I can remember the weight room the day of a dance at my high school. It was PACKED. Like no other day of the year, it was flooded with young idiots in their tank tops trying to get a pump before they show their moves on the d floor.
Sadly, I was one of those idiots. The difference, of course, was that I lifted every other day of the week as well. Talk about primal behavior. We actually thought that by lifting just a few hours before, we were somehow going to attract more girls.
This is lifting like a boy. You might be working hard – you may even be in your 20’s or 30’s – but you’re going nowhere. I lifted like a boy up until 8 years ago. I’d go into the gym, pick a muscle group, and go nuts. That changed as I was fighting and got a job at a gym. The head trainer there set me on the right path, a path I’ve carried on ever since.
Lifting like a boy…
Doing far too many curls for the girls – both of the bicep and forearm variety. Lifting with no real rhyme or reason. Lifting leisurely, with no real amount of pain. Essentially, being a pussy, without knowing any better. I wasn’t to blame, nor were (or are) you.
Lifting like a man…
Putting your body through excruciating pain, manning up, then trying to get one more rep in. Showing up to the gym every day at the same time, as scheduled. Having a purpose behind each exercise, not just focusing on “legs day”, then running through a subjective list of exercises. Getting results. Improving. Performing.
Lifting like a man = pain, results, satisfaction, and pride in what we’ve accomplished.
To lift like a man is also to focus not solely on aesthetics, but to train for a greater purpose. Thus is the essence of lifting like a real man. There’s an understanding that, while looks bring confidence and are most-definitely important, performance, strength, and power are, at the very least, their equal.
Prepare for Emergencies
Training like a man isn’t being infatuated by every angle, vain, and striation you see in the mirror. In the grand scheme those things are nice, but there are things of far greater importance. Things to train for that you pray never occur, but – and this is an educated guess – I’m guessing that deep down, many of you train with these reasons in mind.
It’s being able to carry your child to safety after an accident in the snow, far away from a hospital or a car. It’s being able to protect your family. It’s stuff that’ll likely never happen, but if that day were to ever come, you’d better have lifted like a man while you had the chance.
Real confidence isn’t merely in liking how you look – it is important. Real confidence comes from knowledge…
Knowledge that you can handle yourself. Knowledge that you can protect your loved ones, that you can carry them to safety, lift a beam off them, hold on to them, keep them safe. Not thinking you can. Knowing.
Develop Man Strength
Man strength is real strength. It’s forged from years on the farm. Years of hard work. A background in sports. It’s grip strength. Applicable, real-life strength. It’s the strength that somehow allows my then 50-year old dad to out-wrestle my 30 year old cousin (you may have similar memories).
Man strength is seemingly unexplainable, and, as such, untrainable. You just develop it over time. Right? I disagree. Add the following exercises to your routine to build man strength, even if your balls have yet to drop, or if they’ve been dropping for far too long, these exercises need to be in your routine.
1. Walking lunges with dumbbells.
Aim to use a heavy weight, and aim for 10 reps each leg. Holding the dumbbells in each hand, you’re going to get a killer forearm and grip workout while destroying your quads and glutes.
2. The deadlift.
I know, I know. Everyone says to deadlift, but are you? Are you actually performing this exercise at least a couple times a month? If you have the option between squating and deadlifting, deadlift. It’s one of the best exercises you can do to improve athletic power, for trap development, to strengthen your hips and back. It’s the ultimate exercise. Do it this week!
3. Good mornings.
Their great for your back, and of course your hamstrings. Good mornings are the forgotten exercise. You don’t see them anymore. You also see over-developed quads (on those smart enough to train legs hard) and under-developed hamstrings. Add good mornings to your routine, even if it’s as a warm-up.
4. Farmer’s walk.
“Forged on the farm”. Yes, I just quoted myself. You really don’t see these in gyms anymore. They are a hassle if you’re in a “bubblegum gym” dominated by cardio machines and people unwilling to get out of the way
5. The box squat.
I’ve seen this exercise on “do not perform” lists on the walls of gyms. The cite the compression of the back when “caught” between the bar and the box. For someone who doesn’t know squat form, don’t do the exercise. But for someone who wants to build explosive power, this is one of the best, and under-utilized exercises you can perform.
When I started lifting like a man, incorporating real lifts into my training, pushing through the muscular pain, and truly working smart, but hard, I got results. I split my life into two parts: when I lifted like a boy, and when I started lifting like a man.
Joe Meglio does too. He’s even gone as far as to create a program called, Lift Like a Man.
For the next few weeks it’ll be the program I’m using when I train. I’m already a couple weeks in, and it’s a nice change of pace. It’s a killer program, that will get any guy concerned with more than just aesthetics, real results.
It’s the program for you, if you want to start lifting like a man.
He not only gives you an awesome 12-week program packed with REAL LIFTING, that’ll help you get jacked, and strong, but he gives you the How to Eat Like a Man ebook that includes a tour through the grocery store to show you what to eat. And for CHF readers, he’s thrown in a bonus program – just email me your receipt and I’ll send that over to you ([email protected]).
It’s an awesome program, learn more about it by clicking here.
Split Your Training Career into Two Parts
How can you simply start lifting like a man? For one, get Joe’s program, it’s seriously awesome. It’s hard as hell, but it’s worth the work. Second, start taking your training more seriously. You don’t have to be a gym rat at all, just train harder when you’re in the gym, cut out distractions, and be military about your training.
Don’t miss workouts.
Don’t talk when you train, or get caught up watching the game.
Put on your headphones and work.
Make a conscious effort to get one more rep in.
Start enjoying pain.
Train hard to live Legendary.