In episode two I walk you through a few of the benchmark workouts my trainer Blake has me doing to establish some base lines, along with making a big announcement.
It’s time for me to get in the best shape of my life and destroy this dad bod I’ve developed over the years. This series will show my workouts, my meal plan, and all the mistakes I’ll inevitably make along the way.
No expertise on my part here. Just a chance to get better like I expect all of you men to get better too!
The #dadbod is the latest trend making its way around social media. In my mind, it’s the latest attempt by the world to justify pathetic and slothful behavior in order to pacify those men who aren’t willing to better themselves. Now, I know that the article was written by a woman and stated her specific reasons (It’s not intimidating, we like to be the pretty ones, better cuddling…blah) but how many guys have you seen light up the internet with pictures of beer guts, proudly sporting their dad bods? Embracing the movement is embracing weakness and laziness.
I could make my case purely from a health standpoint. Obesity and heavy drinking are directly correlated with high blood pressure, heart problems, obesity, stroke and even cancer. Gluttony should not be celebrated. Take a look at healthcare, how many patients are habitually sick or injured directly because of their lifestyle? And the other small percentage that are injured in an accident or occasionally sick recover at a much faster rate because their body is working at an optimal level. Gene expression, both good and bad, is absolutely affected by diet and exercise.
In the article it states, “We don’t want a guy that makes us feel insecure about our body. We are insecure enough as it is. We don’t need a perfectly sculpted guy standing next to us to make us feel worse.” Again, I know this was written by a woman, but too many guys echo the sentiment. What is masculine about bringing down others around you in order to feel better about yourself? A man should be a leader, someone who looks to surround himself with people that stretch his learning and well-being to make him a better person. Especially in a relationship you should look for someone that makes you better in all aspects. A man can choose to embrace controversy and learn how to grow from it or completely shy away and live like a coward.
The general acceptance of the dad bod is honestly surprising to me -specifically from the population infatuated with super heroes and larger-than-life personalities. I hear people talk about how ripped Captain America is but the thought of getting in shape themselves and inspiring others never crossed their minds. Men look towards greatness…it’s human nature.
A man can go to the opposite extreme by spending all his time working out, eating clean and just worrying about his bicep measurements (even to the point of crazy injections). The term “meathead” isn’t completely false. A man needs to learn to not go too far in either direction. Enjoy the occasional pizza but also be aware of your health and eat right and exercise frequently. Living shredded isn’t the goal but I guarantee that if you eat right and exercise regularly you’ll be pleased with the way you look.
Challenge yourself, read a book, get up and exercise, spend some time preparing meals and see how your desire to acquire knowledge and develop physically increase. You get out of this life what you put into it. Spend all your time playing the victim and you’ll be just that, a functionless product of circumstances. Take responsibility, make proactive decisions and you’ll mature more than ever. Not only will you benefit from it but also those around you will benefit from it. Be someone that makes others better.
“I don’t care what your profession is. You will be more successful if you trained regularly and ate well. You will have more energy, more confidence, look better and people will treat you like the boss that you are or can be.” -Mike Rashid
“When your intentions are pure, so too will be your success.”
Intentionality in weight training is essential. The body becomes extremely functional at what it is trained to do but not much beyond that. The beginner and the experienced lifter will both benefit from spending the time to come up with a direction for the time they spend in the gym.
First, let me say that no one style of training is better than the other. Everyone has different goals and different training programs will one get there. Honestly, the most important thing is that a man is getting up and getting out to exercise on a regular basis. Not everyone that steps into the gym has dreams of being an intense bodybuilder. My training style has changed drastically over the years; but it’s interesting to look back at the changes that came with each style and the progression I have made. The biggest mistake almost everyone tries to make when they first start exercising is they go all or nothing, 0-100 and then get discouraged when they mess up or don’t see results right away. Realize that there needs to be commitment to the long haul. Self-improvement in all aspects of life should be a lifelong process for anyone looking to be the best man he can be.
A man looking to get into shape needs to decide what his goals are, what type of physique he is looking to build, and whether he is in it for strength, size, or endurance.
Strength training is typically lower reps with heavier weight to stimulate muscle recruitment. It is mostly neuromuscular; you train the brain and muscles to synchronize as many muscle fibers as possible to increase force load. A man training for strength will definitely will put on size and create a better physique but he will find the definition and separation seen on bodybuilders lacking.
Training for size is bodybuilding – training to actually cause micro-tears in the muscle and break down support proteins to cause structural change. Bodybuilding requires more concentration and importance on form to target specific muscles. A progression of weight and gradual overload is very important but the emphasis should be placed on strict movements, mind-muscle connection and time under tension.
Endurance training differs the most from the first two. Strength and size training mainly utilize the ATP-PCR and glycolytic energy systems while endurance training taps into the oxidative system mainly utilizing fat stores. It works like a cascade; the body starts with the ATP-PCR system for quick explosive energy. Once that is tapped out it moves to the glycolytic system, using glycogen stores to provide energy. The oxidative system uses high-energy fat stores to provide sustained energy for longer periods of time. (There are more factors to the energy systems, but that is the simple basis of it) Endurance training trains type-I, slow twitch muscle, which is not effective in explosive strength production.
