Let's talk about lifting.
Over the past several months I've seen a disappointing trend on this sub. A significant number of you are not lifting at all and several are halfheartedly "lifting" without clear direction.
Gentlemen, this is not good.
There are several points of disagreement between RPC and TRP/MRP, but the critical importance of lifting is not one of them. You don't get a magical "get out of the gym free" pass by being baptized.
Frankly I am not surprised. Most churches tend to place a grand total of zero emphasis on physical health and appearances. If you look around at the average congregation and examine the typical churchgoing male you will see that stick figures and beer guts are the norm. Gee, I wonder why so many women are aroused by guys outside the church. It's a real head scratcher.
"Be strong and courageous..." - Deuteronomy 31:6a
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous..." - Joshua 1:9a
"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." - 1 Cor 16:13
Despite the scriptural refrain to men to be strong, the Christian man who takes it upon himself to lift is stepping outside the unspoken churchian skinny-fat orthodoxy. He is opening himself up to charges of being too concerned with worldly things, vanity, or health and fitness idolatry.
Crabs and buckets my friends.
Why You Must Lift
This post isn't going to talk about how to lift. There are many posts across the internet detailing that. This is more about why men need to lift and the benefits of heavy weightlifting and building muscle. Here are some of the key ones that should not be overlooked:
Physical * Lower chance of mechanical injury when performing day-to-day tasks * High percentage of lean muscle mass is correlated to living longer and lower rates of many degenerative diseases * Auto-immune and central nervous systems benefit from regular heavy weight lifting * Being sick and injured less allows you to make better use of your time whether at work, home, or doing hobbies
Mental * Over time as you gain results you will come to love the process of self improvement * Setting a new PR or finally seeing the results you've been working for gives you a great sense of joy * Becoming strong enough to physically defend yourself and attract a mate gives you great peace * You can more easily intimidate others and must learn how to manage this. The biggest guys I've known have often been the most gentle because they have to be. * It takes patience to see your lifts increase and your muscle to grow. * Despite the stereotype, most gyms have great cultures where people help one another. This gives you a chance to demonstrate kindness to people less progressed than you. * Forcing yourself to go to the gym when you are tired, sore, and full of excuses improves your self control tremendously. One must be faithful to the process for years to see the results.
(Notice a trend there?)
Social * Instantaneous respect from most others, especially men. * Fit people are hired and promoted at higher than average rates * More likely to benefit from the "halo" effect rather than suffer the "horns" effect. * Your confidence is not only improved but reinforced as more interactions turn out favorably
Sexual * Far easier time attracting a top tier mate * Better ability to pick her up, pin her down, and have sex in "advanced" positions * Improved sexual stamina * Higher testosterone leads to higher sex drive, harder erections, etc. * Less likely to suffer from ED * Women flirt with / hit on you / initiate * Passive dread is constantly in play
Here is a classic write up, Iron and Soul by Henry Rollins that is a must read if you haven't already.
These lists are far from exhaustive and could go on for pages. Here's the thing: you chuckle-heads won't get the majority of these benefits from jogging, yoga, or high rep-low weight lifting. In fact, in many cases such exercises will lean you out further if you are already skinny and create the opposite effect.
Imagine building a house without taking the time to build the foundation. How would that go? Imagine building a super-car equipped with top of the line parts, but didn't want to take the time to install the engine or tires. How far would you get? You get the point.
Effectively lifting to build a strong, aesthetic, and healthy body will make everything else you do substantially easier and far more efficient.
Consider the following examples:
Pick up artist Owen from RSD and fitness YouTuber Connor Murphy.
Both of these guys get a ton of response from women. Owen overcomes his sub-average appearance by having extraordinarily tight game. If you watch some of his in-field videos you will see the that most of his pick-up goes like this: 1) Approach 2) Resistance and a gauntlet of fitness tests 3) Hold frame 4) more tests 5) eventually she becomes attracted to him despite his appearances
On the other hand, Connor's physique works like a cheat code in a video game. His approaches basically go like this: 1) Approach (or get approached) 2) take shirt off 3) Get number close, kiss close, F close, whatever.
Here is another guy who tries the Connor Murphy approach before and after cutting. The results speak for themselves.
Sure, anything on the internet can be faked, but the point here remains.
Yes, you can be a sub-average looking manlet and still game and attract hot women. To do so means overcoming a gauntlet of fitness tests, resistance, and logistics. She starts the interaction from a place of outcome independence; she loses nothing if you don't impress her. She comes to the conversation armed with hundreds of reasons why she "can't" sleep with you. Ultimately in this scenario you fight an uphill battle from the start and must qualify yourself to convince her that you are in fact a solid mate choice.
