The fitness community is enamored by Sam Sulek, a bodybuilding influencer known for his jacked physique and intense training. In a recent YouTube video, Dr. Chris Raynor explained why Sulek wasn’t responsible for younger audiences flocking to steroids. In addition, he discussed the health ramifications of long-term performance-enhancing drug use.
“Who is at fault? It would be easy to wag a finger at Sam, and I’ve heard it said that he’s a bad influence on young aspiring lifters and it might increase the likelihood of them turning to PEDs,” shares Dr. Raynor.
In just a year, Sam Sulek has emerged as a massive star and it’s not just because of his stacked body and impressive muscularity. His laidback demeanor combined with his unconventional dieting options resulted in considerable fanfare, especially online, where memes about his life have regularly gone viral.
Sam Sulek’s hype has only grown as of late with celebrities and bodybuilders discussing his impact on fitness. Joe Rogan claims he could hear the steroids in the 21-year-old’s voice whereas athletes like Nick Walker believe he might be sending a dangerous message to younger audiences. Given the backlash from athletes and fans online, Dr. Chris Raynor gave his verdict on whether Sulek is sending fans down a dark path.
Doctor Raynor Talks Health Risks of Prolonged Steroid Use
Even though he praised Sulek for his physique, Raynor highlighted the potential dangers of long-term steroid use.
“Now, no one is denying that what he can do in the gym is impressive but as you’d expect, his rise to prominence has attracted a healthy mix of praise, criticism, and well, flat-out concern,” said Dr. Chris Raynor.
“The rather large elephant in the room his PED usage — to my knowledge, Sam has not yet spoken publicly about this,” said Dr. Raynor. “Unsurprisingly the internet is in pretty unanimous agreement that his physique is in fact fueled by something more than just caloric surplus. And I mean, the show definitely fits.”
As for some of the undesirable side effects caused by steroids, Dr. Raynor mentioned dependency, addiction, and physical changes including gynecomastia, enlarged breast tissue, and baldness.
“Additionally, there’s a heightened potential for dependency and addiction as well as the development of physical changes like gynecomastia, enlarged breast tissue, and baldness.”
Out of all of the side effects, Raynor specified that high blood pressure and atherosclerosis are the most dangerous as they increase the chances of heart disease.
“Of these symptoms, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis, which both contribute to increased risks of heart disease are most concerning. Because they can put you well, six feet underground.
Steroids can lead to an increase in blood pressure of hypertension due to their impact on the retention of sodium and water in the body.”
In addition, Raynor explained that steroid use disrupts normal growth patterns for those who have not fully matured into adults.
“Steroid use can disrupt normal growth patterns, stunt height, cause premature closer of growth plates and lead to irreversible physical changes. Hormonal imbalances during this crucial period can result in severe and lasting consequences, including fertility issues, cardiovascular problems, mood disorders, and even increased susceptibility to certain cancers. All of that on top of everything else we just talked about.”
“Sounds to me like just don’t do it.”
Doctor Says If Sam Sulek ‘Was Gone’ Younger Fans Would Still Try Steroids: ‘They Want to Be Freaks’
According to Dr. Raynor, younger fans would still use PEDs even if Sam Sulek didn’t exist, adding that they would just attempt to copy other notable names such as Chris Bumstead, Derek Lunsford, and Phil Heath.
“If a young person wants to compete at [pro bodybuilding] at some point it’s likely they will be taking steroids. Even those that don’t plan to compete but want to improve their physique are drawn to PED usage.
“If someone who is impressed by Sam’s physique decides to take PEDs, do you think that if Sam were gone, they wouldn’t do so? They still might become impressed with someone else.
Maybe Chris Bumstead, Derek Lunsford, Phil Heath, or Ramon Dino, but I’m not blaming them either. Since if they were gone, I believe the statement would still hold true.”
Instead of blaming Sulek, the doctor pointed to younger men who are ‘enamored’ by physiques, and because of that, they are willing to take PEDs to enhance their bodies.
“The problem is that it’s possible for young men to become enamored with a physique to a point where they are actually willing to put their health at rick in order to transform their bodies. The implied value hierarchy places physique above long-term optimal health.”
“Sam Sulek is just one person in a long-standing tradition. There is a tradition of being inspired by something or someone to get absolutely yolked.”
Simply put, Dr. Raynor shared that people don’t follow Sulek for health, but for his personality, incredible strength, and jacked physique.
“If we use the argument that what bodybuilders are doing is unhealthy in order to discourage people from bodybuilding then we misunderstand this fact. We are barking up the wrong proverbial tree. They want to be freaks. And in many cases, health is a secondary priority if even in the conversation at all.”
“Can I realistically expect Sam to be giving sound advice related to health and longevity? One thing I found interesting in his interview with Fouad and Paul, was just how open-minded Sam was whenever Fouad took a critical tone,” Raynor said.
“Health is not why people follow Sam. It’s his personality. It’s the no-nonsense attitude. But let’s be honest, without incredible strength and more importantly the physique, it wouldn’t be the same.”
Ending the discussion, Raynor credited Sulek for his instincts while lifting heavy.
“Sure he’s lifting a crap-ton of weight on many of his lifts but that’s legitimately what he can do for relatively high repetitions. He seems to have relatively good instincts for gauging how much weight he needs to lift in order to land in his desired range. He’s not too proud to drop the weight off the bar to get that done.”
For Raynor, he doesn’t see Sulek “doing this for a long time.”
“Do I get the vibe he will be doing this for a long time, also… no.”
Aside from Dr. Raynor, former eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman also discussed the Sam Sulek hype train. Overall, Coleman was left impressed by many of Sulek’s lifts and specified that his physique was the furthest thing from natural during a recent YouTube video.
There’s no denying that Sam Sulek’s discussions make for captivating content. As for Dr. Raynor, he doesn’t blame Sulek for influencing the younger generation but stressed the dangers of using PEDs for an extended time.