FtM Muscle Building Pre T

FtM Muscle Building Pre T

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!

Supplementation for beginners

Supplementation for beginners

What supplements should a beginner take?

A question I often get asked as soon as I take on a new client is “what supplements should I be taking?” When you are a beginner the two things that you want to be worrying about first are:

  1. Your nutrition
  2. Your training

You need to get those two things completely on point before you want to even look into supplementation. Because supplementation is really only the last 10% of the progress you are going to be making and that is after you have very good nutrition and after you are being very consistent with a good training program. If your nutrition and your training are not on point you are wasting your money on those supplements, they are not doing anything for you.

Let’s assume that your nutrition and your training are on point. What supplements should you be thinking about? The first thing you should be thinking about is protein powder. If you are starting to find it difficult to get enough protein in your diet during the day then consider getting protein powder. It does not matter what kind of protein powder. I use a plant based protein powder only because I can not have dairy products and whey protein powder would make me feel sick! If you do not have that sensitivity go for whey protein powder it is usually cheaper and there are a lot more flavor choices. However, if you are not having any trouble getting protein in your diet then protein powder is not really a must. You do not need to be eating protein powder to make the muscle gains you want or to lose the fat that you want to lose. It is a matter of convenience, that is it.

The second supplement that you might want to think about using is creatine monohydrate. Basically what creatine monohydrate does is it helps you get that extra rep or two during your sets. To get any benefit out of creatine monohydrate you have to be taking it consistently every single day (about 5g, depending on what your body weight is). When you are looking for a creatine supplement just get the cheapest creatine monohydrate that you can find. You can get a tub of creatine monohydrate powder and it will last you forever! If you want the added convenience of getting it in a capsule you can do that. You will be paying for that convenience of course, but for some people it is worth it. I just take my spoon full of creatine, put it in my mouth and quickly drink some water. It is like pounding a mouth full of sand.

I am sure what a lot of you guys are asking now is what about vitamins, why is she not mentioning vitamins? Well, if your nutrition is on point you should not need them. Unless you go to your doctor and your doctor tells you that you are deficient in this vitamin or that mineral there is no need to be taking a vitamin.

Just remember when you are researching supplements to take no supplement is going to replace hard work and good nutrition. If you are deciding between buying these supplements or spending that money on good quality food. Get the food instead of the supplements it will do you more good in the long run.


Make Your Inner Dialogue Work For You

How To Master Your Inner Dialogue

Make your inner dialogue work for you, not against you.

We all have that little voice inside our head that comments on almost everything. What we do, what we don’t do, the things that are going on in the world. At least I really hope it’s not just me who has this little voice. It is important to keep tabs on this little voice and make sure that it is not working against you. Things are a thousand times easier when that voice is cheering you on and saying things like “I can do it” or “what a beautiful day for a morning walk”. It is a thousand times harder to get your workout done when that little voice is saying things like “I’m too tired” or “that looks way too difficult for me”.

To be successful you want that inner voice to be positive as often as possible. If you just realized that your voice is saying a lot of negative things then I have some good news for you. You can control that voice! It is something that you will have to really work at at first but that little bit of effort will pay off. The more you work at it the easier it will be to keep that voice positive and then the easier it will be to get that workout in after work.

The first thing you want to do is get better at actually listening to what that voice is saying to you. After all, it is hard to change what that voice is saying if you don’t actually remember what it said half the time. You can start by tuning in at specific times. A really good time to start this is right before you are scheduled to workout. What is that voice saying when it is time to head off to the gym? If it is saying negative things stop it in its tracks and think something positive instead.

Give it a try. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain!


My quest to become she-hulk so far

Quest To Become She-Hulk

My quest to become she-hulk so far!

I have wanted a muscular physique for a long time, but have hesitated to actually set that goal for myself. Not because it would be an atypical goal for a woman in the eyes of general society, but because I knew how much effort I would have to put into it. If I decided that that was something that I wanted to truly strive for I would not be able to half-ass it. The thought was daunting.

Eventually one fateful morning I woke up and decided it would be great to do it and make a video series to document it. It would help keep me accountable and consistent. It would be a great way to document my journey and track my progress.I also hoped that this series would show how much serious, determined and planned effort it takes to put on a large amount of muscle as a female who isn’t supplementing with hormones. And that women do not have to be afraid of getting bulky if they lift more than a 10 pound weight. The series will hopefully also serve as a bit of a road map or guide for the ladies who do want to build a muscular physique, but also prepare them for the difficult journey ahead and help them set reasonable expectations for their progress. The hope is that eventually this series will also help motivate those people.

Just as I finished that thought another thought popped into my head. Such a series had to have been done before. There is no way that I’m the only woman in the world who has a background in the fitness industry, wants a muscular physique and is a big enough nerd that they would want to name a series about that something along the lines of “My Quest To Become She-Hulk.” I will admit that that thought put a dent in my high spirits. Despite that though I was still excited about the idea so I spent most of that day searching for that existing series and running the idea past anyone who would listen.

