Top 15 Natural Bodybuilders from Both Modern and Old School Eras

Discover the top natural bodybuilders who have conquered their limits without steroids. Be inspired by their incredible journeys!

Top Natural Bodybuilders
Top Natural Bodybuilders

Finding the best natural bodybuilders can be challenging. Some are under-recognized champions, while others have made notable strides without the use of steroids or advanced supplements.

This article will introduce you to ten outstanding natural bodybuilders who’ve achieved greatness through discipline and dedication. Stay tuned to draw inspiration from their journeys and learn how they’ve mastered both their bodies and minds.

Key Takeaways

  • Paul Krueger, Brandon Lirio, Meshack Ochieng, Derek Joe, Ron Williams, John Hansen, Komang Arnawa, Philip Ricardo Jr., Kiyoshi Moody, and Rob Terry are among the top 10 natural bodybuilders from modern era.
  • Natural bodybuilders achieve their physiques without steroids or performance – enhancing drugs.
  • These athletes emphasize health and ethics in the sport of bodybuilding by competing in drug – free competitions that require substance testing.
  • Old-school natural bodybuilders like Eugen Sandow, Bobby Pandour, Al Treloar, Maxick and Charles Atlas continue to inspire with their dedication to drug-free training.

Top 10 Natural Bodybuilders

The top 10 natural bodybuilders include Paul Krueger, Brandon Lirio, Meshack Ochieng, Derek Joe, Ron Williams, John Hansen, Komang Arnawa, Philip Ricardo Jr., Kiyoshi Moody, and Rob Terry.

1. Paul Krueger

Paul Krueger
Paul Krueger / Facebook

Paul Krueger is a big name in natural bodybuilding. He won the 2021 Natural Olympia and earned his Pro card just before that. Paul does not use performance-enhancing drugs. His body shows hard work and pure power.

These wins put him among the top 10 natural bodybuilders in the world. That’s all because of his strong, healthy body and his non-stop efforts. Fans look up to Paul as one of the best athletes who choose real strength over quick fixes.

Yes, he is such a role model!

2. Brandon Lirio

Brandon Lirio is a star in natural bodybuilding. He holds three Mr. Natural Olympia wins and two Mr. Universe titles. These victories make him one of the top natural bodybuilders in history.

He built his strong, balanced body with no help from drugs. His muscular physique stands out because it’s well-formed and even all over. This shows that he sticks to his workout routine and eats right too.

His great success tells us he knows how to train for fitness the right way.

In each contest, Brandon stays at the top of his game without drugs on board. Each high rank he earns helps show his tireless commitment to true fitness.

3. Meshack Ochieng

Meshack Ochieng
Meshack Ochieng / Instagram

Meshack Ochieng is a top natural bodybuilder from Kenya. People often call him “The Natural Ronnie Coleman”. He started his training at home using stone dumbbells and barbells. He didn’t use any drugs to help him get bigger or stronger.

His hard work and love for the sport put him among the best non-steroid bodybuilders in the world.

4. Derek Joe

Derek Joe is an impressive natural bodybuilder who has made a name for himself in the industry. In 2021, he achieved a remarkable feat by winning the Natural Olympia Men’s Classic Physique Open competition.

What sets Derek apart is that he is relatively new to the industry but managed to emerge as a champion. His success highlights his dedication and talent in the field of natural bodybuilding, making him one of the top natural bodybuilders to watch out for.

5. Ron Williams

Ron Williams
Ron Williams

Ron Williams is highly respected and accomplished in the field. He has won an impressive 250 natural bodybuilding competitions, including prestigious titles like Mr.

Natural World, Mr. Natural Olympia, and Mr. Natural Universe. Ron’s consistent muscle growth and performance without using steroids showcase his dedication and hard work. His success in the world of natural bodybuilding makes him a role model for aspiring athletes looking to achieve greatness through natural means.

6. John Hansen

John Hansen
Meshack Ochieng / Instagram

John Hansen is a well-known name in the world of natural bodybuilding. He has achieved great success and is recognized as one of the top natural bodybuilders. John became the first-ever winner of the Natural Olympia in 1998, and he has also won the Natural Universe title three times.

His accomplishments in natural bodybuilding have earned him respect and association with other accomplished natural athletes. John Hansen’s dedication to fitness and physique development make him an inspiration for aspiring natural bodybuilders everywhere.

7. Komang Arnawa

Komang Arnawa
Komang Arnawa

Komang Arnawa natural bodybuilders is known for his impressive achievements as a natural bodybuilder, including being the second bodybuilder of Asian descent to win the Natural Mr.

Olympia title. Komang stands out for his incredible size, symmetrical physique, full muscles, and excellent conditioning. His success in the world of natural bodybuilding showcases his dedication and hard work.

8. Philip Ricardo Jr.

Philip Ricardo Jr. is a renowned natural bodybuilder who has made a name for himself in the industry. He has achieved great success, being a four-time Natural Olympia champion. As one of the top natural bodybuilders, his exceptional physique and competitive accomplishments are recognized by many.

Philip’s dedication to the sport is evident through his impressive achievements, and he serves as an inspiration to aspiring bodybuilders. His presence in this list showcases his talent and hard work in the field of natural bodybuilding.

9. Kiyoshi Moody

Kiyoshi Moody
Kiyoshi Moody

Kiyoshi Moody has an impressive physique and has achieved great success in his career. Kiyoshi Moody won the Natural Olympia title for six consecutive years, from 2009 to 2014.

His consistent performance and consecutive wins have made him a standout athlete among natural bodybuilders. Kiyoshi Moody’s achievements and recognition in the industry have earned him a top ranking among the best natural bodybuilders.

10. Rob Terry

Rob Terry is a highly accomplished natural bodybuilder, having won the prestigious Natural Olympia championship not once, but twice. What sets Rob apart is his journey from being a professional wrestler to becoming a renowned figure in the world of bodybuilding.

Included in the list of top natural bodybuilders, Rob Terry’s success showcases his dedication to pursuing a healthier and drug-free approach to the sport. His achievements serve as inspiration for aspiring bodybuilders who want to build muscle and reach their goals without relying on performance-enhancing drugs.

Inspiring Old School Natural Bodybuilders

Eugen Sandow, Bobby Pandour, Al Treloar, Maxick, and Charles Atlas are just a few of the pioneering natural bodybuilders who continue to inspire with their impressive physiques and dedication to drug-free training.

1. Eugen Sandow: The Father of Modern Bodybuilding

Eugen Sandow
Eugen Sandow

Eugen Sandow is known as the “Father of Modern Bodybuilding.” He was a bodybuilding legend and a pioneering figure in the fitness world. With his iconic physique and inspiring role model status, he promoted natural fitness and dedicated training.

Sandow’s emphasis on physical excellence without the use of performance-enhancing drugs aligns with the principles of natural bodybuilding. Standing at 5’9″ (175 cm) tall and weighing between 185-195 pounds, he had an impressive chest measurement of 48 inches, a waist measurement of 30 inches, and biceps that measured 18 inches.

His dedication to traditional bodybuilding values continues to inspire others in their pursuit of a non-drug enhanced physique and old school aesthetic.

2. Bobby Pandour: The Pioneering Natural Bodybuilder

Bobby Pandour
Bobby Pandour

Bobby Pandour was a trailblazing natural bodybuilder who had one of the best physiques of his era. Instead of relying on weight training, Pandour focused on gymnastics for muscle building.

His approach to bodybuilding emphasized natural methods and techniques, highlighting the potential for impressive results without the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Through his dedication and commitment to natural bodybuilding, Bobby Pandour helped establish a foundation for the sport and inspired future generations of athletes.

3. Al Treloar: The Trailblazer of Natural Physiques

Al Treloar
Al Treloar

Al Treloar, a name that stands tall in the world of natural bodybuilding. He made history by winning America’s first large-scale physique competition back in 1904. But his contributions went beyond just winning titles.

Al Treloar served as the Director of the Los Angeles Athletics Club for an impressive 42 years. It was through his success and influence that he paved the way for the natural bodybuilding movement we see today.

Al Treloar’s dedication to fitness and his achievements inspired old school natural bodybuilders to strive for natural physiques. His impact on the industry continues to be felt, even after all these years.

Athletes in the world of bodybuilding look up to him as an inspiration and a role model.

4. Max Sick: The Pioneer of Muscle Control

Max Sick aka Maxick is known as a pioneer of muscle control in the bodybuilding world. He popularized the concept and developed the Maxalding system, which focused on using mental focus and concentration to enhance muscle development.

