Natural athlete, Clark Bartram talks in detail about raising testosterone levels naturally.

Peptides are growing in popularity in the bodybuilding and fitness world. Much like SARMs before them, peptides are seen as a possible alternative to steroid use. However, peptides are a very different substance than SARMs. It seems more and more bodybuilders are speaking out about using peptides – but is taking these substances consider natural? In Generation Iron and Barbend’s latest episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show, Clark Bartram explains the use of natural testosterone boosters and why he doesn’t use peptides.

Mike O’Hearn and Clark Bartram have known each other for a long time. They have also been brothers in arms when it comes to the natural bodybuilding lifestyle. In a previous episode of the podcast, Bartram spoke in detail about the reasons for becoming a bodybuilder and the wider variety of ways you can use your physique to become successful.

The episode received tremendous feedback, which is why Clark Bartram has returned to the Mike O’Hearn Show. This time to discuss peptides and the difference between training alone vs with a group. Let’s jump into it.

Is taking peptides a natural approach to bodybuilding?

During the podcast discussion, Clark Bartram talks about the importance of patience in bodybuilding and fitness. He believes that the rise in PED use within fitness is largely due to impatience. People want to get muscular fast and don’t worry about the burnout that will occur by 30 or 40 years old.

But this raises a question in Mike O’Hearn. As health science and technology keeps changing – so too are the possible strategies in bodybuilding. Peptides have become a popular talking point in recent years.

O’Hearn asks Clark Bartram whether or not he thinks that using peptides is still considered natural. What unfolds is a bit of a debate. Bartram has no interest in using peptides personally. He sees them as a substance that you can take to give you a shortcut towards athletic success. By those grounds, it’s not the natural path that he wants to take.

But Mike O’Hearn points out that peptides are not the same as steroids or SARMs. They are a full line of amino acids set up to provide certain benefits for your body. Amino acids are naturally occurring – so wouldn’t these substances be natural as well?

Clark Bartram agrees that, overall, these substances should be considered natural in athletic sports. However, he personally doesn’t want to give him that boost via these supplements.

Why? Because Bartram enjoys seeing how far he can push himself without “help.” He wants to see if he can keep his testosterone up and accomplish the same strength and physique as someone his age who does use peptides. It’s the kind of personal challenge he likes to give himself. The kind he has been giving himself throughout his entire life – and the reason why he’s accomplished as much success in fitness as he has today.

The pros and cons of weight training with a group

Mike O’Hearn and Clark Bartram also talk about the differences between training alone and training with a group of people. In general, weightlifting and bodybuilding are considered solitary sports. It requires consistency and focus. Often times going to the gym in early hours or late nights and pushing yourself on the weights.

Ultimately, this is how a large part of bodybuilding training will commence. Mostly alone in order to accomplish ones goals in a consistent way. But training with a partner or in a group does have benefits.

In fact, Clark Bartram thinks it is essential to have a social group training dynamic interspersed between solo training sessions. Because when you train with other passionate people in the gym – they help you push farther than you can ever do alone.

Mike O’Hearn and Clark Bartram refer to this as “leveling up.” The natural competition that occurs when training with other serious lifters is what pushes them past their limits. O’Hearn recalls a time he was able to train alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger – and he lifted weight that he could have never pulled off alone.

O’Hearn also talks about his time training with bodybuilding legend Robby Robinson. At 76 years old, Robinson is about 20 years older than O’Hearn. When they train together, Robinson finds himself inspired to try and lift heavier like O’Hearn. He admits he would never lift that heavy on his own – but gets inspired by O’Hearn.

This inspiration is two-fold. For Mike O’Hearn, seeing Robinson lift heavier at 76 years old provides a possible vision into his own future. O’Hearn gets excited knowing that he too will one day lift like a beast at 76 years old – and he will be inspired by those younger than him to keep pushing.

This is the true benefit of group training dynamics. While you must focus on your foundation in order to maintain strength and health well into older age – you can also find the motivation and excitement of reaching new highs when pushed by others in a group setting.

Wrap Up

Mike O’Hearn and Clark Bartram discuss a wider array of topics throughout this episode – so make sure to watch the full video above. And don’t forget to catch new episodes of The Mike O’Hearn Show every Friday only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever you listen and download podcasts.

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.