What is the only certain real thing which exist? Your body.
But, what does bodybuilding mean? And what are the aims and goals and desired end states?
In the modern day world, we have a strange relationship to the body. I would say superficially at least all of the guys I know watch porn, or have watched it in the past. The best way to joke about it is this, just ask them—
What do you think about you YouPorn, RedTube, or what do you download on Pirate Bay?
Or, ask guys what they do when they turn on Google Incognito.
Why is it considered a vice to be too into your own body?
Let us consider all of the marketing, and consumerism around beauty. For example, why is it that women spend inordinate amounts of money on make up, concealer, foundation, and other skin products?
And for men, why do we spend so much money on certain clothes, hair pomade, grooming goods, expensive haircuts, protein powder supplements, etc.?
This is why I think:
We all desire to become more beautiful, yet we are suckered into thinking the only virtuous way to do it is through buying products.
Is there a hierarchy of bodies?
Despite what the woke crowd says nowadays, there is a hierarchy. For men, the taller you are, the more muscular you are, and the less body fat you have, the more beautiful, handsome, and sexy you are. Funny enough, the same metrics apply to women as well, even I believe Aristotle said that there was no such thing as a beautiful short woman.
How bodybuilding, weightlifting, and the gym is democratic
One book I really enjoyed reading was “Lift” by Daniel Kunitz, a brief history on the history of bodybuilding, the gym, modern gym culture, etc. One idea I gleaned from him was the idea that back in ancient Greece, the gymnasium was this open air space where men congregated and not only did physical exercises, but they also went there to talk philosophy, engage in social life, even I believe some open air gymnasiums back in ancient Greece had built in theaters.
Why was it called the gym? “Gymnos” in ancient Greek means naked, because when all the men would go to the open air gymnasium, they would all exercise naked.
The gym seems to be one of the most virtuous places to go in modern day life.
Let us consider all of the pragmatic benefits of going to the gym. An increased social life, making new friends, or at least recognizing regulars, waving hello saying hi, having brief and friendly chats, and lots of fist bumps. Getting to know the staff, and their names, and them also getting to know your name.
Also, even if you go to the gym and you have no idea what you’re going to do, most likely you will still lift around some weights, do a few chin ups, empty your bowels in the bathroom, do some stretches and yoga, etc.
My practical thought is if you even step into a gym, you’ll probably leave net positive.
“The gladiator makes his plans once he enters the arena” – Publilius Syrus
How do you know what you should do at the gym? My practical thought is just make it a routine to go to the gym every single day, and once you get there, then figure it out.
There is nothing more beautiful than the human body
As a practical thought, let us consider, what is the apex of beauty? Man and woman, human.
For example, if you’re a straight man, what would you prefer, the worlds most beautiful car, or the worlds most beautiful woman? Of course the latter.
How the body is democratic
What I personally love about weightlifting and bodybuilding is that irregardless of who you are, you can still build your body. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how short or tall you are, your race or gender sex or ethnic city, etc. The human body is democratic.
That is, any human being who progressively lifts heavier weights, and consumes more meat will and must put on muscle mass.
Also, any human being, irregardless of man or woman, if they start to 100% abstain from sugar, carbs, sweeteners, dairy, snacks, sweeteners, etc., they will undoubtedly lose body fat, a.k.a. adipose tissue.
This seems to be the two primary things we can control as variables:
- Muscle mass
- Body fat adipose tissue.
Any human being with more muscle mass and less adipose tissue will look more beautiful.
Also as an unrelated note, I find it very interesting how a lot of women will invest tons of money on skin care products, but what is skin anyways? It is not healthy skin, it is healthy health. That is, the healthier and more fit you are, your skin will improve.
Using skin care products will not improve your skin, it will simply mask it. Let us consider that the skin is the biggest organ in the human body.
