Why Manliness? The Art of Virtue: How to Become More Masculine and Manly

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“.

Nutrition and manliness?

Cholesterol is a natural steroid.

What is a steroid anyways? A steroid is something which boosts your testosterone. Considering that testosterone is the hormone for men (testes… test-osterone as being the hormone for your testes and balls), then the higher your testosterone (naturally), the better.

Foods with the highest dietary cholesterol

Dietary cholesterol is only present in meat or animal products.

Beef heart for example:

Based on 3-ounce serving and % of Recommended Daily Intake ( % RDI) for each nutrient.

Saturated Fat 7%
Cholesterol 71%
Sodium 2%
Potassium 6%
Total Carbohydrates 0%
Protein 27%
Iron 68%
Phosphorus 22%
Copper 24%
Folate 2%
Selenium 48%
Zinc 17%
Riboflavin 61%
Vitamin B12 383%
Magnesium 6%
Vitamin B6 17%
Choline 36%

Organ meats are key

A funny thought:

Are organ meats “meat”?

It’s funny because a lot of it is anti-meat conspiracy people like Bill Gates, etc say —

Eating meat, especially red meat, beef, etc., is not only bad for the environment and the planet, but also bad for you.

I think it is probably certain that beef, animals, and meat products are bad for the planet. However, from a dietary nutritional one, I don’t think that is the case.

For example, I think people who adopt a “plant-based diet“, or a vegetarian one, or even vegan one … I believe this to be positively bad for your health. I have never met a vegetarian or vegan who looks healthy, and also even more funny, I have never met a vegan or vegetarian who doesn’t smoke weed or doesn’t drink alcohol.

I also don’t think we should quote Patrick Bohemian or other people like that because they are also taking “plant based” steroids. This is why it is wise to not trust any “vegan“, or “vegetarian“, or “plant-based“ bodybuilders, calisthenics guys, or fitness Youtubers, because they also take steroids.

Even Friedrich Nietzsche had a funny thought, that most vegetarians are also alcoholics.

Society doesn’t want you to be manly

Modern-day society and consumerism capitalism says

You are not permitted to be manly, yet, you can purchase manliness

For example, you’re not permitted to flex your muscles in public, yet you’re permitted to purchase and drive a loud “muscle car.”

Or, you’re not allowed to walk around in public topless, yet you’re permitted to buy a convertible car, a Lamborghini, a Porsche 911, or any sort of droptop car convertible.

What was Benjamin Franklin say?

When we think of modern-day American values, a lot of comes from Benjamin Franklin, and all a lot of this protestant, Quaker mentality. It says

The supreme virtue is to create and produce capital, yet, not spend or waste any of it.

Also, eastern philosophy, Confucian values say

It is only virtuous to cultivate your mind, not your body.

Why this disregard for the body?

My theory on why the body is disregarded is the notion of a “afterlife”. That is after you die, you don’t need a body anymore, because your soul and mind can live in the afterlife forever.

Or let us consider a lot of this modern day nonsensical Silicon Valley notions of “uploading your consciousness to the cloud“. Or let us consider those black mirror episodes in which people don’t really need bodies anymore.

The hypocrisy

This is the funny hypocrisy in modern day life: a lot of these things are not considered virtuous, yet when we watch movies and consume media, it is.

For example, can you imagine watching Thor, and Chris Hemsworth looking like the typical skinny fat American male?

Or, can you imagine watching wonder woman, and Gal Gadot being the typical overfat Oompa Loompa looking suburban woman?

“But that’s just a movie!”

Then why do you watch it?

Posit your own ideals

It seems that we all agree that tyranny is bad. Yet, I’ve discovered even in liberal circles, a lot of the liberals are intolerant, and also tyrants. They say,

What we propose is the apex of virtue, and you must abide by our rules.

In politics, the virtuous thing is to consider that anyone and everyone should just be left alone.

How about the right?

How about the right, the republican party, or the conservative party?

My general sense is that right-wing people simply just want to be left alone. They want to be left to their own vices.

