Weights Don’t Build the Confidence That You Think They Do. Fists Are Better.

| August 5, 2019 by Truth Seeker |

A couple of years ago, I was watching Olympic boxing with a guy conducting himself as a professor in everything. The category was 135lbs. He started laughing at the fighters for being skinny and light. I understand why. He is tall and has a large frame. The only way for him to weigh 135lbs would be an illness.  

Yet I said: “If one of them hits you, you are dropping on the floor.” 

He got mad. But his facial expression and overall body language told me that he agrees to a certain extent which is probably why he got irritated. 


Many men of our generation(s) share the same reasoning – “Size will protect me”.  

Most people say that they lift weights for themselves or for some made-up spiritual reason, but that’s a lie. Are you going to deadlift and squat if you are stuck on a deserted island with no humans around? I know I wouldn’t. Men lift for two main reasons – to invoke fear in other males and to trigger desire within women. I don’t care about the pseudo-philosophical memes on Instagram – that’s the truth. If people were really lifting purely for an introverted reason, they wouldn’t make it their mission in life to inform you of their PRs.  

Many gurus say that a man can transform from a beta into an alpha by building up his confidence through lifting. I agree. If you are a skinny guy with poor posture afraid to lift a backpack weighing over 20lbs, you can certainly improve your expression of tenacity as well as your internal faith in yourself by becoming a human crane in the gym. But after a certain point, you are trying to boost an engine that cannot transmit any of its extra power to the wheels.

This is especially true if you are a natural trying to compensate for the lack of size by building omega strength to satisfy the perverted dreams of online and offline experts who want to exercise the role of judges determining who is a man and who isn’t. All that extra CNS strength that you are going to build is useless.  

Another major problem with building confidence through size is that you cannot get big while remaining a pristine pure natty brah. People often get mad at the numbers presented in Potential: How Big Can You Get Naturally, but few have actually reached them. Kids just want to believe that the sky is the limit because that’s what they have been hearing for the better part of their existence – that you can be anything you want to be if you just work hard enough.  

Naturals don’t reach this majestic size that protects them from all trouble. If you are 225-275lbs of muscle depending on your height, most men will never mess with you because you would be scary and in a higher weight class. But naturals cannot reach those numbers without getting fat. It just cannot happen regardless of how many deadlifts and squats you do; regardless of your programming. Even if you deploy the most advanced Russian, American or Chinese programs out there – you cannot beat nature by manipulating your sets and reps.  

There is a reason why men take steroids – they work better than anything for providing high-end musculature. Even the dumb pro bodybuilders are well aware of the fact that their size is primarily the result of pharmaceutical products rather than the angle secrets of guys like Charles Glass. 

What are naturals left with?  

A natural can look big if he has a decent frame and is willing to carry extra lard on him. There are two problems with that choice – most men have an average frame + getting fat will hurt your chances with the ladies.  

Women don’t love fat guts. Yes, females may not be as obsessed with six-pack abs as the magazines would make you believe, but a woman is never with a man because of his fat belly. It’s always – despite of it. She will never say – “Oh, this guy with the slim waist is too metrosexual for me. I want a real man with a 100-inch waist powered by low bar squats.” Hence why naturals should acquire leanness if their goal is to enhance their female-pulling power.  

Fists vs. Weights 

Learning functional fighting techniques could be very beneficial for a natural who wants to up his confidence level. Adding punching and defense skills to your arsenal as a lean natty will do more for your self-esteem and social behavior than breaking your back to take your deadlift from 450lbs to 550lbs while hoping that you will finally become indestructible.  

Combat sports such as boxing and kickboxing are a superior choice because they are practical and focus on the essential rather than making weird figures with your hands backWannabe classes where they allegedly teach you how to be Rambo by disarming men while throwing roundabout kicks are not recommended either. 

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87 comments

  1. Abdel John

    I love nattyornot, but I’m 17 years old, and I’m a poor guy from Indonesia.
    I dont have money to buy “potential”

    Keep going and thanks for your work 🙂

  2. Bklyngrappler

    Very true. Learning how to fight gives you confidence because you learn how to overcome adversity and defend yourself from other humans. The only reason I lift weights is to stay durable for combat sports

    1. John

      You are right 100%
      I can confirm that martial arts boost confidence much more than strength training! Best website ever!

    2. JIM

      Unless it give you over confidence?

      I wonder how many got into fighting then started to grow too confident in street situations. Where they may have walked away before they now go into it thinking they will win

      It does no harm if you use it as a last resort for defence….But i wonder how many do that?

      A weapons is a great equalizer too

      1. Pete South

        Nobody wants to fight someone who knows how to fight and when you are threatening someone and they’re smiling at you and saying “go ahead”, it’s not a good sign.

        Most people quit right there and I grew up in a bad neighborhood. Hoods are cowards, they don’t want a fair fight. Mostly they go by how confident the other guy is.

        I know I’ll win against any untrained person who’s within 100lbs of my size. Not only will I “win”, I won’t take a scratch. I won most of the fights I was in before I trained, now, forget it. It’s not even fair for me to fight most people.

