Shut Up and Join a Gym

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Some really basic dating advice today. Here’s a new rule:

If you’re a guy, and you can’t get girls, you’re not allowed to complain about your looks unless you’ve been a member of a gym for at least six months.

I’m still amazed at how many guys who come to me for help and guidance while looking like they’ve been sitting on a couch for four years. Seriously, join a damn gym. That’s step number one. If you don’t have time, find time. If you don’t have the money, find a cheap gym. If you don’t know how to exercise properly, google around and find good workout programs and youtube videos showing you each exercise.

It’s sad to say this, but if there’s any “magic pill” with this stuff, it’s spending six months inside a gym and eating well. I always “worked out,” but I realized a few years ago, it was more like half-assing it to counter-balance all of the alcohol and burritos I was consuming. When I began taking training seriously, I slimmed down (lost 30 pounds), then bulked up (added about 5-6 pounds of muscle), and now I get looks from a lot of girls and even get approached every now and then.

Being fit and good-looking will make every step of the process go easier. Being good-looking isn’t a cure-all for attraction, but it absolutely makes every segment of game go easier and smoother. Women will be more receptive when you approach. They’ll have more patience for boring conversation. They’ll be less likely to flake. They’ll be more likely to get physical with you and they’ll even enjoy the sex more.

Study’s have demonstrated that better-looking people get paid more, promoted sooner, are trusted more often, and command more attention.

For you to read about this stuff and not make yourself as good-looking as you possibly can is dishonest and deluding yourself. Seriously, if you’re stuck and have no idea what to do, you’re scared to death of leaving the house and approaching, girls never pay attention to you or take you seriously, here’s step number one: shut up and join a gym. Seriously. It’s not a fix-all for your problems, but it will do the following:

Get you out of your comfort zone – Joining a gym is an intimidating experience for a guy who’s spent his whole life in front of computers and TV screens. You have the perception that its going to be full of meatheads who are going to laugh at you as they toss 80 pound weights around between themselves, supermodels on treadmills who will be disgusted by your presence, and gym staff who will kindly ask you to leave when they see how big of a loser you are.

Not the case. In fact, most people in the gym are fat and out of shape as well. Most of the women are old and/or not hot. The gym is for normal people. It’s for normal people who give a shit and want to improve themselves, get healthier and look better. You’re one of those people. And that’s why you’re going.

Makes you healthier – The health benefits of weightlifting are too massive to list here. But everything from cardiovascular health to energy levels will improve. The important part of being healthier is that you FEEL better. When you feel better, you feel more energized and ready to take on other challenges: at work, at home, or out on a date. Working out increases testosterone production which also increases sex drive, increases feelings of ambition, and also makes you behave more dominantly and aggressively.

Build confidence – There’s no better feeling that waking up one day, looking in the mirror and thinking, “Wow, I’ve never looked like this before.” Noticing that there’s a line of muscle where there wasn’t before, noticing that your arms are a little wider, that you look a little more fit. It’s a huge confidence boost. And you start to get it on an almost daily-basis. This transfers over to going out and interacting with others. It helps your self-image and you’ll begin to behave more attractively in front of others.

Increase your looks – Being in shape is the baseline of being physically attractive. You don’t need to be ripped with a six-pack, or have gigantic biceps, but you can’t be out of shape. You can’t be a fat slob, or being scrawny and hunched over all the time. The gym fixes that. And it can fix that surprisingly fast if you take it seriously and work out correctly. Within six months, you can make yourself look significantly better and begin getting better reactions from women. Why you wouldn’t do this is beyond me. It’s a free bonus. It cuts down the effort required with women quite a bit.

Once again, looks are not everything. I’ve worked with quite a few very good-looking guys who weren’t successful. But they grease the process — they make everything a little bit easier, make everything go a little bit more smoothly. So you have no excuse to not be capitalizing on it. No one is born unattractive permanently. We can all make ourselves look better, particularly through exercise and our fashion/style. So there’s no excuse to not invest in it.

I’ve been amazed at the number of guys I’ve worked with in person who COULD be good-looking if they invested the amount of time and effort required to get there. The first step is to join a gym. So shut up and do it.

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70 Comments

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  • Reply

    Jamie

    5 months ago

    I have always thought, a guy with a good muscular physique is the equivalent of a girl with big boobs. It gets you a lot of freebies!

  • Reply

    Brian

    5 months ago

    There’s a surfing competition at the beach today. There’s about probably at least 30,000 people there.

    80 percent of all the hot girls are there with their 6 pack good looking bf. Only 20 percent of the girls walks around with average looking dudes. And even then, we really dont know if the average dude is even their bf…it might even be there friends.

    Science have already said, good looking people hooks up with each others. Not joining the gym and work on your looks is FUCKING RETARDED. RSD have ALL their instructors hit the gym yet tells their members looks doesnt matter. Only scammers in the community would tell you not to hit the gym.

  • Reply

    Matt T

    5 months ago

    Not to mention that the gym is the one place where being short is actually an advantage. Because of basic Newtonian mechanics, having short legs and arms makes it easier to pack on muscle and move more weight on squat, bench, military, bicep curl, etc.

    So many short guys make a fuss about their height without realizing how lucky they are if they look at things the right way.