Lift like a powerlifter, look like a bodybuilder
In the local gym that I go to, there are two sides. One side for the powerlifters, and one side for the bodybuilders, who prefer to use heavy dumbbells. Out of both sides, in terms of overall “genkiness” (fun, exuberant vital energy), the bodybuilding side is far more fun. Also far more popular.
Even if you think about the whole industry of fitness, the bodybuilding one is by far the most supreme and dominant. Powerlifting is still a strange and small subculture, whereas bodybuilding is the mainstream.
I like the idea that you do not need to put yourself into any category. For example, the other day I met a very strong girl who is into powerlifting, and I asked her whether she competed. She said no, and then she asked me whether I competed. I then told her no, that I just did yoga. She laughed and said “You’re totally shitting me”, but then I proceeded to do a full on planche, into handstand, and she told me, ha ha, you’re still lying. That is just aesthetic.
The more yoga that I do, the higher all of my lifts have become
And then I started wondering — why is there so much antagonism between all these different sub fields? That for the most part, people really into yoga seem to be very anti-weightlifting, and also weightlifters seem to be very anti-stretching and doing yoga. Also the guys who do calisthenics bodyweight exercises seem to poo poo on weightlifting, and weightlifters look at guys who do natural bodyweight calisthenics stuff as weird hippies.
I like the notion of “full stack strength“. That, in order to become a fully formed human, embrace all of the different forms of exercise. You could do heavy dumbbell stuff, heavy barbell stuff, do some yoga stuff, and muscle ups, etc.
I think I surprise a lot of guys at the gym, when I could do a very good pigeon pose, or a planche, or a muscle up, and then proceed to walk over to the power rack and rack pull over six plates.
Innovate your techniques
One of the most critical thing for real bodybuilders are legs. I think the most hilarious thing is when you go to the gym and you see all these dudes with super buff upper bodies, and chicken legs. It is my pragmatic thought that if you want to build your body, first start with the legs, and then everything else will naturally follow.
Something that I have been experimenting with is what I call “micro squats“. That is, you just put on a very very heavy weight, and see whether you can unrack the weight, and squat down half a centimeter, and then proceed to put back the weight.
Something interesting that I have observed is by doing this, my thighs and legs are growing out of control. I believe that my thighs can move the world.
Then I started wondering, why is it that all these guys who do squats the gym strive to squat all the way down, as to grass, or at parallel, or slightly below parallel? I think it comes down to competition, because if you’re competing, you must follow a certain squat depth form, in order to win the competition. But, assuming you’re not competing, How low do you really need to go?
The squat as a spine strengthening exercise?
Even as another thought, let us assume that on the squat rack you put seven plates on each side. Even if you could unrack it, and stand, and place it back, I surmise that it will still strengthen your legs, your back and your spine to a great amount.
Also, the reason why I am very anti-weight lifting belts is that I think it prevents your body from naturally building its spine.
The funny thing is that I think a lot of people say they use weightlifting belts, because they’re afraid of injuring their spine, or because their spine “hurts“. If that is the case, I think more people should adopt a trap bar dead lift, or an open hex bar deadlift instead, instead of doing the conventional or sumo deadlift.
I think what is very very bizarre is using a belt when doing squats. Here I don’t think it is necessary at all, people just do it as an aesthetic thing, because all of the professional powerlifters use it, people who are aspiring to get stronger think that they must use a belt, in order to get stronger.
I think I am the only guy I have witnessed who is quite strong both in the deadlift and squat not use a belt, not use wrist wraps, not use knee wraps, etc. Au natural — only chalk and a mixed grip.
How to maximize your muscular gains
It seems that the bias nowadays in the field of bodybuilding, the idea is to churn out repetitions until failure, that is, using a smaller weights and doing more repetitions, in order to augment your muscle mass.
I think this is pseudoscience, gym bro science. I have been doing the exact opposite, very few repetitions, only single repetitions, with a very small range of motion, with a very very heavy weight, akin to a powerlifter. And I have been able to build monster traps, and an insanely muscular back. I don’t even consume protein powder, only beef ribs and beef brisket from the Costco business Center.