        Plenty of people want to come to an MMA gym and test themselves, they are not remotely a threat, they can’t do anything. They can’t hit me and their grappling is a joke. What’s left?

        You’ve never trained, ask me how I know.

      1. John South

        There’s plenty of high school kids that have them.

        I knew a kid growing up who was 6′ 200lbs in the 8th grade and he wasn’t fat. lol

        They might not exactly look like bodybuilders but they have muscles. It’s ridiculous to say that no natural men ever had a good build.

        1. jim

          I have NEVER met a big, lean natural. EVER!!! I have always been struck how small natural body builders are.

          So congrat’s you have sen something i never have.

          How do you know they are not taking PED’s?

          1. Pete South

            As if “natural bodybuilders” carry the most muscle.

            Note that I never mentioned bodybuilders or looking like one at all. lol

          2. Adrian

            He never said natties can be big *and* lean. He said natties can have muscles and a good build. Learn to read, you nincompoop.

          3. Darby Heavey

            Go to a high school or college wrestling meet. If you combine wrestling skills with some basic boxing and BJJ skills you will be a fearless dude.

      2. Adrian

        Once again, you show your supreme ignorance. *All* human beings have muscles. We wouldn’t be able to move if we didn’t. Now you’re gonna commit the No True Scotsman fallacy and say, “But,… but,… but,… I was talking about big muscles!”

      3. JIM

        Non sense. Of course we can get them. Not to freaky levels but if there was no difference why even bother? T.S…..this is seriously silly thing to say. Are you saying natural lifters put no extra muscle on at all?

  3. A

    I only wish if you kind of extended the article, as combat sports have multiple other benefits than being able to fight. When I started with muay thai, I noted that many of the guys in the gym had significantly better physiques compared to average weightlifting gym rats. Not to mention their endurance and overall conditioning. These are functional qualities that transfer to other sports and real life as well. In combat sports the muscular and ripped body is more of a byproduct, than the primary goal. Too bad I realized it only after years of weightlifting, chasing dreams preached by the muscle industry.

  4. Akkush

    Good post!

    On the picture, it’s Zsolt Kelemen, fellow Hungarian, who used to do historical reenactment. He’s wearing the armour our steppe nomad ancestors probably used.

  5. Random Guy

    I think combat sports have real benefits of building confidence, toughness, discipline, etc… Competing in a fullcontact sport such as Boxing, Muay Thai or MMA is a character building experience.
    Just don’t think fighting is good as a mean of selfdefense… The total amount of punishment you need to take to get good at fighting is much more than the punishment you will ever take on your entire adult life for not knowing how to fight (that for most people is zero). I have been KOed both fighting and sparring, every competitor in the gym too… but neither of my friends who don’t fight have ever been KOed in their lives.

    1. John South

      That’s true, most people I know who trained for years, including myself have been permanently injured in some way.

      OTOH, you could get KO’d, hit your head on the pavement and die because you didn’t know how to fight.

      Grappling is bad for your body and striking is bad for your head.

      The best way I’ve found is to train either with some sort of moderation and avoid high level competition. You might not be the best training that way but you’re probably more than enough for the average hood.

      1. Random Guy

        “OTOH, you could get KO’d, hit your head on the pavement and die because you didn’t know how to fight.”
        Actually, i think you are more way likely to get hurt in a street fight if you know how to fight than if ypu don’t…
        Fist, because you are more likely to take part in a fight because you think you are confident can deal with the situation when regular people would just leave and avoid the confrontation.
        Second, because hang around among people who are also fighters, you are more likely to enter a fight with people who are also trained.

        Truth is the vast majority of regular people will never be in a streetfight in their adult lives. And even if they do, knowing how to fight may not save them because random factors like: being sucker punched, multiple oponents, guns/knifes, being drunk, the oponent also fights and is better, etc…

  6. Mad Pelox

    Couldn’t agree more. I started lifting weights almost 20 years ago, dibblling on martial arts on an off, until I started boxing seriously a few years ago. Man, what a change. I can´t begin to tell you how counterproductive carrying a lot of muscle is in contact sports. I lost muscle mass but I acquired a grainier, more compact look. I regret not having started earlier. Every time one of these buff dudes at the gym decides to spar with me (or anyone with a basic boxing level, for that matter) you see how they gass out at the drop of a hat and get a pasting. It’s like you said, mass will make people more hesitant about teasing you but once you learn a martial art proficiently you know you can handle 99% of people out there, if things get ugly. Unlike muscleheads that are likely to drop like flies. There’s no confidence like that anywhere else

  7. Hoyos

    Plus learning how to punch hard is way more accessible. If you learn how to pivot throw your bodyweight behind it, even those 135 pounders are bouncing a lot of weight off your skull with their fists.

  8. ESM

    “Hence why naturals should acquire leanness if their goal is to enhance their female-pulling power.”

    I agree with the above but only to a point. I can say unequivocally that I get a better response from women when I tend to be heavier. Not fat, just a bit heavier. For example at a bodyweight of 160 and change my abs show a bit (I’ve never had particularly good abs), however I literally look anorexic in street clothing. Having abs doesn’t mean much if you repulse most women to begin with by looking malnourished.