Is it possible to have the best of both worlds? Or even three? Yes and no. A man can try and diversify his training and incorporate different goals but he will hamper his progress trying to cover all three. Strength and size are most closely related and can be combined to develop a great overall physique. I personally train for size but include weeks of higher weight and lower reps to increase muscle recruitment. The desire to be exceptional at either one means at some point the focus will have to shift to one specific goal over the others.
Moral of the story? Get up, get active and find what works best for you. Know your goals and work accordingly. Have fun with working to be a better, more focused, more disciplined person each day and your physique and health will follow!
I know. I just did a health-related post last week. It was a coincidence that my one-year mark fell just a week before Treg was scheduled to post, but I’m glad it worked out that way. I can’t emphasize enough how crucial being in shape is for both being a better man and being better dressed. Whether the goal is the physique of a body builder, an endurance athlete, or a fighter, a man’s life is vastly improved when he takes care of his body. All of the philosophical reasons I’ve addressed over the years that apply to a well-curated wardrobe are amplified when a man is healthy.
So, without further ado, here’s Treg’s intro to who he is and what he plans to accomplish with his quarterly posts.
Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Treg Corbridge, I finished my undergrad this spring with a degree in Exercise Physiology and a pre-med emphasis and I am currently interviewing at med schools to begin next year. My degree honestly doesn’t do much but it did help me to get a basis to prepare me for graduate school and it also taught me a deep appreciation for the genius of the human body and its innate power. I love learning about how to improve my body and more importantly putting that information into practice.
I’m excited to come aboard and add to Masculine Style. Tanner and I are actually neighbors and the style help he has given me has been invaluable. I made a lot of excuses about my style sense, mainly that nothing would fit my physique. Tanner quickly helped me to realize that, like everything else, it was just an excuse and only required more thought and effort on my part. So I have seen first hand the benefits of Masculine Style and am looking forward to contributing in my own area of expertise.
I have been weight training since I was 13. I began with Olympic lifting geared towards producing strength and power for sports. I also had a lot of rehab through that time; just a couple years after I had graduated from high school I had already had 4 leg surgeries: a broken femur, a ruptured Achilles tendon, a torn meniscus and a partially torn ACL. They were all extreme injuries that were hard to rehab, but they taught me a lot and made me grateful to the physicians that performed the surgeries and helped me recover. I’m happy to say that, because of all their help, I can squat, deadlift, run (though I prefer biking) and do pretty much anything that I want! – other than calf raises…from my left calf muscle down is pretty much scar tissue and even though I’ve done rehab on it three days a week the muscle remains weak. I currently enjoy bodybuilding (men’s physique) with a lot of targeting and isolating specific muscles to bring up my weak points and create my best overall aesthetic.
I lift to be strong, both mentally and physically. I seriously believe that the mental gains I have made far outweigh the physique and strength gains. There are a lot of situations in the gym that correlate with situations in our everyday lives. A champion mindset doesn’t just happen; it is created by consistent effort and conquering each task that is placed before us day in and day out. And one best believe there’s no better way to start his day than demolishing an early morning gym session and strengthening his willpower.
“The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they’ll go through the pain no matter what happens.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger
The body is beautifully engineered to thrive under stress and recess in the absence thereof. The body is one big machine hell-bent on surviving and will do whatever it takes to do so. For example, when we do weight training we cause micro tears in the muscle fibers and break down support proteins around the fibers. So what does the body do? It builds back those fibers and support proteins to be bigger and stronger to prepare for the next training session (For this reason progressive overload is one of the main keys for continual muscle growth). The same is true for cardiovascular training. It causes the heart muscle to become stronger and pump more blood per beat, it causes the arteries and veins to be able to constrict and dilate better and it causes more capillaries to form to supply blood and nutrients to each working muscle fiber more efficiently. Almost all strength gains in the first month of training are neurological, just from the body learning how to contract the muscle fibers efficiently and form the mind-muscle connection.
Building and maintaining a good physique is, in my mind, a status symbol to let others know what type of man one is. Building that type of body is not easy; it takes years of consistent exercise and focus. A man that cares about himself, pays attention to detail, and is motivated to work hard isn’t going to skip out on the gym or not care about what he eats. Training is more or less the easy part; the real dedication comes from sticking to A diet. It’s impossible to out train a poor diet.
When the body is working well we feel good, and when we feel good we feel confident. Achieving something that almost two-thirds of the American population fails at is definitely something to feel pride for. Not the type of pride that causes a man to be arrogant to the point where no one can stand to be around him, but the type of pride that causes him to be confident and a source of inspiration to others. Self-image is incredibly important to one’s self esteem, don’t let a lack of discipline and self control cause feelings of inadequacy when looking in the mirror. Don’t forget to train the mind just as hard as the body. Training one without the other is like training chest without working on the back; it’s going to lead to an imbalance.
In the future I plan to write more content on training and dieting but I will always correlate what I write with the theme of Masculine Style, which is how you can use information in your everyday life to become a better man.
Tanner again. Pretty cool right? I’m excited to see what Treg brings to the table. As a final note, you may have noticed that the ability to comment on this post is no longer available. That is not because I don’t want to hear your thoughts, rather the other authors and I are better able to respond manage and respond to comments on Facebook or through Twitter. So feel free to check us out there and let us know what you think of the article.