The Mike O’HearnShow continue to broach challenging subjects. In the latest episode published to Generation Iron‘s YouTube channel on June 23, 2023, the show’s namesake sat across from return guest, American Health & Fitness host Clark Bartram.
O’Hearn and Bartram discussed training philosophy, unorthodox natural testosterone boostersand if Bartram deems peptides “natural.” Check it out below:
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Resist Industry Pressure
Bartram is a fitness personality who helps men over 50 improve their physiques. He’s an ISSA Master Trainer, a former marine, a fitness model, and a published fitness author. He and O’Hearn open the conversation in what is relatively standard for The Mike O’HearnShowdiscussing how they interact with the younger generation.
Recently, a six-foot, two-inch tall 18-year-old asked Bartram how to add more muscle mass to his physique. Bartram showed him O’Hearn’s physique, as O’Hearn stands the same height, and implored all youth not to be seduced by the faster results steroids supposedly offer; resist the social pressures of the bodybuilding industry.
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O’Hearn and Bartram on Testosterone
O’Hearn surrounds himself with people who help raise his adrenaline and testosterone levels in the gym, referencing how “fired up” certain lifters are to be around. Bartram suggested that these environments are favorable for intense training.
O’Hearn called out naysayers who only pay attention to variables that lower testosterone, such as bad diet and poor sleep, rather than look for natural ways to boost it. He and Bartram suggested cold plunges before a workout could raise testosterone levels, though more research is needed to support that. Cold water immersion has been shown to enhance recovery from cardio-based training, such as short sprints, but less so for weightlifting. (1)(2)
What About Peptides?
Clark Bartram says, “20 percent of the reason you look the way you look is your genetics. The other 80 percent is because of your lifestyle,” when discussing the difference between genetics and epigenetics. However, testosterone levels don’t correlate to building muscle. Otherwise, as O’Hearn notes, “every 20-year-old would be jacked.”
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Bartram’s target is to raise his testosterone levels back to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) — he’s currently at about 850 ng/dL. O’Hearn asks Bartram if Bartram considers peptides a natural approach to achieve that. Although Bartram declines, O’Hearn describes peptides as “a full amino acid set up to do a certain thing for your body.”
Bartram wants to raise his testosterone without additionaltery supplementation from peptides to ensure he achieves the results as a natural athlete. He took steroids in the 80s but has since steered clear of them. He exalts sleep as one of the best recovery methods, getting eight hours every night.
Similarly, O’Hearn is adjusting his testosterone levels, testing different protocols to raise them naturally. This includes examining blood sugar and cholesterol, among other data points. Ultimately, O’Hearn and Bartram want to represent what is possible in older athletes so others will believe it’s possible to make similar improvements.
Tabben M, Ihsan M, Ghoul N, Coquart J, Chaouachi A, Chaabene H, Tourny C, & Chamari K (2018). Cold Water Immersion Enhanced Athletes’ Wellness and 10-m Short Sprint Performance 24-h After a Simulated Mixed Martial Arts Combat. Frontiers in physiology, 91542. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.01542
Schimpchen J, Wagner M, Ferrauti A, Kellmann M, Pfeiffer M, & Meyer T (2017). Can Cold Water Immersion Enhance Recovery in Elite Olympic Weightlifters? An Individualized Perspective. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 31(6), 1569–1576. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001591
Featured image: @clarkbartram on Instagram