A person’s general body shape is largely defined by their skeletal frame, as well as their distribution of muscle and fat. Males tend to store less fat than females and have more bone and muscle mass on average.
Because females tend to have more curves and a smaller stature, many transmen and non-binary transmasculine people desire a physical transformation to masculinize these traits. Though it’s possible to achieve a masculine body type through a variety of surgical and lifestyle changes, it’s important to understand the statistical differences between females and males in order to formulate realistic goals based on your body shape.
Prior to puberty, females and males tend to have very similar body shapes. But as the production of hormones increases during puberty, rapid physical changes usually occur, resulting in the development of secondary sexual characteristics that are more male or female.
Testosterone is produced by every body but at different rates. These differing rates are responsible for many physical differences between females and males. The average adult male can produce as much as 10 times the testosterone of the average adult female.
Higher levels of testosterone production results in a number of masculine body traits such as:
The average male is taller and heavier than the average female and may have significantly higher upper body strength, though many females and males deviate from these statistical differences.
Testosterone levels affect how fat is metabolized and carried. Males tend to be less efficient at storing fat than females and so typically have lower percentages of body fat. Fat distribution also differs with females being more prone to weight gain in their hips, butt and thighs, while males are more likely to gain weight in their upper body, especially around the waist and abdomen.
While no two shapes or figures are ever the same, most male body types can placed into one of the three categories below.
Perhaps the most admired male form, V-shaped males can easily shift from being incredibly lean or very muscular. They tend to have very broad shoulders, a narrow waist and narrow hips. When V-shaped males gain weight, it tends to be around the abdomen, but it can also occur on the buttocks.
Apple-shaped males tend to be shorter and rounder than those in the other body types. They carry much of their excess weight around their abdomen, calves and ankles. As a result, they’re more prone to gaining weight and have more trouble losing excess fat.
Males with a rectangular frame usually appear very muscular. They are prone to rounded, protruding chests and rectangular torsos, as well as thicker arms, thighs and calves than those in the other body types. Like apple-shaped body types, rectangular body types can gain weight easily and it’s typically distributed in the hips, buttocks, upper back and stomach.