HarryTheBicepsFlexKilla was riding a hot dirty bus on the way to work. The persistent heat outside was sending the little oxygen left in the air into extinction.
“Now I know why Hell is presented as a hot place,” said Harry to himself and began searching for a daydreaming song on his phone.
Seconds later, a gazelle entered the place. She was hot. So hot that Harry forgot about the lack of oxygen. She sat close to Harry, took out her modern revolver a.k.a. iFone and started scrolling through her Instagram feed. Harry looked over her shoulder without feeling guilty at all.
The girl had a lot of male friends. Most of them were muscular, ripped and had tattoos suggesting profound masculinity. All of the men were desperately trying to look like the tough guys you see in movies. Interestingly enough, she liked all the photos of guys doing lame bodybuilding poses in front of the bathroom mirror.
“So this is what girls like. I knew it,” said Harry and activated depression mode.
Unfortunately for Harry, the guys had physiques on another level compared to him. Their arms made his look like something that belongs on a puppy.
“Can I look like those guys naturally? Can I earn a like from a girl without injecting hormones in my maximus? Can I do it without sacrificing my hair,” asked Harry.
Moments later, Harry began feeling the heat again. It was stronger than before. It was in his brain.
In school, you learn about the teachings of the Little Prince – the essential is invisible to the eyes. That makes for a nice story and is probably true in the right context, but the world is not so simple. As long as you are alive, the external matters just as much as the internal. If the Little Prince was presented as some thug with smelly clothes covered in mud, people would not find him as cute, would they? There is a reason he is blonde.
The eyes are transmitters of information. The real decoding, however, happens in the brain. Your appearance has a strong impact on the way people perceive you. With a little experience, a mentalist can tell a lot about a person by just looking at him or her. Every thought has an impact on the way you look and portray yourself in thw human society. Everything is linked together and there’s no escape. Many naive people will try to deny this fact, but they are either playing with you or in a complete denial.
The truth is that sexy/hot/handsome/pretty/appealing people have a higher status.
If two people do the exact same mistake, the more attractive person would receive more compassion whereas the ugly bastard will be judged harshly.
When you are pretty, you can get away with more sins in the human world.
We have an inbuilt mechanism for appreciating aesthetics. Beauty simply feels right while ugliness comes with darkness, depression, and sorrow – things that no one wants. When a beautiful person dies, it’s a tragedy. When an ugly person dies, it’s life.
How To Look Your Best as a Natural Bodybuilder
Step 1: Quit Lard Collecting
There are two main destroyers of the natty physique. One of them is the big fat gut common for naturals living the dangerous life of a permabulker.
No one on this Earth is prettier with a fat gut in front of him. Some people may have the structure to pull out the cute fatso look, but even they will like themselves more if the lard in front of their abs is reduced. Big fat beer guts are a modern phenomenon caused by bad food filled with sugar and bitch hormones.
If you want to look good as a natty, you cannot have a belly suggesting future delivery.
Fatness is enemy numero uno of your facial aesthetics. Double chins are a big no-no. Coupled with swollen hamster cheeks they make you look older, potatoesque and mentally challenged.
Nevertheless, naturals refuse to lose weight because of the false belief that the extra size is muscle and not fat. Those poor souls push out their man boobs thinking it’s all bulletproof chest muscle. Then they look at their gut, squeeze it and say: “Huh. That’s only 5 lbs. Abs are for anorexic fags anyway. I will lose the fat easily once I am huge.”
Eventually, after many months or even years of lard collecting, a cut begins. It often turns out that it’s not 5 lbs but 50 lbs that have to be lost in order for the gut to go away.
Step 2: Improve Your Posture When You Walk
I have an old photo of me running on the beach as a kid. It shows an obvious kyphosis a.k.a. Quasimodo gene going in my back. This weakness has been destroying my looks since then.
Poor posture damages your appearance significantly. It makes you look weak and insecure. There are many pro bodybuilders with poor postures too, but their massive backs hide the issue somewhat. The natty does not have similar safety nets. If you slouch, people can see it.
I wish I could tell you that poor posture can easily be fixed with back training, but it’s not so simple. Improving the strength of your spinal erectors, upper back and lats will certainly make it easier to stand tall but is not a panacea. It doesn’t take a lot of strength to stand tall anyway. The body is built to hold the position easily. You don’t have to deadlift 500 lbs to fix your posture because it’s all in your head.
