by Robert Maxwell
Generally speaking, my readers fall into one of two categories. The first recognizes the benefits of strength training and admits they need it in their lives. They may never actually get to it, but at least they see the need. Members of the second group find my articles and videos mildly interesting, but for one reason or another, believe they don’t need strength training, and are doing just fine physically. Obviously I disagree, which is why I write these articles. That said, perhaps hearing once again about the many benefits of barbell training or risks of weakness isn’t enough to kick you into gear. That’s why I’m taking a different slightly different approach here. I’ve compiled the following list of signs that you’re too weak. You might disagree with some or all of these, and that’s fine. Just keep in mind that it’s easy to dismiss a set of standards which you don’t meet.
1. You’re Scared or Unable to Pick Up Heavy Objects When Needed
Our lives may be full of a great deal of automation and modern convenience, but we still haven’t invented ourselves out of having to lift heavy stuff on occasion. I’m not talking about barbells, either. If you get nervous at the prospect of picking up one end of your couch, carrying a large parcel to your car, or even hoisting your young child or grandchild onto your shoulders, you’re too weak. As much as our society tends to disagree in this day and age, to be a man is to be strong both physically and mentally. If you can’t do the things listed above for fear of injury or muscular failure, you’re not strong, and not a proper man. I’m well aware that this sounds harsh, but only to those who don’t make the cut. Strength is important, and there’s nothing anyone can say or do to change that. Life dictates that those with physical strength will excel, and their lives will be better. It also helps to be able to carry your unconscious wife out of a burning building, if the need arises.
2. You Can’t Be Physically Intimidating When Necessary
As you’ve probably gathered by now, there is a common theme running through much of the material on this website, and that’s old-fashioned manliness. Although society, particularly modern feminism, is doing its best to convince men not to be men, real men are more needed than ever before. Part of being a real man means protecting your family against forces and people who would do them harm. I was recently walking with my wife and daughter when a large dog ran from a nearby driveway onto the road in front of us, barking and snarling. The owner, a young man, soon followed. He looked none too kind or happy as we calmly requested that he keep his dog on the leash while we walked. I didn’t frown or flex my muscles. I think machoism is worse in many ways than a lack of real manliness. What I did was simply look at him. Without a frown or grimace, but an expression of calm determination. Sizing me up, he considered for a moment, then quietly said he’d keep the dog under control from then on. I can’t be sure, but I have a strong feeling that my size and visible strength caused him to reconsider what otherwise could’ve been a rather nasty confrontation. As Odin told young Thor in the marvel film, “A wise king never goes looking for war, but must always be ready for it.” Had the dog’s owner decided to get physical, I am confident I could have put him down easily. If you can’t say the same where your wife and children are concerned, there’s a problem.
3. You Use Your Age as an Excuse for Passivity
I am personally acquainted with men in their 50s, 60s, and 70s capable of lifting hundreds of pounds with ease. There’s no reason a strong, healthy lifestyle, regular training, and a proper diet can’t make this possible for everyone without some unusual health concern. Obviously this isn’t every man’s goal, and that’s fine. But decent strength lasting well into the golden years should be every man’s goal. If it’s not yours, ask yourself why. Is it because you truly don’t believe strength is important, or is it that you know you’re weak, and fear the time, effort, and pain of getting strong? It’s a tough question. I haven’t met many men who will give the second answer, at least not right away. Truth is, the second answer is the truthful one in the vast majority of cases. Weak men just don’t like to admit it. While they’re still young, they rely on youthful vitality to stay out of the hospital prematurely. As they get older, age becomes a welcome excuse for weakness and lack of capability. The real culprit is decades of inactivity. Don’t let the accumulation of years hold you back from being a man. Instead, become a little like Sy Perlis, who bench pressed nearly 200 pounds at age 91.