100-Percent Clean: Chris Lytle Speaks Out Against Performance Enhancing Drugs in MMA

June 15, 2012
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Former UFC welterweight Chris Lytle retired from active competition in 2011, but he’s not walking away from the sport completely.

Still training and teaching regularly, Lytle will lead a seminar this weekend at the Huntington Beach Ultimate Training Center with a focus on fighters avoiding the pitfalls of performance enhancing drugs in the sport of MMA.

Lytle, who will proudly proclaim that he has always lived a drug-free lifestyle, hopes to pass on some of the knowledge he learned during his nearly 15 years as a pro fighter, as well as show young MMA hopefuls that there’s no real shortcut to success.

Because with shortcuts come pitfalls.

“I always saw the big picture. I love fighting. It’s a big part of what I’ve done, but I’m not willing to sacrifice everything for that. I think more people need to look at the big picture. I’ve seen too many times when people are doing certain things or going down a certain path, and they pay for it the rest of their lives,” Lytle told MMAWeekly Radio on Wednesday.

“That’s not me, I’m glad I’m in the position I am now. I feel better now than I have in the last several years cause my body’s actually healed up and I feel great.”

Like any fighter, Lytle saw the underbelly of the dark side of fighters who chose to use performance enhancing drugs like steroids, and he knew it was something he never wanted to get mixed up in. He also didn’t want to look back at his career and feel like he got a win or success based on a shot that he took to get an edge over another fighter.

“Put your time and energy into it and you’re going to get better,” said Lytle. “Now could I go maybe take a couple shots and maybe start knocking out some people a little faster? Probably, but how would that help me now, how would that help me in the long run as far as my career longevity, and how does that help me when I’m 40 years old. It’s not. There are magic pills and there are shortcuts, but they all come with consequences.”

The latest theme running wild in the sport of mixed martial arts is the testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) usage that has become a hot button subject of late. Many top fighters including Dan Henderson, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Chael Sonnen, and Frank Mir have all admitted using TRT prior to fights.

Lytle doesn’t want to condemn anybody without knowing exactly what each individual person was going through at the time, but he has a hard time believing that any high caliber athlete like those competing in the UFC need TRT.

“There could be different situations where somebody might have low (testosterone). Like I talked to one of my friends and he’s a chiropractor and he also works at this clinic and (he said) how other people need hormone replacement and the reason usually is at the fire department is you don’t get enough sleep, your sleep patterns are all thrown off and that’s when the majority of your testosterone is produced during R.E.M. sleep, so a lot of them have low testosterone,” Lytle explained.

“But you get blood tested and you’re supposed to be between 400 and 800 levels he’s told me, and some of them will be down around 200 so they’ll give them shots to get them up in that range. Now if you’re a fighter and you’re at 600 and you’re getting shots to get bumped up, I think that’s a problem because in my opinion, from what my friend’s told me as well, is the more they inject you with the less your body’s going to produce naturally. Now you’re addicted to that for life.”

The lifetime addiction is as big of a problem in Lytle’s mind as any potential benefit that TRT usage could do in the short term for a fighter. He just doesn’t understand how low testosterone seems to be running rampant through MMA lately without something more going on.

“If it’s low I think it’s necessary, but I would be very surprised if too many people have low testosterone through training,” Lytle stated.

During this weekend’s seminar, Lytle will speak out about the ill effects of performance enhancing drugs and how he went his whole career without them. The free seminar sponsored by 100-Percent Clean is Lytle’s way of giving something back to the sport that gave him so much.

“I feel like this sport has given me a lot, it’s given my family a lot, it’s done a lot for me, and I feel like I’ve got a wealth of knowledge since I’ve been around fighting since 1998, and I feel a responsibility. I’ve got to share that type of thing. If I can help anybody, I’d be happy to,” said Lytle.

The seminar will run from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Huntington Beach Ultimate Training Center in Huntington Beach, Calif., this Saturday, June 16.

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  • simonsays

    Good for Mr. “Clean” Lytle in speaking up. Can we talk about the real reason why people are using it? They are cheating. They’re not healing, not recovering, not trying to make deadlines.. THEY ARE CHEATING.

    Since the main stream media is afraid to get on any soapbox and say this I have another proposal..

    I’ve always said this when PEDs are used in any profession sporting event. We should have two leagues. Whether its the NFL, MLB, or UFC.

    Each should have an Juiced league and another non-Juiced league. Professional sports has become more about monetary gain and entertainment than about the actual sportsmanship in sports. Therefore I propose, for the sake of our bloodlust and entertainment, that we have a Juiced-league.

    After all we all want to be entertained so why not let the fighters juice on up? Pay them as much cash as possible and let them have at it. How entertaining would that be?!!

  • markrenton

    Chris Lytle is the man

  • A noble undertaking, but if you do a “How to Cycle Roids And Never Get Caught” seminar across the street, Lytle’s whole audience will disappear.

  • There is a very fine line between TRT and aging, most of the guys mentioned above are in the early 30 except Dan Henderson.

    Low testosterone level is anything below 400, most men that age have a lot higher levels of testosterone then this.

    Steroid usage will cause problems with natural testosterone production and might lead to an athlete to have to use TRT for the rest of is life. If the athlete did not properly PCT after is cycle.

    Its all good that Lydle comes out and speak like many others on POD and drugs, i am sure he never used them he is a great fighter and more. But we don’t have the same genetics, and MMA is the toughest sport around, drugs GH Testosterone can make an athlete recuperate a lot faster and train more. It will not make him a better fighter but it will help greatly during training.

    Equipoise will help with cardio, winstrol too, and so much more.

    Its good that the UFC drug test there athletes but POD and steroids will always be part of professional sports.

    And sadly more MMA fighters will get cough using them, even if its TRT therapeutic dosage testosterone can be highly elevated during the therapy.