How To Tell If Someone Is On Steroids
It is very common for people to have debates in the gym about who is on steroids and who isn't. Often it is the guys that have been dedicated to training and nutrition consistently for years that are accused of being on steroids. You also get the guys that are genetically gifted and grow just by looking at weights that get accused.
So how can you tell the difference between guys building muscle with steroids and guys that are natural?
The simply answer is you can never be 100%. However there are a few tell-tale signs that somebody is using steroids.
1. If someone at your gym puts muscle on ridiculously fast and has the strength to go with it, then the gains have likely been made through steroids. Note that beginners always put on size and strength quickly in the first few months of lifting, but they very rarely overtake intermediate (guys training for years on end) on size and strength within the first few months
2. Someone gets super lean and put on a lot of size quickly at the same time - a natural can't put on a lot of mass and get lean at the same time. Studies have proven that for an intermediate/advanced natural to put on size they must eat more calories than they expend - meaning they must gain some fat (even if it's a very small amount on a lean bulking phase). Therefore it isn't possible to get super lean and increase muscle mass dramatically at the same time - small increases in muscle mass perhaps in rare circumstances but generally no.
3. Someone has overly developed traps or other muscles. Different muscles have different amounts of androgen receptors such as the trapezius, therefore it is quite common to see bodybuilders in the gym with traps over developed compared to other muscle groups.
4. Acne or backne. A big out burst of acne can be heavily related to steroid use, especially bacne or backne (acne of the back). However, many other trainers also suffer from spots and spots on the back and they are natural. Especially young/teen gym goers that have high hormone levels anyway. The biggest tell tale sign is if someone was spot free and had good skin complexion suddenly gets an outburst of acne, usually spreading thickly in a group.
5. The big, shredded, party guy. Every gym has one. The guy that is loud in the gym, lifts ridiculously heavy weights, is huge and constantly talks. Always talks about partying, drinking alcohol every weekend and doesn't have a clue about nutrition or follows a diet. This guy is on steroids.
A suggestion on steroids inside your local gym - keep your opinion to yourself. The gym and training is a very personal sport. Accusing someone of steroids could offend them. Nobody wants to be the troll that is calling everyone out for being on steroids. Likewise, respect someone that is on steroids as it is their body and their choice. Use it as an opportunity to learn from them and gain knowledge about the non-natural way of bodybuilding.
The conclusion is that it isn't possible to tell if somebody is on steroids, unless they are competing in Mr. Olympia then it is a given. The best thing to do is focus on yourself and if you choose to be natural, be the best natural you can be.