Workouts to Promote a More Masculine Figure
A lot of guys write in asking us what kind of workouts they should do in order to make themselves look more masculine, either to help along the effects of HRT or because they are not on testosterone. Becoming more muscular in general will make your body look more like what society expects for a male if that is your goal, but there are also more targeted workouts you can do to improve specific areas that people are more likely to notice. You’ll want to focus on your upper body both to draw attention away from your hips and because broad shoulders and large arms are considered very masculine. This doesn’t mean you should completely ignore your lower body, it’s healthy to be balanced and you need a strong core and strong legs to hold up the rest of you (and cardio is always good!), but those workouts don’t necessarily do as much as upper body workouts to affect the way your gender is read. Here are a few good upper body workouts (click the links for detailed explanations on how to do the different workouts):
1. Shoulder Press/Overhead Press. You can do these with either dumbbells or a barbell. They’re a great workout for building your core as well as your shoulders, chest, and arms.
2. Dumbbell Shrug. This is a very simple workout and only requires dumbbells. Good for building up your shoulders and upper back.
3. Pushups. These are great because they don’t require any equipment and you can do them anywhere. They work the chest, arms, shoulders, and back.
4. Biceps Curls. Can be done with dumbbells or a barbell. Works your biceps and your forearms.
5. Seated, one-arm dumbbell curls. These isolate your forearms and are an excellent workout (though they may be difficult for beginners).
Many of these can easily be done at home with a limited amount of equipment. If you plan on regularly lifting weights you might want to consider investing in a pair of dumbbells. They are sold at Walmart in various sizes for under 20 dollars a pair. You should choose weights that are difficult for you to lift, but not so heavy that you run the risk of injuring yourself doing basic routines (I started with 15 pound dumbbells, just to give an idea). You probably don’t need to buy any equipment if you have access to a gym and feel comfortable going there to work out, although many trans* guys feel more comfortable working out at home.
Make sure to be very careful when starting a lifting routine, practice good form and even try working out with a buddy who can spot you. You’ll also want to vary your workout routine to challenge yourself and ensure that you don’t plateau. For more information on different workout routines and fitness for trans* guys check out the Beefheads Fitness youtube collab channel.