Unless there’s a medical condition preventing you from straightening your back, the main forces behind poor posture are self-hatred, lack of confidence and profound inability to understand that the people around your are not better than you. If you don’t start believing in yourself and reconstruct your pride, all the exercises in the world won’t be able to fix your posture because the problem is not muscular. It’s your perception of this world that needs a fix.
The best exercise for your posture is walking tall when you are outside regardless of your social status or state of success. I know it’s not that easy because I’ve been struggling with the same problem for years, but if you don’t fight back, your poor posture will eat you.
Tip: Contrary to popular belief, pinching your shoulders together does not fix your posture. Poor posture does not come from the shoulders. It comes from the spine. A better cue is to simply push your chest out. Don’t think about your shoulders. Put your hand on your sternum and imagine that you are pulling it forward. This will improve your posture right away. Your shoulders will follow and assume their natural resting position.
Step 3: Build up and Thicken Your Muscles
While I have no doubt that muscle size is incredibly limited when you are natural, there’s a small room for improvement which has to be maximized. If you don’t train, you will never be the best you can be. Even if all you can gain from training are 5 pounds, it’s still something and will improve the way you look and feel.
There is no place for mysteries and vodoo here. You will have to perform basic exercises and get good at them. Find a movement that you like for each body part and progress. At the beginning, adding weight will be easy, but after six months, you will have to use more sophisticated methods to lie your body into getting stronger. If you are in this game solely for muscle mass, doing 1 rep maximums is a waste of time. Focus on reps above 3.
How much muscle you will gain depends mainly on your genetics. Since there is no way of knowing how your body will response to training, you have to go all in for a certain period of time. You cannot say that the system doesn’t work when you haven’t even tried your best yet. You have to play the game before saying it’s rigged. For more information, I recommend my previous post on reaching your potential.
Step 4: Become More Athletic
As a natural, you will benefit a lot from becoming an athletic master. Training solely for looks is a lost cause when you are a poor natty brah. There’s more to lifting and exercising. Developing different athletic skills makes natural bodybuilding a lot more interesting and enjoyable. Not only that, but it also improves your athleticism which has a deep impact on the way you look and feel.
Every single skill and athletic quality added to your character represents a new word in your vocabulary. Athleticism gives freedom and style to your movements. To the untrained eyes, the difference may be slim, but on the inside, it will make a big difference.
THE POWER OF MARKETING
When you are unaware, naive and fragile, it’s easy to fall for the marketing tricks of the modern world. The goal of marketing has always been to create a sense of inferiority.
Every product out there is meant to reveal a weakness and fix it for you.
The main goal of commercials is to make you feel like a buggy carbon creature that does not deserve to exist on this planet. There are many ways to achieve this effect. One of them is the perfection method.
Commercials are filled with images of perfection – the perfect family, the perfect clothes, the perfect couple, the perfect love, the perfect body…etc. When a person sees this, he or she immediately feels bad about his life and starts looking for a way to fix it. The solution offered by the commercial is a product. Since it’s easier to purchase something and pretend to be better, we opt for that approach instead of fixing the problems the proper way.
Hot muscles have been used as attention magnets since the very beginning. Everywhere you look, you see sexually suggestive images, poses and some form of nudity. This creates the modern perception of what’s an acceptable and good physique. As you probably already know, those images are fake. First, the guys in the photos are chemically enhanced. Second, the photos are taken by professional photographers in well-equipped studios. Third, the images are edited by graphic designers. Only then the magazines hit the shelves and attack the sad hearts of the humanoids around. We get used to those images and accept them as the norm. The mind starts to associate them with words like – beauty, sex appeal, perfection, muscle, hotness…etc. This creates a massive opportunity for frustration and pain when our expectations fail to meet reality.
A natural cannot look like the popular YouTubers who have both – incredible leanness and mass. A natural simply looks natural. He or she is slim when lean and does not carry an impressive amount of muscle mass by modern standards. The inability to satisfy the requirements results in depression and a defeatist mentality. This is especially true for guys who have joined the iron world because of poor confidence.
What’s the solution? For some, it’s to give up. For others, it’s to join the dark side and become one of “the bad guys”. Those decisions do not address the problem at its base. The patient suffering from depression caused by the lack of muscle must understand that he was not created by nature to look bad. No one healthy and in a good condition looks bad naturally. Of course, some are more impressive than others thanks to their superior genetics, but insulting yourself over things you don’t control will not improve the situation. You will feel inferior and stagnate.