I think perhaps the prototypical image is like a Kid Rock, living in a trailer on top of a hill, and just living their life more secluded, and cut off from the rest of society.

Yet the problem with all politics, irregardless is it all just comes down to entertainment, “anger porn”, or “outrage porn”. This is why I quit the news.

Also quit Reddit. I think Reddit might actually be worse than traditional mainstream news, because nobody thinks of Reddit as news. Let us consider that Reddit is now owned by Condé Nast, the mega news corporation.

Also, the reason why Reddit is so bad:

Everybody who is on Reddit thinks that they are the only person on Reddit, and they think of themselves as enlightened non-sheep people, whereas anybody who uses Reddit, whether active poster or not is another lemming.

The power of owning your own opinion

Also in modern-day times, one is not allowed to own his or her own opinion. One must always quote “statistics“, or “the data“.

Why this bias?

My thought is that modern day society doesn’t want a bunch of free thinkers. It is not conducive to a servile, well functioning society.

There is no conspiracy

Even if you get a bunch of competent people in a same room, all breathing the same air, they never get any real work done.

For example, in thinking fast and slow, by Daniel Kannemann and Amos Tversky, they talk about the planning fallacy. A bunch of academics came together and said that they would write a book, and they predicted it might only take them five years. It ended up taking them 15 years plus.

The reason why I no conspiracy exists is that nobody is competent. It doesn’t matter how good or evil somebody is, or bodies of people are, nobody is intelligent enough to actually pull off a conspiracy.

No no, there is no world power conspiracy. It is best to just think of everyone as individual actors, aiming to simply enriching themselves. They do this through hard and soft ways, yet ultimately, all of their actions manifest differently.

Back to manliness

Man, manliness. Virtue, virtus… man.

Vir— man.

Man, male.

Is virtue a concept for women?

This is where things get interesting. Is there a such a notion of virtue for women?

Assuming that lexically, virtue, virtuous means man, male, then from a purely dictionary perspective, it doesn’t.

Therefore in the context of woman, or female, the better thing to consider is this; just leave women alone. Just let women do whatever what they want.

This is where I also find it unbecoming for men to criticize feminism. However on the contrary, I also don’t think that women should criticize men for being masculine.

Therefore, my simple idea is this: let women philosophize on female and feminist matters, and let men philosophize on masculine and men matters. We should keep both spheres separate.

Now what?

Philosophize more. If you need some philosophy consulting, shoot me an email at eric@erickim.com


Why app?

One of the best ways to gain deeper insights about anything is to keep asking yourself the question why?


Conquer it all:

  1. June 17th, Saturday, 2023: DOWNTOWN LA CONQUER YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY AND LIFE – New!
  3. Oct 14th (Saturday) PHILLY WORKSHOP (details TBA)


The tools to dominate:



Manly movies


  1. 300
  2. John Wick
  3. Godfather

Manly cars

Real men drive Hyundai Sonatas or murdered out Prius primes

The best camera?

In terms of overall best camera, Ricoh GR 3X. If you’re interested in doing more cinema, vlogging, Lumix G9.

The most manly clothes?

Ironically enough Lululemon clothing.

I recommend the license to train shorts, and all of the Lululemon compression clothing for men.

The most manly phone?

iPhone mini.

The most manly shoes?

Vibram Five Fingers

The most manly investing?

Crypto and bitcoin

Workouts and exercises to do

First, hit the gym, and do either a one rep max atlas lift, or rack Pull.

Also, get a tan. Spend more time outdoors in the direct sun.

What to quit?

  1. Quit porn
  2. Quit Reddit
  3. Quit the news
  4. Quit Netflix
  5. Quit complaining
  6. Quit chasing women
  7. Quit comparing yourself with others

Quit the basic.

Manly literature

  1. The Iliad by Homer
  2. The Odyssey by Homer
  3. Will to Power, Antichrist, Twilight of the Idols by Nietzsche


Become invincible


Fortune favors the strong.