If you follow a lot of fitness channels, I'm sure you have probably stumbled across Connor Murphy’s content before, or you might follow it already.
If you don't know who he is, essentially his channel revolves around him going downtown, interviewing girls and creating unique scenarios that always eventually end with him taking his shirt off.
His channel blew up in 2016/2017, but for a while now he's come under fire for his physique substantially regressing.
Compared to when he first started YouTube, it looks like he's lost about 10 to 15 pounds of muscle.
He's made response videos attempting to justify his perceived muscle loss because it's gotten so out of control with people constantly commenting about it on his videos.
“I probably gained one to two percent body fat. I kind of wanted to bulk. A second thing man is lighting. The only way you could really tell if your abs are getting better or worse is if you're in the exact same lighting's. And then there's also little things like water retention”.
I think he's handling the situation fairly well considering how many people are jumping on top of him over this.
Obviously, the first thing everyone assumes is “he stopped taking steroids.”
I have made a video on a similar situation in the past addressing Jeremy Buendia’s physique regression when he went through surgery and how quickly he lost his gains.
In that situation I would think it's pretty inconceivable for a guy who's an Olympia champion to come off of gear completely during surgery.
I don't know why everyone associates surgery and gaining a bunch of fat because you're doing nothing, eating like crap, and not training, with coming off of all gear.
In the scenario with Jeremy Buendia that I made a video about, I talked about how he was more than likely still on something in some capacity; even though it looks he lost a bunch of tissue.
In reality he just got super fluffy, and maybe lost a few pounds of muscle at most, but I predicted he'd quickly get back to Olympia stage shape as he hadn’t regressed nearly as much as every one was interpreting he did based on his pictures (which he did end up doing).
Nobody who values their lean muscle would come off of all anabolics during surgery, that would be the absolute most compromising position to put yourself in to lose muscle, so you can more often than not bet that these guys are still at least on bit of Testosterone.
In Connor’s case however, I think the factor that led to coming off of gear was that he started noticing severe hair loss.
I’m no stranger to hair loss, if you've seen some of my content you'll know I'm prone to male pattern baldness and I've been fighting it for years and years.
I've made several videos about it and I've also covered an array of niche topics that discuss hair loss exacerbated by anabolic steroids in particular.
If you're administering a supraphysiological amount of androgens into your body, you're just severely accelerating the process at which you're balding if you're genetically prone to it.
This is exactly what I'm interpreting has happened to Connor Murphy.
His hairline seems to be getting a lot worse.
It's getting thin at the front, it's starting to recede pretty heavily, and I think the original reason he came off of gear in the first place was because of the hair loss he was noticing over time.
It's gotten so bad to the point where he's been forced to stop taking exogenous androgens because whatever he was using was blatantly accelerating his Androgenic Alopecia (AGA).
And now he's in a really shitty situation, because he has to keep making videos that are so entirely centered around his physique, yet his physique has substantially regressed because he had to come off of gear.
Obviously I can't prove he's come off of anything, he could actually be a lifetime natural for all we know, this is just my educated guess based on my own experience with this stuff.
Objectively looking at the before and after comparisons of 2016, going into 2017, 2018, and now in 2019, I think there was definitely some hormone assistance in there at some point in 2016, and it was probably discontinued sometime in mid 2017.
Whatever he took (hypothetically) started accelerating his AGA, and he likely started to tone it down a bit, and eventually had to come off of gear entirely to prevent his hair loss from getting way worse.
Now he's more than likely off of everything (and has been for a while now), lost the supraphysiological tissue he was holding while he was on whatever anabolics he was on, and now he can't go back on cycle to get that muscle back because he knows if he goes back on, he's just going to accelerate his AGA even more.
It’s an interesting predicament he's in, as he's been forced to make up all these poor excuses for why it's happening, as well as continue making videos centered around his physique (the entire premise of his channel is essentially taking his shirt off) despite the comments section brutalizing him for regressing so severely.
I'm not sure if Connor claims he’s natural or not, but just based on my own personal experience, I would say he likely hasn't been natural for the entirety of his online presence.
Maybe it wasn't obvious when he actually was using anabolics, but the blatant regression in late 2017/2018 suggests that he could no longer sustain his 2016 physique without a certain amount of necessary exogenous hormone support in his system.
Connor's 2016 Physique:
For those wondering if Connor Murphy’s 2016 physique was achievable naturally, I’d say yes, but maybe not for him.
For a genetic elite, yes, and by all means he has good genetics, but I believe the physique he has now is more indicative of what his natural endogenous hormone production is really capable of holding onto.
Which is still a good physique by all means, but he’s absolutely softer and smaller than he used to be.
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Even if he did take something and has been clean for years since (my theory), there is a lot of emerging evidence to support that taking exogenous anabolic agents even one time can permanently increase the number of myonuclei in muscle fibers and the number of satellite cells in a dose dependent manner [R].
I don’t know if he’ll ever open up about the whole situation, and if you go get a pump and go under good lighting it does make a big difference, I agree with him there.
But in his situation in particular, with the amount of tissue he lost, you can't blame that on lighting, and you can't blame that on anything realistically except for what it is.
I think coupled with the hair loss, it would be pretty difficult to convince anyone who's taken steroids and knows what signs to look for otherwise.
This is just another good real world example that young guys aspiring to get a good physique can use as a reference of what is actually achievable naturally, and what pushing yourself over the genetic limit with exogenous hormones can do.
Not to mention what not getting a hair loss prevention regimen in place can do.
I doubt Connor was using boatloads of drugs, and I’d venture to guess that him losing that much ground on his hairline was likely preventable if he was on a solid prevention protocol from the get-go.
Side note: Keep in mind, both Connor's old 2016 physique, and his current one, would likely yield similar results with women.
It's mostly guys who are going to critique him with harsh men's physique olympia tier standards, but girls will not care whatsoever, which is an important takeaway.
His current physique is still lean, athletic looking, and has enough muscle mass to be mass-appealing to the standards of women.
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I personally think this would be a great opportunity for him to open up about becoming natural, and how losing some muscle made no difference on the results he gets in his videos (it looks like he's still filming the same content and still getting the same reactions), which would be more motivational than anything for all the natural athletes who are inspired by his channel and previously were deluded into thinking they needed to take steroids to get a physique like Connor's.