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The Conversation Around Matt Kroc & Transgendered Powerlifting

If you are in the bodybuilding or powerlifting communities, you absolutely know or have heard of Matt “Kroc” Kroczaleski. He is a world champion and inventor of Kroc Rows (which we featured here). He has definitively made his name known in the lifting community. Except now he’s starting at the bottom a bit with a name change to Janae Marie. As in, he is transgendered.

Now the point of this article isn’t about him being transgendered, its about his plans on competing now that he’s come out as transgendered, or gender fluid as he’s stated. In an interview, Janae said that she is still undecided on whether she wants to compete as a man or a woman, and that she hesitates to make any physical changes to compete because of what could arise if she won. Janae is obviously more concerned with protecting the integrity of the sport than with her medal count.

Minus the fact that I’m not positive on how to properly refer to a gender fluid individual (him or her or both), the logistics of this topic and competing are the biggest questions. Can a person who has accomplished so much as a male even have the capability of competing as a woman. Will the already accrued muscularity give Matt/Janae an unfair advantage even if she chooses to transition and compete as a woman? Would it be more okay for a younger transgendered individual to transition and then compete or would it be exactly the same?

For some people, the answer is pretty clear. After the IOC and the NCAA set guidelines on how a transgendered invdividual can compete, male-to-female athletes can indeed compete as woman after gender reassignment surgery and (for the IOC) 2 years of hormone therapy. For others, understanding this is more difficult. You see a picture of Matt Kroc as Janae and it seems obvious: he is too muscular to compete in any way as a woman. So a doctor’s point of view would be helpful on this, don’t you think? In an interview with bloodyelbow.com, Dr. Marci Bowers explains:

“Most measures of physical strength minimize, muscle mass decreases, bone density decreases, and they become fairly comparable to women in their musculature.”

So yes, Janae could compete in Women’s Powerlifting after reassignment surgery and hormones and be on the same level as the other women on that platform. She could compete in Women’s Bodybuilding and have the same level of muscular density as the other ladies on the stage. Is Matt’s concern about the legitimacy of his potential wins as Janae being questioned, correct then? Possibly so. In what can be considered the most alpha of sports (lifting heavy things for fun), there is no doubt someone, somewhere would find issue with this. Let’s just see if Janae decides to be even more of a ground breaker than she already has been.

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