Much to my surprise I couldn’t find anything that really fit the bill by the end of the day and the overwhelming majority of people who I ran the idea past were supportive and interested. That was that, I decided I should jump into the idea with both feet. I wrote up the exercise program I would follow, decided on a calorie goal and committed to making the weekly series.

The series is now almost three months old and everything is in full swing. There have been, as there always are, a few small bumps along the road but all things considered the series so far has been a success.

Highlights from the journey so far:

During the first few days eating enough food to reach my calorie goal every day proved to be a little bit more difficult than I had expected. I had to make a conscious effort to eat because I always felt full. Oh, and the bloating. There was some serious bloating going on. I had some stomach pain as well. Turns out that I should have maybe ramped up my calories during the first week. Hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it? The only days that I didn’t have much trouble eating enough calories were the days that I ate out since a meal at a restaurant can easily knock out 1,000 calories or more.

Getting stronger always has been and always will be something that is incredibly rewarding and exciting to me! Every single one of my lifts has gone up since I started bulking. Well, my pull up count is still stuck at 2 but it has stayed at 2 even though I am gaining weight so I am going to count that as that lift getting stronger!

Something I didn’t think about at the time was gaining weight = no longer fitting into my current wardrobe. I have had to do a lot more clothes shopping than someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy it would have liked in the past few months. I’m sure I will have to do more shopping in the future.

One day I accidently kicked the subwoofer underneath my desk so hard that I had bruising all around my pinky toe and walking ranged from uncomfortable to painful for almost a week. Don’t worry I didn’t break anything! This lead to one workout getting skipped altogether and the next two being only upper body workouts that had me laying on a bench with my foot in the air to keep it from swelling. Also there was no one else in the gym when I was working out so no one saw me looking a little silly. Not that people in the gym would have kept me from doing it anyway.

You can watch the series over on my YouTube channel. Here is the first episode to get you started!


My Post-Workout Smoothie

My Post-Workout Smoothie

How to make my post-workout smoothie.

The first thing I put in is a scoop of my protein powder. The protein powder I use is plant based. I get it from Costco. Some people find it a little bit sweet because of the sweetener that they use, but I find that it tastes just fine as long as you put a banana in there with it. You can use whichever protein powder you want there are a couple options for dairy free protein powders out there you just have to look.

Next I put in about a tablespoon of milled flaxseed. It is an easy source of omega-3s.

The next ingredient is a biiiiiig handful of spinach. The spinach gives the smoothie a really nice green color and also, you gotta have those leafy greens! It is a great way to get them into your diet. Even if you do not like spinach trust me, you will not taste it.

The next ingredient is probably my favorite, frozen bananas. These things taste amazing in smoothies.

Once you have your banana in there and everything is packed down the last thing you need to do is add some water. I add about 1 cup or 1 cup and a half. Depends on how much you have in your smoothie. You just need enough water so that it will blend properly.

All that is left is to hit blend and then wait a minute or so until it is mixed fully and then there you go, one tasty smoothie. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients and maybe add some more of your favorite fruit.

Here is an extra little pro tip for you guys: rinse out your blender right away. Do not let it sit. It will be a million times easier to clean it afterwards trust me. Have a great day and make yourself a smoothie!


Identify Snake Oil Salesmen

How To Identify Snake Oil Salesmen

How to identify a snake oil salesman.

The very first thing you want to do is, follow the money! Ask yourself does this person stand to make any money by convincing you that this product works. If you find that the answer is yes it does not mean that they are automatically not trustworthy it just means that it is time to be a little bit more sceptical of their claims. The second thing that you want to ask yourself is, does this person seem to care at all about my long term results. Or do they just want you to give them your money and then never see you

The second thing that you want to ask yourself is, does this person seem to care at all about my long term results. Or do they just want you to give them your money and then never see you again? If you can you will want to look into their background. Does this person have a history of backing snake oil sales? If you find that they do then you will want to keep your distance right away. However, if you find that they have a history of making evidence-based recommendations then they are more likely to be trustworthy in this instance as well.

If you can, ask a 3rd party about the product. Do your own research and find information about the product that is put out by someone who is not tied to it. Someone who does not stand to make any gains if you do buy in.

And finally, if this product seems too good to be true, it probably is! You have to use your own common sense and think about what they are claiming. Are they promising you that if you take this one tiny pill then you will no longer have to exercise or eat right and that you will look like that fitness model on the cover of that magazine with no effort on your part? It is probably not true.


How To Be Successful

How To Be Successful

How to stick to your program and be successful.

First thing you want to do is to be honest with yourself about why you are doing this. It does not have to be a socially acceptable reason and it does not have to be a reason that anyone else has suggested to you. It has to be your reason, the actual reason that you are doing this. You are going to remind yourself of this reason as often as you can and you are going to write it down. Preferably you are going to write it down in a place where you can always have access to it. You want to be able to have a look at it every single time that you are thinking about not doing something that you are supposed to be doing for your program.

