“Often times, society will paint an elaborate picture of what a man ought to look like.”
Take for instance some endorsed athletes, celebrated music artists or famous actors. All of these men are elevated much higher than your average Joe. Poor Joe clings to his hopes and dreams blindly wishing for his opportunity to thrive and succeed.
His deepest desire is to stand out amongst men – to feel empowered and strong. Being a shining example of bravery and boldness simply comes natural to him, however the fear of change and progress leaves him standing at the edge of the proverbial pool, scared to jump in.
In this article you will not find rules and regulations for becoming a man. Instead, you will discover four key concepts that can literally change your life from the inside out. Building solid muscle and creating a mentally-strong lifestyle both share the same principles, and once applied, can take your manliness to all new levels.
These four concepts can be used in progression from one another and when applied in order, can reap huge rewards to take your feelings of weakness and self-doubt and transform them into the ultimate male persona that every man craves.
From a man-to-man perspective right now, I am here to challenge your growth in new areas. I am here to help you believe in yourself and the capabilities you have to create enormous impact in the world we live in, as well as your own personal growth.
You see, I was just like you; I wanted the answers to build muscle and to never look weak again. I wanted to create change and do something awesome with my life. I wanted to simplify my life so that my thoughts, my intentions and my actions all pointed in the same direction – towards my faith.
Growing in these areas has impacted my life in so many ways and has taken me from a wimpy little boy to a God-fearing man who has all the motivation in the world to take that next giant leap of faith, and I know that you can too.
BEAST MODE BY FAITH
It’s time to get down to business! Right now you have a lock and a deadbolt on your mental and physical potential. The next four concepts are the keys to unlocking this potential and blasting out every ounce of self-doubt that fills your head like a freaking beast breaking through its captivity. The best part is that these are DIRECT applications that you can apply TODAY without any delay. Are you ready?
Faith – The popular story goes like this – The man builds his house on the sand and eventually it crumbles; another man builds his house upon the rock and it stands firm without being shaken. (Matthew 7:24)
Before any other action that you take, your faith needs to be your rock-solid foundation in which to build from. Try to think about this as more than just believing that faith will carry you alone in your journey. We read in James 2:17 that faith without WORKS is dead.
Any guy can sit completely still and have faith, but can he be considered a real man? I’m here to tell you that nothing will happen unless you take a step forward in faith, not knowing what the next day will bring. This means TAKING ACTION in those times in your life when everyone else would be a “deer in the headlights.”
Physical – All too often in the gym, I tend to notice the group of younger guys trying to spot each other with insanely heavy weight on the bench press thinking that this is the answer to their weakness. The guy spotting is usually doing more work than the guy under the bar it seems.
I always think to myself that this is an utter waste of time. They’ve most likely skipped over the biggest part of the muscle building process – the nutritional foundation. When building muscle, your rock-solid foundation does not come from your time in the gym or how much weight you can lift. Instead, it’s built up in the kitchen. Sufficient nutrients will support all of your efforts in the gym, guaranteed; and without them, training itself can be a tremendous waste of time.
Your body only cares about recovery, so it is your job to provide the nutrients that it needs to grow! Try consuming 5-7 consistent meals every 2 ½ to 3 hours throughout the day to keep the hypertrophy ball rolling. Personally, if I were to go back and do something sooner, this would be it.
Faith – God always has this never-failing ability to bring me back down to “humble land” when my ego gets the best of me. In Psalms 25:9 it says that “He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” I want you to remember that you aren’t just a normal man of this world. You were given power to do amazing things. When you practice some form of humility every day, and submit yourself, God begins to bless your efforts.
Try to set aside 5 minutes in the morning, midday and evening to simply humble yourself and ask for guidance. Leaving small reminders like post-it notes or cell phone alerts can be an awesome way to become consistent at this.
Physical – Building muscle is all about tension. This is one of the most hidden secrets of today’s bodybuilding world and I want to bust it wide open. I want you to understand that your body does not recognize the weight that you lift. More importantly, it recognizes the TENSION placed on that muscle.
The more tension you can add to a particular exercise with minimal amounts of weight, the more results you’ll see! Here’s an application: The next time you walk through the gym doors I want you to imagine that your ego is completely stripped from you – like the gym is a sacred area in which your ego has no business being in. Put down the heavy weights every so often, humble yourself, and actually feel every single rep that you perform. Just this simple change will spark enormous growth, believe me.
