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Training Routine for Trans Guy

Ok, so this is going to be a real specific and strange question for y’all, and I’ll need to provide some information about why I’m being very specific.

So, I’m a trans guy, ie a person with a traditionally feminine appearance, and I wish to start training to become less so, and to help with future surgeries.

How my current goal is looking like is like this: The preferred bodytype I’m going for is a chunky wrestler, while muscle definition is nice, what I would honestly be more comfortable with in general is to just get more broad and ‘solid’. Like The Miz, or Shinsuke Nakamura (can you get a dad-bod when you’re 24?)

Something that is also needed is for me to get a proper muscle definition underneath all of the chest flab, since the surgeons need to have some muscles to follow, unless I want to get some wonky scars over my chest. To build up good strength in both arms and shoulders is also important, because post-operation I won’t be allowed to lift anything heavier than two milk cartons for a month.

The biggest fear I have is losing more weight, since due to medicines I’m taking on a daily basis has made me crash too much in weight.

There is a lot of training regimes online for FTM people like me, but all of them are focused on lean muscle and slimming looks with a lot of muscle definition, which is the complete opposite of what I need. The most popular one at the moment is


Tl;dr of that link is the workout schedule, which is

  • 1-2 hours before your workout, have a snack that gets you ~25g whole grain carbohydrates and ~25g protein.
  • For each workout, focus on one muscle group.
  • Choose 4-5 exercises that utilize those muscles, and 2-3 exercises for abs or deltoids.
  • For each exercise, do three sets of ten reps, with no more than a minute break in between.
  • Pick a weight heavy enough that the tenth rep is HARD.
  • Do high-intensity interval cardio.
  • Drink a protein shake immediately after your workout.

Day 1: Chest and triceps

  • Front deltoid: Shoulder press
  • Rear deltoid: Rear lateral raise
  • Triceps: pick two (preferably from the bolded exercises)
  • Chest: pick two (reduce to one or skip altogether if you’ve already got most chest than you know what to do with)
  • Abs: pick one
  • Cardio

Day 2: Rest

Day 3: Back and biceps

  • Medial deltoid: Upright row
  • Medial deltoid: Lateral raise
  • Biceps: pick two
  • Abs: pick two
  • Back: pick one
  • Cardio

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Rest. Cardio if you want to.

Day 6: See Day 1.

Should I keep to this, and just aim at eating more after sessions, or will this entire thing lead me down a path I don’t want to go?

This is a lot, but honest to god, thank you if you can actually help me with this, because I desperately want to start training again but feel utterly lost because I can’t find a good answer for what I should do.

If there’s any specific questions that needs to be answered, go ahead and ask, and don’t be afraid to step on any toes. I much prefer a straightforward conversation, because that’ll be easier for both of us in the end.

So, forgive me for asking, but are you a chick who is now a dude? I apologise if that’s not a polite way to ask, and I’m really only asking out of curiosity so please don’t answer if I’ve in any way made you uncomfortable.


Your routine is not a good routine. The exercise order is kinda funky, and it completely neglects your entire lower body. I understand that training legs is hard and it sucks because no one ever really sees them, but you really don’t want to neglect the biggest, strongest muscle groups in your body. It can fuck you up in all kinds of ways. Just trust me on this.

I would recommend reading the original (note the italics, emphasising the importance of that particular word) 5/3/1 ebook by Jim Wendler. It is a great book with a great routine that’ll teach you how to set up a basic, no-frills routine to add slabs of muscle and get you strong on some key exercises.

Some people will tell you that as a rank beginner, the 5/3/1 routine is a poor choice. The only people that will tell you that are idiots, so please disregard them.

Best of luck with it all.


You could do a hell of a lot worse than 5/3/1, and I’m one hundred per cent wiyh @Yogi1 for the original and not Beyond 5/3/1 and DEFINITELY not 5/3/1 Forever. You may also find it worthwhile to follow and/or contact Janae Kroc if you haven’t already. She’s on facebook and IG.


@Yogi1 I don’t mind being asked that! It’s a completely fair question, especially considering that I openly talk about this entire thing and am always more than willing to answer questions. You are correct, yes, using the terms that are commonly used in the community, I am a FTM (female to male transgender), alternatively DFAB (designated female at birth). In my case, I’m a ‘chick’ who will in the future start taking testosterone shots and undergo several surgeries.