What are the benefits of bodybuilding
The benefits of bodybuilding are concrete:
- Improved self-confidence
- Improved bodily physique
- Improved happiness and social life
- A real sense of progress in life
I haven’t weighed myself in the last five years
A pragmatic suggestion that I have is never weigh yourself, neither at the gym, nor at home. If you have a scale at home, just throw it in the trash.
I why am I anti-weighing myself? The information it gives you is bad. For example, if you’re a man, typically the bias is that you want to increase your weight, and get heavier. But, if you step on the scale, how do you know that increased weight is muscle mass or body fat? I think a lot of guys in the quest of getting bigger, and putting on weight, they eat bad food, which makes them fat. It is better to weigh less, and have a lower body fat, with a lean mean muscular physique, then to be a fat muscular bodybuilder.
Also with women, it seems the bias is that everyone wants to weigh less. Yet, the most demigoddess physique one could get is having high muscle mass, and low body fat. For example let us say that you’re a woman and you start hitting the gym, and you’re putting on more muscle mass. This makes you more beautiful. Yet you look at the scale, and it actually shows that your weight is either not changing, or actually increasing. You might then freak out.
What the scale doesn’t tell you is once again, whether the weight increase or decrease is body fat, or muscle mass. And yes, I think all women look more beautiful with more muscle mass. And no no no, you will not become the she hulk if you lift weights, that is only weird women who do testosterone and steroids.
So what should I eat?
Assuming you want to maximize your muscular gains, increase your testosterone naturally, etc., eat more red meat, beef, beef liver, beef heart, organ meat, beef ribs, brisket, etc. The best investment you could get is having a Costco membership, yes just a normal one, and going to the local Costco business Center, and loading up on meat.
Do not eat chicken breast, or white meat. All of the fear on saturated fat and cholesterol is false.
Cholesterol is a natural steroid, cholesterol is good.
Do I need to eat carbs?
No. I have not consumed carbs for the last 6-7 years, and I have still been able to get much stronger at the gym, and also put on more muscle mass. I believe the whole notion that one must eat carbohydrates is false.
How frequently should I eat?
The bias in the past, and also what a lot of professional bodybuilders do (all professional bodybuilders are on steroids, testosterone, or other performing enhancing drugs — yes, even The Rock) — is that you should eat 6 to 7 small meals a day, every hour or two.
This is not necessary. You can still do intermittent fasting, only have one massive dinner a day, no breakfast no lunch, and put on the “lean gains”.
I think the foolish thing that a lot of guys do if they try to bulk up, my eating lots of carbs and bad food, and then later “lean up” by restricting their carbohydrates. Yet if we have discovered that carbohydrates are not necessary to augment muscular growth, maybe it is best to not eat carbs in the first place.
Why you must ruthlessly self experiment, and did not heed any advice of anybody in the fitness industry, personal trainers, magazines, YouTube etc.
I is impossible to know with 100% veracity whether somebody is lying or telling the truth. The only person you know who is telling the truth as yourself.
For example, it is 100% impossible to 100% ascertain whether somebody is on steroids or not.
Then, it seems that the most wise approach is just assume that everyone is on it, and deny it or are just lying.
Once again, everyone is on steroids. The professional athletes, the football players, the basketball players, the gymnasts, the Olympic weightlifters, the swimmers, the yoga people, the calisthenics bodyweight guys, the CrossFit guys, etc. Everybody is on it.
Yet, America seems to have a strong “anti-cheating culture“. How do people circumnavigate this shame? They don’t call it steroids or testosterone, they call it something else. They call it “gear“, juice, or other slang that even I don’t know. Or, they get someone else to administer the drugs to them, thus, making them feel less bad about it.