Faith – Have you ever received a question from someone about your personal beliefs? I remember the first time this happened to me and I was pretty much lost for words. As a boy I knew the main concepts about my faith, but beyond that, I didn’t know exactly what to say. Growing up, I’ve learned that being a man of faith is not so much about how pretty or fancy you can make things sound to impress someone with your understanding; it’s about simply sharing the Good News.
Starting today, I want you to make it your goal to increase your knowledge by reading something positive and motivational every day (the Bible is my favorite), and remember this question: How can we help to speak truth into other peoples’ hearts if we are not receiving God’s truth into ours? Simply put, the more you know, the more you will grow! Don’t worry about sounding perfect to everyone either. The things you put into your mind on a daily basis will ultimately manifest themselves outward in how you act, the way you speak and the way you live.
Knowledge in Training and Nutrition – Josh is a good friend of mine. The other day he came to me with a question that probably confuses every single guy who has ever tried to build muscle and workout.
He asked, “What is the right way to build muscle? I feel like there’s so much information that I don’t know what to believe!”
Josh was completely right to feel this way. Today, the problem that most guys face when trying to build muscle is not about receiving enough information; it’s about how much knowledge they can APPLY. Understanding that first, muscles only recognize tension, will give you incredible results – but second, that each muscle can be trained optimally by using a full range of motion throughout the workout and targeting both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers accordingly.
This simply means training heavy (6-8 reps) for a week, training moderate (10-12 reps) the next week, and training with high volume (15-100 reps) the last week. Each time a workout is started; you are simply pulling knowledge from your stored internal library, and applying it directly towards your muscular goals. Try setting aside 20 minutes every single night to read up on these principles and increase your understanding on this process. Knowledge is power – you can never have enough!
Focus and Drive
Faith – Last but not least, the book-end to your manliest of key concepts is internal focus and drive to succeed. I want you to understand and believe with every manly-muscle in you that you can make an extraordinary impact on this world, if only you are willing to be used for a purpose that is greater than just you.
A real man will always have his eyes open to opportunities that others will not. This isn’t just about “daily motivation” or “thinking positive” either. It’s about consistently seeking out guidance through faith to push through all mental or physical barriers that could ever cross your path, regardless of the circumstance.
If you were stuck on a boat, stranded in the middle of the ocean, you would be forced to ask for God’s help; but contrary to that, if you were surrounded by people in the middle of the office and posed with an issue to solve, would God be your first choice of guidance?
Your success in becoming a man of integrity, faith and knowledge always comes down to your FOCUS on God first. This will propel your victories in life forward at such a fast rate that nothing in this world can stop you.
“God is my driver, I’m just the dude who gets out and puts gas in the car.”
Physical – OK, you’ll have to excuse me if I get excited on this one – I’m a bit of a mental fitness nut and the thought of strategically building muscle just gets me pumped! Focus and drive in building as much muscle as possible can be done in both a nutritional aspect, and also a physical aspect.
A major component of muscle gain is seen from hormonal regulation, more specifically from the neurotransmitters acetyl-choline and dopamine which both play a large role in your mental focus, drive, reaction time and alertness. You can increase these awesome helpers by rotating in a mixture of meat and nuts into your breakfast which provide slow, sustained energy to start your day off right.
To assist in the muscle building process even more, I encourage you to shut off all distractions when it’s time to dominate the weights. Focus in, know your goal, know your intensity and get it done.
IT’S TIME TO STEP UP!
Often the manliest of all men do not live up to the hype. It is great news for all of us that we don’t have to strive to be perfect as the “ideal” man that’s built up in our minds by society. The only thing we have to do is submit to a higher authority and naturally let the transformation happen.
Through building a solid foundation, practicing humility and gaining as much knowledge as possible, we begin to get motivated towards our goals of building muscle and mental “beast-mode!”
This world is too saturated with fake and weak men. You were built as a warrior – a man who conquers evil for the sake of good and stands up when no one else will. You were made to fulfill a greater purpose in life and to lift others up and help them succeed.
You do not need another reason to wait for tomorrow to take action, because your journey starts now! You are humble, worthy, confident, powerful, faithful and strong. You are a MAN. Get after it!
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