Lifting is on top of the list with upgrade activities available to the modern male. The gym is seen as a workshop producing extremely superior humans. Whenever you struggle, the advice is to get collected and start fighting gravity like real men do.
The titans in the male self-improvement sector agree and recommend weightlifting to all their pupils. “If you are not lifting, you are not trying,” they say. You are expected to choose a “manly” routine and follow it religiously if you want to become “the best version of yourself”.
While it’s true that resistance training can be a noble and even philosophical journey, it comes with limitations that require deeper thinking to detect and comprehend.
It takes a certain amount of intelligence, wisdom and before all honesty to understand what lifting can and cannot do for you. Blindly wrestling barbells and dumbbells while hoping that everything will be fine as long as you follow the theories of self-proclaimed experts who happen to be popular online can result in a seemingly inexplicable lack of results.
The Lies of The Masters
The experts sure love their exaggerations. They you will tell how you will outgrow your clothes upon enlisting in their squat armies, how you will become tough as chromoly steel once you reach some nonsense numbers, how men will fear you and women will admire you as long as a specific training dogma is satisfied, how you will transform into a human-lion thanks to weightlifting…etc.
The choice of narrative isn’t a coincidence. It works. The media supports the idea that the barbell houses are forging iron men. The gurus profit from this perception. The euphoria within the lifter who’s allegedly about to mutate into a high-end human operates like a drug importing ideas far from the actual reality.
This is precisely why men invest so much into lifting – we believe that the iron journey can fix every problem we have. Yet the amount of control that resistance training provides is significantly lower than most muscle apprentices let themselves realize.
Self-improvement and dating? Why do we do it?
Self-improvement is an exquisite human territory. Animals don’t do go there. They are born perfect and never feel guilty about the way they are. They don’t spend a large portion of their lives becoming a “better version of themselves”. They simply follow the path prepared for them by nature and live purely on instinct.
Humans have similar tendencies, but we are also pushed to “improve” since our childhood – you are not born perfect; you have to constantly study and work until you become a useful economic and societal unit capable of carrying his weight in the mechanism and raising an offspring that will one day take over and do the same.
In short, the society has conditioned us to see ourselves as a product that needs constant polishing.
Why? Why do we need to self-improve? Can’t we just exist like the rest of the world?
There are many influencing factors ranging from trivial to profound, but in this particular case, I will focus on the free market currently controlling the dating scene.
Animals don’t obsess over their choice of a spouse. They go with whatever is available in the area. Lionesses don’t dream of some extraterrestrial omega alpha lions. Sure, a stronger male predator can push away the “beta”, but the overall competition for a single female is pretty slim in comparison to the situation in the human sector.
The open borders created by the Internet, the influence of the media and the natural human desire to ask for more catalyze the never-ending search for the perfect partner. Currently, the phenomenon is stronger within the female population because women have more options.
The difference in male and female preferences slightly balances out this dynamic – women are after the top 10-20% whereas men have lower requirements. This expands the options available to men while decreasing those in front of women. Despite this equalization, there are still severe side effects.
Thanks to the online infrastructure and the heavy promotion of traveling, modern women have access to men of higher social strata. In the past, your average shoe seller had to work extra hard to gain an opportunity to flirt with celebrities and other forms of rich motherfuckers. Today, she can do it via various Internet platforms in her smoke break. Once exposed to the luxury goods, she becomes reluctant to reply to the text of the local milk boy – the man she would have married if there was no Internet.
This creates a free dating market where the best offer wins.
Consequently, men are directly and indirectly forced to “improve” and become “datable”. Being yourself is no longer enough if it ever were. You are supposed to satisfy a specific image that’s a little different according to everyone.
Thus, we all try to build a better product through “post-production” upgrade methods with varying degree of effectiveness. Lifting is one of them.
A Nice Physique Definitely Makes You More Attractive But…
Unless you are truly massive like an actual bodybuilder, a woman will not return you for having visible abs or well-developed biceps. Sure, there are some insecure females who prefer their men to have a less than ideal physique out of fear that they will have to replace their leisure yoga hours with something more intense, but everyone is more attractive in a lean and somewhat muscular version.
This fact makes bodybuilding an appealing activity to the average male fighting for female love.
The faith in the shredded body results in a stream of ab selfies used as profile photos for social media and online dating applications. This method works with a varying degree of success. There is a certain number of horny women looking for “fun” whose low key buttons may be pushed by a nice sexy physique if the time is right. Yet the men with the hottest bodies are not necessarily the most desirable products on the dating market because there is another visual part that comes before the abs and the arms – the face.