    Unless you tend to go to the beach a lot, tend to not not wear a shirt a lot, or flash people a lot (I do none of these things), when exactly will a typical woman even get to see my abs, especially if you can’t attract them to begin with due to my skin and bones look.

    Conversely, at a bodyweight of say 175 or so, I’ll be carrying more fat in the middle, but it’s accompanied by the look of someone who trains when seen in street clothes. Certainly not a level of size that will stop traffic by any means, but a level of size that someone would say yeah, he weight trains. I find this state far more effective at attracting women. I’m still far from fat, but you don’t see much in the way of ab development.

    I’ve always found that the bulky but not fat guy, the guy who has a bit of a physical presence to him will always do much better than the guy with great abs but looks ultra skinny. And like I said above, how would a typical woman even be aware of your abs if you can’t attract her to begin with due to your diminutive stature. Anyway just my 2 cents. I’ve always felt the obsession with abs and leanness was one of the largest impediments to actually gaining what little size a drug free trainee can.

    Seriously, unless you’re entering a bodybuilding contest, are trying to be the next Calivin Klein underwear model, or go to the beach every day, who gives a shit if you gained a little fat (A LITTLE) along with actually growing a set of traps and actually looking like you weight train.

    1. SmallNatural

      Your post is a spot-on, I fully agree with you! When when you don’t have much mass, it’s actually way more benefical NOT to be ripped, as far as the presence aspect goes. I remember that the first time I became really ripped, some chick asked me if I’m a tennis player. I died inside.

      1. Marked Wolf

        Kind of agree. Look at Pacquiao and even though he is a pretty much a “muscled” guy he won’t win any bodybuilding contest even natural ones. However even at only 145 pounds he has the confidence and ability to beat guys 100 pounds more muscle mass.

      2. JIM

        🙂

        Nadal physique is good…Novak . is too thin for me. Which one?

        Women like that physique though…lean and fit. OK I agree a little more muscle would be better.

        What % BF was you ate? Natural should aim for 10-12% imho. Like you say if you get down to single numbers you look thin clothed. It’s a fine line we tread.

      3. Dennis

        What a great post im 5 10 and 55 now and stay around 185 to have abs i would at my age have to drop to 170 very tiny. even tho Im not big drug free or ripped my waist is trim and I still have some arm size not much but some.

        1. jim

          Proportionally about the same as me then. I am not as tall but 12lbs less. Guessing about 12% B.F. I am happy with it. Even that was **** hard to get down to. Maintenance is a lot easier.
          The main thing is my stomach is flat….Yipppee

    2. jim

      What height are you?
      Your post is 100% about pulling women…are you single and looking? I see no mention of health.

      10% BF for a natural +2% is where you need to be. You’ll find that plenty hard enough to get down to and maintain, especially as you get older. How many 50 year olds are walking around less than 12% B.F. 1%? Less?

      Being fat is also very unhealthy. I know plenty of guys that lift and have good muscle size but at 17%+ B.F. (they won’t give up junk/booze etc) I wouldn’t say they look good at all.

  9. Chris

    enhancing your muscle mass and or studying a martial art are both as equally flawed in the real World.
    It can help, if balanced, but not as much as one would think.
    There’s no dojo, mat or ring or rules on the street.

    1. Brett

      I agree, and since when have men needed to ‘learn’ how to fight. Men have been killing other men since the beginning of time with rocks and primitive weapons. Who taught them?

      If it wasn’t a natural instinct amongst males the human species woukd have not survived.
      Sure modern men in the first world could use some boxing lessons and get in touch with their masculine sexuality, but go to africa where its common for ethnic cleansing where men kill other men with pangas, and you won’t find any dojo’s nearby.

      1. Adrian

        Brett: “since when have men needed to ‘learn’ how to fight.”

        Since ancient times, apparently. Please look up “Greek phalanx”. You think that could’ve been done without learning?

  10. humancrane

    Isnt fighting just as superficial of a sport as weightlifting? Okay, it will get you better at fighting. Nice. Pointless nowadays, good for wooing the ladies and trying to be cool. Exactly the same stuff. Its not like your fighting skills will likely save your ass – the same way as you probably wont have to bench press a fallen tree out of your way to survive. Martial arts are completely pointless when we acknowledge how frail humans are.

    And the confidence is a lie too. When you need self defense the most, martial arts wont help you that much – getting jumped by few guys at once, getting stabbed, getting at gunpoint.

    So I laugh at people who idolise martial arts when compared to “pointless” bodybuilding. All those activites are done for the sake of themselves. Yeah sure, you can kick my ass. So what? I can out-flex you. So what?
    Soooo what?

    1. Hoyos

      Well no, not really. Of course for actual self defense you’re right that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound if cure BUT fighting trains strength and endurance and coordination and movement and flexibility and etc. It’s more human.

