What is a masculine male body anyway? Is it only one body type? A certain look? Is there an "ideal" male body that all men should be working toward?
I always disagree with anyone saying what the ideal of anything is. I don't believe you have to be any certain way on anything.
Ideal is subjective. David-like perfect proportions and razor-sharp abs are not necessary. Certainly strong and muscular is better, without being overdeveloped chemically.
You start by accepting yourself as you are right now. And if you want to make changes, go ahead, work toward something else.
Not hate your body. Love it the way it is. Not hate yourself now. You are what you are right now. You may think you are too fat, too thin, too short, not muscular enough, not well endowed enough. Not enough of whatever. Maybe even with a receding hairline, small hands and body hair in the wrong place.
That covers most of us.
However, if you put in the effort for a long enough time toward improving your body and practicing self-care, it will develop more toward what you are working toward.
If you don't put in the effort, it will stay the same and backslide with the aging process.
You must believe that you matter enough that you immediately stop neglecting yourself. Men all around you, and possibly you, are actively taking care of others while neglecting their own care. I know I did this throughout my marriage. I had no energy to give to myself, only to my wife and children. And I looked and felt like the typical husband/dad..fat, weak, pale, hen-pecked by my wife, and un-sexy.
Myself, I think the masculine male body is best when it is hardened and strengthened over time by systematic weight training, or other physical endeavors.
But for most of the jobs and most lifestyles that men do now, you will need a consistent, progressive weight training to develop strength and muscularity.
Your job or hobby will not put much muscle on you. More likely what you do for a living or for fun will make you frail, weak, fat, pale, old and hurting.
Develop a Masculine Male Body, A Starting Strength perspective
Favorite quotes -
It is good to be strong, whether you're a man or a woman, because your strength is intimately associated with your health and longevity, and ultimately your physical independence.
Our man here is strong, and he got that way through his own hard work, determination, and persistence. Our man looks good accidentally, as a function of what he does for strength – he has consulted no magazine or website for guidance about his ideal appearance. The benefits of having planned and executed his own strength improvement transcend the physical. He's not only stronger, he's better in most other ways as well.
Weight training for developing a masculine male body does not have to be an all encompassing lifestyle. Most of us do not have the time to do so. Most of us have full time jobs and other commitments that take up enormous amounts of time.
So you will not be able to focus on the weight training enough to truly get in the shape you consider ideal.
That's why you have to relax your standards a bit and enjoy being what you are now and what you can realistically develop in the time and energy you have now.
But if you change your thinking on what a masculine male body means you will be able to develop it in the time you have. You will be happier with yourself.
Acceptance of who you are is the key to happiness. Not accepting the now version of you will drag you down into apathy, anxiety, body issues, embarrassment and even body hatred.
Not a healthy way to think.
If you are in the gym multiple times a month, lifting as heavy as you can at the time, making progress on your lifts, you will get stronger. Your muscles will become larger. Your overall body will become harder.
If you don't. You won't.
The best, most straight forward way to develop a masculine male body is by progressive, systematically heavier weight training.
Lifting. Weight training. Power lifting. Bodybuilding. Or some combination.
Squats. Deadlifts. Standing Barbell Overhead Presses. Bench presses. Bent over barbell rows. Shrugs. Rack Pulls. Close grip bench presses. Curls. Leg presses.
This is simple and basic stuff. But effective.
Lifting is the best for most men to get into shape, stay in shape, get healthy, stay healthy, get stronger, get leaner and develop a masculine male body with big, hard, dense muscles.
All other exercise types have far too many drawbacks to consider them for most men. They are un-motivating and inefficient, even counterproductive. They invite injury.
I have done a lot of other activities.
Sports in middle school and high school like
Baseball is too slow to get a good workout. You need to get into shape in other ways. Baseball is a skill sport certainly. The men who play have skills, great eyesight, hand/eye coordination, agility and strength. But you won't get in shape.
Track is nice and may help you get into shape. But I hurt my shoulder throwing the disc in 8th grade and my shoulder has not been that great ever since.
Basketball turned my ankles, sometimes suffering severe sprains. My feet were covered in blisters. I mostly suffered the humiliation of never getting good enough to contribute no matter how hard I tried. Basketball is a sport for tall, lean men, not bigger guys like me. Bigger guys excelling a basketball are very rare.
Football was my sport. I was naturally big and strong. I did well in high school football playing offensive line and defensive line. But I constantly played in pain. Twisted knees, sprained ankles. hurting feet, pulled groins, getting the wind knocked out of my, my arms were bruised beyond belief and in my senior year I suffered a slight break in my neck that bothers me to this day.
I would not recommend football because of the sheer brutality and the potential for injury is so high. If you play football, you will get hurt. Some of you will get hurt so severely, it will affect you for the rest of your life.
I Did Cardio like
I used to do a lot of biking. Getting chased by biting dogs and dodging vehicles. The treadmill and stationary biking is boring beyond belief with the only good thing being able to watch TV while doing it. Usually the machine I was on had poor reception or the sound did not work or the there was nothing good on and I just slogged through a mind-dulling treadmill experience dreaming of a huge desert.
