Does Bodybuilding Change Your Face? (what I discovered)

January 8, 2024 |

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There is no question that bodybuilding can change your physique. But does it also change your face?

Some experts say that bodybuilding can cause the lower half of your face to become more angular, while the muscles in your forehead and jaw may become more pronounced.

Yes, bodybuilding can change your face. In fact, any type of muscle growth – whether it’s from bodybuilding or simply lifting weights – can cause some changes in the appearance of your face.

But how far? Does bodybuilding change your face?

Today we’re looking at how improving your body can improve your face, how it does it, and the limitations of such a life-changing difference.

Where Did This Question Come From?

There are a lot of examples of people showing complete transformations before and after taking up bodybuilding. In the pursuit of better bodies, many people note that their face was one of the places where they saw the most change.

The change from overweight to muscular and lean is a significant change to how you look – one way or another.

This is also paired with a major change in the face, which few people expected but has some of the best benefits of changing body composition.

There are – particularly – a lot of ‘enhanced’ transformations that show off this kind of change.

Whether it’s from a skinny kid to a jacked guy or a chubby guy to a lean one, the result is typically a more attractive face, and this has led a lot of people to ask – does bodybuilding change your face?

Does Bodybuilding Change Your Face Permanently?

The answer is a mixture of yes and no.

Typically, bodybuilding will make you more attractive in the face as it changes how your existing bone structure is visible and potentially changes the health and complexion of your skin.

It’s also impossible to miss the confounding factor: people who start to take more interest in their appearance will likely improve other habits.

Bodybuilding can open people to better skincare, be concerned about hairstyles, and more.

Bodybuilding will change the soft tissues of the face, but it’s not going to change some of the hard, underlying stuff. Remember: bodybuilding will make the most of what you have but won’t change the genetic stuff.

Changing Face Composition: How Bodybuilding Can Change Your Face

Bodybuilding can change how your face looks – especially if you come to bodybuilding with unwanted body fat.

One of the most effective ways to improve your facial appearance is to reduce body fat and water retention, making a face look soft and pudgy and may even leave you with jowls.

The focus on improving body composition in bodybuilding is one of the easiest ways to unveil a hidden jawline, cheekbones, or even a neck that was obscured.

Reducing body fat is one of the most important ways that men, in particular, can improve their appearance – as the most attractive masculine traits are associated with these changes. This is one of the reasons why the most attractive people typically display well-defined features.

The appearance of the face is hard to see with too much body fat, and burning this body fat in the pursuit of a better physique also reveals the finer – more attractive – features of the face. It reveals the most important facial features, but it also codes for health and athleticism when other people look at you.

These changes are all deeply personal.

They are going to bring out the best in your face often.

Regular activity also contributes to the hormonal environment, where diet, exercise, hydration, and sleep help improve other factors like skin quality and complexion.

Changing Your Hormonal Environment with Bodybuilding

If you’re young enough, lifestyle changes will show up physically in how your features respond. This is not likely to be a bodybuilding-specific change, but exercise, diet, and sleep hygiene contribute to healthy development.

For those under 21, the development of healthier habits may well involve a higher level of free testosterone, improvements to nutrient deficiency, or simply the impetus to grow more healthily.

This involves any form of exercise, and the improvement of dietary factors like hormone-regulating compounds, removal of deficiency (such as Zinc or Vitamin D deficiency), and bone health all contribute to how you grow – both in height and in the face.

As above, this also involves skin quality and complexion.

Bone Structure: Bodybuilding Can’t Change Your Features

There are some things that none of us can change. As adults, we have to deal with the fact that our major facial features are probably set forever – except for a broken nose or severe, invasive surgery.

Things like the jaw and cheekbones, the position of the eyes, and their setting in the skull, happen at the level of bones. You can’t train those, unsurprisingly.

muscle man face

This means you’re always working with what you’ve got, so the severe impact of fat gains and fat loss is so important.

If you can’t do much to change your face, then anything that does work (like changing body composition) is even more noticeable.

Transformations around the face are typically the fat and water retention and the way they make your face look ‘soft’ – again, more of a problem for guys, where strong and defined features are typically more attractive.

Bodybuilding and Facial Aesthetics: FAQ

Does Gaining Muscle Change Your Face?

Gaining muscle will not usually change your face – unless you’re doing lots of jaw exercise. There may be mild secondary gains in your face muscles, but not enough to see significant differences.

The main changes to your face will come from fat loss, not muscle gain. However, this may not apply equally to people using anabolic drugs since they promote whole-body muscle change and may include face muscle development.

Does Bodybuilding Change Your Face Shape?

Bodybuilding won’t necessarily change your face shape, but it will change how you present that face to the world.

Losing fat is one of the most reliable and effective ways to change your appearance.

Reducing facial and neck fat significantly improves the definition of facial features like the jaw and cheekbones. These are typically the most important for attractive faces.

There are other ways bodybuilding may change your face shape – especially the use of anabolics, through long-term hormonal change, or just improving your diet and sleep habits. These indirect effects can add another layer – but won’t necessarily change face shape – just appearance.

Does Testosterone Change Your Face?

Possibly – testosterone can significantly increase the resting muscle mass of your face even without direct training. This may increase facial muscles’ size and density, especially around the jaw.

Other anabolics like trenbolone which reduce subcutaneous water and fat, will also significantly change your face, producing a “tren jaw” where the jawline looks very cut and defined.

Final Thoughts: Bodybuilding vs Facial Aesthetics

Bodybuilding can change your face and how it looks – but it won’t affect the underlying bone structure. It’s a way of improving the exposure of your most attractive features but won’t significantly alter them.

Just like muscle insertions, bone structure is set.

The things you can change are musculature and body fat percentage. By changing these, you can seriously improve your appearance and make the most of the features you were born with and grew into.

Beginners with extra body fat will see the largest changes as their features become clearer and their face shape becomes less round or exaggerated. Bodybuilding’s indirect benefits are also great – making your face look younger, healthier, and more attractive through diet, sleep, and skin health.

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