Social media also play a huge role in this game because they increase the competition to unheard proportions. You may be good, but somewhere there’s a guy who is many times better than you, 10 years younger and richer. This has a negative impact on the ego and the self-esteem of the individual.
In the past it was different. Your grandfather had to compete only against the guys from the local pub. He didn’t have to beat the whole world in order to consider himself worthy and take the princess.
Some people will say that more competition stimulates improvement and is consequently good and even desirable. That may be true if we are talking about the market or something like that, but this situation is different. We are all fighting a losing battle when we try to be the best in the world. It cannot happen. There’s no best.
The disease will not be cured until the patient starts loving himself for what he is instead of suffering from never-ending dissatisfaction caused by external comparison.
We are all born into this world with a set of genetic properties. Most of what we are, we have seemingly received for free. Did we get those goodies for doing the right thing in a previous life? Maybe. I don’t know.
Nevertheless, one fact is clear – we are stuck with what we are given. Therefore, if you try to amplify it and better yourself, you’ve done a great job. You’ve hacked the code.
TRAINING COMES LAST
As always, training comes last because it has a smaller impact on the way you look compared to the other two factors – posture and diet.
Here’s the truth about size:
About 10 years ago, I could only do one pull-up. I remember the day like yesterday. I went to the closest pull-up/dip station and tried to pull myself up. I experienced a weird sensation. I felt like I was giving birth while holding on to a bag containing my last money. I even had to cheat by lifting my legs up. Terrible experience.
In the beginning of this year, I did a pull-up with 41 kg / 90 lbs added to me. (Don’t worry! It didn’t take me 10 years to get there.) Guess what? My lats are not much bigger. They are relatively developed compared to my other tiny muscles, but I am not a flying squirrel nor Bruce Lee. The visual difference between 1 bodyweight pull-up with bad form and 1 pull-up with extra 41 kg is not as large as one may think.
Furthermore, my biceps are very small and have poor insertions. I often see old dudes resembling tombstone candidates with bigger biceps than mine. The moral of the story is that training is not the muscle builder it’s presented to be. There’s some hypertrophy that takes place, but it’s very limited. I doubt my biceps will grow more naturally even I take my weighted pull-up to 60 kg / 132 lbs. The muscle will get brutally strong for my size, but today we are talking about visual changes, not strength adaptation.
IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING THE BEST. THE GOAL IS TO IMPROVE.
A long time ago, I was a skateboarder. I had a few years of hard skating behind my back when new blood started coming to me for advice. This is when I met Tommy.
Tommy was 5-6 years younger than me and was just about to face the same fears. One day I heard Tommy complain: “There are 7-year-olds who are better than me and already sponsored by Element.”
Similar intrusive thoughts kept on torturing Tommy for a long time.
As anticipated, the comparisons were not motivating him to do better. They were halting his progress. Instead of trying to improve, he was sabotaging himself by rendering his work pointless. Two years later, Tommy turned into a weed man and stopped skating almost completely.
His story confirmed a controversial idea.
Some say that in order to get good at something you have to surround yourself with the best.
To be the best, you have to fight the best, right?
I don’t think it’s that simple.
Sometimes, if you want to improve, you have to surround yourself with losers.
When I was in school I had one very important math test. So important that I had to take extra lessons. My mom paid for a teacher in a special math school. We did an introductory test, and I got an average score – not good but not the worst either. Our teacher knew his stuff, but he was rushing too much. I had a really hard time understanding anything. The material was too complicated for my skills. I was unable to follow and learn a single element properly. Going to those classes turned out to be a complete waste of time and money for me. I felt stupid.
A few months later, I left and enrolled in a free course in my school designed to help low performing students. There were boys and girls with much worse grades than me. However, I learned a lot more from those classes.
As the quote says: “A smart man can learn a lot from a fool.”
Those extra lessons gave me a base that helped me tremendously. I passed the test with the equivalent of a “B”, which was great and almost unthinkable a year before. Of course, I did a lot of studying at home too, but I have no doubt that the “loser’s classes” helped me. Staying in the advanced classes would have been an expensive mistake.
That lesson taught me that you don’t have to be the best. You just have to improve and get good. Instead of comparing yourself to child prodigies, just try to do better than yesterday and call it a day.
