How to Build Muscle: A 3 step guide for pre-hormone FtM guys.
Hey, all of you FtM guys out there don’t wait until you are on testosterone to start building muscle. Putting on muscle takes a long time. The sooner you start the better! Also now is the perfect time to lay down a good foundation of strength so that you are ready for when you do start testosterone.
Step 1. Lift weights
More specifically lift progressively heavier weights. When you are looking at programs remember that frequency is important for non-enhanced lifters. You will make faster progress doing a full body program 3x a week and hitting every muscle group 3x a week than you will doing a split routine where you work out 5-6 days a week and only hit every muscle group once a week. Now is the time to master those big important movements like the squat, deadlift, bench press, barbell row, and overhead press.
Step 2. Eat
If you want to build muscle you have to eat enough to fuel your workouts and also put towards building more muscle tissue. Eating at a caloric surplus of about 250 kcals/day is a good place to start if you are comfortable with the amount of body fat you currently have. If you have a bit more body fat on your frame than you want then you might want to keep your calories at maintenance. If you have a lot more body fat on your frame than you want and you are new to lifting then you will likely be able to gain some strength as well as a little muscle while you are eating at a calorie deficit of about 250-500 kcals/day. You will not be able to get away with this forever but if you are a beginner you can probably get away with it for a few months.
You will also want to make sure you are eating enough protein. You will want to shoot for 0.8g of protein per 1lb of bodyweight. As for the ratio of carbs and fat it doesn’t really matter as long as you are getting some of each. Some guys feel better eating more carbs, some guys feel better eating more fat. Experiment and find out which guy you are. Don’t forget to get most of your calories from healthy whole foods rather than junk food.
Step 3. Rest
Your muscles need recovery time so that they can grow bigger and get stronger. Rest days are not a bad thing, if you want to grow up to be big and strong you have to rest. This also means getting enough sleep. If you are on an especially demanding program you might find that you need 8-9 hours of sleep a night to recover. Don’t shortchange your sleep you will just end up shortchanging your gains. No one wants to do that. When bedtime comes around and you would rather watch some more Netflix remember your goal to put on some serious muscle.
Extra Special Bonus Step. Hard Work and Patience
Remember, building muscle is a slow process especially for people who have a female hormone profile. Don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t happen in a week, because it won’t. Building muscle is a process that takes months and years of consistent effort, but it is worth it!