residential-hopeful and podcaster Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is getting the Liver King treatment on social media. After the swole 69-year-old posted a video of him working out at Arnie’s favored Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach (also called “the mecca of bodybuilding”), viewers began speculating that Kennedy is on gear—aka anabolic steroids.
“69 yr old men don’t look like that without taking mass amounts of steroids,” one user tweeted.
Like the viking-helmeted Liver King, Kennedy initially denied using any performance enhancers. But then he changed his tune. On the Lex Friedman podcast, he said he uses testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) to maintain muscle mass and promote healthy aging.
“I’m on an anti-aging protocol from my doctor that includes testosterone replacement,” Kennedy said. “I don’t take any anabolic steroids or anything like that and the TRT I use is bioidentical to what my body produces.”
Does RFK, Jr Have Low Testosterone?
It’s hard to say. Kennedy says he’s under a doctor’s care (good) but he doesn’t say what his testosterone levels are (so, anyone’s guess).
That said, it’s not unreasonable that he could have a testosterone deficiency. Starting around 35, your testosterone levels begin to decline by about one percent each year. By the time you’re Kennedy’s age (around 70-year-old), you’ll have a T level that’s nearly 30 percent less than your peak.
Kennedy’s anti-aging protocol also includes a hearty vitamin and supplement stack adn daily 35-minute workouts. We can get behind that. Experts say that TRT isn’t a magic bullet—it’s most effective when paired with healthy lifestyle choices like diet and exercise.
TRT vs. Gear
What’s the Difference Between Steroids and TRT?
When you hear anabolic steroids or “gear,” you might think of illegal, DIY compounds made in basement labs to appease dudes who want to surpass doctors’ advice to get swole. But, anabolic steroids aren’t always synthetic. In fact, your body’s natural testosterone is considered “anabolic,” because it promotes growth in your sexual organs, muscles, and bones (1).
The main difference between TRT and anabolic steroid misuse is dosage and purpose.
Anabolic steroid misuse usually occurs amongst athletes and bodybuilders who may already have normal testosterone levels, but want to boost their mass quickly and dramatically. They may take doses of synthetic hormones many times higher than prescribed TRT to achieve this effect (2).
High doses of anabolic steroids may lead to unpleasant side effects for men like shrinking testicles, balding, and developing breast tissue.