Introducing: The Transmasculine Trainer Series

Posted by Ilya Parker on

I just want to say that I don't  think there are many series out here like this and it's high time we changed that.

Creating a series of AFFIRMING, ACCESSIBLE & AFFORDABLE workout plans specific to the transmasculine trainer has been a long time coming. We deserve to have the tools made available that will hopefully allow for us to feel good in our bodies. We shouldn't have to scour the internet for hours and hours swimming through tons of outdated and impersonal information. Information mostly written by cisgender folks who are part of medical establishments getting paid off your necessity. 

Congrats on taking steps towards becoming your own autonomous being! I hope these guides will serve you well!

Here is a list of the manuals that will be included in this Series:

  • The Beginner Workout Routine
  • Anatomy and Vitamin T
  • Intermediate Lifting Program
  • Chest Building 101
  • Back Building 101
  • Pre/Post Top Surgery Guidelines
  • Navigating the Gym
  • Gym Clothing & Binding

But before I get into that. I’d like to honor that the word “Fitness” evokes lots of harsh feelings for those of us who don’t embody normative beauty standards. I’d also like to name that marginalized folks (trans, gender non conforming and non binary in this context) are often disconnected from our bodies. However, I believe that purposeful body-movement can actually be used as a healing component. We ALL deserve to engage in practices and take up spaces that allow us to reconnect with ourselves in ways that feel supportive, not coercive. 

For transmasculine people the benchmark is able bodied, toned, cis aligned white masculinity...and so many of us are blamed for falling short of this...aren’t told that this is often unattainable and NOT even necessary for you to hold a trans identity. We are often forced into becoming perpetrators of patriarchy because society leads us to believe that in order for our identity to be deemed valid we must reinforce hegemonic masculinity.

I want to make sure, that I’m explicitly clear that as a trans masculine non binary person (who is often assumed to be a cis man) that I DO NOT seek to add to cisgender heterosexual male toxicity which engulfs our planet. Do I fall short at times *absolutely*. But I do believe firmly that intentionally masculine presenting folks need room to learn, grow and do better.

 Check Out the 1st Workout Plan Here!

My fitness journey literally started when I began my gender transition. I was told by my endocrinologist that I needed to “lose at least 50lbs” before I could began hormone replacement therapy. I was 31 years old and considered “morbidly obese” by the medical establishment. My body dysphoria was intense during this time. I was too depressed to be active. However, my heightened desire to take testosterone and begin my body transformation is what pushed me to exercise. I didn’t know where to start. There was no blue print for transmasculine trainers. I ended up going through several different fitness coaches along my exercise journey (mostly cisgender men) who were each just as problematic as the one before them.

Out of 10 coaches I hired, only one of them provided a small amount guidance and support. In fact, they all discouraged my fitness goals to masculinize my physique and the ones that I did disclose my trans identity to dismissed it and said: “You’ll always be a woman no matter what you look like.”

They all reinforced societal standards of what “women’s bodies” should look like. Those of us assigned female at birth are shamed and our bodies policed especially when we attempt to deviate from what is perceived “feminine”. We don’t get room to hold on to our bodily autonomy especially when it goes against everything that is designated for cis male consumption.

WHY I CREATED THIS SERIES: Reclaiming my identity and taking ownership of my body seeking to masculinize my physique in ways unpalatable to cis men and uncomfortable for cis women has forced me to carve space for my own unique needs in the Fitness industry. I learned so much along my journey and I found the things that worked for me. I fell in love with fitness and bodybuilding although I had such a rough entrance. I started training my transmasculine friends and they began referring me to other folks. I hosted free boot camps and group exercise classes. My community then encouraged me to become a trainer. I was already working as a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant and I later became an ACE Certified Medical Exercise Coach. I now have over 13 years of rehabilitative and functional training experience. I firmly believe fitness can be utilized as a healing tool to help folks reconnect with their bodies in ways that feel supportive and liberating to them. I am a body positive and fat affirming personal trainer. I also specialize in training transmasculine folks and can assist those who are preparing for or recovering from gender affirming surgeries. I feel compelled to share my experiences and the knowledge that I’ve acquired with others and I will continue to highlight the uniqueness  between my experience and that of a cisgender female bodybuilder.

For those of us who may identify beyond the gender binary-What does fitness look like for us? I still have so many questions that not too many people in the Fitness Industry care to answer. I will keep reminding folks that we all deserve access to inclusive, affirming and affordable fitness  services. We need this. Hopefully this guide supports you along your journey to Fitness!

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  • This is good, thank you

    felix on

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