Building an aesthetic physique, however, allows you to achieve the same and better results much more easily and it inverts the qualification process. Rather than you having to run tight game to "convince" her and overcome her subconscious defense mechanisms, your aesthetic physique turns the table. She is no longer outcome independent. She has something to lose (a chance to mate with a highly attractive guy) if the interaction fails. Now she is in a position of qualifying herself and she will be the one actively removing any barriers she has to sleeping with you.
These dynamics do not change in marriage. When you initiate with your wife you run a different version of these two games. If you are ugly she is biologically and socially programmed to offer some resistance. "I'm too tired", "I have work in the morning", "I don't want the neighbors to hear" etc. You get the point. When you have a hot body on the other hand she will not only offer less resistance, but will often be the one removing resistance. "You'll sleep better if you get off", "How about I just blow you and see where that goes?", "The neighbors know we are married, who cares if they hear something?"
The Economics of Lifting
The study of economics teaches us that scarcity drives value and should reasonably expect scarce items to be highly prized. Things that are easy to produce are less valuable than things that are difficult to produce.
Attractive females are common. Entire billion dollar industries (cosmetics, plastic surgery, apparel, etc) have been built to help average women look amazing at an affordable cost. For an average woman to achieve an attractive body requires about a year to a year and a half in the gym, mostly focused on lower body muscle gains and weight loss. In other words, with a fairly low time commitment and some cash most women can dramatically improve their appearances.
A solid and attractive male physique is different. For a man to achieve "the body" that drives women crazy requires 3+ years (more like 5+) of intense physical training focused on muscle growth, which is by nature a slower process than fat loss. There are no real shortcuts. Even with the best diet, supplements, and trainers money can buy, the process can only be shorted so much and you are still left with the hard work. Your trainer, or even steroids, cannot do the reps for you. Whether you are poor or rich, young or old, the process is the same and it requires doing the work yourself. This is one of the major reasons why the aesthetic male physique is so highly sought after.
I was the skinny tall kid growing up. I think I was about 6'2", 155lbs, and about 6% BF when I graduated highschool. I had abs, muscle definition for what little muscle I had, and a decently handsome face. Nonetheless, I had to run very tight game to have success in any capacity with women. It was always an uphill battle and I lost as much, if not more, than I won.
When I moved out of my parent's house I ate like crap and "worked out" (push ups, pull ups, crunches, and running) and managed to put on about 15 lbs of fat and muscle. For the first time I could remember I actually didn't have a six pack, but my success with women was actually improved.
I met my wife and got married at about 170lbs. We had both been athletes in our highschool years and fairly fit from that, but we slowly began to fall out of shape. During the first year of marriage I was reading a blog about personal finance and there was as post that discussed some of the financial benefits of lifting in terms of lowered lifetime health costs. So I began lifting and encouraged my wife to do the same. I didn't know up from down in the gym, but over the next few years I began to figure it out.
We moved and made friends with a competitive bodybuilder and his model fiance who were both highly attractive and we both learned a lot from them. Eventually we moved again but by that time I had gotten a much firmer handle on fitness.
I put on about 20 lbs of muscle. Not a huge feat by most standards, but I high an extremely quick metabolism and require about 3,500-4,000 calories to move the needle at all. I got up to 200lbs and am now in part-way through cutting before starting another bulk. I have never looked better.
I can affirm first hand that confidence soars and people respond differently when you have an aesthetic physique. My wife and her friends are constantly complimenting my appearance. When I run into people I haven't seen in awhile they marvel at the difference. People notice. My wife and I had a pretty regular sex life before (2-4 times a week) but now she cannot keep her hands off me and rarely goes more than 24 hours without pouncing on me. Fitness tests are far less frequent much more easily passed. Passive dread is a baseline fact and my wife knows I would be a hot commodity on the SMP if we ever split. She finds this somewhat intimidating yet highly arousing.
The crazy thing to me is that I know I have a lot further to go. I am not at competition body building level of physique and my lifts for my size of guy are, for the most part, in the intermediate range. Nonetheless I am frequently the most muscular guy in the room, especially and sadly when I am among Christians. I can only imagine what things will be like when I am truly jacked.
Certainly these results come from more than just lifting, but they wouldn't have gotten to this level without lifting.
So stop pussy-footing around in the gym and lift like you mean it.