Steve Cook is 31 year old American fitness model/bodybuilder who competes in the men's physique category at the Mr Olympia (alongside other big names such as: Jeff Seid, Jeremy Buendia and Sadik Hdzovic).
Steve is sponsored by supplement company Optimum Nutrition and is a Bodybuilding.com sponsored athlete. Steve also has his own clothing brand – Swoldier Nation; a term he uses to describe his army of fans.
It's fair to say that Steve Cook has a strong fan base with over 800k fans on his Facebook account and people forming lengthy queues to see him at various bodybuilding expos.
The reason why Steve has such a big following is down to 3 reasons:
- He's SWOLE
- He claims natural
- He has an infectiously friendly personality that is obvious to see in his YouTube videos.
There's no debating that Steve Cook is a beast.
Here are his stats:
Height: 6ft 1
Body fat: 7%
Arms: 19 inches
He's the same height as Simeon Panda and only 20lbs lighter at the same body fat percentage.
…Not bad going at all.
There's no trace of Steve talking much about being natural or his views on steroids, but he does indirectly claim natty via his bodyspace account where he says,
“I want the to go down as the best natural physiques ever. I inspire to look like Steve Reeves, Frank Zane and Bob Paris. I want to inspire other to do the same.”
Not the most literate message ever written, but we can just about establish that Steve is claiming natty from his bio.
If there's one thing I've learnt from analysing various bodybuilders; it's that you can't trust what they say if they claim to be 100% natural.
Several people have obviously lied about their steroid-use for seemingly selfish and unselfish reasons.
Some do it to build their own brand (Lazar). And some believe it's important to be a role model for kids and thus don't want to promote anabolic steroids (Von Moger, Dwayne Johnson).
So has Steve juiced to get the physique he has today or is he a true natty?
Steve doesn't look to have gained any size ever since he left high school. Here's a picture of young Steve:
His arms are still JACKED, if not a little bigger than they are today.
In this picture Steve said he weighed a whopping 235lbs (over 20lbs heavier than he is today).
Steve has just learned how to diet down and get more ripped over the years, rather than adding more mass.
So it's obvious to me that since this first image was taken, Steve hasn't taken any steroids.
However, is it possible that Steve took, say testosterone, during his high school years to look like this initially?
It's likely he wasn't using anything during high school to get jacked because if he was, he surely would've used more stuff later on, especially after choosing to become a bodybuilder.
In which case he'd have put on even more size with additional cycles.
But he hasn't.
No Steroid Symptoms
If you browse through pictures of Steve, his body has a natural look to it. He has great skin, doesn't have any bloating, no acne and his shoulders and traps aren't overwhelming in comparison to the rest of his body.
Steve also has a bit of a baby face.
When guys hop on the gear their face usually changes in structure, becoming increasingly masculine.
Here's a picture of how hormones (anabolic steroids) can alter how your face looks.
The left picture is a depiction of a high-testosterone male. And the right is of the same person with lower levels of the male hormone.
Steroids that boost your test levels can cause you to have a wider jawline, creating a more square look to your face.
Eye brows also become noticeably thicker with higher T.
As you can see with Jaco De Bruyn's transformation he went from having a young face in 2010, to looking like an extremely masculine man within the space of a year. This effect on test levels ‘turning you from a boy into a man' is why anabolics can appear to age you, because you'll look more mature.
However, if we compare Steve's face back from when he wasn't a pro to today, his facial structure is exactly the same.
Has Steve Been Drug Tested?
As previously mentioned, Steve has competed in the Olympia Men's Physique category. And he's taken part in NPC competitions.
The NPC “pride themselves in being a natural bodybuilding federation”, despite not having any drug testing protocol on their official website.
After searching on a few forums, I found some people who have competed with the NPC and they said they have tested athletes in the past directly after competitions via urinalysis (1). These tests are extremely easy to pass if you happen to take steroids and know what you're doing.
All you need to do is learn the detection time for each steroid you use, which means understanding how long it takes to clear your system. Thus you stop running it so the substance cannot be found on the day of competition.
The Mr Olympia Men's Physique category also has no drug testing policy on the IFBB website.
So Steve may have at some point performed some drug tests in his life, but they certainly weren't rigorous.
And so this doesn't really provide proof that he's natty or on steroids. There aren't many credible federations out there that do truly test for steroids.
Steve hasn't gained any size since he left high school.
And this is often the case with genetically gifted nattys: they grow loads when their young/first start going to the gym and then their progress swiftly comes to a halt.
…Not like that matters when you already look like a Greek God.
Steve is also aesthetic with great skin, isn't overly shredded/dry and has no bloating whatsoever.
He simply has incredible genetics for building muscle and has made a name for himself by fulfilling his genetic potential – dieting hard to maintain 7% body fat all year round.