
So, in the end, the only way that I would be able to say that it make sense of his 60 lbs of muscle gains, it is that he did used steroids. When a newbie bodybuilder is going go starting to lift off weights, he is going to gain roughly 20 lbs of muscle. A steroid user is usually going to gain approximately 40 to 50 lbs of muscle. Now, just add these and it is all going to be perfectly logical.
Norton is known to have competed in the IFPA and NGA bodybuilding competitions. As much as we all know, both of these federations are having drug testing protocols which means that you shouldn’t be using anything by the time you compete in them, however, none of them require you to be a lifetime drug free bodybuilder. The IFPA is stating the list of anabolic steroid substances that is going to disqualify an athlete on their website, however it is also stating in the brackets: cannot have been used within 7 years of contest date. I am going to share the link of this at the end of article for those interested. the NGA is also requiring you to be an absolutely natural bodybuilder 7 years before you can participate to their competitions and the athletes are going to need to undergo some lie detectors and urine samples as well.
With this being said, there may be a person who is on whatever his heart wishes – the rainbow of steroids, taking them for 10 years straight, then come off them (while still looking very jacked, obviously) and soon later to compete in a NGA or IFPA competition and to be labelled as a “natural” bodybuilder. Am I the only one who doesn’t find this fair?
In addition to that, I must mention here that during the time when Layne Norton has set the national record of the deadlift 668 llb, he has been beating steroid users in the process. That’s all due to the fact that the federation where has been competing in was the APF and I have found information on their official website where they are stating that APF is not using drug test. Check the link at the end of the article. But here’s a screenshot proving it:
That’s why, if Layne is actually natural, then I doubt that he would have want to be competing against other bodybuilders that are steroid users, simply due to the fact that it is not that same level. you just can’t beat up all naturally a steroid user. So to *keep up* you’ve got to use steroids as well. but even if so, I have some really big doubts that Layne was able to whoop some of the strongest guys up there in the whole country that are juiced up in the time that is 100% natural AND having average genetics. That’s just out of space. That’s because natural guys’ strength levels are by far not the same compared to somebody who is being on gears. In addition to that, a natural guy that is just stronger than someone on steroids is something, but to find an absolutely natural guy who’s able to deadlift more than a juiced up, strong and jacked up guy – is another thing.
So, is Layne on Steroids?
Layne Norton has competed in some bodybuilding shows but as much as we know, none of them are requiring to be a lifetime natural, so there are chances he used steroids before competing. In addition to that, I think that he may have used them since he gained around 60 lbs of muscle since he’s been lifting, something that out of normal, especially for someone with average genetics.
My opinion – Layne Norton has been juicing when he has been younger, he has got some good size from doing it and then he has stopped. This is explaining both how he keeps away the steroidal side effects and how he is able to compete in bodybuilding shows. Although he may have used some steroids, I am more than sure that he has worked out extremely hard in order to maintain most of the strength and the size that he managed to gain and to allow him to be able to compete in various bodybuilding/ power lifting competitions with amazing success that he had (and then again, that’s all while he seem to have average genetics).
Once again, even though there is still some evidence which can prove that Layne could have used steroids, this simply doesn’t mean that he should be judged. The guy has been working extremely hard and plus to that, the guy is a super intelligent person and I am pretty sure that there are a lot of gym rats that are having a lot of things to learn from Layne. In addition to that, taking a look at what he looks like nowadays, with seemingly less than average genetics, it is an amazing achieved he managed to reach to this level and such a physique – without years of hard working, steroids won’t help you too much.
What are the steroids that are likely to have been used?
Layne hasn’t got huge traps and he hasn’t got unrealistic muscle mass. He also hasn’t got any visible side effects. Instead, he got really powerful with super strength. That’s why I think that there are some pretty big chances he has used testosterone only. A few cycles of this compound are quite enough to help a guy to gain 40 or so lbs, and that’s pretty much what Layne seemed to have gained after he plateaued from newbie gains. The testosterone is one pretty popular stuff among bodybuilders and especially for beginners as it is one that does not cause a “full set” of side effects. This is one main reason why it is pretty hard to understand if someone’s on testosterone or if he has ever used it, especially if used it in small doses.
Do you still think that Layne Norton is natural? Tell your answer in the comments. If so, do you think that PhD in nutrition has helped him achieve such a, seemingly, “out of space” muscle mass?
Here are the links that I promised and the sources that helped me writing of the article: