There’s no doubt that Rich Froning has achieved some great success by becoming the “Fittest Man on Earth” four times by winning the CrossFit Games on multiple occasions. And that kind of success always draws attention from people who immediately say it’s all down to steroids.
While anabolic steroid use is widespread in the fitness industry, I find that making such claims without any substantial research is unfair to the guy.
That’s why I’ve spent the last few days going through his social media accounts to see if there’s any truth to the claims that his physique isn’t natural.
Here’s what I found.
Is Rich Froning Natty?
There’s no conclusive evidence to suggest that Rich Froning has taken steroids. He’s never admitted to taking steroids and has previously said “I don’t think steroids will help you that much in CrossFit”.
If you don’t believe Rich, then there are a few features of his physique which suggest that he is indeed natty.
Let’s take a look at these in more detail.
Reasons Why Rich Froning Looks Natty
No Evidence of Acne
In developing teenagers, acne is often caused by fluctuating hormones, like testosterone. And the same thing can happen to people who take anabolic steroids.
With steroid use, the skin change is quite sudden and noticeable and not easily hidden, especially if you’re an influencer who’s on camera a lot of the time.
It doesn’t look like Rich Froning suffers from skin problems, suggesting that he doesn’t take steroids.
Most bodybuilders desire popping veins. They’re a solid indicator of how much muscle and how little fat you have.
But certain types of steroids will produce those vascular veins even if you’re not working out.
Looking at Rich’s Instagram profile, you can see that he only really has veins popping out his biceps and forearms, which suggests that he’s natural.
Natural Shaped Pectorals
Ironically, anabolic steroids which increase testosterone and growth hormone have also been linked to men developing enlarged breast tissue.
It’s important to clarify that enlarged breast tissue and ripped pecs aren’t the same thing – here, we’re talking about soft breast tissue in the form of fat.
Looking at photos of Rich from over the years, there’s no evidence that he’s suffered from gyno or enlarged breast tissue.
No Sign Of Hair Loss
One of the most common problems with PEDs is that they may increase facial hair while decreasing head hair. Many steroid users hide this with a tightly cut hairstyle.
Looking through Rich’s Instagram, it’s clear to see that his head hair is still well intact and there’s no signs of baldness/hair loss.
This is another reason that suggests he’s natty.
One of the most common signs of steroid use are oversized shoulders. This is because the deltoids and traps in the upper back have a large number of androgen receptors.
As a result, you often see steroid users with shoulders which are out-of-proportion, and Rich’s shoulders appear to be proportional to the rest of his body.
Lack of HGH Gut
Human growth hormone (HGH) is often used as part of a steroid cycle. One of the side effects of this is that organs can swell up, and that pushes out the so-called HGH gut.
Looking at many different photos of Rich over the years, there’s no evidence that he suffers from HGH gut, which suggests that he doesn’t take HGH.
Reasonable Body Fat Levels
One of the easiest ways to catch out a fake natty is to see how their body fat levels change when they bulk.
No matter how gifted your genetics are and how much you train, bulking up whilst maintaining a sub 10% body fat is nearly impossible.
The fact that Rich seems to hover around a 10-12% body fat level after a bulk suggests that he doesn’t take steroids.
He would be much leaner if he did.
Is It Possible To Bulk Up Like Rich Froning Naturally?
In my opinion, it’s possible to achieve a physique like Rich Froning naturally.
While it will take a lot of time, patience, and persistence, it’s certainly achievable.
It’s clear that Rich eats a clean diet and trains consistently, so with the help of natural supplements and some good genetics, there’s no reason why he couldn’t have achieved his physique without steroid use.
- Rich Froning has never admitted to taking steroids and claims that they wouldn’t help that much in CrossFit.
- Looking at the totality of evidence, his physique appears natural, so I believe his claims.
- Despite his claims and his natural appearing physique, Rich has never actually posted any drug test results to prove his claim.
Thanks for reading!
I’ve been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I’ve gained 30 pounds of muscle, written hundreds of articles, and reviewed dozens of fitness supplements. As for my educational background, I’m a currently studying for my Active IQ Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.