Former Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout has maintained some of the best analytical skills in the sport since stepping away from the stage. In a recent episode of The Muscle Maturity Podcast, Bannout hit back at the critics bashing the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
Samir Bannout led a successful career as a Men’s Open competitor. Having started in the 1970s, Bannout continued competing for over two decades until 1996 and then again for a comeback at the 2011 World Masters. He was a mainstay of the Mr. Olympia contests and found glory in 1983 when he secured the coveted Sandow trophy. However, he was at odds with the league the next year and fell out of the top five. He was later inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2002.
Since hanging up his posing trunks, Bannout has become an outspoken pundit renowned for lending his voice to the hot topics of bodybuilding. He weighed in on Samson Dauda’s dominant win at the 2023 Arnold Classic last month. He took issue with Dauda getting a perfect scorecard as some thought he was a little soft during prejudging. According to Bannout, Nick Walker should have got the nod from the judges due to his insane conditioning.
Bannout extended his support for bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger as the greatest competitor of all time. He believes Schwarzenegger boasted an unreal package of thin skin and quality muscle before the rise in growth hormone use.
Last month, Bannout opened up on his lengthy feud with the IFBB Pro League. He looked back on his experience and believes a misunderstanding escalated which ultimately resulted in some of his later Olympia placings being affected. He’s not the only bodybuilding veteran to suggest outside factors have affected their Olympia performances as Roelly Winklaar has also mentioned the idea.
The US DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) revealed a proposal to restrict Telehealth prescriptions last week. The change will bar access to controlled substances without an in-person visit. Social media fitness influencers like Derek of More Plates More Dates criticized the overreaching nature of the proposal, which could result in toughened guidelines for TRT procurement/use.
Samir Bannout rips critics of TRT
In a recent YouTube video, Samir Bannout fired back at the critics of TRT use.
“It’s a no-brainer. It’s smart if you need it,” said Bannout. “If you need it you do it. Is it healthy to do? It is 100 percent healthy to do. 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 in the middle range or slightly above the middle. 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. 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.”
Bannout recognized the possibility of outliers and argued the exception should not dictate the norm.
“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. 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. You need to have TRT to put you where you’re supposed to be and I’m not saying you need to take a lot but no take your ratio and you’ll be okay.”
Samir Bannout recently argued that judges are being influenced by social media at shows. He called for the judges to explain their callouts to add more transparency.
You can watch the full video below.
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