When you think of a stereotypical manly man there are a few things that will come to mind immediately; A good leader, a role model for those around him, decisive, courageous, etc. Those are all things that are mostly internal. It is character and behavior. Another part is the physical appearance. A manly man is physically strong and capable. What is a masculine physique and how can you improve yours? Keep reading and find out.
If you like this post, you might also like: How to look more masculine in 7 steps
Don’t want to read the whole article and just want the four steps? Here they are;
- Get your diet in check
- Use intermittent fasting
- Do something physical
- Optimize your hormones
Other masculine traits
Physical shape isn’t everything in becoming a better man. Some character traits are important as well. Click the links below and find out more;
What is a masculine physique?
There is a wide range of physiques and bodily shapes that can be considered masculine. Your body should be a tool to do the things you want to do.
While many men might want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger with the voice of Morgan Freeman, for most of us that’s not necessary to do what we have to do although it would be nice to have.
There are some things that every man should be able to do however.
What are some basic things most men want to do?
- Have energy to play with their children and be active.
- Play a game of your favorite sport without hurting themselves
- Look halfway decent without a shirt.
- Have mental clarity to make good decisions
- Live a long healthy life
Your goals might be higher than this. That’s great and you should go for it. I do think these are some of the basics many men would like their body to do.
Can most men do these things?
Obesity is a giant and still growing problem around the globe. If you are obese, you’re not going to be able to accomplish many of the things above.
Keeping in mind that in 2017, almost 40% of adult males in the U.S.A. is obese, not even counting people who are overweight, there are lots of people that won’t be able to accomplish the basic things listed above.
If you’re obese;
- You’ll have lower energy levels
- Playing any sport becomes dangerous for yourself
- No, you don’t look good without a shirt
- You likely have brain fog
- Obesity raises most causes of death significantly
But shouldn’t I accept my body as it is? Fat acceptance is something that is talked about quite a bit lately.
I’ve got a few thoughts about that;
- You shouldn’t be hated for what your body looks
- Don’t think that people accepting you makes you healthy
- Nature doesn’t care about your ideals. 99% of people are not attracted to fat.
- Your health doesn’t care about your ideals. There is plenty of research done that shows that being obese shortens your lifespan.
- If your body can’t perform what should be pretty basic tasks, it’s not the right tool for the job.
- Fat acceptance seems to be only geared towards women. Nobody is campaigning for fat acceptance for men. Deal with it.
- Some features of the human body are things that are genetic. Baldness or (much worse) a birth defect is something you can’t do anything about. Being obese is something you can do about for 99% of obese people. There are some exceptions but most people are not an exception.
Being masculine in this case means you take responsibility for reaching your goals. You treat your body in a way that makes sure you can reach your goals. You want to have the correct tool for the job.
Most goals any man will have do not be helped by being obese.
What does a masculine physique look like?
As said, there is a wide range of physiques that are considered masculine. Check out some of the pictures below.
As you can see there are different body types that most people would be considered masculine. There are some common themes however. As I see it, there are three very important parts to a masculine physique.
- Reasonably low body fat levels
- Strong looking
Body fat is usually expressed in a percentage of total body weight.
People store fat on different parts of the body although men will mostly store it on the belly and love handle areas. This makes it difficult to judge body fat percentage by eye but check the chart in this picture for reference.
It’s not a perfect science anyways since different methods of measuring will yield different results for the same person.
While there are differences in how people look, we can say that the vast majority of masculine physiques look strong. Strong doesn’t necessarily mean big muscles but it does mean at least visible muscles.
You can look strong with big muscles and relatively higher body fat percentage. Another way to go is lower body fat with muscles that are not as big.
The best combination would be a lot of muscle mass and low body fat.
The worst combination is high body fat and low muscle mass.
The combination of low body fat and bigger muscles will get you the v-taper look (wide shoulders, narrow waist.) This look is considered eye-pleasing by most people.
While you can’t look inside someone’s body to see if everything is healthy, there will be some signs on the outside that things are not perfect on the inside.
Having a reasonably low body fat percentage and some muscle mass will help you greatly in looking healthier already.
Other indicators of good health are; Posture, skin health, mood, energy.
While bodybuilders on a stage might look like they are in very good shape, they are not necessarily healthy. This bodybuilder look doesn’t have to be your necessarily be your first goal.
How to make your physique more masculine?
Now here are some simple (but not easy) tips to get a more masculine body. This is hard work, especially if you’re out of shape at the moment. The most important thing most people can do to get a more masculine body is to get in a better shape.
