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A Gay Man’s Survival Guide to the Gym

For some, the gym can be a battlefield, but for others it can be a sanctuary where for once they are not discriminated against for their sexuality. Fortunately all of Justin’s experiences have been positive where he feels empowered to be himself. In his own words, “It’s the one place that my friends and I can be ourselves and people assume that we’re straight.” He attributes that to the fact that he bodybuilds, so he is considered one of the bigger guys; therefore, everyone wants to be his friend. 


As I continued to talk to Justin, he told me about his top 5 favorite workouts that he would consider a “gay man’s survival guide to the gym”. Of course, these exercises can be used by everyone to strengthen their muscles. In fact, since they are his favorite, he recommends that everyone should give them a try.



  • Romanian Deadlifts: as a man, you cannot rely on fat to give you a nice butt, so you have to build muscle. In the gay community “everybody will be looking at your butt and that’s how it is” which means “as a gay guy you need a cabuse”. These are a perfect exercise to workout your glutes among targeting other lower back areas like your hips, hamstrings, and trapezius.







  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: helps with the v shape of the body by targeting the larger deltoids in the shoulders, which are the round muscles at the top of your shoulder. They also strengthen the triceps, traps, and upper body overall. The v-shape is super desired among gay men.











  • Leg Raises (abs): to have great abs it is mostly about your diet, but training them can definitely help make them more defined. In Justin’s words “gay guys love abs; they obsess.” Leg raises give a great full ab workout and looking at yourself in a mirror while doing them can help you gage your progress. Justin even says that, “EMG Data proves they are one of the most effective ab workouts.”








  • Chest Presses: really help build upper body muscle through strengthening your pectorals, deltoids, and triceps; it also builds your biceps. Plus it creates “a good pillow for your boyfriend’s head as it helps as it helps with pecks.”









  • Endurance Training: it elevates your heart rate which is good for maintaining a healthy and youthful body. Justin says that, “once gay [men] turn 23 they have to fight their clock”. He said he was kinda kidding, but there is some truth in it because lot of gay guys like younger gay guys.


















Justin knows that he is fortunate to not be discriminated against in the gym. His advice to other people to prevent this from happening would be to get 'thicc' because all of the gym bro’s will want to be your friend. In all seriousness though he says, “The gym is a place meant solely for you to focus on you.” It might be difficult to not pay attention to judgement and intimidation (directly or indirectly) at first, but always remember you are there to improve yourself and are not there for anyone else. Your opinion about your own body is the only one that matters, so don’t let the gym be your battlefield; concentrate on yourself and your self-improvement and turn it into your sanctuary.




© 2020 by Anna Bilha