      The confidence is real because human fighting instincts are baked into our DNA. You’re assuming most people function at the rational level which when you say it out loud is obviously wrong. Sensing someone capable of violence produces involuntary effects. Even if your rational brain says “so what” your primal brain is affected by “he can kick my ass”.

      Plus, since fighting is a primal human activity training it is a lot more fun than being a human crane.

    2. Fatman

      “Isnt fighting just as superficial of a sport as weightlifting?”

      It is. Years of training at a McDojo certification course will only make you marginally better at handling yourself in a real fight situation than the average “untrained” person.

      Martial arts training is as useful for acquiring “fighting skills” as squatting more makes you a better basketball player.

  11. Sonny

    Hey Truthseeker,

    Love the article. Another great read.

    By virtue of the Rambo comment, just wondering why you seem to dislike combative self defence, like Target Focus Training, or tony blauers teachings.

    Thanks again for a great article.

  12. Liftingavemeanxiety

    All of my skinnyfat friends were getting laid except me, i was so obsessed with lifting, i literally ruined my life with it, i stopped lifting for a while, and im losing weight because ss gomad gave me fat chin and manbo*bs.

    Yes lifting is a great tool to get girlfriend if your social skills are good, but as a natural its hard to get jacked, it takes years of process, thats why lifting isnt my #1 priority anymore.

    Lifting had build confidence in me in the first place but after that it also ruined my social life. And the way i look to the world.

    I still lift but i dont cry or think about suicide because i Didn’t hit that Pr on bench press.

    That’s my story

    1. JIM

      Lifting should NEVER be your number one priority. That’s where many go wrong. I do less than 30 minutes a week. In my gym at home. That’s it. No studying new methods, no talking about it, no thinking about it. Done.
      To me lifting is like taking a shower, brushing your teeth. Something i have to do to maintain a certain level. Do it, get it over with, finished.
      A natural will only get to a good physique. Never outstanding. That’s the way it is. Get outstanding in other things.
      If you only focus on keeping your fat levels to less than 12% you are better than 90% of men and 90% at the top of your range. Lifting weights is almost optional.

  13. Motasem

    I am 12 lbs of lean muscle mass away from my potential according to the book ‘how big can you get naturally’ .
    Stats:
    Weight: 180 lbs
    Height: 6’2
    BF: 10%
    So I think I getting closer to the plateau 🙂 thats why having read your articles and bought your book got me ready with ready-to-fight brainy white blood cells.

    Keep going

    1. jIM

      WEll, i do not think everyone can get to the maximum potential. The idea is to get as close as you can , maintian and be happy.

      5 years of progressive lifting and you are at your limit.

  14. Marky Mark

    You’d be surprised how low peoples expectations are in real life. Guys I’ve seen being called “big” irl wouldn’t be considered real men by the internet judges over on sites like bodybuilding.com. I showed a picture of my Dad to my friends, who has a painfully natty-physique, and their jaws still dropped. I think being low body-fat (10-15%) is more important than being jacked.

    1. JIM

      The only solution is to avoid Social media like the plague.

      There was a guy on youtube Twatt does fitness. He is clearly on roids…says he needs to eat 5,000 cal’s a day to maintain a 10% B.F. That alone tells me he is 100% PED taker. A natural eats 3,000 cal’s a day and he’s getting fatter. And yet….most of the people on their believe he is 100% natural. They will not hear anything else. It’s like a cult.

      I agree…..just keeping your natural muscle levels and getting to 10% is where it is… That’s where you look super fit.

      Too much muscle also does not look good. It’s alright looking at these huge steroiders and thinking wow (why??) but they also look a bit f**** stupid. Put a suite on them and look too bulky. A bit comical. It’s TOO much. Ask a women if they find the heavy weight b.bers attractive…98%+ will say no.

  15. John South

    “If one of them hits you, you are dropping on the floor.”

    The problem with that is I’m 6’1 215 or so…and I’ve been doing grappling and striking for years. I’m not as good at boxing as a pro boxer but I’m way bigger and stronger and have more skills at my disposal that he probably wouldn’t be able to deal with.

    If a 135lb boxer hits me, they’re probably going to find him in a dumpster with his head shoved up his a$$. lol

    135lb boxers have enough sense to know that if I the bigger guy has trained one or two years, they’re done. Also, boxing vs MMA or Muay Thai is the boxers loss most times.

    No one is invincible because no one has the time to be an expert in everything except professional MMA fighters. Even in that realm, there’s always someone bigger and stronger. A heavyweight will beat a light weight of the same level.

    Bigger and stronger is usually better when it comes to fighting, I’d never mess with a professional powerlifter or strongman, that kind of strength is a martial art unto itself.

    Do you really want to take the chance of some big guy to pick you up and chuck you to the pavement? I sure don’t, I could be permanently injured.

    There’s a point where technique doesn’t help you. Technique uses leverage but that does not matter when the other guy can lift you off your feet.

    It’s not that I have no chance but that there’s also a chance I’ll be seriously injured. Even in the animal kingdom, fights are mostly posturing…

    The 135lb pro boxer is thinking the same thing looking at me. Most fighters know not to go around picking fights and I’m not going to pick a fight with a 6’8, 300lb guy because I know his reach and weight could be a really bad problem if he knows anything at all.

    Do I really want to roll around on the pavement trying to get an armbar? Heck no. I’ll fight him to save my life but I wouldn’t ever choose that.

    When I was 6’1 135lbs, everyone messed with me, now, no one really does. It’s not that I’m invincible, but I’m a hard enough target that it’s not worth the risk that I might have had a few boxing or jiu-jitsu lessons.

    Not having to fight all the time is a blessing, not to mention, every time you do these days, you risk jail time. If you are known as a trained fighter, good luck in court. I definitely don’t want to have to knock people out to gain respect on a regular basis.

    The way I avoid fights is by projecting strength and not being fearful, while at the same time, minding my own business and not treating people badly.

  16. John South

    “Most people say that they lift weights for themselves or for some made-up spiritual reason, but that’s a lie. Are you going to deadlift and squat if you are stuck on a deserted island with no humans around? I know I wouldn’t.”

    Maybe I wouldn’t if I didn’t have a weight room and extra food but if I did, I sure would.

    Maybe I started for the reasons you mentioned but that’s not why I do it now.

    Perhaps you just don’t like lifting, I’ve been lifting since I was 14 maybe, that’s like 30 years off and on. My biggest regret is having more off than on.

    Lifting weights is one of my favorite activities, it’s even more important as one ages, I’ll never stop.

    I don’t want to train full body more than twice per week because I’m getting old but I love to get in there and squat, bench, pendlay row, deadlift, OHP, chin up, etc all in the same session. Then I’ll skip rope and stretch.

    After that I’m pretty fried and have to lay down but after 2 or 3 days, but I want to get in there again. Training is even better now that I’ve weeded out the bodybuilding fluff.

  17. JIM

    Most kids and some adults are pretty disappointed when you tell what the potential growth lifting naturally is. BUT they shouldn’t be. It’s worth it. That extra 6-10kg of muscle looks great and is a huge difference. IF you keep lean you look good.

    What about the health benefits? Isn’t that why we got into this from the start? Muscle tone, bone density, CNS, grip strength, overall strength preservation.
    The guys that go from this to PED’s lose sight of the health and start chasing an image. Not good

    Lifting should be a very small portion of your life..not your life!! Like brushing your teeth. You do to maintain a certain level and that’s it. You don’t brush your teeth 1hour+ a day in the hope of getting them cleaner do you? Lifting is the same. Once you are at or very near your natural limit….you are on maintenance. And that takes VERY little time/effort.
    Sadly we live in the Social Media world. A world of fake truth’s and big mouths.

    1. TheFinisher

      You obviously don’t want maximum size and that is fair enough, not everyone wants to be big. However if someone does want to get as big as they possibly can naturally then they are going to have to make it a BIG part of their life.

      ‘Less is more’ does NOT work for maximum development.

      1. Pete South

        For most people and the potential they have, it’s simply not worth it. Almost no one is getting hyooge naturally.

        Besides, I think we all get to the same place with correct training anyway.

        Training full body once or twice per week probably gets you all you’re ever going to have, eventually.

        It’s the difference between 5 years and 10 years. Play the long game and get other things done.

        1. TheFinisher

          If it’s not worth it to THEM then they can do shitty full body training, that style of training isn’t for serious bodybuilders anyways, serious being maximum development of all muscles.

          Funny how when i did full body training, low volume training and then HIT my results were painfully slow, believing that for size you have to ‘get strong’ – bench 3 plates, squat 4 plates all that other bullshit – Once I switched to high volume 70’s style training I blew up fast. Everyone around me was doing it and growing. Oh and we still got ‘other things done’. I wasn’t fucking lazy.

          People don’t want it bad enough.

          1. Pete South

            I don’t think so, 70s bodybuilders used steroids.

            Even the 70s bodybuilders like Arnold and Franco preached getting a strength base before going into volume training and that was ALWAYS done using drugs.

            Look up the workout Arnold recommends to beginners, it’s a full body.

            The kind of exercises people do to fill out these “bro” routines like triceps press downs and laterals or chest flyes, barely do anything without gear.

            It works on steroids, but even on steroids, once you stop and you didn’t build a strength base, it goes away, hence all these guys who blow up on gear and then shrivel back.

            On the other hand, I kept 40lbs of my gains or so because I did that 3 plate bench for reps and 4 plate squats.

            Also, I don’t believe that you got anything done because I barely have time for a workout or two if the stars align and I’ve been training maybe longer than you’ve been alive.

            Don’t kid a kidder here, you might think you’re getting something done by the standards of a kid who still lives with his mom but you’re not doing anything really.

            You have no business using a split of any kind unless you have at least a 2 plate bench, 3 plate squat, 4 plate dead, etc and even then it would be upper/lower at most.

            Anyone who can’t bench 225, Squat 315, Dead 405 is a novice in the gym.