    • Reply

      YOGA BODY 4 short guys

      3 months ago

      yeah BUT…. bulk does not look good on short guys. it makes them look pudgy and all bundled up. the best look for short guys is lean but toned, the kind of body you get when you do a regular rigorous yoga routine.

  • Reply

    Traindom

    5 months ago

    Don’t forget hair! Hair’s important too. Goodness knows I’ve sported the worst hair sometimes only to cut it and look golden (which I can’t say now since I’m in the process of obtaining long hair haha).

    You wouldn’t believe how big a role hair can play, especially in Hollywood, sometimes.

    • Reply

      Just a guy.

      3 months ago

      I’m growing out mine to, it’s in that awkward phase (3 months) but i’m tired of that “shaved head” look that every other guy has, plus i’m going to learn to play the drums and long hair would compliment that. Just have to keep pushing through! Best of luck to you.

  • Reply

    unsexyMF

    5 months ago

    In the last month, I joined a gym and bought the book Starting Strength. To that end, I’ve been doing a simple set of basic barbell weightlifting exercises, 3 times a week, alternating between two workout plans (for instance, plan A on Sunday, plan B on Tuesday, plan A on Thursday, plan B on the following Sunday, etc.). I’ve only been doing this for a month, but I’ve seen gains in my strength & muscles, and the only supplement I take is a basic multivitamin every day. It’s good stuff.

    To what you said, Mark, I would also recommend that guys get medical checkups on a regular basis. I have sleep apnea, and the use of a CPAP machine has also given me more energy & libido (in addition to the weightlifting).

  • Reply

    AC

    5 months ago

    The gym advice is solid and should be heeded.

    Dressing well can cover the gap while you’re working on your body. Find a good tailor who can make you look sexy. If your clothes fit the right way, you can hide a little extra bit of weight and look strong & confident. The way I see it is: in most of the venues where I meet girls, I’m usually fully clothed and there’s no need to have a 6-pack to show off.

    @unsexyMF: Glad to hear that you’re doing better with your diagnosis. I myself was diagnosed with apnea, and ever since getting surgery for it I’m now working out in beast mode whereas before I had to take frequent breaks. Doctors can definitely go a long way to improving your well-being, even when you’re otherwise young and healthy.

    • Reply

      DF

      5 months ago

      @AC Can you elaborate more on the surgery you had for sleep apnea? I hate the cpap machine.

      • Reply

        AC

        5 months ago

        @DF I hear you. I started CPAP earlier this year and struggled with it. And while it also increased my libido, the mask/tubing made sharing a bed with my girlfriend very uncomfortable. I also can’t imagine you’d want to use the machine if you’re bringing a new girl over. Huge improvements to daytime lifestyle, but at a price.

        So I ended up deciding to go with surgery. Obesity was not a factor, as I am otherwise young, skinny, and fit. I was a mild case with an AHI of 13, so I went with less invasive procedures. That did include a UPPP, but I requested that my uvula be left alone to avoid the side effects.

        It occurred in June, and I’m still recovering a bit. I’ve been blogging about my surgery experience at http://bit.ly/qExBqH

        Results seem good so far, but I need to have a followup study done to confirm. I’ll write a summary post about my surgery in general once that happens in a few weeks from now. In the meantime, feel free to shoot me specific questions via Tumblr.

        Being diagnosed was the biggest step for me. I had shown symptoms since my early teens, perhaps even earlier. Any treatment is better than no treatment.

    • Reply

      Gully

      5 months ago

      AC “The way I see it is: in most of the venues where I meet girls, I’m usually fully clothed and there’s no need to have a 6-pack to show off.”

      I agree with this a lot, I think objectively, as long as your not particularly fat and in ok shape, what you wear does the talking more so then how ripped you are. Obviously if you live some kind of surfer lifestyle or are trying to pick up girls on a beach holiday it might be more important, but personally, I doubt how much a six pack gets you laid.

      It may give you more confidence, ‘inner’ belief etct, but to me, having a perfectly ripped body almost screams ‘I have an inferiority complex so I spend all my life in the gym because I think being ripped gives me more value as a human being.’ I mean sure, be in good shape, get lean, but there are levels of how much this shit matters and some guys go way to far.

      • Reply

        jeff

        4 months ago

        Obviously you are not in shape and have never had a decent body. women that think, (ha ha) that guys who work out too much are usually ugly. Unless you are a genetic freak it is really difficult to look like a monster, even most people working consistently at it just get an ok looking body.

        Let me ask 2 questions;
        1. have you ever known women to pre overthink things?
        2. what harm would it be to get a 6 pack to see and make an educated choice?

        and yes the really jacked 245+ pound guys are doing it for other men, and are insecure. Stallone is one of those guys- abit much smaller.

  • Reply

    Alvin

    5 months ago

    Diet is more important than exercise if you want to look good IMO. I can deadlift 200kg and squat 160kg for reps but I still look fat.

    • Reply

      Fluffy McGee

      5 months ago

      Diet and exercise are both equally important for losing weight.

      If you want to try something to help boost your metabolism and trim down faster, look into HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training, aka sprints). It’s tough but if you stick with it you can really get ripped fast.

      • Reply

        A guy

        5 months ago

        No, it’s overhyped and counterproductive for smart fat loss. If you look at the actual research you’ll see it’s short term and subjects ate ad lib.
        The EPOC is twice as high true. But the ABSOLUTE amount of energy burned is less and it impairs recovery for the weight room. Which is already worse on a diet. Leading to strength loss and thus muscle loss.