Many seduction experts consider Brad Pitt’s physique in Fight Club ideal for “pulling” women into the bedroom. Hence many lifters do their best to acquire it. However, there’s one detail that the warriors forget – that physique is not the trait that makes Brad Pitt so attractive. His face is what separates him from the crowd. Even if Brad Pitt was fat in his prime, he would still attract more women than the vast majority of fitness models.
This leads us to a logical question – what’s the effect of lifting on one’s facial aesthetics?
Technically, none. Yes, brother. Getting to a 400lbs squat or 500lbs deadlift will not improve your face. The only lifting related element that has some influence on one’s facial appearance is body fat manipulation – the fatter you are, the uglier your face is. If you don’t believe me, just look at celebrities who have tried to transform into whales – if they were handsome before gaining the weight, they are still attractive afterwards but not to the same degree.
The major downside of extra body fat is the formation of a double or even a triple chin accompanied by hamster cheeks. The combo hides your jawline and turns you into a potato. Many men are surprised how attractive they become once they lose the excess face fat.
A defined facial structure along with gut reduction and posture improvement are the three lifting related characteristics that improve your level of attractiveness the most – they are more important than the size of your muscle and your lifts.
Ironically, you don’t really have to train seriously to get lean and improve your posture. Your diet and posture habits rather than your bench numbers dictate the success of this mission.
What about the neck?
Neck training has become popular for the facilitation of two goals – gaining “alpha” points and improving facial aesthetics. It works in both cases. A thicker neck makes you more robust in the eyes of your enemies and frames your face (like the eyebrows). There’s a reason why the term pencil neck exists – people notice consciously and subconsciously.
The size of one’s neck can increase substantially naturally. Curls with a neck harness seem to offer the greatest range of motion and convenience. Of course, the classic wrestling bridges can be used too, but they are often troublesome for some individuals.
Having said that, not everyone needs direct neck work. Exercises like the deadlift, the overhead press and other compound movements work the neck indirectly.
How big should my neck be?
If your goal are aesthetics, it should be about as wide as your jaw. Once the neck outgrows the width of the face, it acquires a life on its own and becomes too noticeable.
What about the V-taper?
Most men will have a V-taper even if their lats are untrained as long as the body fat levels are low. That happens because men’s clavicles are wider than their waists.
Nevertheless, lat and delt training cannot compensate for narrow shoulders. I remember seeing a guy in the gym who was decently tall at around 6’3”, lean and muscular, but his clavicles were super narrow. He was doing tons of back and shoulder work, but his efforts were destined to fail because bones rather than muscles decide how wide one’s shoulders actually are.
You can improve your V-taper by losing weight and building up your lats, but if the structure required for the ultra-wide shoulder look is not present, miracles won’t happen.
The four aesthetic upgrades that lifting can offer/affect are: low body fat (lean face), better posture, W-taper, proportional neck development. Of course, there are other contributing factors such as big arms, juicy glutes, powerful calves and others, but all of them are secondary and of significantly smaller importance.
What men find attractive vs. what women actually like?
There is a crucial difference between what women like and what men think women like.
If you are trying to become more datable by listening to advice from guys like Rippetoe or another gatekeeper of manliness, you will build a product incapable of attracting its target audience.
Can you imagine a woman entering WestSide Barbell and having a hard time picking up her champ from the lot of big hairy, chubby men there? Or maybe she will be interested in offers from the newly formed skinny-fat warriors who have drunk their milk as advised by the 5×5 zealots? Or maybe she is supposed to go to a bodybuilding venue to appreciate the balanced physiques of veiny, tanned, men in thongs? Maybe if you improve the separation of your quads she will be yours? It doesn’t work like that.
The fact that Rambo’s forearms are impressive to you does not mean that a woman loses sleep over them too. Women and men’s filters are different. To understand this perspective, think about female fitness models and bodybuilders. Do you find those females attractive as a male? How many points do those 3D delts and shredded abs add to a woman? Exactly. Stuff like that does nothing for men. In fact, most of us are disgusted by the females who do that to their bodies. Sorry, girl, nobody cares about your diamond abs and bulging triceps. You can stop the Anavar.
This does not make your physique irrelevant to women. It matters. The difference is the focus. If your goal is to impress men, being the biggest motherfucker on the block works great. If your goal is to gain credits in the actual dating world, it’s better to look like a medium size physique model than a bodybuilder or a couch potato.
Confidence Among Men
Lifting’s toughening effect on the mind is also an important part of the equation. A man needs to be of a certain statue to be confident among other men. If one is bullied, his confidence will burn. Even if the victim has the necessary looks to attract women, his self-esteem could be too low to capitalize. Hence lifting to become more resilient in the human animal kingdom is an understandable endeavor. The girls may think that’s it’s lame to obsess over lifting, but if that’s what it takes to feel stronger and more confident among other men, you may just as well do it.
