Klinefelter Syndrome Bodybuilding Challenges
Klinefelter syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when a boy is born with an extra X chromosome. Typically males inherit one X chromosome from mom and one Y chromosome from dad. Individuals with Klinefelter syndrome are XXY rather than XY. It frequently is not diagnosed until adulthood and frequently is identified when a male goes through a fertility workup.
It is more common than you likely think affecting 1 in 500 males to 1 in 1,000 males. In fact, it is likely you know someone with Klinefelter syndrome and do not know it. Several celebrities have Klinefelter syndrome or are felt to have it including Tom Cruise and even our nation’s founding father and first president, George Washington.
Klinefelter syndrome is characterized by weak muscles and bones and low testosterone levels which can make bodybuilding a challenge – the topic of this article. In our article, Kallmann Syndrome Versus Klinefelter Syndrome we review the many features and signs, and symptoms of Klinefelter syndrome.
Can You Gain Muscle with Klinefelter Syndrome?
In short, “yes” you can gain muscle with Klinefelter syndrome. Tom Cruise is an example of what can be achieved. Muscle can be gained in individuals with Klinefelter syndrome but there will be limits to muscle gain unless the low testosterone associated with Klinefelter syndrome is replaced. Once an optimal testosterone level is achieved individuals with Klinefelter syndrome can put muscle on with the help of weight or resistance training along with adequate intake of protein – the same requirements in XY males.
Individuals with Klinefelter syndrome typically have more fat around the trunk and hips and also more breast development is known as gynecomastia. Exercise and testosterone replacement along with the use of estrogen blockers can minimize some of the fat associated with the condition.
A personal trainer can assist a person with Klinefelter syndrome to optimize muscle development and should be strongly considered by those interested in adding muscle to their frame.
Does Klinefelter Cause Weight Gain
Klinefelter does not necessarily lead to weight gain but there is more body fat at the expense of less muscle in those not treated with testosterone therapy. Klinefelter individuals tend to be taller than average with longer legs and shorter torsos and broader hips compared with other males. Due to low testosterone levels, they have weaker bones.
As we mentioned above, Klinefelter syndrome is associated with more breast development (fatty tissue) and more fat around the hips and lower abdomen. Because of excess fat individuals with Klinefelter syndrome are more prone to developing obesity, insulin resistance, and high cholesterol. This can be minimized with testosterone replacement therapy and exercise in both aerobic and resistance training.