        It’s better than no exercise on a diet, but counterproductive if you already diet and follow a sound & smart weight training/resistance exercise program.

        But do what makes you happy, if you are ok with the worse overall results. And with more work. ;)

        • Reply

          Fluffy McGee

          5 months ago

          HIIT has given me amazing results, and there is a mountain of research supporting it’s effectiveness. There are also a lot of people that claim otherwise I realize as well. My only advice is to try it before you bash it.

          I’ll admit it might be counterproductive if you are doing intense lower body weight training though. Overworking yourself is always going to end badly though.

          • A guy

            5 months ago

            I did try it my friend, back when I didn’t know what science really means or how to read a paper.

            There is NO mountain of evidence. There only appears to be. Because they didn’t control for certain variables (food intake dropped a lot) or controled for them the wrong way (self reporting, which is notoriously unreliably).

            Of course it “works” (in certain circumstances). Because it’s better than sitting on the couch eating chips and watching movies. Doesn’t mean it’s the smart way to go about things.

          • Fluffy McGee

            5 months ago

            google: hiit research

            there is your mountain

            Just because ONE case study wasnt done properly, certianly doesn’t disproove the theory. I suggest reading up on how to do it properly which you likely didn’t do. You probably went to the gym and half-assed it for a week, looked up one paper to proove why it doesn’t work for you and gave up.

            Better work out in half the time compared to steady state exercise. Everyone who has done it knows it works, but like you said it’s not easy to proove with the multitude of variables you need to look after.

          • A guy

            5 months ago

            I did it on the road/hills. And I did it for months.
            All it did, was limiting my progress.

            Let’s look at the research for a moment:

            Effects of Exercise Intensity and Duration on the Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17101527

            > So, no EPOC amounts to an insignificant total increase in Post exercise kcal “burn”, if you look at ABSOLUTE, not relative burn. (which is what all the marketing guys get wrong) EPOC might be 2x as high, but total burn of it is pretty insignificant.

            Going by the marketing, you’d think that HIIT burns 9x as much fat as low intensity exercise:
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8028502
            > but if you look at the study you’ll notice:
            - they are untrained beginners (muscle gain which is metabolically expensive)
            - food intake wasn’t controlled & High intensity exercise often blunts hunger (funny that it’s even stated by the researchers (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18197184) , whose work is used for the HIIT hype)
            - “total weight” didn’t change much at all; SS even lost 5 times as much as HIIT group

            LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) / walking is better for fat loss, because:
            - no CNS stress
            - AMPK no affected > muscle protein synthesis not decreased
            -> in short it will allow you to retain muscle (because limiting yourself to mainly LISS it’s easier to retain & increase poundages in the weight room on a diet)

            Because of the hormone release HIIT can be useful for stubborn fat mobilization. But most people (on here) don’t have stubborn fat to loose. Just a lot of fat fat first.

            If you have absolutely no time, HIIT or circuit training might be a good option as long as you keep the rest days completely free. (but mainly for endurance adaptations)
            A stroll doesn’t take a long time, will be stress reducing and besides being superior for fat loss in by far most cases, you can take people (even dates) along. Or audiobooks/podcasts.

            I’m not arguing vo2max overhyped adaptations btw, because frankly most people here care more about how they look, than how they perform. After all they aren’t professional athletes. ;)

            Most here will be better off doing some smart low volume weight training and let LISS and most importantly their diet take care of fat loss.
            Any specific questions? Fire away. :)

          • Fluffy McGee

            5 months ago

            I guess you win, the solution is obviously to go for a stroll if you want to lose weight quickly.

            Yes I know about the overhyped research you are refering to, since then there has been other research believe it or not, all pointing to better FAT loss with hiits (weight loss != fat loss because SS will eat your muscles and HIIT will grow them).

            To end this debate just do two things: google images of professional sprinters, and google images of marathon runners. Then ask yourself one question: which body would I prefer?

          • A guy

            5 months ago

            I don’t like the passive aggressiveness. If you weight train it won’t lead to muscle loss. Hiit will interfere with weight training results.

            Your argument of sprinters vs. marathoners is flawed. Thank god I remembered that article, so I can save the time writing it out:
            http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/sprinters-vs-marathoners.html

            Don’t take it personal, you are attached to your idea and being wrong just feels like shit. It’s human, it’s ok.
            Just be strong and look for the real evidence.

            Of course you can still sprint. I didn’t mean to take anything away from you. Just make your life easier.

  • Reply

    Matty

    5 months ago

    Absolutely true. I’ve been going to the gym for weight training regularly since I was fourteen. I come from a family of very short, chubby men. Simply by lifting weights and making it a regular routine, I feel like I was able to alter a good deal of my body composition and side step being looked at as “soft” and “chubby” like a lot of males in my family who don’t work out come across as. In the past two years or so, i’ve also gotten the nutrition thing under control (still a constant battle) and it’s had a dramatic effect, going from around 200 pounds to hovering between 170 to 180. As for working making you more motivated and aggressive, it’s true. Today’s will be my first day back at the gym since I dislocated my shoulder four months ago. Ive really noticed a difference in my energy levels and how aggressive I am during those four months.

