This study explores the effects of gender affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) on measures of fitness and muscle health, and are recruiting participants for both those undergoing gender affirming hormone therapy (testosterone or oestradiol) and comparison groups.

This project is conducted at the Institute for Health and Sport (IHES) at Victoria University.

Participants can receive a report describing the outcome measures of their performance and will be reimbursed with a gift card up to $200 value.

About the project

The study will explore how GAHT effects measures of fitness and muscle health.

Very little is known regarding the effects of GAHT on fitness and muscle health. So it is important to understand the effects of GAHT on these measures in order to improve policies for participation in sport.

As part of this study, you'll undertake fitness and health testing. There will be three assessments at:

  • 0 months
  • 6 months
  • 12 months.

If you have undergone gender affirming hormone therapy for 2+ years, you won't be required to do any follow up assessments.

You'll undergo these assessments free of charge:

  • body composition scan using DXA
  • blood sampling
  • muscle biopsy*
  • aerobic fitness testing
  • muscle strength testing
  • jump performance testing
  • lifestyle questionnaires focusing on physical activity, quality of life and lifestyle changes
  • diet provided 2 days prior to muscle and blood sampling.

*muscle biopsy is optional.

 A person pedalling on an exercise bike within a gym.


Inclusion criteria for this study:

  • participants must be adults (18+ years) about to start GAHT or
  • have been on gender affirming hormone therapy for 2+ years or
  • are not currently using hormones and would like to participate in this research as comparator groups
  • able to attend visits at Victoria University Footscray Park campus.

Exclusion criteria

  • Medical history of:
    • cardiovascular conditions
    • dizziness or fainting during exertion
    • significant chronic or recurrent respiratory conditions
    • neuromuscular and major musculoskeletal problems interfering with ability to cycle
    • uncontrolled endocrine and metabolic disorders or diabetes requiring insulin and other therapies
    • current pregnancy
    • infectious blood borne disease
    • disorders or use of medications that will affect blood clotting and allergies to anaesthetic
  • active nicotine (cigarette/vapes) use
  • inability to provide written informed consent.


Expression of interest

If you are over 18 years of age and would like free exercise testing and health and fitness information, please register your interest below.

All trials will be conducted at the Institute for Health and Sport (IHES), Victoria University, Footscray Park Campus.

Register your interest

Contact us

For more information, contact: