A ton of us gents have gotten our lives saved by the iron. Myself included.
I’ve already talked about it a bit in my article about whether therapy works for men, but now I want to focus on the GYM specifically.
There’s something of a meme among us men that lifting weights is 100x better for our mental health than talking to a therapist.
It’s an extremely valid point.
After all, what red-blooded man DOESN’T feel much calmer, much more like a man after pushing against resistance, tearing his muscles up, and feeling that sweet rush of testosterone? How many times have you been feeling pissy, then crushed a workout that released all the negative tension from you as you admired your pump in the mirror?
And how many times have you tried talking about your issues and struggles to someone, only to get shut down, invalidated, told that you’re a man and it’s not okay for you to feel things, or not gotten the presence from them you were seeking?
Should be obvious which of these heals the wounds in our masculine foundation, and which neglects it.
It’s common af for a depressed guy to get into lifting weights, and have that finally give him a sense of power and confidence. This was me, and maybe it’s been you, dear reader!
Getting into building my body and being mindful about my diet was the foundation of my masculine self-development journey! Seeing my muscles in the mirror for the first time is what shifted me out of the mindset of
“My life happens to me and I need to wait for someone to come save me”
“I make my life happen and I get to decide who I’m going to be”
I thought I was doomed to forever be in the scrawny introverted nerd archetype. Then building my body was the first thing that made me realize I could be a dominant, respected, confident, masculine man who gets what he wants in life, and that I should settle for nothing less.
Through my teenage years and early young adulthood, the barbell was my therapist. I couldn’t have survived high school without it, and I mean that in a literal sense.
But I was still living life in survival mode.
The limitations of barbell therapy
Bodybuilders and lifters are often some of the most insecure dudes you’ll meet.Beneath the big muscles, there’s a broken heart and fragile bravado. These men are ego-invested in their muscles out of fear of being weak as well as love of being strong.
(Of course, I’m only talking about a certain demographic of gymbro. I’m not ignoring all the emotionally secure ones!)
The gym may provide a sense of purpose to guys + an outlet for their negative energy, but it doesn’t remove the SOURCE of that negative energy.
The barbell is a potent antidepressant, but it only medicates the SYMPTOMS of a man’s emotional wounds. It doesn’t heal the wounds themselves.
Fixing your body is the foundation of healing your spirit, not the endgame of it. There’s 3 fundamentals of attraction and masculinity, not just one.
So while lifting weights DOES heal a man and turn his life around, it does so through pure masculine energy. This is a non-negotiable for every man who aspires to be great, but it’s a laurel that will only bring long-term misery if it’s rested on.
I’ve spent much of my life healing myself through masculine pursuits – lifting, projects, adventures, creativity.
But I was denying myself something equally important.
You need to be healed by feminine energy too.
This is why masculine men with emotional wounds develop drinking problems (like my past self). Alcohol is feminine energy. A drinking problem is an unconscious attempt at embracing the feminine, though in a dissociated way. Men also turn to video games (an attempt at masculine healing), porn (dissociated feminine healing), drugs, chasing hoes, and whatever vices they like.
That’s why when I got to university, I was still highly neurotic, insecure, anxious, and self-destructive despite my sense of responsibility and masculinity. I’d lose myself in booze, lose my shit over girls who didn’t care for me, and find myself in almost nothing but toxic friendships while losing out on healthy ones. I even tried kmsing myself at one point, despite being a dedicated gym bro and having put on 30+ lbs of muscle since I’d begun lifting.
I only started to REALLY heal my emotional wounds when I met a few girls who I got emotionally intimate with (one of whom I’d hook up with too).
While the sharp focus, direction, and integrity of masculine energy is the foundation of our masculine self-development…
What’s the point of the foundation if you aren’t building anything on it?
These girls, temporary as they ended up being, were a turning point in my life. Because of them, I felt seen and wanted as a person worth getting to know, not just for being a body who could carry the burden of performance.
Feminine energy is a warm, loving embrace. While masculinity heals by pushing and challenging, femininity heals by pulling and embracing.
To be an integrated, emotionally healthy man, being able to cultivate both these energies is essential.
With some caveats.
Your foundational masculine energy needs to come first.
You can’t develop or heal yourself as a man (or get women to desire you), if you don’t know how to be a man.
Jumping into feminine healing (talk therapy, emotional connection, embracing yourself holistically) without first grounding yourself in your masculinity creates weak, fragile, passive, chaotically emotional “men”.
But once this masculine foundation is built up, you will miss out on the joys of life if you refuse to embrace the feminine. This is when, as you’re grounded in your manhood, you open your heart and allow yourself to FEEL.
Any masculinity guru who says being a man is all about sucking it up and keeping a tight grip on your emotions as you fight against life only has part of the picture. This is a one-dimensional way of defining masculinity.
Men who think this way are actually some of the biggest emotional wrecks you’ll ever meet. They usually end up in abusive relationships, or at least avoidant ones. Don’t fall for the LARPing. These guys are almost always nothing like they are online.
Yes, grit, toughness, resilience, and integrity are non-negotiable foundational traits of being a man. I don’t respect men who don’t see the value in these, and beautiful women don’t either. But you can’t reduce your sense of self to these alone, or else your need for the feminine in your life will come out in volatile ways – sexual neediness, alcohol addiction, porn addiction, seeking a mommy gf, obsessive fantasies about girls, etc.
So while yes, many men have a season of their life where the weights lift them out of their misery…
The leaves have to lose their pigment and fall at some point. The snow has to fall, then melt at some point.
Every man has to open his heart and let love in at some point, with all the pains it brings, or else his manhood will get limp no matter how ambitious he is or how sick his pumps from the gym are.
Usually, a man meets a woman whose femininity challenges him and forces him to define himself beyond the burden of performance. And he challenges her to gain independence rather than defining herself purely by her relationships.
But he needs to attract her first.
Or get in touch with his anima and do the feminine healing on his own.
Or work with me and do all of the above + more:
Sexual energy mastery, quitting porn, determining which women are the best fits for you, learning to read women like you’re Sherlock Holmes, et freakin cetera.
Look, I’m not cheap. You’ll pay 4 figures and that’s that. It’s a payment. A fee. My income. I won’t dress it up as an “investment” or some other sugarcoating.
Now ask yourself what you really value.
Coaching may very well be the difference between a much older you looking back on your current self with regret and frustration, or fondly – on the memories you’ve spent with amazing women, living for love and freedom.
Our relationships are the most valuable thing of all, and unless you get right the one you have with yourself, the ones you get with women will be draining and volatile, as you miss out on the women who’ll make you feel happier, more full of life.
Money is interchangeable and easily replaceable. Great people who you share love with, much less so.
See me in coaching when you’re ready to accelerate your masculine + feminine healing, and download all the wisdom that’s gotten me (and my handsome clients) from losing to cruising in the dating world.
Light weight baby,
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