  • Reply

    Paul

    5 months ago

    I agree with Alvin. What you eat matters 60%, what you do at the gym matters 40%. I exercise in some form every day, and my diet is mostly vegetarian, organic, and raw.

    I definitely experience more initiating from women when I’m going through obsessive work-out modes…definitely! This usually happens in bars though, nothing that really has substance or potential.

    The best part of working out for me is the energy, confidence, and optimism that results from being active and eating right. You know how when you first get a new girlfriend life seems more rosey? That’s how I feel when I go through heavy workout phases.

    I should really do them more often.

  • Reply

    PUA Vault

    5 months ago

    I think what the community marketing says is that you don’t have to be a 6-pack good looking dude to get girls. But that message gets exaggerated so much that people start thinking that the routines or lines will come and save the day. As with everything in life, it’s all about nuances. There are meatheads with no game, but there are far more 250lb slobs with no game.

    • Reply

      Gully

      5 months ago

      Although I guess you could generalise and say that guys with six parks are better looking then guys with out six packs, its important to note that your facial structure is your facial structure. Obviously you want to have a relatively low fat % which creates better definition in your face, and likewise a good skin tone/complexion and look healthy/radiant, but exercise isnt going to completely change the way your face looks.

  • Reply

    Mark

    5 months ago

    Nutrition matters just as much, if not more. Although I’d say for a guy who has never thought about any of this before, the gym is probably and easier place to start.

    Fashion will be covered in next post.

  • Reply

    Robert

    5 months ago

    Thanks Mark. I’ve been lagging. Signed up for a gym near my work. It’s steep at 90/month but I think worth it. Now I have no excuse not to workout everyday.

  • Reply

    Gully

    5 months ago

    For me its weird, as I havent exercised much over the last 3-4 years(22 now). But I dont seem too bad. I dont eat that well but not that badly. Got a bit of a beer belly but still in relatvily good shape.

    I think the hard thing is you get used to the way you look and feel, and if your particularly fat you dont really realise that you could feel a lot better and look better.

    I want to do it more for energy levels, improved mental sharpness etc, the actual look of my body would actually be secondary.

    • Reply

      Mark

      5 months ago

      Genetics obviously plays a significant role. If I stop working out for six months, I’ll get doughy and pudgy. Other people will stay skinny no matter what they do.

      But the energy boosts, motivation, sex drive, all that stuff is universal and highly recommended.

      • Reply

        Gully

        5 months ago

        Yeah definitely. I think the problem with being young is we take everything for granted.

        Its hard to see what we will lose and find hard to get back in terms of youth and physique until its gone. Hindsights a bitch.

        I think a lot of it comes down to geography etc and society. I live in a flat, in a city. There are no parks that near. I work at the moment 5 days a week in an office, I come home knackered. I dont/havnt organised any sport around my work.

        I know these are’excuses’ but if your living in some idylic location with lots of countryside and whatever then its gonna be a whole lot easier.

        The ideal is to have an active lifestyle where your naturally exercising through the day.

        I hate the ideas of gyms personally, such a 21st century, capitalist idea. Exercise for me is being out in the open air. Not in some shitty indoor gym sweating crowded to fuck with people and paying through the roof for usage, but thats just my two cents.

        • Reply

          Kelvin

          5 months ago

          It’s much easier to build muscle with compound barbell lifts in a gym than out in nature. You’ll just have to get over yourself if you want to improve yourself, but it sounds like you don’t really want to get fit.

        • Reply

          A guy

          5 months ago

          You are making excuses. At the same time you have no problem with the computer you are using, the building you live in or the food you eat. All “capitalist ideas”. Gyms exist for thousands of years already.

          It’s just in your head, because you are scared of doing something new.

          • White Boy

            5 months ago

            I agree.. I would recommend starting at a gym… In this day and age there are cheap gyms around. My gym membership was only $100 bucks for the YEAR. It has everything I need which are barbells and power racks.

            HOWEVER, you can get a good workout without a gym… its not for everybody, but consider these alternatives:

            Bodyweight exercises: you can get a good workout with just pushups, pull ups, bodyweight squats. There’s ways to make these harder. For example when you are good at push ups and pull ups try to do one arm push ups and one arm pull ups… You can add a back pack to do body weight to your pullups, one legged squats. If you can do 1000 bodyweight squats you’re in good shape i’d say. Set a goal to do 100 push ups etc. Use your imagination… theres plenty of exercises out there. Squat jumps and burpees will make you want to puke, but a great anaerobic exercise. Don’t forget your core… you can do planks, hang on a chin up bar and set your body to an L shape. Another great ab workout is the ab roller. They go for about 10 bucks. Most people could afford that and its compact where you do it just about anywhere. There are plenty of websites on the internet that are good resources on body weight training. I would start with http://www.rosstraining.com(check his articles) as well as http://www.dragondoor.com.

            Jump rope: I started jump roping a couple months ago and i’m addicted to it. I would recommend purchasing jump rope training by Buddy lee. Its on amazon for like ten bucks… this guy is crazy. Bruce lee said that jump rope is 3 times more effective then running… not to mention its like 10 times more fun.