Maxick’s teachings emphasized proper breathing techniques for muscle control and development. With his emphasis on the mind-muscle connection, Maxick influenced many natural bodybuilders who wanted to maximize their training results without relying on steroids or other artificial methods.

His innovative approach continues to inspire aspiring bodybuilders today.

5. Charles Atlas: The Dynamic Strength Icon

Charles Atlas
Charles Atlas /

Charles Atlas is an inspiring figure in the world of old school natural bodybuilding. Known as the dynamic strength icon, he is celebrated for his natural approach to building strength and muscle.

Unlike many bodybuilders of his time, Charles Atlas focused on using bodyweight exercises and resistance training to achieve his impressive physique. His training philosophy emphasized not just gaining muscle mass, but also developing functional strength and overall fitness.

Today, Charles Atlas continues to be a source of inspiration for those looking to build a strong, healthy body through natural means.

The Distinction Between Natural Bodybuilders and Steroid Users

Natural bodybuilders achieve their incredible physiques without the use of steroids, highlighting their achievements without performance-enhancing drugs and emphasizing health and ethics in the sport.

Read on to discover more about this distinction and why it matters.

Achievements without Steroids

Natural bodybuilders have achieved remarkable feats without the use of steroids. These impressive athletes have proven that dedication, hard work, and a commitment to their health can lead to incredible success in the sport.

For example, Paul Krueger recently won the 2021 Natural Olympia just weeks after earning his Pro card. Brandon Lirio is a three-time Mr. Natural Olympia and two-time Mr. Universe champion, showcasing his exceptional talent without any performance-enhancing substances.

Derek Joe also made waves by winning the 2021 Natural Olympia Men’s Classic Physique Open, despite being relatively new to the industry. These achievements highlight the immense skill and determination of natural bodybuilders who prioritize clean competition and ethical practices in their pursuit of greatness.

Thriving in Natural Bodybuilding Competitions

Natural bodybuilding competitions provide a platform for athletes to showcase their hard work and dedication without the use of steroids. These competitions, such as the Natural Olympia and Mr.

Natural Universe, are highly competitive and attract some of the best natural bodybuilders in the world. Athletes like Paul Krueger, Brandon Lirio, and Derek Joe have proven their skills by winning prestigious titles in these competitions.

Ron Williams stands out with an impressive record of 250 wins in natural bodybuilding contests, including victories at Mr. Natural World and Mr. Natural Olympia. These accomplished athletes inspire others to pursue their goals while emphasizing health and ethics in the sport.

Emphasizing Health and Ethics

Natural bodybuilding is a sport that places great emphasis on health and ethics. Unlike steroid users, natural bodybuilders focus on achieving their muscle development and physique enhancement goals without relying on performance-enhancing substances.

They compete in drug-free bodybuilding competitions where substance testing is mandatory to ensure fair play. By participating in clean sport and adhering to doping regulations, natural bodybuilders promote a positive image of the sport while maintaining their own integrity.

Through their dedication to health and ethical practices, they strive to inspire others and prove that incredible physical transformations can be achieved without resorting to steroid abuse or other harmful methods.

Tips for Becoming the Best Natural Bodybuilder

To become the best natural bodybuilder, one must possess qualities such as dedication, discipline, genetics, knowledge of nutrition and training, consistency, and motivation.

Dedication and Discipline: The Pillars of Success

Dedication and discipline are the key qualities that make natural bodybuilders successful. These individuals have a strong commitment to their goals, showing self-control and persistence in their training routines.

They understand that consistency and hard work are essential for long-term progress. With a focus on nutrition and training knowledge, they maximize their potential and strive to achieve greatness in a healthy way.

Natural bodybuilders possess the determination, self-motivation, willpower, and resilience needed to overcome challenges along their journey towards building an impressive physique.

Genetics and Body Structure: Building Blocks for Greatness

Genetics and body structure play a vital role in the journey of becoming a top natural bodybuilder. These factors determine our inherent potential for muscle growth, symmetry, and overall physique.

Some individuals are naturally blessed with favorable genetic traits like fast metabolism, wide shoulders, or strong muscular development. However, it’s important to remember that genetics alone do not guarantee success in natural bodybuilding; they simply provide a foundation upon which greatness can be built.

Renowned natural bodybuilders such as Paul Krueger, Brandon Lirio, and Meshack Ochieng have shown that with dedication and discipline, anyone can achieve impressive results regardless of their genetic makeup.

