Getting Lean and Muscular Transforms Your Mindset

Does being in good health and good shape affect thought processes or your mental outlook? Does getting lean and muscular transform your mindset?

I recently made the following assertion on Twitter:

Many who read this obviously agreed, and no one disagreed that I saw, but a few people asked how this works. So let me explain.

You see that the establishment is wrong

To get lean and muscular, or remain that way, almost requires you to ignore what the establishment says you should do to be healthy.

They preach low-fat eating and aerobic exercise, and as a consequence, around 70% of the adult American population is overweight, with Body Mass Index, or BMI ≥ 25, or obese, BMI ≥ 30.

Or maybe it’s only an association between the advice and the reality. But how many people have permanently got lean and muscular by following that advice? Very few. Contestants on The Biggest Loser show lost weight that way — though they didn’t gain muscle — and many or most of them gained it right back.

For most overweight people, cutting refined carbohydrates and sugar is a must. Whether you cut carbs somewhat or a lot, it can’t be denied that this is a prerequisite for losing weight for most people.

Yet mainstream groups, whether that means government, corporations, or mainstream medicine, strongly resist this concept.

So you see from your own experience that they’re wrong.

As for aerobic exercise (cardio), it will never make you muscular, and may even accelerate muscle loss. (IMO, it definitely does.)

You see that they’re corrupt

The soft drink and junk food industries are huge worldwide, and would take a huge hit to their revenue if the link between sugar and obesity, diabetes, and other diseases became more widely known.

So the soda and junk food industries attempt to corrupt scientific research by funding it. Coca-Cola has provided several million dollars to something called the Global Health Alliance to promote the idea that sugar is not the problem – you are the problem, because you’re too lazy to exercise.

One of the scientists heading this organization is exercise scientist Steven Blair, the man who has run 70,000 miles in his lifetime and is “short, fat, and bald”. Blair promotes the “eat less, move more” mantra as the solution for obesity, but it appears to have done him little good.

The president of the group is one Dr. James Hill, a leading voice for the idea that sugar isn’t a problem.

Are they corrupt? Maybe they merely think that their message and Coca-Cola’s have enough in common that they don’t feel bad about taking the money.

But money works on the scientific process.

An analysis of 60 studies found 26 out of 26 papers that failed to find a link between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity or diabetes were funded by industry sources, compared to one industry-funded study out of the 34 that did find a connection.

The odds of that being a coincidence are astronomically low.

You don’t need to be lean and muscular to see this kind of thing — but it helps.

The huge resources of Big Pharma also corrupt the medical industry. Their flagship products, the statins, are now widely prescribed, and some doctors have seriously suggested putting them in the water supply.

You see that they want you weak

In schools nowadays, those who run them teach that boys are violence-prone and disruptive, and that girls are the wave of the future. That line of thought carries over into universities, where every young man is considered a potential rapist that young women need protection from.

The establishment denigrates boys and men and wants them weak.

Testosterone replacement therapy, a godsend to many older (and even younger) men, is widely derided and made very difficult to get, despite a large amount of evidence that it’s safe and improves lives.

Why would that be? Maybe they want you weak and dependent on expensive pharmaceuticals rather than a natural, bio-identical hormone.

The establishment even derides weight lifting; it’s been deemed a fount of “toxic masculinity”, and young men who like to lift are said to be addicted to this “unhealthy’ way of life.

When you get lean and muscular, which is to say, no longer bloated and weak and craving your daily sugar fix, you’ve liberated yourself from the food and drugs that the establishment wants you addicted to.

In theory, you don’t need to be in good shape to see all of this. But we humans are not wholly rational creatures, and we tend to open our eyes more to what’s in our best interest.

Strength and health make you less likely to defer to the crowd

The concept of equality is one of the controlling ideas of the modern age. One of the government’s main functions is economic redistribution of taxpayers’ money.

What does that have to do with being lean and muscular? It comes down to evolutionary psychology.

Muscularity in men, and attractiveness in both sexes, makes for a less egalitarian person:

In ancestral human environments, muscularity and height (in males) and physical attractiveness (in both sexes) would theoretically have correlated positively with one’s social status, and thus with one’s ability to benefit from social inequality. We therefore hypothesized that individuals who are more characterized by these traits would be less egalitarian (i.e., less likely to believe that resources should be distributed equally in social groups)… We found that as hypothesized, muscularity and waist–chest ratio in males, and self-perceived attractiveness in both sexes, tended to associate significantly in the predicted directions with the four egalitarianism measures; most of these correlations were of medium size. 

In essence, becoming lean and muscular (using waist-chest ratio) was, in the ancestral environment, associated with social status, since being strong was a great asset in work, fighting, and subduing rivals. While strength is no longer such an asset in that way, we may be hard-wired to associate strength with social status. Certainly, women and weaker men defer in some ways to strong men, even now. Big strong athletes are idolized.

Upper body strength associates with men’s perceived self-interest.

Over human evolutionary history, upper-body strength has been a major component of fighting ability. Evolutionary models of animal conflict predict that actors with greater fighting ability will more actively attempt to acquire or defend resources than less formidable contestants will. Here, we applied these models to political decision making about redistribution of income and wealth among modern humans. In studies conducted in Argentina, Denmark, and the United States, men with greater upper-body strength more strongly endorsed the self-beneficial position: Among men of lower socioeconomic status (SES), strength predicted increased support for redistribution; among men of higher SES, strength predicted increased opposition to redistribution. Because personal upper-body strength is irrelevant to payoffs from economic policies in modern mass democracies, the continuing role of strength suggests that modern political decision making is shaped by an evolved psychology designed for small-scale groups.

Men who are strong want more resources, and they support the system most likely to provide them.

The question remains, does becoming lean and muscular make you think differently, or is this some genetic association? If the latter, getting strong won’t change your mindset.

I don’t know if anyone has done any research on that. All I can report is many anecdotes I’ve read about how weight lifting changed men’s (and some women’s) lives. They become not only strong in body, but strong in mind, more self-confident, less willing to put up with psychological manipulation. They become more independent. The scales fall from their eyes.

That’s been my own experience. Although I was never overweight as an adult, I did get muscular and vastly improved my health by lifting weights, along with a paleo diet.

Totally changed my outlook.

Now I bestride the world like a Colossus. 😉

So, go forth and lift. You have nothing to lose but your chains, and your complacency.


PS: If you liked this, next read my book Muscle Up.

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