“Like a sac of worms,” Iron Culture Podcast, Episode 136–All About Testosterone & TRT (Yeah We Go There)

This episode of Iron Culture features “Mr. Doctor” Ben House and an in depth conversation about testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which is apparently a recently booming business in the males-in-mid-life demographic. As not a male, nor a female seeking to go on T, honestly, this conversation left a lot to be desired.

I appreciate the open-mindedness with which Eric and Omar seek information, providing the it in a way that is meant to enable others to decide what is best for themselves. Ultimately, I think there’s an overall tone of warning to Dr. House’s message–there can be unforeseen consequences to taking testosterone treatments unnecessarily. Once you go on TRT, you may need to be on it the rest of your life. It isn’t going to magically make you jacked.

What I wish was also there, though, was a bit more about the culture that pushes people, men, into thinking that this is some kind of “legal” steroids and that taking exogenous testosterone can be a quick fix to what ails our physique endeavors. Why are we all in such a hurry? Why do we hold ourselves and each other to standards that cannot be obtained naturally? It’s not healthy, sustainable, or fun to live our lives within those kinds of mindsets. I think that message might be implicit in the Iron Culture conversation, but I’d love it to be made more explicit and to hear an honest discussion of our roles in perpetuating these standards and expectations.

My major gripe, though, is that this conversation is truly only about male-identified people who already produce endogenous testosterone who may want to supplement with additional testosterone, and frankly, I feel left out. Women have been included in the conversation in three of the last twelve episodes of Iron Culture, and I love these guys, but overall I’m feeling a bit disconnected from them. Add on top of that a topic like this one that’s completely unrelated to my experiences with little effort to add more universal points of connection. There are ways to make it more relevant to folks like myself–the aforementioned cultural connections, maybe a side tangent or three about testosterone in estrogen-dominant people, or perhaps including the voice of a female expert(1), too?

Instead, there’s this “boys locker room” vibe with plenty testicle jokes, which are kinda funny and kinda like every conversation I’ve ever had in a traditionally “man’s” space where I was the only woman. I’m not saying I don’t want to learn about “men’s health” issues. I’m happy to learn more, just as I hope men will learn about traditionally “women’s health” issues, too, so they can better understand physiologies different than themselves. But when the lifting world is already so very male-dominated, I guess it’s just grating on my nerves this time around to spend 90 minutes on a conversation that could be more inclusive but isn’t.(2)

Did you listen to the episode? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below or find and follow Progressive Strength on Facebook and leave a comment there!

(1) As a counterbalance and palate-cleanser, you could listen to Sigma Nutrition Radio’s episode #398: Carole Hooven, PhD – Testosterone: Behavioural Endocrinology & Sex Differences

(2) And in the last two minutes of the episode Omar gets super-low points on my (admittedly hacky) Hundtoft-Bechdel test for referring to “everyone” having thoughts about this topic and considering going on TRT from time to time. Men aren’t everyone, and I don’t imagine he means EVERYONE, but rather every/most men who lift. Serious eyerolls from me tonight for him not even recognizing he’s excluding a big chunk of his audience.

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