IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Iain Valliere has gotten himself in some hot water over comments he made on a recent Instagram interview regarding his position on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (or “TRT”). The Canadian bodybuilder stated “you aren’t supposed to feel 25 at 65” and also pushed the theory that hormonal decline is a part of the aging process. He went on to further state that TRT has become ‘a trend,’ suggesting that this medical treatment is nothing more than a fad. It’s more than a little ironic that an IFBB Pro Bodybuilder whose won numerous titles, including the New York Pro, the Texas Pro, and the Tampo Pro, would make such statements. On the one hand, it’s safe to say that any elite-level pro bodybuilder is stacking any number of anabolic steroids, but he’s also a man in his early to mid 30’s. Would his argument apply to the fact he probably has double or triple the test levels of a normal eighteen year old? Shouldn’t he embrace the hormonal decline that begins in a guy’s mid-to-late 20’s? Or does his stance on TRT only apply to 60 years olds?
I like Iain and I like his physique, but I have to say he’s taken a pretty ridiculous stance on a medical treatment that helps countless men and women who are patients of licensed, medical facilities. Iain isn’t a doctor, that I’m aware of, and his opinion on therapies seems way off. That said, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but in an industry inundated with snake oil and marketing puffery, I would think he would give his blessing to something like TRT because it’s doctor prescribed, pharmaceutical grade medications. We’re not talking about research chemicals from gray area sites or raw materials from unknown origins. The fact he’s taking aim at TRT makes no sense to me.
This is different from Iain calling for the end of the 212 Division or criticizing dirty bulks. To me it seems like he’s looking for shock value at a time when everyone is going nuts with talk of the DEA bringing an end to online TRT clinics. Iain’s not going after bodybuilding guru’s prescribing boatloads of compounds. I mean they’re not even doctors! They can’t prescribe anything, yet we hear coaches use that term all the time in conversation, and sometimes even on podcasts and video shows. Iain isn’t directing his criticism there. He’s also not directing his criticism at the widespread abuse of performance enhancing drugs (or PED’s) in physique and strength sports. I mean he’s on record as stating he’s tried taking the stage at a “dry 270.” That could be dangerous at any age, but no one who’s on TRT is getting a protocol to get them to a dry 270.
How many people have died – at any age – from receiving TRT? None that I’m aware of. Not a single one. Again, I really like Iain and I love bodybuilding, but attacking TRT seems more like an attempt at capitalizing on a topic that’s trending than anything else. There are PLENTY of bigger issues to address in this sport. Going after TRT makes absolutely no sense.
There are no health concerns with TRT because prestigious clinics – like my title sponsor Titan Medical Center – advocate for regular blood work. As John Tsikouris always says “blood tells the story” and anytime a patient gets on TRT, they’re closely monitored. Their health is the top priority. How many amateur and pro bodybuilders can say the same? How many lives could have been saved if more physique and strength-based athletes were monitored as closely as TRT patients are? Also, the prescribed dosages are in line with optimizing quality of life not winning shows. No one goes to a TRT clinic to be a dry 270. So if a 65 year old happens to feel 25 because he’s on testosterone therapy, eating better, and training consistently, what’s the problem with that, Iain?
At the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but low testosterone is a medical condition not a trend. Low T can bring about depression, lethargy, diminished sex drive, and a whole host of other undesirable conditions. There’s no reason people should resign themselves to deteriorating as they age. That’s not aging gracefully or embracing old age as far as I’m concerned. To me that suggests that adult life is only worth living in your 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s, but beyond that it’s an hourglass process till you die.
Every moment above ground is a blessing and everyone should enjoy being alive. That’s not a fad or a trend. I want people to feel good about themselves. I want them to be excited when they wake up in the morning about the things they’re going to accomplish. I want to see more 60 and 70 year olds in the gym training. I think of my buddy Dion Friedland from South Africa. I met Dion in North Miami Beach a decade ago when he was 70. We did an interview outside LA Fitness and he was strong as an ox and shredded. He worked his whole life, made millions, and then discovered bodybuilding and started competing. He was (and is) living his best life. Should I ever hit 70, I want to look and feel like that!
I love ya Iain, but I think you made this statement for the simple reason that everyone is going nuts over the DEA/TRT panic which affects online TRT clinics. No one should worry, but if they do, they should check out Titan Medical Center – which is not an online clinic. I don’t think Iain really sees a problem with TRT clinics and/or therapy. How could he? Licensed medical professionals, closely monitoring patients’ bloodwork, prescribing FDA approved medications – how could he have a problem with that?
With all due respect to Iain, his comments must have been made for sheer shock value. And now everyone is talking about him and his stance on TRT. Hits are hits, right? That said, there’s just no way he truly has a problem with TRT. If so, I’m absolutely oblivious as to why?