      2. JIM

        Who doesn’t want maximum size? You can’t get there by working out more often. Lift to your maximum ofr 5 years and that’s it…..seems many cannot accept what their limit I’ll bet some PED junkie would say i look skinny… 🙂 To me they look like clowns anyway! 80% is diet and hormones (hence why people jump onto PED’s)

        Based on what? More training does not mean more muscle mass. People need to understand that.
        The difference between someone working out once a week (IF at maximum) and someone that does it 4X+ week is NIL. NOT 4X better! You are simply wasting your time

        Heck focus on diet and you do not even need to lift if not putting some muscle on is important

        1. TheFinisher

          The numbers you keep spouting out are arbitrary, 80%? 5 years? ‘based on what?’ exactly, so in 5 years everyone just hits their size potential? damn, why am i still growing…

          Someone working out more often, with more volume IS better. I’m not sure where you get/got your info from but it seems like a joke. Less does not equal more.

        2. Pete South

          “More training does not mean more muscle mass. People need to understand that.”

          That’s true, more studies popping up showing just that.

          You get roughly 60% of your growth from the first set, each successive set is diminishing returns until finally you exceed your maximum recoverable volume and fail to grow at all.

          As a natural lifter, if you lift beyond your recovery ability, you won’t grow at all. Your body has 24-48 hours window to recover, if it can’t recover in that time, you may as well be sitting on the couch, you may even get weaker.

          Recovery ability can be negatively affected for the middle-aged/elderly or extremely busy professional, family man, etc.

          So there is a gamble that you push things too far and completely waste your effort, which is probably what is happening for some of these “hard gainers”.

          It’s also not a given that training the muscle more than once or twice a week will lead to more results, making full-body workouts once or twice per week ideal for many trainees. Training more often can also lead to repetitive stress injuries, tearing a muscle and so on…

          If you tear your bicep your arm will look like trash forever, so give those connective tissues time to recover.

          At my age, I don’t particularly care about growing at the fastest possible rate, I’ve already got most of what I’m going to get at this point and I’m already bigger than most people at the gym. lol

          So there’s a great argument to be made for training minimalism for the average man gym rat, taking that guaranteed “60%” and going home.

          I think it’s better to cultivate a lifelong, steady habit of training instead of looking for quick results and burning out or hurting themselves, which is what most men do.

          1. TheFinisher

            Yeah for beginners….
            I know what Arnold recommended, yet he was still a ‘pumper’ in the 60’s along with sergio oliva and serge nubret who didn’t chase magical numbers on the bench, squat and deadlift. Infact a lot of guys in the 70’s could deadlift heavy, but their actually staples for Back size were pullups/pulldowns and barbell rows….

            Telling me and EVERYONE else who is a bodybuilder that has done isolation movements like pushdowns and dumbbell flyes that it only works because we are ‘on gear’ is fucking laughable, stop listening to that fat slob Jason Blaha, he’s a compulsive liar who hates bodybuilders because he doesn’t know how to build muscle himself.

            You use Mark Bell and his gym as example that the strong guys are big, do you ignore how they train for size? the fact Mark Bell was recently trained by Hany Rambod to compete in a bodybuilding show, but yeah just squat, bench and deadlift, a few pullups will win you a bodybuilding show lol Powerlifters do and i quote ‘pump and fluff’ for size, even Dan Green has articles about this.

            Training minimalism is great for people who wan’t to be strong and look better, I don’t have a problem with that, my problem is with people being fucking experts and telling people to do less with their bullshit powerlifting routines – It is NOT best for people who want maximum development, period.

          2. Pete South

            “Yeah for beginners….”

            Again, if you can’t hit a 315 bench, you’re not an advanced lifter. If you can’t hit 225 for 5, you’re a rank novice and have no business with anything but compound lifts and full body programs.

            “Mark Bell was recently trained by Hany Rambod to compete in a bodybuilding show, but yeah just squat, bench and deadlift”

            An admitted steroid user. Bodybuilding does not work without steroids.

            “I know what Arnold recommended, yet he was still a ‘pumper’ in the 60’s along with sergio oliva and serge nubret who didn’t chase magical numbers on the bench, squat and deadlift.”

            They both used steroids during this period. Arnold was never natural while training this way because that style of training doesn’t work otherwise.

            Rich Piana and Rik Draisin, who trained during that period said more or less the same thing even though Rich trained that way. Piana said that natural training is mostly about strength and steroids were more about pumping up with lighter weights.

  18. Adrian

    How do know that all men lift weights solely to impress women or scare other men? Do you know every man in the world? Do you even know half of all men in the world? You’re just talking out of your ass. Stop projecting your own thoughts onto others, you bellend.

    1. Pete South

      “Mark Bell was recently trained by Hany Rambod to compete in a bodybuilding show, but yeah just squat, bench and deadlift”

      An admitted steroid user. Bodybuilding does not work without steroids.

      “I know what Arnold recommended, yet he was still a ‘pumper’ in the 60’s along with sergio oliva and serge nubret who didn’t chase magical numbers on the bench, squat and deadlift.”

      They both used steroids during this period. Arnold was never natural because that style of training doesn’t work that way.

      Rich Piana and Rik Draisin, who trained during that period said more or less the same thing even though Rich trained that way. Natural training is mostly about strength.