Why protein powder is a scam
You might have seen protein powder being advertised, and it not being “bad for you“. I find the marketing insanely deceptive, because whenever you see guys on protein powder advertisements, they are insanely jacked, but what they do not tell you is that they are also on steroids. That they are consuming protein powder and taking steroids.
I don’t think there is a legal way to enforce showing whether someone is on steroids or not, as there will always be ways to game and circumnavigate the system.
If you want to become more muscular, protein powder is not necessary. Also I even theorize that by consuming protein powder, it might actually cause you to become fat, adipose tissue. Even the stuff which has “zero carbs“. Why? Protein powder is derived from cows milk, and cows milk is sugary. So in someways, protein powder is just like protein sugar. And sugar makes you fat, causes you to put on how to put on adipose tissue.
Also, a lot of protein powders are either “naturally“ or unnaturally sweetened. It is my theory that sweeteners, whether natural or unnatural, still trigger hormonal pathways which cause your body to put on adipose tissue fat.
Yes, even drinking “Coke zero” will still make you fat.
Better to have an impressive body than an impressive car
When I was in Korea this summer, for funsies, I flexed my back muscles in front of one of my family friends. She told me, that is too much, to show off your body that much. But then I retorted, yeah, but isn’t that better than showing off how expensive your car is? She then nodded, and said “that is true.”
Once again, why is it culturally acceptable for a guy to drive around an cool sports sports car, or a top less car, a convertible car, a Lamborghini, etc., yet it is not “acceptable” to walk around in public with your shirt off?
Why is it seen as unethical to flex your muscles in front of other people, or in public, yet acceptable to try to show off in public how virtuous you are?
I think it is because in America, there’s a strong culture of body shaming. I am very anti-body shaming, as it yields no results. If you shame somebody on how fat they are, it will not motivate them to lose their fat and go to the gym. Instead, they will start probably eating more bad food, in their self-pity.
I only believe in positive encouragement. That if I hear that people are going to the gym, or getting a fit, I congratulate and motivate them to keep doing it.
What is the purpose of shaming anyways? It is a petty form of augmenting your own self-esteem, by putting others down. I find this to be one of the most base and despicable behaviors, as a practical tip, try to spend a month or even a year not saying anything bad about anybody else. Better yet, try to forcibly train yourself to never talk about anybody else, only talk about yourself, your wife, your own kid, etc.
Even as a new parent, a protip, something I plan on experimenting with myself, spend a full year never talking about anyone else’s kids, whether good or bad. See what will happen.
So what are the best exercises?
The best exercises are the ones with you enjoy, and which are fun and thrilling for you.
For example, I have discovered that I really hate doing exercises in which I have to lay on my back. To me it feels unnatural, and passive. I prefer doing exercise when I am standing up, which seem much more natural.
However, in the gym there is a bias that one must do benchpress, chest presses etc. I say no.
Study ancient physiques
What are the ideal body proportions?
A very interesting thing I discovered when studying the Farnese Hercules is actually, compared to the rest of his body, his pectoral and chest muscles look relatively “under developed.” Instead, his proportions revolve around having massive traps, back, shoulders, and legs.
Also, relatively underdeveloped deltoids.
The reason why we should put no faith on modern day bodybuilding aesthetics is that everyone is juicing their eyeballs out. The men, the women, even the “natural guys“. How do you know whether somebody is natural or not? Until they get caught.
I recently saw an interesting documentary on natural bodybuilding (Natty or Not?) and this one guy who they featured Mike O’Hearn, was apparently “natural“. The reason I highly doubt this is that it looks like he has done a lot of plastic surgery and botox in his face, which makes him look like a male Ken Barbie doll. If somebody has done all that plastic surgery on their face, they probably also “cheat“ and do other weird substances on the side.
So what is your own ideal personal physique?
This is up to you. This is the great and empowering thing that you dictate what you desire your physique to look like.
Then the question is, is the goal to Achieve your “ideal” physique?