I was having a conversation the other day with a couple of people that I have known for many years, and they were talking about a guy, about 45 or 50 years old and that he was a great guy and all that. I believe them when they say that he is a great guy, I guess. He is a well respected professional in his field.
Besides the fact that he wears "flip flops" (those things where the "thong" goes through your toes), his appearance was, well , normal. Meaning normal for the average 45-50 year old man in America today. "Normal" meaning that he doesn't lift weights at all. I mean you could tell that he has never picked up a weight, he had zero muscle tone to speak of, just soft and all, little bitty arms sticking out of his little bitty shirt, and little bitty legs.
Now, I realize my shallowness in this regard, my belief that everyone should train, but man, I really do believe it. I do believe that everyone should , within reason, do what they want to do as long as it isn't harming anyone else, but lets just say that I dont get it. I don't get the fact that a man wants to walk around all soft and flip floppy and sorta squirrely, and needs to ask for help to lift a box or maybe even he needs help with his groceries. Or what if he is walking the streets of Baltimore (just got back from there and it is literally like the Wild West, you better have your head on a swivel when walking down the street) and he has to defend himself? Now he may be a secret Clark Kent kind of guy with mystical MMA power who can explode on somebody like a lion when cornered or a spider monkey, but I doubt it. Just looking like that invites people to mess with you. And yes, I do know some special forces guys who are like 5' 10'' and 175, but they are the badassery exception, not the rule.
How about just training a little? Thirty minutes three days a week will do wonders for your appearance and confidence. Squat, deadlift, press. Or even just machines. Something to gain some muscle. I have always believed that- “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
Old Socrates knew what the deal was all about. The deal that a well rounded man does it all, intellectually and physically. Of course we all are a work in progress, but doesn't it make sense that one would try to achieve excellence in both? And those guys wore sandals, not flip flops. Still questionable, but it wasn't easy to make manly shoes back then.
The men and women that I am around on a daily basis all lift weights, so I have a tendency to think that everyone lifts weights. Then I go to Walmart to get some fishing stuff and then I realize that most people don't, and I have to admit, its kinda shocking when I see them. Do you think that the aforementioned flip flopper flexes in the mirror? I bet he does. Does he like what he sees? My six year old was walking down the hallway in my house the other day and I thought that he was gonna go into his brothers room and cause trouble so asked him what he was doing, and he replied, "Dad, I'm not doing anything wrong, I am just looking in the mirror and flexing," which passed as okay in my house. Start them early. And then flexing becomes your standard practice, and in order to stand in the mirror and see some muscular progress, you better do some training.
So what is the point here? The point is that no man should wear flip flops, but besides that, the point is that every man should hoist a barbell or dumbbell or kettle bell or something that can give him some strength and hypertrophy. Shoot, even dips and chins and pushups will do.
I have a doctor friend who I have been training for years that used to be a high carb soft and flabby marathon runner (flip flops? Not sure), who now swears by eating meat and squatting and deadlifting and in fact, his workouts take precedence over all else in his life because he knows that when he is on point with his lifting and eating, his whole damn life is better. His performance at work is better, his overall well being has improved. And now, instead of shuffling along on asphalt and squirting energy gels in his mouth, he is training with weights three times a week for 45 minutes and kicking ass not only at his job but at his lifting. He boxes and walks the dog and hits the exercise bike, too. But the cornerstone of it all is the lifting. He found out that you learn just as much deadlifting and squatting as you do getting the "runners high", and it carries over into all aspects of his life; work is better, yard work is easier, and he can perform simple tasks that used to be arduous to him with ease.
You can feel it when you get stronger and gain some muscle. Walk down the street after a great workout and you will feel on top of the world, and your energy will be boundless.
It's not that hard. ANYONE CAN DO IT. Just get started. Don't listen to the naysayers. You won't hurt your knees and you wont lose your flexibility. You will find the fountain of youth and you will want to tell everyone about it and then you will start wondering, as I do, why everyone doesn't train also.