      1. TheFinisher

        “Bodybuilding does not work without steroids” lol

        Arnold was NEVER natural? suuuure. That style doesn’t work without steroids? damn, i must be on steroids then…

        You are telling me it doesn’t work for naturals WHEN I’VE FUCKING DONE IT.

        ‘pumper’ meaning bodybuilding reps ‘8-15’ not Rich piana’s 40 rep sets

        Ric drasin used high volume training then and still does now. He trained with Arnold, doing supersets etc

        Hilarious, good luck getting bigger than 17 inch arms with heavy benching lol.

        1. Pete South

          He was never natural during the period you describe, probably not after the first 6 months he started training.

          Look at Arnold and Franco today, tiny and weak, trying to do machines and receiving no gains without the Vitiamin S.

          You’re probably not very big and you admit that you can’t bench 315 nor squat 405 so you didn’t do anything.

          You can do 8 to 15 sets or you can do 5s, your body doesn’t know the difference

          The only real difference is the strength gain is really slow on sets of 8 to 15 and that will lead to stalling earlier.

          The main reason to use a set of 15 instead of 5 is to use it on a smaller exercise like facepull or tricep pressdown where sets of 10×3 would be ridiculous. Either that or you don’t have time to do more sets so you choose to do 3×10 instead of 5×5.

          Research shows that most muscle groups responds best to roughly 30 total reps in a session so divide it however you wish. Just know that strength gain will generally be better with lower reps.

          There is no reason whatsoever to do sets of 2×15 on a bench press other than being a moron who wants to stay weak or someone who has 20 minutes to train every day.

        2. Pete South

          Ric may have trained “high volume” with Arnold back in the day when they were both on the same stuff.

          He does some tricep pressdowns drinks a glass of milk and takes a nap, whatever he has at this point is muscle memory.

          He’s the same size he was 6 months ago and two years ago, except probably smaller. He’s done growing.

          1. TheFinisher

            You spout out some bullshit like your idol Blaha.
            you’ve literally just repeated what he says about bodybuilders and bodybuilding in general, which is fucking nonsense.

            Since you like to assume, I’m assuming you’re lucky to see results on a monthly basis, if that. especially with 30 reps a muscle group.

            As for you saying i’m ‘probably not very big’ I’m approaching 19 inch arms, lean. go fucking figure.

            It’s always non-bodybuilders telling bodybuilders they are wrong. I’m out.

          2. Pete South

            “you spout out some bullshit like your idol Blaha.”

            Which is absolutely true and based on the latest scientific research in this area.

            “As for you saying i’m ‘probably not very big’ I’m approaching 19 inch arms, lean. go fucking figure.”

            Nah, bro, you got small arms and the rest of your body is small too.

  19. The Chad

    This website seems to be a bunch of beta males made cause they are weak and can’t get strong. There are plenty of natural strong people out there. They aren’t Ronnie Coleman. What a bunch of pathetic losers on this site. Stop bitching and start lifting pussies.

    1. Adrian

      The Chad: Exactly! Did you read the author’s hasty generalization? “Men lift for two main reasons – to invoke fear in other males and to trigger desire within women.” This brickhead needs to have a grasp of logical fallacies before he writes any more piss-poor articles.

  20. Em

    An individual who lifts only needs an FFMI of 21-22 at a lean body fat percentage to look and be muscular.
    An average person with average genetics can achieve an FFMI of around 23 at a lean body fat percentage after 5-6 years of good consistent training, which by actual FFMI standards, is excellent.

    The average person represents the significant majority as most people on Earth will fit into this category, which means most people can achieve an FFMI of 23 which is already considered to be excellent.

    So what is the issue here? People are either pessimistic beyond reality or delusional beyond reality.

    1. Pete South

      Most men spend 5-10 years in the gym and completely waste their time because they have no idea how to train.

      Lifting is actually something most men need a legit coach to do well and going into things on the bodybuilding side where most men do is an almost guarantee of failure. Almost everyone benches in a way that will not build the chest, there’s no progression, etc.

      I don’t see anyone at Mark Bell’s gym, for instance, failing to hit decent lifts or gain muscle. Is there anyone who started training with a real powerlifting coach and reached an advanced level who doesn’t look like they lift?

      “Oh well, I bench 360 but I have no chest compared to other naturals so I need special bodybuilding training”. lol

      Also, what’s the attraction to “bodybuilding” for hetero men, why is that the default? It’s the most homoerotic thing ever.

      “I want to look like I bench 400, but build no useful or athletic qualities whatsoever and not even be able to bench 275”

      lol

      1. TheFinisher

        “Nothing is going to happen in 3 months, even on steroids but a bunch of water that you’ll piss out in 2 weeks”

      2. Random Guy

        Powerlifting is an activity just as useless and unathletic as bodybuilding.

        Lifting is pretty straigthfoward. Unless you are a high level athlete or have some complicated health issue, you can train by yourself. Making it look complex is just useful to sell scams.