You can think of it as lifting weights. Lifting too heavy for you will not make you strong. You can put as much weight as you want on the barbell, but if you cannot lift it, you are wasting your time. It’s better to meet the “loser’s weights” and fight them. By the time you are done with them, you will realize that they were just what you needed at that time.
Unfortunately, or not, this contentment will not continue forever. There is an inbuilt function in us to never be happy. Believe it or not, this is a growth mechanism. As soon as you accept a height as your peak, the only way to go is down. Hence we feel sad and unsatisfied after an accomplishment.
Don’t Tune Yourself Into a Hipster Muscle Douche
There is a large group of desperate naturals who try to boost their physiques with special tactics. A good example would be the permabulkers who get pathetic tattoos on their fat arms to make themselves look big and mean in a tank top. Those try-hards don’t realize that acts like that only prove their idiocy.
But let’s not forget about the other end of the spectrum – the metrosexual insects. Those would be the guys who spend days in the bathroom shaving their legs and brushing them abs. The insects wear revealing outfits and extra small funky muscle shirts so that the bitches can “mire” their natty development. The icing on the cake is the fake tan which increases the perception of leanness. The end result is a metrosexual lunatic obsessed with his looks. What’s the point of this?
I don’t want to tell people how to dress. Everyone is free and has the right to decide, but I don’t think those guys are making a conscious choice. They are simply turning themselves into something grotesque for the wrong reasons. The image is fake and eventually the bubble will burst. There is a difference between maintaining yourself and becoming a male doll.
Social Media – The Creator Of Never-ending Pressure
In the past, the TV was the main technological product pushing success after success in your face. Today, the situation is much different. No one is watching TV anymore. It’s dead. The modern world is ruled by social media and the Internet. That’s the new TV.
Social media is a phenomenon that will be analyzed in greater detail in the future. 30 years from now, people would call our times The Era of Social Media.
Facebook and its brothers exercise a very special form of mind control. In the past, it was easy to ignore someone on TV who is better than you.
“This guy is living at the other end of the world. Who cares that he can dance so well.”
Today, the distance is seemingly smaller. The guy who is better than you is not unknown. He is an old friend, a former classmate or a college roommate. This is the power of social media – it allows you to spy on people you know. That’s why it hurts so much when you are not on their level. Social media is nothing but a factory for jealousy and self-hatred.
That’s also true when you compare yourself to strangers. The world seems denser and smaller today. Your weakness and “inferiority” have no place to hide. When you upload a clip showing your progress from 0 to 5 pull-ups, someone in the comments will post a video of a beast doing 50 pull-ups. All it takes are a few clicks.
Social media represent a constant test for the ego. It’s a game – you feel good when you are winning, but when you loose – it hurts like a bitch. The ironic part is that you can never win all the time. There’s always someone who is better than you. Always. No matter what. NO EXCEPTIONS!
When it comes to physiques it’s the same thing. Actually, it’s even worse. Natties’ feelings are destroyed by the constant spam generated by the horde of tren loaded fitness models. Deep inside the natty knows that the brainwashed girls want those guys. It’s been proven.
Once I sent photos of fitness models to a girl I’ve known for a decade and asked for her opinion. She was miring. Then, I sent her photos of naturals (local guys doing mainly bodyweight training). She was still miring but not as much. The heart of the natty is aware of this, and the ego is constantly saying: “You are a loser. You are not worth much. You are absolutely nothing. Your existence is getting pointless.” Little by little, thoughts like that destroy the confidence of the natty.
I can tell you the mother’s quote: “They don’t have what you have.” but I know it’s not going to work. Every natty has to pass through this process to find his personal solution. You can call this growing up.
Thanks to social media, people have never been more narcissistic and materialistic than before. According to Facebook everyone is living the dream, but that’s happening only in a made-up virtual reality. Social media is a network for virtual alter egos communicating with each other. We are their slaves. Everything that we do is for those virtual egos.
Back in the day when I was recording my squats to see whether they are legit (below parallel), a guy asked me: “Are you filming this so to flirt with girls on Facebook?” I said no, but he didn’t believe me. I have to admit that I understood his point. Today, we don’t do anything without taking a selfie because without content our virtual egos starve. No selfies, no effort.
The whole post in a few words: Get lean. Lift. Stand tall. Live.