Have you ever dreamed of being as buff as Arnold Schwarzenegger, or to have a rippling six-pack under your shirt? Of course, you have! Most men want to be ripped, but few ever put in the work that it requires. Having a chiselled physique requires hours of disciplined work in the gym, and a very strict diet in order to keep your fat percentage low enough to show muscle definition.
But, what if I told you that you can lead a far happier and healthier life without looking like a beefcake? Body dysmorphic disorder affects men just as much as it does women, and therefore it is best for your mental health to adopt a body positive outlook, regardless of your fitness goals.
A far better goal to set when it comes to exercise is to become strong. And no, bodybuilding won’t necessarily make you strong, although strength can be a side effect. No, being strong is a much different goal from being pretty. Strength training has only one goal: to lift more weight over time.
Forget about all kinds of bullshit exercise fads, like fitness bootcamps, functional training, and CrossFit. What you need to do is to design your workouts around the four basic compound strength movements — bench press, overhead press, barbell squat, and deadlift. These movements train a large number of muscle groups and are the best exercises for building overall strength and muscle mass.
Three of these movements, the squat, deadlift, and bench press, are the focus of the sport of powerlifting. But if you feel that you need to add an aerobic component to your strength work, you can try your hand at Olympic weightlifting. The two Olympic lifts; the snatch, and the clean and jerk, requires good technique in order to lift a heavy weight overhead and instill both physical and mental strength in you.