“My name is Court Pineiro. I identify as a male. I use he/him pronouns.”

I asked for an interview with Court because he is an extremely motivational and inspiring guy with a good head on his shoulders. I’ve followed him on social media for years and I didn’t even realize it but we actually used to live within a few hours of each other.

When asked about himself he stated that “I am originally from NY, but I’m currently living in WA with my girlfriend, Aly, and our three dogs! Some other things about me is that my favorite season is fall, my hobbies include LIFTING, painting, modeling, hiking, and camping.”

I originally started following Court due to his focus on physical fitness and training. I asked if he was interested in doing an interview about fitness and thankfully he agreed!

Court stated that he “always did sports” growing up but when he was a freshman in college (in 2012) he “started seriously working out and going to the gym.”

“When I was little my dad had Arnold posters hanging up and I always pictured myself growing up to look like that. The first time I went into a weight room was my senior year of High School. It was a little room with a bunch of rusty old equipment. I would go with a teacher and some friends before basketball practice.The first time I felt a pump I knew it was for me.

People can sometimes struggle finding their motivation. I asked Court what his motivation is and if it has changed over time. He had some very insightful thoughts.

“My motivation is the feeling working out gives me, both mentally and physically. You learn to have such a level of respect for yourself because you know the hard work and commitment that is put into having a nice physique. When results come it’s because of your hard work in and out of the gym and ultimately staying consistent.”

Court continues with a peek into his mind. “When I look at myself I love the way I look, I hold my head high and feel confident. I do this because I understand what it took to get me here and what I continue to do to improve myself.”

“My motivation comes from knowing there is no shortcuts. The results come from you and only you.”

Court is a very determined man. During the interview he recalled a project in school. “I remember having a school project to ask your parent one word that describes you and my mom said determined. If I have a goal or want something then I just do it.”

“Really the only thing ever holding you back is your own mind set. When you think you can’t do something just think ‘why not? Why not me? I can’t do it. What’s stopping me?’ Nothing.”

Finding your motivation and staying motivated are two separate things though. I asked Court how he stays motivated, especially when faced with difficulties.

“I stay motivated by reminding myself of the terrible feeling I get when I don’t go or slip up too much with my meal prep.” He explained that when he doesn’t eat well or doesn’t work out that it effects both his body and his mentality. “I’m no longer taking care of myself the way I should. I get disappointed in myself. I hate that feeling. Reminding myself of that will always get me out of bed even on days I’m tired or already feel like I’m not mentally in it because once I get there I kick into high gear and get it done.”

When Court agreed to the interview he said he has always gotten a lot of questions about his work out routines, especially pre and post top surgery. “Honestly they (workout routines) have never really changed based on my transition.” He explained that he has only changed the routines he does because he found something new he wanted to try or found something he liked better.

Currently Court is into body building but has done Crossfit, Olympic lifting, and power lifting.

When asked about his diet Court put simply, “I don’t follow any dietary regime.” He has tried many different diets and combined aspects from them to form a healthy lifestyle. “I still treat myself with sweets and things but I’d say 97% of the time I’m just eating healthy foods and snacks.”

A factor that I have not only noticed within the trans community but have experienced myself is that dysphoria can easily surface at the gym. I asked Court if he has ever faced any issues with dysphoria while at the gym or even getting to the gym.

“I never really felt dysphoric in (locker rooms) but I did walk in there with caution, pre-t or early on taking t, because I knew it could be a safety concern for me… I think the confidence in myself made no one else question why I was there or if I was supposed to be there or not”

“Overall though I walked around the gym and in the locker rooms like I belonged there because I did.”

Court has always been very dedicated to his fitness. He said the hardest thing he has had to overcome at the gym was injuries. They not only have set him back in his physical health but more so in his mental health. He has had times where he hurt his ankles but wouldn’t let that stop him. “I’d go into the gym with crutches and hit upper body.” Court has also hurt his back and caused his personal best to go down from pulling 415lbs to pulling only 225lbs.

“Staying mentally strong knowing that you’ll come back and not just giving up entirely is the hardest thing, but 100% doable.”

Keeping yourself accountable and motivated can be challenging. It’s always recommended to have support from friends/family. Court and I talked about how important that is and how people best supported him with helping recover from any of his injuries and to be sure that there was food that corresponded to his healthy diet and portion sizes.

“Aly is really good at about making sure I have my snacks and protein shakes on time and making sure if we go out to eat there is something I can get.”

“Then there is everyone in social media that really pumps me up and makes me feel good about what I’m doing, so I thank you all for that!”

I asked Court if fitnesses is a key aspect in his life and within his transition. His response was to the point: “Fitness is my whole life.”

“It (fitness) was a part of my life prior to my physical transition. I did martial arts from the time I was 4, then played basketball and football in both middle and high school. Then there was weightlifting from that point onward.”

Court continued his response “I’ve always been active and I always pictured myself looking a certain way. I think everybody does, but the difference is taking action to make what you see in your head a reality. You’re the only person that can shape that. That’s what drives me… There are no short cuts. You either do the work and get the results or you don’t. No one else can do it for you.”

Confidence and happiness radiate from Court’s photos posted online. “Fitness keeps me happy because when I feel good about myself, everything else falls into place. If I have a positive view of myself then everyday is a good day.”

One final question I had for Court was what role fitness has played in his transition.

“Fitness has played a huge role in my transition. I always bring it back to mentality. I know it’s hard living in what feels like the ‘wrong body’ on a daily basis. Throughout exercise and lifting I actually developed a love for my body and realized I’m not in the ‘wrong body.’ I’m in MY BODY that has some anatomical parts I’d like to change. I love my body. Lifting made me look in the mirror and be able to see that image I always had of myself- a strong, fit, handsome, bearded man.”

“Lifting has helped me stay positive about myself and being a man when my transition was hard, it helped me keep my eye on the prize. Every time I hit a new PR (personal record), every time I see I hit a new goal, I just want more because I have seen how far I’ve come already because of the work I’ve put in. That consistency and resilience played a part in my fitness as much as it did in my transition. It was about taking all the little things I do everyday and see them work together to achieve my overall goal.”

TIPS FROM COURT:

-My biggest tip for beginners is don’t let your ego get in the way. If the weight is too heavy and breaking your form, lower the weight. It doesn’t make you look weak, it makes you look smart. By doing the exercise correctly with lighter weight, you’ll build the muscles you want and be able to do the exercise right, with heavier weight as you get stronger. It also helps you prevent injury.

-“Don’t jump all in too quickly or you will get sick of it and stop going or break your new eating habits. Start off with 2-3 days a week for 30-60 mins… With your new eating habits, start off with 1 healthier meal a day and a healthier snack. Don’t do everything at once or you’ll hate it.”

-“DON’T FORGET TO TREAT YOURSELF. I still have chips and cookies or chocolate. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to stop eating everything you love. Just eat it in moderation, not as often and/or smaller portions.”

-“When it comes to dealing with dysphoria at the gym, the best thing I can say is focus on yourself. The more you hone in on yourself and not worry what other people are thinking or looking at, the more results you’ll get in every aspect of your life.

-“I know sometimes dysphoria isn’t about others making you feel a certain way, sometimes it’s your own thoughts. When that happens I remind myself it’s temporary. It’s okay to feel things even when they are bad. It’s what you do and how you process them. Don’t ever let those thoughts make you give up. You beat your own bad mental thoughts one by one and you are unstoppable.”

If you want to follow Court’s story
You can find Court on instagram @courtp1453