Moving on to the original topic… :smile:

Yeah, that makes sense. I know that a lot of trans guys aim at bulking up their upper bodies, mostly to work against our common lack in shoulder width, but for what I’m aiming for, it seems very… I wouldn’t say useless, but it’s really useless, since I am also a worker in the service industry, neglecting my legs would be stupid.

This absolutely gives me something better to go after, since this seems like something that absolutely fits with what I need, so thank you so much for your help.

@MarkKO Thank you for the comment as well! You’ve both been very helpful, and thank you for the recommendation of Janae Kroc, I’ll make sure to follow her :smiley:


5/3/1 or Starting Strength for a training plan. BUT ALSO…
…Nobody has mentioned this yet (and that doesn’t make them not intelligent or experienced), but diet changes your physique. If you want a “chunky wrestler” look, you will need to gain weight. A solid caloric surplus will make you gain this weight. Do some research on T-nation about specific diet plans, or wait for more experienced people to steer you towards some. I’ve never followed an exact diet plan, but I do adhere to certain principles I’ve gleaned from reading nutrition articles.

Also, getting on testosterone is going to help you…so there’s that to look forward to.

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as a dude who was born with zero shoulder width - I can relate. It can cause a whole host of postural problems though, not strengthening your lower body, not to mention making you look stupid! Haha.

Best of luck with it all.

Finally someone wants to look like me! (Kidding) So if I’m reading this right you want to look stocky but not athletic/aesthetic?

Well first off how I did it: grew up doing farm labor, harvesting lumber, cutting lawns, wrestling and eating everything in site.

As far as a lifting program that makes you look stocky… You want to have zero V taper and go for a more barrel chested look. So do a bunch of exercises that thicken the midsection, hips and obliques. I think a stronglifts 5x5 or 5/3/1 would work. I mean look at Mark Rippetoe, he’s stocky.

How do you look now? I don’t mean for you to post a picture, but how much do you weigh? Does your natural build reflect your goals in any way? - like wide shoulders, wide hips, stocky appearance? Also what is the time frame? Like when are you going to get the surgeries?

I am just asking that so people can maybe tailor their advice more towards the specific situation. Especially with diet advice and how aggressive you have to approach this.

Best of luck with your progress!

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Are you taking Test and for how long? that will have the biggest effect.
My GF is mtf and has been on hormones for like 7 years (fully passing), i only recently got her to do light training because shes afraid shell become a hyooge over night. Then i showed her ass exercises and squats haha
Go for a set program, use Starting Strength for 6 months, watch all rippetoes demos in youtube and EAT like you mean it (real food, meat and potatoes)! the test will do the rest. O yeah enjoy the sense of accomplishment! it will make you attack for more!!
Edit just read you dint start hrt, that will be biggest factor, till then start everything else.

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Whoa, think thats a T Nation first!

Did you know when you met her??

Can probably guarantee you im not the only one here to ever be woth a trans. Calm down ha

Ok real question here, no hate, but was she really upfront about it in the beginning or did you find out after.

also I don’t know if she has had gender reassignment surgery or not, but if she has does it look like a cis vagina

Really tried to use the correct pronouns and its ok if those questions are too personal, just very curious

first off were not liberal at all so fuck that pronoun shit, second she has everything, yes i knew. CIS vagina what the hell are you talking about.


he’s asking if your girlfriend had a particular surgery that she has not had. that’s all.

as to the orginal post…

the thing you’re talking about is such a common misunderstanding of weightlifting. there is no such thing as building ‘lean muscle’ vs ‘chunky muscle’. muscle tissue is lean, period. what you’re talking about is having concurrent goals of gaining fat and muscle. To do this you will have to lift weights and eat a lot more than you do now.

Eat a lot of things that are calorie-dense. I like whole milk, peanuts, most junk food. Those are your ‘supplements’ in your diet. The rest of your diet should be pretty regular food. Make sure you eat enough protein to support muscle growth.

There is no particular program that is more suited towards your goal of getting ‘chunk big’ than any other program. Pick a program from this site that has a lot of positive review, and work it hard. and eat. and you’ll get big.

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To the OP, this sounds like a good opportunity to get into Strong man training - so you’re strong & mobile in multiple planes of movement.

Maybe also do something like Brazilian Jujutsu so you improve complex coordination & mobility with a very different body shape & size.