Hey lovelies. So. I’m kind of turning into a fitness girl.
But honestly, almost 5 months of disciplined, rigorous, transition-oriented workouts have changed my body so much more than I thought would be possible.
For me, as a very binary trans-woman, the worst thing about gender dysphoria is feeling helpless to change the things that hurt. And waiting on results to roll in from HRT feels like watching paint dry. Working out has given me a method of taking my transition into my own hands and accelerating my results. It really works. And much faster than HRT alone.
Obviously, every t-girl is beautiful and valid as is. Nothing is mandatory. Not even HRT. I can’t stress that enough. But if you're like me, and your dysphoria is not manageable, this is something I would highly recommend trying.
Everything in this tutorial can all be done at home with less than $25 worth of equipment!
This isn't the kind of thing that takes years to see results. You will begin seeing results within 2 to 3 weeks of consistent workouts. This picture depicts my lower body at 3 weeks into my routine, and again at around four and a half months, although I have only been doing the workout listed in this guide for around 2 months. 75% of my progress came from these past two months. With proper practice, it happens very quickly.
Important things to know before getting started:
Always consult a physician before beginning any new exercise routine. Ensure that you are physically fit enough to engage in strenuous work outs. Practice safety above all things. I am not a licensed physician. This tutorial is based on many hours of research and conversations I have had with a personal trainer.
Technique. Technique is of the utmost importance. It is infinitely better to do less reps with the correct form and technique than it is to do a higher number of reps with poor technique. This is something that I have noticed greatly impacts my results. For each exercise, go through the motion slowly, focusing on feeling the burn in the specific muscles that it seeks to target. If you notice other parts of your body straining to make the load easier for your legs, butt, and hips to lift, you are cheating yourself and slowing down your results.
Consistency. Consistency is also very important. In order to achieve optimal results, you want to keep your body in a continuous see-saw between broken down muscles and recovery. Giving yourself too long to recover will result in backsliding. Similarly, attempting to work out every day will not allow for your muscles to properly recover and grow. REMEMBER: your muscles are growing on recovery days. But this progress can be lost if they are not broken down again as soon as they are ready. An optimal routine involves working out every other day. Once every two weeks, it is good to take a weekend off to give your muscles an additional recovery phase. Once every two months, a week should be taken to allow your muscles to fully recover.
Heavy load/low repetitions. We are focusing on muscle growth with these exercises as a method of making our lower bodies larger in order to augment our upper body to lower body ratio. The technique of increasing muscle mass we are using to achieve this effect is called Hypertrophy Specific Training. “Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST) is a method of strength training intended to induce the fastest muscle growth, or hypertrophy, possible, without losing efficacy over an extended period of time, and without the use of anabolic steroids.” This involves using highly strenuous amounts of weight and doing low amounts of repetitions. Doing 100 squats with low resistance might look good on paper, but what you are actually doing is creating lean muscle on your legs. This is commonly referred to as endurance training. You might look fit from regularly practicing endurance training, but you will not be changing the shape of your body. This was my biggest mistake when starting out. For Each exercise, you want to do 4 or 5 sets of 10 reps. increase or decrease the weight you use until you are at the point where completing your tenth rep with perfect form is a struggle. Allow precisely 90 seconds of rest time between sets. I keep an eye on a clock for this purpose. During your 90 second rest phase,, be sure to move around a lot to keep your blood flowing; stretch, pace in circles, etc.
Equipment. Fortunately, expensive equipment is not a must. Wal-Mart sells a set of ankle weights that weigh 10lbs each. The cost of a pair is $24. It would also be beneficial to purchase a barbell of some sort that you are able to do squats with. I was lucky enough to be gifted one of these.
Protein. Make sure that on your workout days, you are approaching your exercise with plenty of protein and fluids in your system. I am vegan and would strongly recommend investing in a high quality protein powder such as Vega’s Essential Shake. It offers health benefits that extend beyond simple protein. Your metabolism will speed up greatly when working out every other day. You will need to be eating more food to account for this. If you do not eat enough, your body will not be able to properly heal and grow, and you will ultimately backslide. I have played around with my diet since beginning working out and have finally found a groove where I believe I am getting just the right amount of protein and calories that my body needs to grow without gaining or losing more weight than I want to. For those who are on HRT, I have found that fluctuating up and down from +10lbs to -10lbs on a monthly basis greatly increases the speed with which your body fat redistributes.
Location. I do not like working out in gyms because they are not always the most trans friendly places. Instead, I work out in an open area in my room or living room.
Reverse Leg Lifts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSZh8SL_cNg The video depicts a woman standing in order to do the exercise. I have seen better results from leaning over so that my stomach is resting on a surface, such as the back of a chair or an end table, such that my torso is perpendicular to my legs and parallel to the floor. This allows for a greater range of motion for your leg, and you can feel the difference in how much your butt burns. For this exercise, I recommend starting with one of the 10 lb weights you purchased from Wal-Mart and attaching it to your ankle. If you find that you can easily complete 10 or more reps, you are not using enough weight. You want to be struggling to finish that 10th rep WITH PERFECT FORM. I cannot stress enough how important form is. ***This is the single most important exercise in my routine as far as increasing the size of my butt goes***
Side Leg Lifts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgh6sGwtTwk For this exercise, you want to do precisely what this woman is doing in the video. I recommend starting with 5 to 10 lbs on each ankle, increasing or decreasing until you are at the point where completing your tenth rep WITH PERFECT FORM is a struggle. Once more, you want to do 4-5 sets with each leg. This exercise works wonders for increasing the size of the muscles surrounding your hips.
SQUATS! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhZp3xXxCN0 This exercise is notorious for a good reason. It works out your entire lower body. You will see great results from your squats in terms of augmenting your ratio of lower body to upper body. I love the girl in this video, but she is making one mistake according to my trainer. While her form is perfect, you want to be bringing your butt as close to the ground as is possible. Move slowly up and down through this exercise and FOCUS ON FORM. You will not be able to do as many reps when moving slowly; however, you will see better results. I found a way to attach the ankle weights to my shoulders for this exercise before I was able to acquire an actual bar. As always, increase or decrease the weight you use until you are at the point where completing your tenth rep WITH PERFECT FORM is a struggle. Once more, you want to do 4-5 sets. I almost always do 5 sets now, but cannot complete the 5th set because of muscle exhaustion.
Side lunges. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BRKE0-l7mg This woman demonstrates the proper form for a side lunge. As always, doing this exercise without any weight will result in building lean muscle as opposed to bulking your lower body up. Remember, we are striving for an augmentation of our lower to upper body ratio. Therefore, it is prudent to balance weight on your shoulders during this exercise in the same way you would while doing squats. As always, increase or decrease the weight you use until you are at the point where completing your tenth rep WITH PERFECT FORM is a struggle. Once more, you want to do 4-5 sets. I almost always do 5 sets now, but cannot complete the 5th set because of exhaustion.
Step Ups https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4AA5d5mInQ This is the final exercise in my routine and my burn out exercise. For this exercise, put an ankle weight on each ankle. Move slowly through the motion so as to burn your leg as much as possible. I typically do 4-5 sets of this exercise and stop when my body is utterly exhausted. <3
Thats it for now, y’all. I hope this has been informative for you. Remember--you are beautiful. You are valid. And you are important. I love you <3
Farrah Awry Irises is a faraway gendered trans grrl whose fingers flick almost continuously through her hair. When she is not writing poetry or painting, she busies herself with splitting the veins of the holy western masculine wide the fuck open, amen.