            You can buy a barbell and some weight. That’s all you need… If you have low ceilings you can still do deadlifts provided you get enough weight. You can do power cleans(without the press). If you can do it outside or have high ceilings you can do clean and press, over head press etc. Also you can try overhead squats depending on your level of fitness. I’d also add that if you can get a spotter and can afford a bench press you can’t go wrong investing in that.

            Odd object lifting. You can easily make a sandbag for under fifty dollars. I’m not gonna go into details as there are plenty of websites that will show you how to do it. This is a great tool. I promise you will feel yourself using muscles that you never even thought existed. Some people have also lifted kegs filled with sand or water.

            Adjustable dumb bells. You can get a pretty good workout with just a set of dumb bells. Try doing dumb bell swings, clean and press, snatches. Try them with one arm at a time… gives a different feel and you work different muscles as well. Lots of different exercises that you can do, i’m not gonna list them all. Also they don’t take up a lot of space.

            Kettlebells. I’ve never used them but they are growing in popularity. I see no reason that you can’t get a good workout from these guys.

            MMA gym. Yah of course these are expensive, but if you want an alternative to a traditional gym(that’s not so cost effective) this might be for you. Most mma gyms offer a variety of fighting styles. Great workout and you learn how to beat people up so you can’t really go wrong.

            There are just some ideas here. I stand by the fact that you can get a good workout from any of these things and actually get in phenomenal shape from them, as people have been doing it for years… I would recommend doing a combination of these things. At the moment I am doing a few powerlifting type exercises mixed with jump rope and some boxing.

            This stuff almost seems too simple to be true. Some people like the gym and that is great… I’m just throwing out some other alternatives for people to consider – especially those who are either too self conscious to go to the gym or just cannot stand being there.

    • Reply

      White Boy

      5 months ago

      On top of the energy and other benefits: keep in mind that you are only 22. I’m older than you, and trust me I have seen it with friends(i have always taken care of myself)- guys who were good looking and in good shape, because they just happened to be blessed with a fast metabolism (while young) – who just take things for granted. By the time they are older their weight is just out of control because of their bad habits. You don’t want to be one of those people. Develop some good habits sooner rather than later.

      • Reply

        Gully

        5 months ago

        Yeah your probably right, for most younger guys we can probably get away with a lot, and it ‘seems’ all ok. But yeah Im sure it will all catch up.

        My lifestyle scares me, I kinda think, fuck, If I continue to live like this (drinking and smoking heavily, not eating to well etc and not exercising) for another 5-10 years even, Im sure the lifestyle will begin to catch up.

        I think Im lucky though as I did a lot of sport in my teen years, and I think the more sport you do when younger kinda sees you through a bit longer.

        But yeah, really need to change the lifestyle a bit.

        I always worry as well as I have a receeding hairline, and Ive been kinda just getting by on my looks, so if I go bald anytime soon Im going to have to make sure Im in good shape otherwise, bald, fat..its not going to do me any favours ha.

  • Reply

    Gill

    5 months ago

    A non-working out guy is as attractive as a girl who didn’t showered for a week. It’s not a chore. Just a matter of common sense, self-improvement and discipline.

  • Reply

    Gill

    5 months ago

    Hey Mark,

    about the fashion, I recommend guys to buy from http://www.revolveclothing.com

    There are cool cheap brands such as Obey, Closer, etc… To have a good start

    Add an extra 10 % discount with coupons : TULIP

  • Reply

    ColonelKrutz

    5 months ago

    AMEN!

    I will only add that absolutely you have mentioned is true, and the gains can only be understood after experiencing them.

    I know of many people who would not stop going to the gym/excercising for a million bucks. I am one of them!

    Also, as in related to pick up, I have come to the realization lately that quite a few of my hook ups might not have been due to my “game”, but mere looks. It does happen, and I find it something to actually be proud of!

    Awesome post as usual.

  • Reply

    Nick

    5 months ago

    When I dropped 60+ pounds it changed everything. Girls were much more receptive, confidence shot through the roof, and my overall energy, mood, and sex drive increased dramatically. Now that I’ve made the adjustment, I can never see myself going back to my old ways.

    It really isn’t that hard, it’s just about getting into a habit. Take it one day at a time and incorporate it into your daily routine. Remember, getting healthy isn’t a quick decision, it’s a permant life choice.

    An awesome resource that I still use is the . Extremely thorough and knowledgable people — pretty much everything you’ll need to know to get started.

  • Reply

    Matt T

    5 months ago

    AC “The way I see it is: in most of the venues where I meet girls, I’m usually fully clothed and there’s no need to have a 6-pack to show off.”

    That doesn’t stop the Situation…

  • Reply

    Mark

    5 months ago

    AC “The way I see it is: in most of the venues where I meet girls, I’m usually fully clothed and there’s no need to have a 6-pack to show off.”

    This is why I always tell guys that having a six-pack isn’t nearly as important as not being a fat, sloppy mess. There are diminishing returns on being in shape. Being fit will be a vast improvement over being fat. Being ripped is only a modest improvement over being fit.

    • Reply

      Gully

      5 months ago

      AC “The way I see it is: in most of the venues where I meet girls, I’m usually fully clothed and there’s no need to have a 6-pack to show off.”

      This is why I always tell guys that having a six-pack isn’t nearly as important as not being a fat, sloppy mess. There are diminishing returns on being in shape. Being fit will be a vast improvement over being fat. Being ripped is only a modest improvement over being fit.