That confidence translates to other ventures including the love front.
Focusing solely on the characteristics that make you attractive to a woman is not a complete solution. The picture is more complex.
The Point of Diminishing Returns
Once you have reached a reasonable level of leanness and muscular development, investing more in the lifting game for the sake of female love becomes costly and ineffective. If the basics are covered (low body fat, good posture, V-taper), deeper specialization will not yield the results you are looking for. Going from a 400lbs deadlift to a 500lbs deadlift will do practically nothing for your love life directly.
Bro, gtfo. I only train for myself.
This is one of the biggest lies in the lifting world. No, bro. You don’t lift only for yourself any more than you dress only for yourself. I don’t care what people say. Everybody has an ego and an image to maintain. The level amplifies when the goal is to attract a partner.
The wannabes can pretend that they train only for themselves, but more often than not that’s just a way of positively reframing a less than ideal situation/result. Taking into consideration what others think of us is a part of our human nature. The societal mechanisms operating the human world further enhance this process.
Do I have to take steroids to become more attractive to women?
Naturals look like naturals. The 3D physiques floating in the online realm are powered by drugs. Some take more; some take less. Many guys are on TRT for those extra 20lbs of muscle while others are playing with harder stuff such as Trenbolone.
As long as the body is lean, and the model is not overdoing it, he will gain “sex points” for having a trendy look. There is a niche for “shredded fuck boys” who have the so-called slaying physique, but that does not render those men a preferred material for long-term relationships.
It may come as a shock to some, but steroids can make you less attractive – they age your face and damage your hairline which is arguably more important than the size of your biceps for your overall appearance.
Many roid monkeys are pursuing metrics (e.g., 18-inch arms) that carry a surprisingly small value in the dating jungle. In some situations, it is wiser to remain natural to preserve your youthful appearance.
Nevertheless, some men inject without experiencing the aforementioned side effects – they look their age and don’t lose their hair (at least not as quickly) despite taking drugs for years. Your genetics decide how your body will react to the import of anabolic steroids.
In conclusion, a man does not have to take steroids to become more attractive to women, but since they increase the perceived masculinity in a male by building thicker muscles, they can improve one’s girl-attracting power if the organism of the user can minimize the side effects.
Summary of the plan
As a natural or even unnatural, the following gains are a priority:
1.Leanness – fat guts are not attractive. It’s better to lose 100lbs off your powerlifting total than to be a fatso.
You don’t have to become some ab obsessed monk who measures everything he eats, however. Definition is appreciated, but extreme separation and detail are not required. Once you have semi-visible six pack abs, extra shreds offer a decreasing return on your investment.
Ultimately, the main purpose of acquiring leanness is to uncover your facial structure and lose that triple chin – this is way more important than revealing your abdominal musculature to the world.
2. Good posture – poor posture kills you faster than a fat gut. It just doesn’t look right and signals to the world that you lack faith in yourself.
Posture is a matter of habit and character rather than insane muscle strength. Strengthening the back muscles helps, but in the end, it all comes down to a deeper transformation within.
3.Neck and lat training
Neck training can have a positive effect on the way people perceive you.
Lat training is needed for a more pronounced V-taper.
Do you notice something?
None of the above requires you to kill yourself in the gym with some crazy programs like Smolov. In fact, you don’t even have to go to an iron house. You can achieve good results with minimal equipment at home. You don’t have to make the gurus happy to get all the girl-attracting power that natty lifting can provide for you.
Don’t try to satisfy criteria that have zero relevance to your goal.
Bro, I am tired of being treated like a product. Why are women doing this to me?
In the past, a woman would be lucky to know 5-10 potential candidates for the boyfriend/husband position. Today, the same woman has access to hundreds if not thousands of guys with a click of a button. This and the fact that many men are willing to bend their principles for women makes the competition harder than ever and extremely focused on superficial stuff.
The same pathways along with cultural changes created the hypergamy effect and the hookup culture. Of course, similar notions and behavior have existed long before the Internet, but they were not boosted to the same degree.
Having sex with strangers is the norm today, but it wasn’t in the past. I know a 19-year-old woman who has had more sex (20 different partners) than her mother and grandmother have had throughout their entire lives. That same woman finds most of her sex friends through online dating apps and chooses only male model material.
Dating, a flawed concept to begin with, is now a real disease that pushes the society into a weird form of mutation based on sexual inequality, shallowness, and directionless living.