Steroids Vs. Natural Bodybuilding — Mike O’Hearn Addresses Viral Interview With KENNY KO – BarBend

The 11th episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show presented Generation Iron kicked off with a bang. The episode’s cold open was a montage of people saying various things to the effect of O’Hearn being unwilling to admit that he is not a natural bodybuilder and takes anabolic steroids to help achieve his lean muscular physique.

The series of commentators speculating about whether or not O’Hearn takes steroids resulted from a presumably spontaneous interview he did during an appearance at Iris Kyle‘s Powerhouse Gym in Las Vegas, NV. The interviewer, KENNY KO, asked O’Hearn if he took TRT (testosterone replacement therapy), and while O’Hearn didn’t directly answer, he said, “What would be the point?” The two argued whether or not science suggests that testosterone levels dip as people age.

Check out O’Hearn’s discussion of that interview with Vlad Yudin in the video below, courtesy of Generation Iron‘s YouTube channel. But first, for context, here is O’Hearn’s interview with KO:

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In the interview, O’Hearn blasted KO for stating information to his 610,000 YouTube subscribers that O’Hearn didn’t believe was true. Before explaining his position, O’Hearn called over Figure competitor Mona Muresan, 46, to show off her abs and compare them to KO’s. Muresan’s ab reveal was how O’Hearn tried to disprove the narrative he sees disseminated amongst the fitness industry regarding aging and the physical derailment that supposedly accompanies it.

You guys go, “No matter what, you’re destroyed by 40.” That’s the idea that’s pushed, is it not?

KO agreed with O’Hearn’s assessment. O’Hearn then assumed the position that at 15 years old, O’Hearn was stronger than KO has ever been. While O’Hearn appeared combative, both O’Hearn and KO clarified that they have mutual respect.

KO reiterated his question if O’Hearn was a natural bodybuilder or not. O’Hearn didn’t say “yes” or “no.”

How could I compete throughout my entire career — doing drug tests — and doing TV shows…drug tested…”

It wasn’t clear where or why O’Hearn interpreted the question through the lens of strength. He questioned KO again regarding his strength compared to a female bodybuilder in her mid-40s. KO seemed content to concede that he isn’t “a strong individual,” noting that “gear doesn’t work for him.” “Gear” is another way of saying steroids.

Eventually, O’Hearn found a more targeted point: he wants those like KO with large audiences not to pedal the notion that to acquire an elite physique like O’Hearn’s, one needs to take drugs like TRT or other steroids. KO clarifies that he believes his message is supporting the furtherance of physiques drug-free. For reference, KO has previously admitted to using steroids in a video published on his YouTube in 2017.

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KO contended how much influence genetics have on one’s physique and how well one responds to steroids. O’Hearn seemed to bat that idea away, suggesting that a committed lifestyle of hard work in the gym ultimately leads to success. While there may have been room to agree that genetics and a committed lifestyle of hard work in the gym have significant roles in strength and aesthetics, they didn’t find it.

I will never be the guy that says, “I have genetics.”

O’Hearn hoped that people who watched the video would give feedback about it. The video has received nearly 165,000 views at the time of this article’s publication. KO’s pinned comment on the video stated, “I’ll let Mike’s body language and question avoidance do the work,” in response to “comments of people upset [KO] didn’t “pressure” Mike more.”

O’Hearn responds to KO’s video and gives his reaction to its virality in the video below:

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Following the cold open, episode 11 of The Mike O’Hearn show opened with O’Hearn expressing his understanding that KO intends to get views on his videos as that’s how he makes a living as a “tabloid YouTuber.” 

Their fanbase are the guys that want excuses.

O’Hearn gave some ground to the KO’s notion of genetics having significant influence, telling Yudin, “everybody at the top level has some kind of genetics.” Yudin believed engaging with KO fueled the tabloids, which he considered “a waste of time.” Yudin’s suggestion changed O’Hearn’s stance from a few moments prior.

I stand corrected. Is it a waste of time? It really is because they’ve already made up their minds.

O’Hearn had B-roll one of his recent training videos and one of a session of him in the 90s to compare which version of himself Yudin thought was stronger. O’Hearn intended to prove that his strength has remained steady for decades, though his muscle density has visibly improved.

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O’Hearn seemed hopeful that KO and similar platforms would share the pros and cons of using steroids and the implications that they could have on health. He wrapped up episode 11 to further address the question of “was it a waste of time” to engage with KO. O’Hearn reverted to his original position that it was not.

O’Hearn urged those in the fitness industry who “talk about the other side of bodybuilding — the chemical part of it” to speak up. While he didn’t name anyone specifically, he feels they need to give “justice” to what good nutrition and training can do without using steroids.

Featured image: @kennykoooo on Instagram