      These are my thoughts exactly. I dont really think having a perfect body is really worth the hassle over having a good to average body, it probably wont make a lot of difference to your game, as long as you are fit/healthy to a degree, it gets to a point where its just complete vanity.

    • Reply

      Fluffy McGee

      5 months ago

      I have to disagree here Mark. Being ripped makes a HUGE difference over just being in average shape. Maybe not all of this difference comes from the pure physical side of things, the mental sharpness and hormonal balance you gain from exercise certainly has an impact. But when you show up at a party and you are by far the most fit guy there, you will have girls practically begging to have sex with you.

      I see it like how you explained the importance of being the best dressed: always be the best dressed guy in the room -> always be the most physically fit guy in the room. The small details you add to your “game” can really add up sometimes.

      And having a “perfect” body isn’t really a huge hassle if you’re already working out. It’s just a matter of focussing your efforts and time efficient training. I only workout about 1 hour a day 5-6 days a week. Which doesn’t seem like a hassle to me at least.

  • Reply

    Tony D

    5 months ago

    Yeah man I joined a gym but I still half ass it. I have a friend who is a bouncer and he’s training me in proper body building technique. Gonna get huge!

  • Reply

    Matt T

    5 months ago

    Also, I wish I could recommend the bodybuilding.com forums as a resource, but I can’t. They’re basically a circle-jerk of ripped dudes trolling one another. Especially the Misc.

    The site itself has a wealth of information, but I would advise you to take what you need and get out afterwards.

    • Reply

      Traindom

      5 months ago

      I would recommend Bret Contreras. Guy’s pretty knowledgeable. And he won’t throw you off a cliff you don’t agree with him.

      • Reply

        Matt T

        5 months ago

        Checked out his website, I was impressed.

  • Reply

    Brian

    5 months ago

    Actually, unless you’re fit, you really cannot comment how useful fit can be. You know how being ripe can help you get chicks? Beach and online game.

    Beach game is obvious, you walk around with a 6 packs. Online game, you just need to find an excuse to show off your 6 packs(ie playing volleyball at the beach with friends) etc and you’re good to go.

    Also, when you have 6 packs, the level of fitness you have, it will make your face more define, which is the most important part.

    • Reply

      Mark

      5 months ago

      I’m tall and I’ve gone from fairly chubby (215 pounds of mostly fat) to pretty skinny (175 pounds) and noticed a significant difference between the two. It wasn’t a “holy shit, girls suddenly want to fuck me left and right,” difference. But it was absolutely a difference in how patient they were with me, how excited they were when I opened them. It basically bought me a lot more time and flexibility when gaming them. I didn’t feel like I had to be on point or nail everything I said anymore.

      • Reply

        elderado

        5 months ago

        Did you get down to 175 purely off of Starting Strength? I know you’ve mentioned being on that program a few times. I just started in June and I’m about 6’1 200lbs. That’s a bit down from being around 208.

        • Reply

          Mark

          5 months ago

          I got down from dieting. Most of my success came from low carb diets.

          I used starting strength once in college to stop being a fucking weakling (right when I got into PUA), and then once last summer to add some muscle.

  • Reply

    phazer

    5 months ago

    Being well dress/groomed/fit etc and all that just gives you more margin of room to make errors without messing up your chance with a girl. So doing something that is not only good for your health but increases your confidence and chances with women sounds like a home run to me.

  • Reply

    JJ

    5 months ago

    For all the effort women put into their looks – fashion, physique, hair, makeup- most guys don’t put in nearly the same effort.

    Do the best with what you’ve got, and then if you’re still getting no interest from the “10s” – whatever that’s supposed to mean- then that’s that. You have to realize, women care about looks too. Some more than others, some less. But there are certainly a lot of women out there that won’t give you a second look unless you’ve got a pretty face and a nice body…

    • Reply

      Gully

      5 months ago

      I completely agree.

      Being good looking is the key, dressing well, being fit are the second keys, and you are able to improve them.

      All in all, if you were a good looking healthy guy who dresses well, you can get girls easily as long as you dont come across as creepy etc. You can have all the ‘game’ in the world but it wont help you if a girl isnt physically attracted to you. Well I guess it might in some cases but meh.

    • Reply

      Four Aces

      5 months ago

      Sure many women care about looks, but it’s more the “B+” girls in my experience. The community would call them 7/8s. Hotter girls than that will often care less about the guys looks because their beauty is validated daily, and they don’t need hot guy arm candy for that validation. I think it comes from inexperience in the field when guys claim that “9/10s” won’t give them any attention because they’re not good-looking enough.

  • Reply

    David

    4 months ago

    I totally agree with this.

    I just wonder though what the explanation is for when we see ‘lop-sided couples’ in countries like the Czech Republic. It’s quite common to see very average looking guys (eg old shirts or jeans, dressed like they’re about to go out in the back garden) with gorgeous, stunning girlfriends.

    I got an interesting compliment this week. A girl said I look better after doing latin dance this year, as I look fit as opposed to just someone who lifts weight after weight in a gym. So I’d add – as well as the gym, do some other activity like dance, surfing, skiing etc.