While some may have certain advantages due to genetics and body structure, the key lies in maximizing one’s potential through proper training techniques and nutrition strategies.

Knowledge of Nutrition and Training: Maximizing Potential

To become the best natural bodybuilder, having knowledge of nutrition and training is crucial. Understanding what to eat and how to train can greatly maximize your potential. Nutrition knowledge involves knowing which foods provide the right nutrients for muscle growth and overall health.

It’s important to fuel your body with balanced meals that include protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Additionally, training expertise is necessary to develop specific muscle groups and improve overall strength and conditioning.

Learning proper form, intensity techniques, and progressive overload are key aspects of effective training. By acquiring this knowledge, you’ll be able to optimize your physique naturally.

Consistency and Motivation: The Key to Long-Term Progress

Consistency and motivation are essential for long-term progress in natural bodybuilding. To become the best natural bodybuilder, it takes dedication, persistence, and a strong work ethic.

Natural bodybuilders rely on their genetics and hormone levels to achieve strength and muscle gains. They stay committed to their training routines and nutrition plans, showing up day after day, even when it gets tough.

Consistency is key in order to see continuous improvements over time. Motivation plays a vital role as well, pushing them to overcome challenges and reach new goals. By staying consistent and motivated, natural bodybuilders can make significant long-term progress towards becoming the best versions of themselves.

Training Tips for Natural Bodybuilders

To become the best natural bodybuilder, there are some important training tips to keep in mind. Here are six tips to help you on your journey:

  1. Focus on compound exercises: Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups at once, allowing you to maximize your time in the gym. Examples include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups.
  2. Prioritize progressive overload: To continue making progress, you need to gradually increase the weight or intensity of your workouts over time. This helps stimulate muscle growth and strength gains.
  3. Train with high intensity: Push yourself during each workout by lifting heavy weights and challenging your muscles. Aim for shorter rest periods between sets to keep the intensity high.
  4. Include both strength and hypertrophy training: Strength training focuses on heavy weights and low reps, while hypertrophy training involves moderate weights and higher reps. Combining both approaches can help build both strength and size.
  5. Incorporate variety in your workouts: Don’t get stuck doing the same routine every day. Mix up your exercises, rep ranges, and training methods to keep your body guessing and prevent plateauing.
  6. Allow for adequate rest and recovery: Your muscles grow when you’re resting, not when you’re working out. Make sure to take rest days between sessions to allow for proper recovery and avoid overtraining.

Nutrition Tips for Natural Bodybuilders

Eating the right foods is important for natural bodybuilders to fuel their workouts and promote muscle growth. Here are some nutrition tips to help you on your journey:

  • Focus on lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and tofu. Protein helps repair and build muscle.
  • Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also provide fiber for digestion.
  • Incorporate complex carbohydrates like whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes. They provide energy for intense workouts.
  • Don’t forget healthy fats! Include sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. They support hormone production and aid in recovery.
  • Hydration is key! Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support optimal performance.
  • Prioritize post-workout nutrition by consuming a protein-rich meal or shake within an hour after training. This helps with muscle recovery.
  • Consider working with a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition to develop a customized meal plan.


What does it mean to be a natural bodybuilder?

Being a natural bodybuilder means that an individual achieves their physique without the use of performance-enhancing substances such as steroids or other banned substances.

How can I become a natural bodybuilder?

To become a natural bodybuilder, you need to focus on regular strength training exercises, follow a balanced diet with adequate protein intake, get enough rest for recovery, and stay committed to your fitness goals.

Can women be natural bodybuilders too?

Yes, women can also participate in natural bodybuilding competitions and achieve impressive physiques through disciplined training, proper nutrition, and dedication to their fitness journey.


In the world of natural bodybuilding, there are some truly remarkable athletes who have achieved greatness without the use of steroids. From Paul Krueger to Rob Terry, these individuals have shown what can be accomplished through dedication and hard work.

They serve as inspiration for both old-school bodybuilders and aspiring newcomers looking to make their mark in the industry. With knowledge of nutrition, training, consistency, and motivation, anyone can strive to become the best natural bodybuilder they can be.

So let’s celebrate these natty lifters and continue to promote clean and drug-free competitions in the world of fitness.

Published on August 6, 2023 at 2:30 pm
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