“We’re Not Doing It to Become Arnold”: 67-Year-Old Bodybuilding Veteran Slams TRT Critics Citing Health Benefits of the Therapy

Published 04/09/2023, 6:15 AM EDT

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TRT or Testosterone Replacement Therapy is one of the most controversial subjects that has always been shrouded by contention in bodybuilding. While some professional bodybuilders have been against it, others have been staunch supporters. Samir Bannout, the retired former IFBB Mr. Olympia (1983), bodybuilding coach, and author recently spoke in favor of TRT.

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The veteran appeared in an episode of The Muscle Maturity Podcast and made his support of the therapy clearly known. His reasons were simple. He cited its necessity in old age and the positive health effects. Although, TRT supporters have often agreed that it should be done under expert supervision. Nevertheless, Bannout came out to slam the critics shut!

Samir Bannout denounces TRT critics

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During Episode 39 of The Muscle Maturity Podcast, Samir Bannout, Nick Trigili, and John Hansen each gave their two cents on using TRT. The trio was of the consensus that if used judiciously, TRT is healthy, and might even be necessary for advanced age. Bannout said, “We’re not doing it to become Arnold or Sergio Oliva or winning. You do it, it will improve your health. You will be healthier when your testosterone is in the middle range or slightly above the middle.”

According to Mount Sinai, a healthcare system based out of New York, a healthy testosterone level in males is usually considered to be around 300 to 1000 nanograms per deciliter, though these are not the exact figures as they vary according to age and other factors. Bannout is of the opinion that maintaining this healthy level is essential for health. He said, “But if your range is way too low you’re stupid if you don’t. You’re stupid. You’re dumb if you don’t. So, you do that accordingly. You go get tested. If you weigh below on the scales, you need to do TRT whether you like it or not.”

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Bannout admitted that some people might be exceptions to this rule, and added, “Some people may be exempt because some people are genetic freaks, some could still be in the middle range or above even a 60 or 70. Some people but maybe one per 100,000 or every 5,000 people you may find one that have an okay range at that age.” Hansen and Trigili were also in agreement and equated TRT to medicine. But do others agree with this notion as well?

TRT and the bodybuilding community

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In an episode of the Cutler Cast podcast, Jay Cutler openly accepted resorting to TRT for the Fit for 50 challenge. He revealed that he was on “200 Cypionate a week”. Even though he openly accepted his TRT use, he also emphasized the fact that this hormone replacement therapy should only be undertaken after consulting appropriate experts. On the contrary, Iain Valliere, the five-time Pro Show winner, thinks that TRT is unnatural and is against it. His reasoning is that there is a reason why testosterone starts to decline as people age, a natural order that should not be messed with.

Samir Bannout recognized the fact that some people might not be comfortable taking artificial drugs. He had a solution for them as well. “In my opinion, you get tested. If you’re against using drugs you could use certain things like maybe HCG, use something like shilajit or maybe do Tongkat Ali. You can try natural stuff,” he said, “You can give it a chance and see if it enhanced your production naturally by all means. But most people cannot respond and it’s not good enough.”

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Ultimately, the conclusion of the discussion seemed to be that TRT should be used as a medicine, under proper supervision. Bannout, and some others as well, think that people might actually need TRT to be healthy, but the controversy around it has made it a taboo. While Samir Bannout tried to debunk the controversy surrounding the practice, it is still not clear if the bodybuilding community will totally accept the practice or not.

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Written by:

Apoorva Behl

590Articles

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Apoorva Behl is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a Master's degree in Law from the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi. Besides being a lawyer, she has a passion for reading and a penchant for writing.
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Edited by:

Jahnabi Choudhury

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