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Hey there! If you are on this page, you might be wondering whether the famous fitness YouTuber Merijn is still natural or not. Indeed, when looking at his Instagram, you may notice something has changed. I am going to cut it short for you, this fitness YouTuber has announced himself that he is not natural anymore! So, why make this article if it has already been revealed? Well, because I want to talk about what impact this can have on the fitness industry. If you’re into the fitness industry controversial topics, this article is for you!
No offence to Merijn, he is allowed to do whatever he wants, it’s just that I feel there is one dangerous outcome we rarely talk about when youtube fitness influencers decide to be honest about their non-natty status.
Merijn in his video mentions that he is doing testosterone replacement therapy. Basically meaning that the doses he takes are much less than what a usual steroid cycle is. (Still, TRT can be quite a lot of extra testosterone compared to the low/average levels).
The main reasons why he decided to do TRT is because he’s been facing many struggles and depressive phases. He’s also cut down in his bodybuilding life more than once and this might have had an impact on his natural testosterone levels. He thought out after reflecting, that TRT was the good choice for him.
Each time I go to YouTube, I see a lot of comments thanking the athletes for being honest about their performance-enhancing drug use. I can understand why and to an extent, I agree with it. In a way, people are tired of influencers lying about their natural status and selling stuff to their audience that is falsely advertised. But on the other hand, and no one talks about this, revealing that you are not natural to your audience can also have a negative impact to the fitness community, here’s why:
Imagine that you have built a massive audience over the years online. Picture having 200,000 people following you, or even a million, just like a lot of YouTubers do. What will happen once your fans who have been buying your products and love you learn that you decided to take steroids or “simply” go on TRT? We can assume that a minority of them will want to follow their idol. A minority, that’s not much.
But when it is even 0.5% of 200,000 people, that is still 1000 people. About a thousand people who might decide to buy SARMS or steroids, or do TRT replacement because they could be new to the gym, misinformed, or merely following in their hero’s footsteps.
Now one thing which might come against this argument is that people should be responsible for themselves, therefore, it’s hard to blame the influencer for revealing his non-natural status. It’s true, but I would say it’s not as simple as that. Should have steroids in the first place become that popular? SARMs for example are sold in shops like natural supplements. Are they as safe as some fitness authorities pretend them to be…?
Haven’t we all had life periods where we’ve been influenced to an extent?
Now, Merijn as he explained might have had his very personal reasons to do so. The thing is, people watching this going through depression might then want to do the same. Is depression a good enough reason to do TRT at a young age? For the majority, probably not, but that’s my opinion and I might be wrong. Is having low-T a good enough reason? probably, but still risky. We could also say that antidepressants aren’t much better. That is pretty true, these can save you but also impact your health, just like TRT can do.
Will the regular check-ins be enough to prevent the dangers that TRT represent? That’s also very doubtful. We have seen many bodybuilders before who did regular check-ins and blood tests still lose their life suddenly. Just because it is only low testosterone levels injected does not diminish the danger of these. Looking at Merijn’ pictures, he definitely looks different than before.
You can feel his body has changed and that there is use of substances there. The question is, is that change we can see physically as important as the impact this might have on his health? I would say yes (at least on the long run), things get quite proportional.
At the end of the day, Merijn might thrive all his life very well without any health consequences, and hopefully. But seeing this change in his body just over a year or so and thinking that after 30 years this might have no impact is questionable. Extra testosterone can definitely wake sleeping tumors, and other issues which weren’t under the radar even when regular check-ins were done. There are many studies letting us know that TRT isn’t as safe as it might sound. But there are many others which also highlight the benefits of TRT.
Looking at this article from Harvard, they highlight that the long term consequences can be dangerous even for people who start their treatment with low testosterone. This other study says that TRT can be both beneficial and dangerous to the patient with low testosterone.
Beneficial because the person will have higher testosterone, but because there is higher testosterone, other issues might occur. In my opinion, genetics will then play a massive role from one another and we can’t prevent factors like sleeping diseases in many cases.
I do believe out of common sense that you can’t be cheating your body for too long even on TRT. Things will get dark at some point and if your genetics are not the type to handle extra testosterone even if minimal, you will know it after a few years time…
Steroids are becoming very popular. Maybe because people who take them haven’t had many issues yet, they will generally be young and more resistant to the drugs or have the right genetics to thrive for decades.
Those people then usually are the ones who become famous in the industry and the ones who fit those standards. The influence then comes from them and goes into the hears of the average gym-goer.
We will then probably hear that it is possible to “do it the right way”. That’s true for them, but not necessarily for everyone else! It is not safe for the average person out there. There is no safe way to take steroids or TRT if you weren’t meant for it, there are safer ways to take it, sure, but it’s still poison.
Others will thrive for a few years telling their mates that it’s ok to take steroids, but then things might start going downhill for them too, while their friends will have also tried by then. This is basically what I have felt has been happening for the past few years, spending quite a lot of time in the gyms. And it keeps becoming more common. Social media takes a huge part in that with everyone usually only showing the best side of things, it’s easy to think steroids aren’t that harmful.
I’m no data scientist, but these graphs are alarming, and that is from google trends.
One terrible thing about SARMs is that they’re legit sold as “natural” supplements in shops. That’s super worrying. And while this trend keeps growing, no one is really saying much about it. Actually, we hear more about athletes asking for steroids to be legalised than real awareness about the danger of these drugs. Maybe I’m right, maybe I am wrong, but I believe these are more dangerous than what some people say.
Can we compare cannabis, alcohol and steroids and say we should legalise steroids? I would say steroids are more dangerous than what a lot of people say, but what’s your opinion?
I think it’s good to end this article by respecting Merijn’s choice to take performance-enhancing drugs, but I hope that the fact he doubled down on telling his audience not to follow him on this path unless they’ve thought about it more than a hundred times, is an advice his audience will listen to carefully!