Q&A with @AjayHolbrook, trans bodybuilder & activist

Ajay Holbrook; trans bodybuilder and mentor (he / him / his); Los Angeles, CA

Everyone has different motivations for getting involved in health and fitness. For Ajay Holbrook (aka @ajayholbrook, a trans bodybuilder and activist), working out was a multi-purpose solution — both for his concerns as an LGBTQ+ person and his goals as individual. Determined to get stronger, feel safer, and work on self-discipline, Holbrook took to bodybuilding about four years ago, a bit after starting hormone replace therapy. For Cherry’s Wellness Issue, we asked Holbrook a few questions about his fitness journey and how he self-cares today.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

CC: On a day-to-day basis, what does your fitness routine consist of?

AH: My routine consist of a variety of styles of weight lifting including heavy lifts, isolation, high volume training, and functional body weight training such as muscle ups, pull ups, and handstands.

CC: What keeps you inspired while working out?

AH: What keeps me inspired is my dreams of being a professional model/bodybuilder, working toward my goals of competing for the Mr. Olympia [a prestigious men’s bodybuilding award given at the annual Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend], and the determination to be better everyday. 

CC: Do you think that being a queer person has made wellness and taking care of your health a pressing issue? Why or why not?

AH: I think that in some ways, me being apart of the LGBTQ+ community has pushed me to want to work out, due always wanting to be able to protect myself in any given situation.

CC: On the flip side, how do you think fitness has bettered you as an individual?

AH: Fitness definitely played a huge role in me discovering myself as strongly and authentically as I have. I feel like I have been able to mold me into the best version possible of myself, which has sky-rocketed my confidence in my day-to-day life.

CC: What advice would you give other LGBTQ+ folks who are just starting out and looking for ways to feel comfortable with themselves?

AH: Have patience in your journey. Do not compare your journey to anyone else’s: focus on bettering yourself and being self-aware and enjoy the process!

CC: Any self-care tips you wish to pass on?

AH: No. 1 self-care tip is to put yourself first — emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually — so that you are healthy and well in all areas of your life. In turn, [that] will ensure you are providing the world with the best, most authentic version of yourself! 🍒