For example, today you do not really feel like going to the gym, you are kind of tired and you had a ruff day at work. You can look in your phone or in your planner wherever you have that reason written down. You are going to look at that reason and then you are going to go to the gym. Being able to see that reason and be reminded of that reason will help give you the motivation to follow through.

Something else that is also very important to being successful is having a growth mindset. Do not focus on how good you are now, focus on how you can improve. You have to know that things like intelligence and willpower are not fixed and that we can develop them. Do your very best to not let your personal traits become part of your personal identity. Your personal traits could be “I have failed in the past” or “I have extra fat”. But do not let that become part of your personal identity. You are not a failure and you are not fat.

Speaking of failure we have to plan for failure. No one is perfect. You are going to stumble along the way. You have to put a plan in place for when you do fail. For example, you missed your workout today because your day ended up being just insane there was no way you could get that workout in. Well, tomorrow you are going to get that workout in no matter what. It is going to be your life’s mission that day! If you do happen to fail you will want to reflect on in. Reflecting often is another way to be successful. Alright, you failed now you have to think about why you failed. What lead to the failure and what can you do in the future to make sure that it never happens again. If you are tracking your food intake it is important to sit down at least once a week and look over your food log and reflect on how well you are doing. Can you make any improvements? Or are you doing fantastically?

You do not want to just reflect on the negative. You also want to reflect on the positive. If something has been working particularly well you will want to make note of it and reflect on it. Do not forget, if you have been working on something for awhile now to recall where you came from and how far you have come already.

Another important thing that you can do to be successful is to not expect everything to change all at once you will be more successful if you make small and gradual changes over time. Do not just celebrate your results celebrate all of the effort you put towards getting those results. You went to the gym when you did not feel like going and you spent all that time prepping food on the weekends. For that, you deserve a pat on the back.

It is also important to focus on the process rather than the outcome. You can make process-related goals like, “go to the gym 3x a week this week” or “eat 2 servings of vegetables every day this week”. When you focus on the process your weight loss or your physique goal will come naturally. However, the reverse is often not true.


How Online Training Works

How Online Training Works

How online training with me works.

The first thing you are going to do when you sign up for online personal training with me is fill out your intake form. Take your before pictures and also take a video of yourself doing the 3 movement screening exercises. I will use all of that information as well as everything that we talked about during your consultation to write you your individualized exercise program. From this point on your level of support depends on exactly how much you want. You can take videos of yourself doing the exercises that I have given you. I will make sure that you are doing them with good form and will make any corrections as needed. I can offer you nutritional advice if you need it. If you want to you can check in via email daily. We can also have a weekly skype call where you can ask any questions that you might have and we can also talk about your progress face to face. Of course any necessary changes that we have to make to your program we will make as we go along.

If you have any other questions about online personal training you can always email me at alana@alanakeelingfitness.com you can also have a look at my website for more information.


Build Confidence

How To Build Confidence

Weight lifting helps people build confidence.

Today I want to talk about why. Over the years I have seen a very interesting side effect of weight lifting in my clients. They started to build a whole lot of confidence. Something that they were not expecting or really hoping for but it just sort of happened. And I think it is just due to the nature of weight lifting itself. When someone starts weight lifting a lot of the time doing something like deadlifting 200lbs off of the floor seems like a goal that they could never accomplish. But then a few months down the line all of a sudden they are able to do it and do it with ease. Talk about a confidence builder! Being able to do something that you never thought possible is awesome. In weight

Being able to do something that you never thought possible is awesome. In weight lifting if you are tracking your workouts correctly it is very easy to see your progress. For example when people look back at their workout logs and find that they are lifting 30 more lbs than they were a few months ago it is an amazing feeling. You get to watch as your bench press goes up by 5lbs and then 5lbs again and then 5 more pounds. And then all of a sudden you are bench pressing 100lbs and you can not help but feel a little bit more confident in yourself. For a lot of people, weight lifting gives them a healthy way to exert control over their life. With weight

For a lot of people, weight lifting gives them a healthy way to exert control over their life. With weight lifting you can set reasonable goals and work towards them in a fairly controlled environment. It is a great training place for life in general. You can set a goal to lift a certain amount of weight. You will work towards that goal and eventually you will get there. As long as it is a reasonable goal. Weight lifting has a lot of benefits and one of the ones that I’ve found that I didn’t quite expect was that it’s a great confidence builder. If you liked the video please like the video. Subscribe and I will see you next time. Thanks for watching.

Weight lifting has a lot of benefits and one of the ones that I have found that I did not quite expect was that it is a great confidence builder.


What Is Fitness

What Is Fitness

Let’s talk about what fitness is.

If you ask me fitness is not just about fitting into a certain size of clothing or looking a certain way. Fitness is about a lot of things. It is about increased quality of life. It is about longevity. It is about increased confidence. It is about being pain-free. Fitness is about feeling good and taking care of yourself and being the best version of yourself that you can be! Fitness is not just about changing your body, it is about changing your mind too. Fitness is about building a body that will not get in the way of what you want to do with your life, but will help facilitate it. To me fitness is about the long term!