  • Reply

    annie

    4 months ago

    Well ok, you need to look “healthy” and be healthy, but being “good looking” is more on the tricky side, first of all you dont want a girl to like u because solely that u are good looking. Heaven forbid that you go into a long term relationship w/ this person and they are so used to u looking good that they cant stand being around u if u are sick or maybe lying face down post-surgery. If you are in your teens thats fine I can understand this article but if youre looking for commitment then its not a good idea…besides if youre just going to be with a person for sex and short term stuff dont u think its kind of wasting your time? You are ruining your chances of meeting the right person every second that you are with someone who you dont even really like.
    Remember, beauty is temporary..annoying, well, that’s forever.

  • Reply

    jblackmoustache

    3 months ago

    Depends what gym you join to be honest. Some gyms will be filled with rude meathead twats and cocky self absorbed staff and some will be full of friendly people who are just there to exercise and friendly knowledgeable staff.

    I’d also stay off forums for advice and get books instead. Forums are full of jerks ripping on each other. Mens Health sucks as well. You pay for tons of Protein Shake ads and only get a little bit of magazine!

  • Reply

    Pellaeon

    3 months ago

    I know this post is old, but I wanted to share – I didn’t join a gym ( I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money, and I know from past experience that I’m less likely to do the exercise if I have to go elsewhere), but I did join a weight loss program through my work. It’s been about two months, I’ve gone down seven pounds, and I’ve been slowly and consistently adapting better eating and exercise habits.

    I started with a goal to just not eat soda and sweets, and exercise twice a week. After a month of succeeding with the sweets goal (though still eating fast food), but not the exercise, I finally forced myself to make time for exercise. This past week, I’ve been eating lots of vegetables, keeping the fat intake low, and exercising every day. Go implementation intention!

  • Reply

    möbius dick

    3 months ago

    Gyms are temples to me, and I am an atheist. They are near-Foucauldian sites of punishment (the dumb physical repetition, the animal groaning, the strict diet of stale humid air) mixed with forced consumerism (the crummy music, the shitty daytime tv, the endless plans and fees and gear).

    When you’re telling us that we need to open up to all that to earn confidence in our bodies, what are you telling us? Especially, what are you telling the bicyclist, the hiker, the xc skier, who use their bodies in the environment and not in little sweat boxes of disciplined conformity?

    And I don’t give a good goddamn about being dominant or aggressive. If you don’t want me rolling over people like an angry ball of ass and being psychically abusive, don’t advise me to be aggressive or dominant. Until there is an immediate threat to life or limb, I draw the line at assertiveness.

    I’m enough of a man already just being me. What I need to be is confident and assertive in a world where people judge you on your weight, appearance, physical ability, etc. – and even though it’s wrong to do it, they’re right in fact. Because that’s not going away. Neither am I, but I am goddam well not going to enact some temple rite by being part of gym culture.

    • Reply

      Tim

      3 months ago

      Whoa… Chill out. If you don’t like the advice, then ignore it. No-one is holding a gun to your head telling you that you have to work out.

      What Mark’s saying is that going to a gym has a whole number of advantages, including pushing you to try something new, building discipline, and, most importantly, making you healthier and feel better about yourself physically. If you want to get all that from biking, rock-climbing or whatever, then do it there.

      Personally, I used to fear gyms and projected all sorts of beliefs on the people who went to them. Now I work out regularly and see the other side. I get so much satisfaction from pushing myself to that extra rep, or from noticing my body fat has dropped from last time I measured it. Sure there’s shitty music that plays so loudly it drowns out my iPod. And the TV distracts me when I’d prefer there was just silence.

      But if you think that everyone who goes to a gym is simply a slave to the image of a perfect body and consumerism, then you’re more naive than the people you’re casting judgment on.

    • Reply

      Operafaust

      6 weeks ago

      If something as innocuous as this gets you riled up you’ve got a pretty thin skin there buddy.

      The gym is just a metaphor for strenuous exercise. ‘Shut up’ is a stylistic choice. As for the whole ‘boxes of commercial conformity’ thing, whatever. You are a unique and special snowflake, unlike the rest of the bleating sheep. Got it. Nobody cares.

  • Reply

    möbius dick

    3 months ago

    Mark said to shut up, which is part of what set me off.

    • Reply

      gaoxiaen

      2 months ago

      Very assertive.

  • Reply

    Just a guy.

    3 months ago

    I read your take on cardio in “models” and I believe there are exceptions to the rule. I’m a distance runner in college, and yes a lot of us look like human twigs, we lift weights but not to gain weight or muscle. However, I think that if a woman finds out you are on the track team/xc team she will be likely to overlook the fact that you are more on the scrawny side.

