BOSTON - AUGUST 28: Randy Couture reacts after defeating James Toney in the first round of their UFC heavyweight bout at the TD Garden on August 28 2010 in Boston Massachusetts. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
TRT? I don't need no stinking TRT!
With Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) being one of the hottest topics in mixed martial arts (MMA) today, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture chimes in and gives his opinion on the matter:
It simply isn't necessary.
"The Natural," who competed in MMA for nearly 15 years until finally calling it quits last year after his knockout loss to Lyoto Machida at the age of 48, says he's never undergone the controversial treatment, instead choosing to take a more natural route. Given his past accomplishments, Couture's decision to not undergo TRT proved to work well for him.
Not that he has a problem with the procedure, but Couture simply feels there are others way to go about boosting testosterone levels without having to resort to injection of an external source.
Check out Couture's explanation (via MMA Weigh-In) after the jump:
"Well, I understand it, there is this whole movement out there for anti-aging. And it started out with guys in their 50's who, naturally, as you get older your testosterone levels deplete. Your body quits producing more. They want to feel, recover and do the things they did when they were younger. I understand that. But, I think there are natural ways to jump start your body's own production rather than to put an external source of testosterone in your body. I think putting the external in only compounds the issues that you're already having. Obviously Chael and Marquardt, there has been several athletes that have used TRT. I think for them, it's not a function of really having depleted levels of testosterone, it's wanting to have testosterone levels of a 21 year-old again because when you were 21, let's face it, you recover better, you're probably going to compete better, especially if your 32 and you have that experience going into a fight. So, I understand it, I chose a little bit different path in trying to find natural ways to boost my own testosterone levels and my body's own production. I used the XCAP program, resveratrol, those natural products that forced my body to produce more, and seeing a doctor that's going to regulate where your levels are. So you know, they designate what the top line is for a natural human being. And unfortunately, if you get carried away with TRT, you're going to cross that line and you're going to come up positive in a test. In our profession, to be banned from making a living for probably a year, and trashing your reputation, it's really not worth it. I just think there are alternative ways of doing things. If you're that concerned about really monitoring where your levels really are, make sure that you don't cross that line. I want my body to do what it's supposed to do. Obviously, as I get older it gets harder to do that, but I can still make it to do it, I just got to be more diligent about it. That's just my opinion. That's one of the reasons why I formed the XCAP supplement program. I have been using it for seven years; I competed till I was almost 49, I've probably pushed it farther than anyone is going to push it for a while. So, I think everybody is going to make their own decisions about it. I think if it's done smart and done wisely, there is nothing wrong with it, but I think you run the risk of shutting your own body's production down even more. In the long term, that's going to be a detriment to you."
With high profile fighters such as Chael Sonnen, Nate Marquardt and Quinton Jackson and most recently Frank Mir, openly talking about their preference and/or need for TRT, Couture feels there isn't really a need to risk trashing your reputation and facing a lengthy suspension.
Alistair Overeem's much-publicized testosterone levels pretty much bombarded MMA news feeds for a few months and ultimately cost him a nine month suspension from competing and a shot at dethroning UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 146.
Anyone care to (dis) agree with "The Natural's" comments on TRT? Does his success at competing at the highest level at his age disprove the theory that TRT is a necessary evil?