In today’s section of Competitors Profiles, we’d like to introduce you to Trey. He competed in our first bodybuilding competition in 2014 and won second place.
IATB: Tell us a little about yourself
Trey: I’m a 34 year old trans guy originally from small town, Ohio. I moved out to Phoenix, AZ where I was stationed at Luke Air Force base in 2007. Aside from a couple short trips, I’ve been here ever since. I separated from the Air Force in 2010 for the sole purpose of beginning my physical transition. Shortly after, I attended school and received my degree in Strength, Nutrition, and Personal Training. When I began my schooling, I was a long distance runner and my interest was in helping endurance athletes. As I worked to become more comfortable in my skin, I discovered strength training. By 2011, I had achieved my goal of becoming a certified personal trainer, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
IATB: How did you get into bodybuilding?
Trey: I think like many Transmen, I saw bodybuilding as a way for others to see me as I saw me. Testosterone is a hell of a powerful drug, but I wanted faster results. After all, I was already 28 at the time I started my transition, but it took me getting stationed across the country in a place I knew no one to REALLY understand my reality. I felt like I got a bit of a late start.
IATB: What’s your diet plan and workout routine?
Trey: It depends on my goals at the time. Lately, as I’ve been swamped with my business, maintenance has been my goal. That looks like mostly healthy decisions and not beating myself up too much if I have a treat on occasion. As March is quickly approaching, I will transition to a cut to get shredded for the Summer. Workouts stay consistent for the most part. I don’t follow a routine. I hit each muscle group a minimum of once a week and I guess you could call what I do “Intuitive Training.” I do whatever I’m feeling that day. As long as I’m killing it, that’s all that matters.
IATB: How did you hear about the FitCon competitions and why did you decide to compete?
Trey: I heard about FitCon online, most likely a facebook post. I competed the very first year in 2014. There were only five of us. I remember finding out about it somewhat last-minute. When you’re carrying a decent amount of fat, a 16 week notice, in which time you drop 36 pounds, isn’t much of a notice at all. And quite honestly, I still wasn’t lean enough. It was pretty miserable but I learned a lot and it sure felt like quite the accomplishment! My decision to compete was simply to prove to myself that I could.
IATB: How do/did you prepare for the competition emotionally and mentally?
Trey: I don’t think you can really appropriately prepare for your first bodybuilding competition. You can’t possibly know what to expect. It really requires you to dig deep down and find every ounce of courage and willpower you have. Sometimes (most of the time) you’re hungry. Getting out of bed after very little sleep to do cardio is the last thing you want to do. You don’t have energy. You WILL want to give up. It’s probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but you’ll do it, and you’ll probably do it again.
IATB: Have you competed in the past in other competitions?
Trey: Not yet, but I’m considering an NPC show.
IATB: What do you think about the creation of IATB – The International Association of Bodybuilders?
Trey: I think it needed to be done. What a great opportunity for guys with similar experiences to compete and support each other along the way, while still setting guidelines so competitors know what’s expected and how they can prepare.
IATB: What are your expectations for IATB? What would you like to see happening?
Trey: I’d love to see it grow into a well-respected organization. I would hope it can be inclusive of transgender individuals regardless of where they are in their transition, but still be true to the sport of bodybuilding. As transgender folks, we like to be inclusive, but bodybuilding is an aesthetic sport so I think there should be an expectation of that and an understanding among competitors.
IATB: How do you relate bodybuilding to your identity?
Trey: Bodybuilding has helped me become more comfortable in my skin. It has shown me that of which I’m truly capable. It has allowed me to form friendships and bonds with many similar minds, trans and cis alike. This world will challenge you over and over again, but when you can present your own challenge, and really push yourself beyond your limits, that’s when you really grow. I became a better version of myself.
IATB: How far do you think we’ve come and how far do you think we have to go in the fitness industry for people of Trans experience?
Trey: We’ve come a long way, but we are also at the beginning. Each year, FitCon grows, as does the trans fitness community as a whole. Trans bodybuilding really asks a lot of people. It takes being comfortable with yourself and your body to publicly display it on stage. You’re forced to put your insecurities aside and just do it. I think some of us just have to continue to get up there and let people know it’s okay. We just have to continue to support each other along the way. We do need to educate more. There’s too much misinformation out there. That’s one reason I recently launched my new website, www.transformfit.net, an online-based personal training and nutrition for trans guys, by trans guys. We are a group of 7 FTM personal trainers and we are growing. I wanted to create a safe space for guys like me to improve their fitness and health and also reach their goals. My team and I are excited about the growth of fitness in the transgender community. The best part is, we can understand the concerns of our clients because we’ve been there. You might recognize one of the Transform Fitness trainers, Tommy Murrell, the overall winner of the Fitcon 2016. What a great guy! Anyway, I’m off topic but the important thing is there are people out there with the knowledge and passion. You just have to know where to look.
IATB: We like to think of the IATB bodybuilders as ambassadors for the trans community because they show a different but important side of Trans visibility. Do you consider yourself an ambassador for the community? If so, how?
Trey: I’ve never really thought of myself as an ambassador, mostly because I don’t get too caught up in labels, but I guess you could say that. I just live my life the best I can and hope that provides some encouragement for guys in the same boat.
IATB: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Trey: Thailand! No, really… Phuket has some amazing training camps that I’d love to visit again. My online training business is really taking off and I can run that from anywhere in the world, so why not live in my favorite country to visit and learn some Muay Thai while I’m at it? I just need to convince my other half.
IATB: What are some tips you’d give to someone who wants to compete in IATB competition?
Trey: Take it seriously. Hire a coach. Have a plan, follow it, and have fun!
IATB: Any last word?
Trey: Let other guys inspire you, not discourage you. If you are consistent, you will reach your goals. Not everyone wants to be a bodybuilder and that’s okay. Whatever your passion, give it 100% and you will come out on top.
You can follow Trey at Transform Fitness