Vulnerability. That annoying little thing that women want from us. They want us to expose our feelings. Share what’s inside.
“Tell me what you’re feeling… inside.”
“Express your feelings!”
So many arguments between men and women begin and end with our inability to express our feelings, and their abundant need to do so. It’s a painful and never-ending cycle with both sides lacking empathy for the other. Both sides at odds and unable to understand the frustrations of the other.
It’s true that when we’re at our most vulnerable, we’re exposed. We’re exposed for the world to see. Who we are underneath the multiple layers and defenses that have built up over the years. The hardened facade that we’d like people to think is the real us.
What’s this article really about?
If you’re confident when you’re completely exposed. You’re a truly confident man. Now let’s build the armour needed to get there.
It’s easier to be strong when we have armour. When there’s a line of defense protecting us from the world. Or us from our enemy.
Our bodies are our armour. The better equipped we are for battle (sports, emergency situations, or literally for a fight) the more confident we’re going to be. And just like the best armour and weapons in the world can give a warrior confidence. A great looking physique can (and undoubtably does) give us the same.
We’re going to go over unique strategies to help accomplish both: a great looking, and great performing physique that will give you the confidence you need to be at your best every single day you’re alive. Does that mean our confidence is only skin (or muscle) deep? Of course not. We’ll deal with the courage and strength that a man should possess within in an upcoming article. But for now, it’s all about muscle.
Find your purpose.
We’ll go into it further in a future article, but having a powerful “why” is maybe the most important thing you can possibly have – no matter what your endeavour. I’m getting emails daily from guys who list “a lack of motivation” as one of their greatest obstacles to building their ideal body. We all have this as an obstacle, if we’re honest, from time to time.
Some of this can be attributed to a hormonal imbalance. In which case you should check this article out on improving your testosterone levels. But a lot of the time it’s simply a matter of not wanting it enough – or not knowing why you should want it so much.
Some (few) seem to be born with a burning desire to accomplish great things. They usually have a powerful mission and purpose attached to what they’re doing. If you’re going to build your ideal body, you need to have a powerful reason that will get you to the gym when it’s the last thing you want to do. But also help you eat the right foods when you’d rather eat crap.
Most of the time we don’t have to search very far for this reason. It’s usually right in front of us. Improved confidence (why do you want it?). A longer, more energetic life (why do you want it – or who do you want it for?). Ask why, and keep asking until you get to the root of your most emotional desires.
Find your purpose. Then implement the following strategies.
Add some intensity to your training.
In preparing for the movie 300, the entire cast had to go through rigorous training in order to look like they eventually looked like in the image above. To start, they had their purpose: $. If they didn’t get the body they were supposed to get, some of them wouldn’t make it in the movie. The film clearly wouldn’t have been as successful had a bunch of chubby dudes been shown running into battle against the mighty Persian army. And chubby is what a lot of them were when training started.
They also trained like athletes. They lifted heavy, mixed intense (sprints) cardio into their weight training, and lifted with a lot of variation in their rep counts. Their success in their training was measured on their performance, not simply how they were looking. The lesson: if you’re getting stronger, improving your power and endurance, you’re most likely going to be building a better looking physique.
Adding different athletic movements to your training can help with the intensity. Most namely plyometrics and Olympic lifts (and variations for both).
Why do we want intensity?
Sprints are the best way to burn fat and maintain muscle. With weight training, it’s the last 3 reps before failure where the majority of the muscle damage is created. Add in the right nutrition and you’re going to find that perfect balance where you’re burning fat and building muscle at the same time.
The key: intensity, and explosive athletic movements.
Olympic Lifts and Plyometrics
The majority of the athletes we see on TV playing basketball, boxing, or playing football do a lot of these kinds of exercises because they build power, speed, and explosiveness. In the case of Olympic lifts, they also really help broaden the shoulders and build thick traps.
You don’t see a lot of these lifts done in gyms these days. You see even more of them done improperly with terrible form. Start off with low weights and progress.
A few tips for each Olympic lift:
1. Keep the weight close to your body. You want it travelling in as vertical plain as possible. You don’t want the bar looping out in front of you like a semi-circle. You want it to remain tight to your body throughout.
2. Use a weight that you can explode with. If the exercise is slow, lift lighter weights.
3. Both the clean and the snatch require a very fast movement. The majority of the “lift” is done in the first 6 inches of the exercise. This is where most of the explosion will happen.
Add the clean and press into your shoulder day and the snatch into your hip or traps day. We’re building armour, but we’re also building weapons. Both exercises help build lean muscle, but they also dramatically improve explosiveness.
Pull twice a week for 1 month.
The back and the shoulders are the two most important muscle groups when constructing a physique that will make you confident. But the back is also one of the biggest muscles in your body. It’s involved in virtually every movement our upper body makes, especially in the athletic arena.
When we think “I want to look good with my shirt off,” we think of the mirror muscles. The chest, abs, shoulders, and biceps. But the back pulls the shoulders back, making them appear much more broad in the process. In doing do they also make our chest appear much broader as well.
For 1 month, specialize on this very important muscle group. Focus on back-dominated pulling exercises twice a week, with the rest of your days taking care of the other muscle groups. Odds are, what you’ve been doing up to this point has been focusing more on pushing that pulling anyways, so it’ll do your physique (performance as well) some good regardless.
Suck your stomach in whenever you workout.
One of the greatest mistakes you can make when you’re training is pushing your stomach out. You see it a lot with squats or the leg press where we push our stomach in an effort to support our lower back. Sucking your belly button to your spine and activating your core will have a greater positive effect.
When you push out your stomach, you’re also creating a belly (even if that belly is pure muscle). For years I did this. And even though I had a six pack, with a shirt on it looked like I was in my first stages of pregnancy. When I started sucking my belly button to my spine (I know I know, we’ve been told to do it a million times – but who actually does it?) my abs flattened out. My waste shrunk. And the V was born.
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