      3. CJ

        This is actually sadly true. Many of us actually dont know what we’re doing in many ways. Still, coaching, proper technique, etc. only goes so far. And yet not too far as always. Drugs (lots) are why mark bell’s gym junkies are “progressing”

  21. DonneTheConquerer

    Approaching 50 years of age shortly, and after several decades of dedicated lifting of various sorts and styles, I am at the point now where I work out full body, twice a week (or once if my schedule gets hectic). I look and feel great, and minimalism makes sense at this point for me considering various factors – related to and unrelated to training in the gym.

    Looking back, here is my one biggest reflection of what I would change: More training for strength in bodyweight exercises (pull ups, core training, etc.), with a focus on athleticism and sports training. I would train to improve flexibility, endurance and coordination, using basic movements that have carryover to sports and daily activity.

    This revelation came to me looking back and realizing how so much we do in the gym when we are young is virtually for “all show and no go”. Aside from adding lean body mass and reducing fat, thus improving body composition and health, it did so very little else.

    Example: Ever seen a guy who spends his free time in the gym, living, eating and sleeping bodybuilding, and when it comes time to play flag football with his gymless 22 year old younger nephew/cousin gets toasted and embarrassed on both sides of the ball? Yeah, that was me at one point, and it was embarrassing. Primarily because here was this guy how dedicated his life to eating right and body sculpting who just got his ass handed to him by a young buck whose biggest resistance movement is swilling a bottle of Jack Daniels.

    And never mind fighting a guy who trains in MMA or boxing, that never ends well for Mr. Pump & Pose (unless he trains for that also, which is unlikely given that it takes away from his routine in the gym).

    So, in addition to resistance training, a strong emphasis would have been spent on actually training the body for performance. Another example is being able to run a 5k; I don’t care what your physique goals are, if you can’t run a measly 3 miles without coughing up a lung you are simply not is shape.

    Gregg Valentino once stated in a video that he was great athletically as a kid and through most of high school, don’t hand walking, running up walls, and throwing a baseball from center field to home plate. Even before he blew himself up into a caricature shaped and freaky muscle head on gear, he said bodybuilding ruined his athleticism – even as a natural competitor. And despite coming off as a bit of an extreme joker, Gregg is one smart guy who lived the life, talked the talk and walked the walk.

    So youngings, take notice and head the warnings about this.

  22. John South

    One reason I don’t quit training BJJ is the difference in cardio I experience from training just once a week.

    I hadn’t trained for like 6 months and came back to training. Mind you, I had been lifting and skipping rope a couple times a week to keep in shape.

    The condition of my body was relatively pathetic and untrained when returning to jiu-jitsu. I barely made it through the class and after the first round with a white belt, it took a few minutes to catch my breath and I was done for the night.

    After going home, I was sore and the next day could barely get out of bed.

    You could say the same thing about Muay Thai or boxing. The level of physical conditioning with these sports cannot be compared to whatever you think you’re doing on a cardio machine.

    If an average person, even one who lifts and does other workouts gets into a fight with someone who trains one of these sports for a couple years, he’s probably going to get destroyed. Basically no chance.

    1. Chris

      Conditioning is specific to what you do, why were you surprised at being winded, or wasn’t you ?

      And a different note, your discussion with the Finisher made good/entertaining reading .
      Why cant we all bench 3 plates for reps and have 18″+ arms ?

      If your as strong as you state and lean, you must have reasonable measurements, and if the Finisher has near 19″ arms with everything else to match, surely he can move some iron if that was his intent.

  23. AdamThomas

    This is very true. I know from experience because I’ve always trained in some form of martial art since the age of around 10 years old. Boxing, muay thai, BJJ, MMA. I’m a small guy, only 5’4″. When I was fighting competitively I weighed around 125lbs.

    I’d train with guys of all different weights, up to 250lbs. I liked to spar and roll with them because taking heavy shots and wrestling with a 250lb guy makes it easier to take shots and wrestle with a 125lb guy.

    Often we’d get newcomers to the gym. They’d be big tatted up guys who’d lifted weights but had only done a little bit of training if at all. To most people they’d look very intimidating. I on the other hand just looked like a little wimp, as one woman once said when I was standing around with them.

    But when it came to sparring stand-up, they were so slow that I’d hit them 2-3 times as they’d miss near enough every single punch they threw. I could just stand right in front of them with my hands down. When it came to wrestling and rolling they’d try to use sheer force rather than technique, tire out quickly and I’d submit them multiple times. Of course put me against a trained fighter heavier than myself and I’d get beaten, but without technique those big guys were useless.

  24. Danilo

    I would say “fighting” more than fists. I mean, it’s not about learning the tecnique and do the movements, not even punching a boxing bag. Confidence really builds up when you start to be hurt and you realize you can stand it and hit back.
    That was my experience when I began boxing, many years ago now, coming from 2 years of lifting. The highest level of confidence came from the fighting contact, and built up on that base over the years…even though I wasn’t such a great talent…

  25. Mike

    I like some of the articles on this site but other than looking/feeling better for myself I do it for therapeutic effect it gives me. A sense of well being. Many of the concrete perspectives in many of these readings may be true some of the time but not always.

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