I think ever since I was a kid, I always strove to become more manly, or masculine, more dominant, etc. Why?
First and foremost, I remember when I was a fat kid, and being teased, and wanting to do something about it. Thus my early impetus is a kid, I remember having a triple chin when I was around 11-12 years old, and I was motivated to make a change. I asked my mom to buy me some dumbbells, I started lifting weights, first starting with 15 pound dumbbells, double stacking them to make them 30 pound dumbbells, and then I think I later got a 50 pound dumbbell. Lots of bicep curls and shoulder presses.
Also, a funny memory that my friend Spencer always reminds me, when I started to put rocks in my backpack and go on long runs.
Certainly another big one is the media. As a kid growing up, the media I was exposed to was mostly video games, and comic book hero stuff. For example while I never read any comic books, I was really into the video game adaptations of Spider-Man, wolverine, Iron Man etc. And what do all of these superheroes share? Their superhero strength and muscles. I still remember vividly as a kid, when I withdraw my own superheroes I would always draw them with really cut, and lean and large muscles.
Also, when you draw a superhero, they always have a six pack.
Let us disregard of this modern day nonsense. Let us go back to the fountain.
What is the most classic, OG, original gangster literature we could draw inspiration and wisdom from? The Iliad by Homer.
Let us observe Achilles, the apex of manliness. Who or what is Achilles?
Achilles was a demigod, his mother a goddess, and his father a man. Therefore, Achilles was semi-deus, half men, half God.
What was Achilles’ personality? In the beginning of the Iliad, he is weary you from all of this war campaigning, he just wants to take his prize, Breusis, and go return to his land, and just chill out. Yet, because king Agamemnon seriously disrespects him, he stays by the shores and the ships, where he wails his heart out, pining for the lust of battle.
Some first very interesting things, in the ancient Greek literature, both in the Iliad and odyssey, do you have the heroes in the main protagonist crying a lot. For example, Odysseus by the shore, crying every single day, wanting to go back home to his land and his wife. Achilles also does a lot of crying by the shore, before his mom comes to comfort him.
First interesting lesson:
Real men are permitted to cry.
Yet in modern day times, it is considered unmanly to cry. Ancient Greek literature has shown that it is fine for real men to cry.
How should one interact and engage?
Post Socrates, which is during and after Socrates, much of philosophy has been around the moral and ethical philosophy. Which means,
How SHOULD one interact and engage with in the world?
For example, 99.9% of stoicism is all about becoming impervious to fate, and the external world.
It is your duty to be strong
The first thought I have is that it is your moralistic duty to be strong. To be strong for yourself, your wife, your kids, for what you believe in, etc.
Everyone has different life goals
Everyone has different life goals. Yet, in order to do or attempt anything, you must be strong.
Strength can be interpreted in many different ways. Mental fortitude, physical fortitude, etc.
Physical, physiological strength is the root of it all. Without it, you can’t do nothing.
Then how can you become more manly?
First of all, if you have testes, a.k.a. balls, and a penis, you’re a man. Everyone has the right to choose their gender orientation, but, if you were born with balls, you’re a man.
First, the physical strength component. Can you imagine a superhero who doesn’t have superhero strength? Let us consider all the superheroes, they all have superhero strength. Superman, Spider-Man, Wolverine, etc.
How do you build superhero strength? Very simple. One rep max lifting at the gym. I suggest atlas lift and very heavy rack pulls— never more than one single repetition. A simple way to progress is start off with the bar, just do a single repetition, add a 45 pound plate to each side, do a single repetition, and keep progressing.
When you get near your limit, test your limit, and when you figure out what your hard cap limit is, a.k.a. the point in which the weight just won’t budge, then you could adjust as needed.
When you are able to hit a new personal record, then the next time you do it, or the next week, simply add a 2.5 pounder on each side.
A simple progression is that let us consider, if you are able to successfully add a 2.5 pounder on each side of the barbell (5 pounds in total) week over week, that means if a year has 52 weeks, 52×5 is roughly 250 pounds. If you keep up a simple progression, increasing the weight maybe by 3% or even 1% week over week, you should be able to gain and increase your total personal record by at least 200 pounds a year.
Certainly there are some limits to human strength. For example, while Hafþór was able to deadlift 501 kg, around 1200 pounds, it is difficult to imagine a human being lifting 100,000 pounds.
The mental thing?
I know this is the philosophical pursuit:
How SHOULD a “real man” interact and engage with the world around him?
This is where philosophy comes in. Ultimately, there are no moral or ethical truths. In someways, the philosopher is a value-setting tyrant. The philosopher doesn’t need to quote statistics, or past thinkers. The philosopher can simply state his or her opinion, carte blanche, first principles, asserting what he or she believes in, without needing any “proof“, or “data.” My simple rule of thumb is this:
Never trust anybody who quotes the “data“, or “statistics“.