Every year, a new fitness influencer or personality takes over the industry with unrivaled popularity. Last year it was Brian Johnson, well known as Liver King, and in 2023, talk surrounding bodybuilder Sam Sulek has reached an all-time high. In a recent episode of Bradley Martyn’s Raw Talk Podcast, Martyn and Dr. Layne Norton discussed Liver King’s and Sulek’s use of steroids.
In 2022, Johnson’s alter-ego, Liver King, emerged from the shadows with a shredded physique and raw meat diet. Following the nine ancestral tenets that center around family, community, and health, Liver King became one of the hottest names in fitness, until his steroid cycle leaked to the public, thanks to YouTuber Derek of More Plates More Dates.
Since that groundbreaking discovery, Johnson has attempted to earn the public’s trust back. While he attempted to quit performance-enhancing drugs, the 45-year-old returned to his old ways recently. Sam Sulek, meanwhile, took a much more casual approach to garnering fame.
Regularly posting gym content with just an iPhone and a simple microphone, fans have gotten behind Sulek and his laid-back personality. However, given his ripped physique at 21 years old, some believe he’s using excessive amounts of steroids.
Layne Norton is a science-based fitness coach and doctor, boasting years of experience in the field. He joined fellow internet personality Bradley Martyn to lay out his thoughts on Sulek’s and Liver King’s use of PEDs.
“He Is A Young Guy Who Is Taking A Lot of Steroids” – Layne Norton on Sam Sulek
Even though Sulek has yet to comment on whether he uses PEDs, Layne Norton was convinced he used “a lot.”
“I’ve only seen what other people have said about it [Sam Sulek]. From my understanding, he’s a young guy who is taking a lot of steroids,” shared Layne Norton.
According to Bradley Martyn, Sulek’s throwback version of gym content has been a winning strategy.
“I don’t know if he’s taking a lot. I have no idea. He’s fuc**ng jacked and he’s young and he’s blowing the fu** up. He posts like to me what people posted like 10 years ago which is funny things all come back to cycles.
Everyone got tired of the hurrah, look at the nice edited and all this shit and this guy is just like tripod – look at me work fuc**ng really hard and take this shit really seriously.”
Martyn admits he doesn’t know exactly what Sulek takes but was “certain” he’s on a cycle.
“Do I know about his steroid usage? I don’t. I’d love to talk to him about it but yeah you see what people say, they are assuming because of his development at such a young age,” said Martyn. “I’m certain he takes steroids. I don’t know to what degree he takes them. It’s just the things interesting. His popularity is really interesting to me as far as how fast it went from zero to like millions.”
“This is going to sound weird. I kind of feel bad for him. Can you imagine getting the type of popularity you have now at age 18 or 19 or something like that? I’m really glad that it’s been a slow climb for me because typically when young kids get a lot of popularity and money, it does not end very well,” said Layne Norton.
“You just don’t have the maturity to be able to handle that stuff at such a young age,” said Norton.
“This guy is like super smart,” added Martyn.
Norton & Bradley Martyn Talk Liver King: ‘He Definitely Has Some Body Dysmorphia Going On’
As for Liver King, Norton touched on his rapid success and was blown away by the amount of growth hormone the influencer used.
“I’m sure if you met him he’s a perfectly nice guy,” said Norton. “This is not a person, this is a marketing company. They did, $100 million dollars dude! Now the emails from Derek came out and you can see the arch of what happened.”
“If you read some of the emails too he definitely has some body dysmorphia going on. That was like $10,000 of GH by itself!”
In addition, Norton mentioned that Liver King’s persona has always been an act, and warned that just because someone has over a million followers, doesn’t make them a credible source of information.
“He’s made his identity around this. He can’t admit that. If he did it would be hard for him to go back on it. Even when he started eating carbs again, he started eating honey and some fruit. He’s like ‘Oh, I felt better from an electrolyte perspective.’ It’s like no dude you feel better from eating carbs. And he can’t say that. Maybe he has changed his tune.”
“He was knocking on carbs for so long. Now the Liver King thing, honestly, I remember, people starting sending me his videos. I went to his page and he had 12,000 followers. I thought it was a joke, ‘Nobody is going to fall for this shit.’ I went back and it was a million followers, like fu** people. A lot of people were like, ‘I follow him just for entertainment.’ Okay cool, but you have to understand, you’re still helping him.”
“People go and see a million followers and they go, ‘Credible!'” says Norton.
Martyn and Norton aren’t the only capable minds in fitness discussing Sam Sulek’s potential use of steroids. Bodybuilding veteran Lee Priest also gave his thoughts on the subject. Overall, Priest found Sulek mature for his age and believes fan backlash regarding his physique stemmed from jealousy.
Bodybuilders have taken notice of Sulek’s potential, even the reigning five-time Classic Physique Olympia Chris Bumstead believes he’ll take over the world one day. While the extent to which Sulek utilizes gear is uncertain, both Martyn and Norton agree that he boasts an impressive physique.