Trans & Fitness

A bit about being a transgender woman and fitness. Some, upon finding out I am trans, have attributed my great definition in my arms and upper body to having been assigned male at birth. Which I think is a reasonable, although totally incorrect, assumption. We are told over and over that men are naturally strong, more muscle mass, than women. But to assume that because a trans woman was born in a male body she just naturally had great arms is absurd. First off if that was true then what you are saying is that all men have great arms, which is clearly not the case. Or at the least, you are implying that having been born in a male body some how makes it easier to develop muscle definition.

That may or may not be true of any given trans woman depending on where she is at in her journey. If she had taken no medical steps toward transitioning then that would most likely be a valid perspective. However, the first step in transitioning medically is going on HRT, which is a hormone treatment. This treatment has two main goals, lower your testosterone, and increase your estrogen.

I am not a medical professional of any kind so I am not going to try to explain what all that means from a medical perspective. But I will explain what all that means from a personal experience perspective.

Before I started any transioning I routienly did a lot of home improvement projects. I commonly, sometimes daily, was doing things like moving 60 pound bags of concrete, sorting through large stacks of heavy lumber and variety of other such things that required a good amount of strienth. I had done this kind of thing so often and for so long I just took it for granted that I could lift things other’s might consider heavy.

But I quickly learned that assumption didn’t work for trans women. I had started that first step, I had gone on HRT. As I said the goal of HRT is to get your hormones more inline with that of a cis woman. So they give you medication that kill off your testoteron to nearly nothing. The other medication build up your estrogen. Before you start HRT they require that you understand the effects it is going to have on your body. I knew one of the over all effects was going to be loss of muscle mass. I didn’t really give that much thought until the results became very obvious.

I had been on HRT for about three months when I was out shopping. I commonly purchase things in bulk to save money. So there I was at the story going to get a 50 pound bag of flour. This had been a common thing for me, purchasing big bags of flour sugar etc. I went to pick it up to load it onto the cart and was shocked to realize I couldn’t lift it. At first I was puzzled, how could this be. Was it a 100 pound bag? What was wrong with this bag? Until I realized it was just a 50 pound bag, nothing was wrong with it. But in a few short months my arm muscles had gone from being able to lift 60 pound bags of concrete to not have enough muscle mass to pick up this bag of flour.

I can not speak for all trans women but for me the loss of muscle mass was very fast and very real. I was amazed at how quickly it effected me and how much. It wasn’t that picking up the bag of flour was more difficult it was flat out impossible for me.

So in a few short months HRT took away any “male” advantage I had in muscle mass. There are things that it doesn’t effect that do have an impact on my over all appearance. It does not change my sceletal structure. So my upper body is some what larger then the average cis women’s. And my hips are smaller than the average cis woman’s.

There may be other medical factors that I am not aware of. But this mith that being a trans women means it is easer for me to develop muscle mass or definition is just that a mith based on fantic not fact.