  • Reply

    Nicd

    3 months ago

    This is an old article and I am betting the Mark of today would dissagree with some of the things he said in here. Still, I’d like to share some of my concerns and experiences. Before anyone tells me to shut up; I’ve been a gym rat for more than a year now (I lift 4-5 times a week, do a bit of cardio every day, and have never taken a rest week).
    I was never truly fat, but neither was I in shape. Swimming and running were these on and off activities I participated in, but I was never committed to anything. Always have I been uncertain about my looks, extremely shy, never taking initiative. And when you don’t grab a hold of your life, nothing exciting happens. I finished high school and my first year of college (engineering, all the stereotypes apply) without ever having had a girlfriend, a kiss, not to mention sex. My second year of university I finally decided to DO something. My first plan of action was to join the gym (really cheap as a student) and get the fuck in shape. I also got rid of glasses, got contacts, a new hairstyle and better clothes. My second resolution was to get out of my house more often and go out.
    Although I stuck to my new routines, nothing changed for the better (although you could argue I am a physically healthier person now). Going to the gym doesn’t build confidence. It makes you frustrated and obsessed (and I’ll admit that I am). Once you are beyond the point of “fit”, you start worrying about other stuff. Although I have six pack abs now (something I had been dreaming of for a long time) my mind has somehow convinced me that they look ugly and weird. Why can’t it look like the six pack on the photo of that one guy in the magazine? I’m at 5 percent bodyfat yet I can’t get that definition? How come my arms stay so thin? Why can’t i get my delts up? I wanted to do everything exactly right; I spent hours on the internet learning about nutrition, how to do excercises correctly, how to bulk and cut. I almost bought into the whole supplements idea, just so I could “gain size” more easily. I reached a point where I’d look more at male bodies than female bodies. A point where I’d care more about what other males on forums thought of my body than what females in real life thought. Of course girls all think my body looks decent, but to the men on the internet I’ll always be scrawny “cuz I only bench 40 kg”. And even when I’m the most fit person in the room, I always seem to convince myself my face is so ugly, it makes all the rest irrelevant.
    Anyways, you can guess the results. Some girls have come on to me (I was randomly kissed by some drunk chick when I didn’t expect it) but often I was too awkward to do anything about it. When I go to clubs I parade around and check if I catch any glimpses of interest. When I do, I am happy for 5 seconds…and then I do nothing. I barely met new people and have often experienced nights just walking around town all alone, drinking something at every bar then leaving.
    When the doubts about yourself are so deepseated as they are with me, no amount of working out will fix that. By all means, work out, be in shape, it is good for you. But do it for the right reasons. Do it because you want to be healthy, not because you want to impress girls.
    I’ve tried to get away from the whole bodybuilding thing and now I am more focussing on doing extreme strength bodyweight exercises, such as muscle ups, planche push ups and front levers. To be able to do these exercises are much more fulfilling goals to work towards than “to get larger”. Meanwhile, I’m trying to sort out my emotional issues, and your site is actually helping out a lot. So thank you Mark for this site; your path in life and your willpower to get shit done are truly inspiring :).

    • Reply

      Andre

      3 months ago

      Nutrition triumphs over everything and in a big way. Make no mistake about it, you need to exercise, but nutrition is much more important and here is why:

      There are 168 hours in each week. Let’s say you workout three times a week for 1.5 hours per workout (probably more than what the normal guy requires, but let’s just use that number as an example). That’s 4.5 hours/week. Now, (4.5 hours/week)/168 hours/week = 2.68%. Now compare that to nutrition which is (168 hours/week)/168 hours = 100.00%. Nutrition is 24/7, 365 we never close. It is that important and most of us take it for granted or just don’t understand what we need to do.

      Make no mistake, if you don’t hit the gym or exercise, you are not going to build muscle. But if you do not follow a proper nutritional regiment, all the work in the gym won’t matter at all.

      With regards to nutrition, unless you are trying to compete in bodybuilding competitions, eat whole foods and forgo most, if not all the supplements. Supplements have their place and can be used effectively, but look at it this way, do you always want to be running to the Vitamin Store to pick up that jug of Protein Powder, or would you just rather reach for the glass of chocolate milk to replenish your muscles after a serious workout? I don’t know about you, but I want to eat as many whole foods as possible and lead a more healthy lifestyle through proper exercise/nutrition versus looking for magic in a bottle.

      Mark, my first time reading your site. Great information here and a very knowledgeable community of followers. Continued success.

  • Reply

    Toni

    3 months ago

    What about starting with thaiboxing? Does count as well or just going to the gym?

    • Reply

      Edward

      3 months ago

      I think the point here is to get off ones butt and do something.

      If you are 30 kg overweight, and haven’t done anything more strenuous than walking to your car, then then the gym is a pretty good place to start, where personal trainers can work with you at your level and help you build up strength and endurance at a pace that won’t kill you, and advise you on things like diet.

      Someone working from the above scenario engaging in thai (kick?)boxing right off the bat is probably going to fail. They’ll either be far too unfit to do anything and/or will do themselves and injury, because their body is simply not used to anything near that level of physical activity.

      However, once you get past that level, then I think something like thai kickboxing that isn’t just mindless cardio and weights is a good idea, if for another reason that to keep you interested. Depending on your circumstances, that might be in addition to the gym, or it might be two or more non-gym activities. For me right now, it’s cycling and rock climbing, plus an option for something else that I’m exploring right now.

      As an appendum: If you give something a good attempt, and you simply hate it, stop punishing yourself, and try something else. As an example, I loathe running. For me, it’s tedious and painful where the mere activity makes me question my will to live and all I think about his how long before I can stop and go home. But in turn, I love cycling – I can cycle for hours at a time. My lungs will burn, my muscles will ache, and all I will think about is if I can go faster. So if a given sport/exercise doesn’t work for you, try something else!

  • Reply

    Sofia

    1 month ago

    “…Women will be more receptive when you approach. They’ll have more patience for boring conversation. They’ll be less likely to flake. They’ll be more likely to get physical with you and they’ll even enjoy the sex more.”

    Lol! I like the way you added “even” at the end there

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