How to build a masculine physique

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I was honored and privileged to lead a fitness and nutrition discussion topic at one of the Trans support group I occasionally attend, and I figured I’d share with you here what have been discussed. I hope that it will encourage you to focus on your own personal goals and do the best you can with the body you’ve got.

Many people ask “what kinds of exercise can I do to make sure I have a masculine body?” or “how can I lose fat in this part of my body?” These are very hard questions to answer because everyone has a different types of body genetically and even within those different body types, everyone is still genetically different based on their metabolism, how they grew up and even where they grew up can matter. For example, when I’m prescribed certain types of medications, my dose is automatically cut in half because the metabolism of people who grew up in Africa, is different than those who grew up in the U.S. Simple factors like that matter when it comes to personal fitness and diet.

For the second question on how to lose fat in a certain area of your body, this is a myth that many people have. You can’t lose fat in one part of your body while the rest of your body stays unchanged. If you have fat, you have to reduce your overall body fat percentage.

There are three things to consider when it comes to building an overall masculine physique:

  1. BODY TYPES AND GENETICS

The first thing to put in consideration when it comes to maximizing the effects of testosterone (assuming you’re already on T) to better transition from a female body to a male body is body type. Natal (cisgender-bio-genetic) women have 4 body types, and even though we once were in those bodies, I’ll only focus on the 3 main/known body types, because once you get on T, the fat redistributes. I’ve listed each body type with their characteristics.

Endomorph:

  • You put on weight very easily
  • You have small bones or muscles that are not well-defined
  • Your fat stores in abs, hips, thighs, butt and redistributes mostly to the stomach when you’re on T
  • You’re prone to heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and high cholesterol if you don’t control your cardiovascular activities and diet
  • You should focus on cardio and strength training
  • Avoid junk food and sweets especially since you tend to crave sweets!
  • Eat small meals throughout the day instead of one big meal because of very you have developed digestive system but a low metabolism
  • When doing strength training, use small weight at a fast pace with little rest in between sets. This will pump up your heart rate so that you’re doing cardio and strength training at the same time.

*Many football players and wrestlers have an endomorph body type.

Mesomorph:

  • You gain muscle easily, especially in the upper body
  • Your fat is stored in the stomach
  • You naturally have poor flexibility especially if you don’t practice your flexibility or stretch enough
  • You should focus on sports that require strength, energy and power
  • You don’t require much cardio activity if your goal is to simply gain muscle, but because of the testosterone side effects, add cardio to your schedule at least once a week to avoid cardiovascular diseases, especially since you crave foods that are high in cholesterol and salt.
  • Use moderate to high weights and work at a slow or medium pace

*Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc. have a mesomorph body type.

Ectomorph:

  • You’re slim, tall, and slender with visible bone outlines
  • You have a hard time gaining weight but when you do, it’s in the back of the thighs and the butt
  • You’re better at endurance activities and cardio but if you want to gain muscle, you should limit cardio, lift more, and consume more calories
  • Lift heavy weights at a slow pace with long rests between sets; this helps you from getting your heart rate to high and therefore from sweating too much and losing weight.
  • You crave caffeine, nicotine or artificial sweeteners and it causes you to miss meals without noticing; this is not good for your energy, especially if you start lifting more.

*Bruce Lee had an ectomorph body type.

NOTE: It’s common to have a combination of two body types.

2.  FITNESS

Now that you know your body type and know how to tweak your workouts and your calorie intake accordingly, let’s look into the good stuff. Your two main goals to develop a masculine physique is having a symmetric shape throughout and constantly working on keeping an X shape.

Developing a symmetric shape:

Every part of your body has to mirror the other half: left/right, up/down, front/back. For example you shouldn’t have strong biceps with weak triceps, or huge shoulders with chicken legs, etc. Everyone has a part of their that they don’t need to work on too hard in order to see the results. You should work on that part of the body that genetically compliments you but you should work even harder on the other parts that don’t show off that easily. Ultimately you want to develop an X shape!

Developing an X shape:

An X shape means broads shoulders, narrow waist and strong legs. You want to have all of these to have a complete masculine physique.

For broad shoulders, you should focus on isolated exercises like lateral raises, military press, weight squats, etc.

For many guys, even after being on T, you still find that you have love handles and that makes you less masculine. To lose the love handles and have a narrow waist, the first thing to do is completely change your diet. 90% of fat, especially in the abs and waist is only going to disappear from focusing on diet. Once you’ve got your fridge and pantry all cleaned out, you can do high intensity cardio workouts that shed fat; once the definition starts showing, start doing lots of obliques to strengthen those muscles. You can also add all kinds of abs exercises to form a nicely shaped waist.

Legs are my favorite muscle groups to work on. Not because they’re fun… because trust me, they can be painful… but because they give me a harder time which means I almost instantly feel the results. Legs are the biggest muscle of your body and they store the most testosterone; so as a T guy, it only makes sense that you use that to your advantage! Work your glutes, thighs, hamstrings and calves and you’re on your way to get that X-shape everyone loves. There are a lot of exercises you can do including lunches, dead-lifts, leg curls, leg extensions, leg presses, squats, calf raises, etc.

***Parts of body that many people ignore:

Many people go to the gym and only workout on popular or favorite muscle group. But in order to have the masculine body that you want, you also have to focus on body parts that are easily to ignore. For example, you have top surgery, you finally go to the beach shirtless, but then someone look at you from the back and you still have a feminine looking back. That’s a little sad.. don’t you think? So add these to your workouts:

  • Calves (I know I’ve already said it but it’s easy to forget!)
  • Forearms (With a dumbbell, you can do wrist curl reps while sitting down to show off those nice healthy veins you’ve got)
  • Back
  • Triceps
  • Neck

3.   NUTRITION

Of course, the last thing to focus on when it comes to having a masculine body is nutrition. You will find more information in the nutrition section but here are 6 simple tips to get you started:

  • Moderate to NO alcohol if you’re serious about major change. Definitely no beer and soda. Even diet soda is bad for you!
  • Plenty of water throughout the day. It helps with toxicity, building muscles, immune system, etc.
  • Avoid anything with high fructose syrup in it
  • Have healthy cereals or oatmeal for breakfast
  • For snacks, you can have fruits and everything with nuts is good for your muscles: walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, etc.
  • Pack your meal if you work or go to school instead of eating out because that way you’re aware of what’s it your food.

If you have any topic you’d like to see featured on the site, feel free to use the contact form and I’ll make sure to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for reading!

Neo

  • syd

    I’ve been on T for a month and a half now, and i find this a very useful article, thanks!

  • Red Horukan

    thank you You left me with no questions.