1. Get your diet in check
This sounds simple but can be pretty difficult. I’ve personally had my challenges with sugar in particular and the temptation of certain foods can be very strong. Cleaning up your diet also has one of the biggest impacts on your physique.
Once you get a handle on things, you’ll likely also start noticing mental benefits.
Here are some simple things to get started.
- If you drink soda, stop. Drink water, black coffee or tea without sugar. If you have to have something sweet in your coffee, use stevia.
- Stop eating out/getting take out so much. Cook your own meals. Use fresh ingredients and try to limit eating things like pasta and white bread.
- Don’t snack between meals.
- Limit your alcohol consumption.
- Keep track of your calories and macros.
2. Use intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is quite popular at the moment and for good reason. Intermittent fasting is basically the limiting the amount of hours you’re eating in a day. So for example; you eat lunch at 12:00 and dinner at 18:00. That means you don’t eat for 18 hours that day.
This does 2 things;
- By limiting your eating hours, you have fewer opportunities to eat calories. Fewer calories= less weight.
- By not eating you start a host of processes in your body that are great for health. Check out more here.
You don’t have to live like this forever but it is a great tool to use for weight loss and health. Check out the video below for a good introduction to the topic.
3. Do something physical!
“The best exercise is the one you actually do.” Any exercise is great if you’re not doing anything now. If you enjoy something, you’re much more likely to keep doing it.
Many people like weightlifting for a multitude of reasons;
- You can do it alone and at any time of the day in many gyms.
- You can start as light as you want. Everyone can start weightlifting at their level.
- You can go as far as you can. There is almost no upper limit.
- Growing your muscles will raise your calorie
requirements -> Accelerating fat loss.
- Once you lose some weight, bigger muscles look great.
- Weightlifting can help build mental fortitude.
If you really hate lifting weights, you can do something else you like better however, at the very least it should be physically challenging.
4: Optimize your hormones
Your hormones have a big impact on how you look and feel. An imbalance can leave you feeling pretty horrible without any apparent cause.
Testosterone is your friend as a man. Optimizing your testosterone will help you in many ways. At the same time you should try to keep your estrogen under control.
Step 1 -3 should already help you a lot to get your hormones in balance. On top of that there are some things you can do without resorting to synthetic hormones.
Testosterone is your friend
Testosterone is the male sex hormone. It’s responsible for much more than just your performance in the bedroom however. Read some effect of having low testosterone here (link)
Many people are deficient in the following things that can help you produce testosterone;
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin B12 (especially if you’re vegan)
- Omega 3 fatty acids
You can try to correct these shortages through lifestyle changes or you can choose to get them in supplement form. While you don’t know exactly what you personally are deficient in, the things above are relatively safe to experiment with as long as you keep safe dosages in mind.
Estrogen is the female counterpart of testosterone. Both men and women have both hormones. They do have them in very different ratios however. While men do have and need some estrogen you don’t want it to be too high for several reasons (link)
There are many things in our modern society that promote estrogen over testosterone in your body. Let’s see what you can do to limit the effects on your body.
- BPA plastics.
- Avoid drinking from plastic bottles and cups.
- Avoid heating up food in plastic packaging or containers
- Eat cruciferous vegetables
- Limit drinks with hops as an ingredient (mainly beer)
- Avoid soy products
- Avoid meat and dairy from animals that consume soy
Drink clean water
If you’re just using your local tap water, it might not make you sick immediately. It could contain some compounds that screw up your hormones and general health.
Reverse osmosis is currently the best technology available to consumers for filtering water. Most reverse osmosis filters require quite a bit of installation and cleaning. That’s not the most convenient.
Aquatru provides a solution for this problem. You can place this on your counter top and they claim it’s all set up in three minutes. Much easier than a system you have to install.
The Aquatru isn’t the cheapest system but it seems to provide very clean water without many hassles. Even cleaner than most bottled waters.
Check out the price of the Aquatru RO filter on Amazon.
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Make sure to listen to listen to the Ben Greenfield interview with Robert Slovak (inventor of many RO filters and technology). Robert Slovak recommends the Aquatru filter as the best on the consumer market at the moment. It has many benefits over traditional systems.
For talk about filters, start at 33:00.
Above you can find 4 simple starter steps to a better physique. These steps are quite broad and deserve to be explored more in-depth in the future. You want a better physique not only for aesthetic purposes but to be able to reach your goals. Your body is your tool to live your life. Tools need maintenance, and so does your body.