Sprints seem effective. But you can only use sprints to get into great shape if you are in good shape already. Your body will suffer if you try to use sprints to get into good shape if you are in poor shape.
I used to run long distances. But with my big legs, after running a few miles my thighs would be so chafed I could barely walk afterwards. I never experienced the runners high, only a low feeling and loss of energy.
I even did the cardio bouncing in college around with the cute girls. Aching feet and shin splints was the result. No dates.
No matter how much of all this cardio I did, I never got into great shape, still staying kind of fat.
Cardio will never develop the masculine male body you want anyway. You can use cardio to help your wind a bit to help you lift more.
But training with weights is a different story. I could push myself by increasing the weight or adding some reps, or another set or another exercise. And I could do this without hurting myself and without an insane coach barking orders at me and questioning my manhood. Or an overzealous person taking out my knee.
And I developed big, hard, dense muscles with a flatter belly. The kind of muscles that some girls seemed to like and the kind of body that I was proud to develop. Not many people mess with me.
Nothing is as effective as weight training.
The only problem with weight training is is not always encouraged. There is always marketing hype about chasing the next exercise.
You have to shut out that stupid din from the marketers and focus on what works.
Here are some other articles that dive into the details of masculine male body development.
The main idea is to get started weight training, make progress, avoid injury and keep training.
When training your masculine male body you will be using a lot of
weight. When the weight climbs, and it should, it is critical that you
have some good equipment to help you lift a few more pounds and stay injury free.
When my wrists are sore, I wrap them. Right now they feel good, so I have not been wrapping. I am still building up my weights after my hernia surgery, so I am not at my biggest weights yet.
wraps give you some stability on your work sets and heavier warm-up
sets. A nice benefit from the wrist wraps is they take some time to put
on and this gives you a little more time between sets for rest.
These wrist wraps are the kind I use. They are not very expensive.
You have to use wrist straps for most of your heavy back training.
Certainly you should do your warmups without straps and do other grip and forearm work to build your grip. But your grip will never be as strong as your back.
I have a pair of weight lifting shoes that I just wear for lifting. They have the stiff soles that provide a strong foundation. They are made of durable material that fully supports your foot. They have a Velcro strap that further tightens up the shoe.
After feeling how much more stable and powerful I feel in wearing them, I would not go back to wearing regular shoes while weight training.
I wear a lifting belt on my work set or sets of overhead presses, squats, deadlifts, rack pulls and shrugs. Usually I wear one on my last warm-up set too as it is usually almost as heavy as my work set.
The belt helps to protect your back and gives you some extra core stability.
4 inch thick belt that is narrower in the front is the
handiest size to get.
The thicker power lifting belts are probably fine. But then you need a thinner belt to deadlift. Unless you are a competitive power lifter, it is an expense you probably don't need.
Plus, belts are bulky in your gym bag and heavy. Carrying the bag into the gym is not hard. But carrying out a heavy gym bag after an intense workout is difficult. I don't want 2 belts to carry around.
This is the belt that's similar to the belt I have been using for years. Belts are great because they do last a long time, maybe years. Although you may need to change if you get smaller in the waist (hopefully for me) or as you get bigger and stronger.
I have a big leather duffel bag with multiple pockets for holding all my workout gear. I want to just grab this bag and go, not repack it every time I go to the gym.
Here is how I load it:
like to put the stuff back consistently so I know exactly where
everything is and I don't have to rummage through it to find something. You should too. I hate to waste time looking for something. I prefer to be doing what I want like weight training or getting home to eat, relax and recover.
This bag is really handy, very durable and looks good.
You will need a good back hair trimmer to deal with your excessive back hair. Unless you always want to be bothering someone else to "trim" your back hair.
A big, muscular masculine male back does not look very good if covered with hair.
So get some sun on your back and trim the hair.
Most men have a ridiculous amount of excess body hair. Some hair is fine. But too much covers up the masculine male body you are working so hard for. Plus it's too hot in summer and looks kind of greasy.
I don't go overboard with shaving my body all the time. But I do like how I look with my body hair trimmed. It just feels better.
I like a body hair trimmer like this one. It's easy to hold and does the job without being too fancy. A smaller one like this is good for the details around the front of your body especially your pubic area.
Focus on weight training. While training stay tight, using good form and concentrate on what you are doing.
Be careful and listen to your body. Your wrists, elbows, shoulders and lower back are all susceptible to injury when hoisting heavy weights around.
Don't go overboard on the number of sets or get too high on the reps. Excessive sets take a lot out of you. Too many reps and you form gets sloppy and the potential for injury skyrockets.
Older men need to watch out for getting injured. It takes much longer to heal. Sometimes you just will not heal.
The volume will tax your recovery and you will likely get sick. So workout hard, but carefully.
When you are a big, muscular guy you will have that muscle guy, or power guy look. Your posture will improve. You will look and feel better with strong, flexible injury free body ready for anything.
Plus people will not mess with you.
So start developing your impressive masculine male body.
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