Natural Olympia champion Brandon Lirio thinks people need to stop obsessing about whether Mike O’Hearn is natty or not.

Brandon Lirio is not just a competitive natural bodybuilder, he’s a Natural Olympia champion who has taken pride in his natural status and accomplishments throughout his life and career. So it may come as a shock to you that he honestly doesn’t care about whether Mike O’Hearn is natty or not. In fact, he thinks the whole debate is pointless. That’s why in this week’s episode of U-Natty States Of America, Brandon Lirio explains in detail why he doesn’t care if Mike O’Hearn is a fake natty… and why you should stop caring too.

There is no denying that Mike O’Hearn has an incredible presence in the fitness industry and even into the wider pop culture. He’s a former bodybuilding competitor, a businessman, a media personality, and an actor. Underneath all of those accomplishments rests his impressive physique – which he’s maintained for nearly 4 decades now.

As everyone already knows, he’s been consistent in claiming he is a natural athlete and has been his whole life. This brings out the nay sayers who want to prove him wrong. The advent of the internet and social media only amplified those voices.

But one of those voices is not natural bodybuilder and U-Natty States Of America host Brandon Lirio. In fact, Lirio doesn’t want to waste too much energy even thinking about it. Why? Because it doesn’t matter. And that’s coming from someone else who has dedicated his life to being a natural athlete.

Brandon Lirio understands why someone would think Mike O’Hearn is not natural. He even admits that he wouldn’t be surprised if one day he was proven to be a steroid user similar to Liver King’s recent outing. But more importantly than right or wrong – Lirio simply doesn’t understand why people have spent so long wondering at all.

The reason it doesn’t matter whether Mike O’Hearn is natty or not

Brandon Lirio breaks down his two key reasons for not caring whether or not Mike O’Hearn is natural. The first is an obvious one. O’Hearn doesn’t compete in natural competitions anymore. So whether he is lying or not – he certainly isn’t cheating in any sense of the word. He’s doing whatever he wants with his body.

In addition to this, Brandon Lirio doesn’t personally know Mike O’Hearn. So why should he care what a stranger does or doesn’t do – so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Which brings Lirio to his next point.

Brandon Lirio’s second reason is a bit more nuanced. He doesn’t believe that O’Hearn, if fake natty, is similar at all to someone like Liver King. The main reason for that is because O’Hearn does not use his natural status to promote or sell anything. Does O’Hearn talk about being natural? Yes – in an effort to motivate others to be their best selves and not accept limitations. But he doesn’t promote his natural physique in order to sell a supplement or a product.

Comparing Mike O’Hearn and Liver King

Liver King was one of the most talked about viral bodybuilders in recent times to be harassed as a fake natty. In some ways this is similar to Mike O’Hearn. Both were men who had a massive social media following – and faced criticisms for their claims of being all natural.

There is one big difference though. And it’s a really important one that Brandon Lirio points out. Mike O’Hearn never claimed a specific supplement or product gave him his incredible physique. And he never promised that his products would make you look like him.

When Liver King was outed for using steroids – there was a big “I told you so” energy on social media. But there were also genuinely angry people. Why? Because Liver King often promised that his ancestral tenants (and the supplements he sold alongside them) can make you look like him.

Brandon Lirio compares this to Mike O’Hearn – who has his own small supplement line as well as a training program. Both of these things he promotes fairly and backs it up with science. He never claims you can “transform into Mike O’Hearn” by using his magic supplements or training guides.

Not only that, but Brandon Lirio also points out that O’Hearn’s Instagram does not promote supplements or training programs anywhere near as hard as Liver King did on a daily basis. O’Hearn often speaks about motivation, passion, and the mindset it takes to become great. He also focuses on the importance of being healthy for longevity. He doesn’t do this by promoting certain products – but instead by certain actions.

Wrap Up

So if Mike O’Hearn isn’t hurting anyone – then why do people constantly obsess over his natural status? Brandon Lirio muses that perhaps it is the human desire to be proven right. Or maybe it’s so that we can know how far a natural person can push a physique.

The counter-question to this is: why doesn’t Mike O’Hearn just prove it once and for all? Brandon Lirio understands why. O’Hearn knows that controversy can build attention. And he also seems to have fun and find it amusing to mess with nay sayers online. Regardless of O’Hearn’s natty or not status – there’s no denying his work ethic and achievements speak for themselves. So to get some bonus controversy and attention on top of it is just the cherry on top.

You can watch Brandon Lirio give his full explanation about the Mike O’Hearn natty or not obsession by watching the latest episode of U-Natty States of America above. Don’t forget to check back every Wednesday for new episodes of the podcast only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.

Jacob Ladon
Jacob Ladon is a staff writer and former amateur bodybuilder. He has been passionate about bodybuilding since he was 15 years old and discovered the joys of training in the gym. He reports and comments on all bodybuilding related matters.