I’ve been told that the preface to my book, Best Supplements for Men’s Health, Fitness, and Virility, is fairly “red pill”. For those unfamiliar with the term, it refers to a set of beliefs (or truths) that purport to realistically describe modern sexual relations, the nature of men and women, and particularly how men can navigate this landscape which has changed so much in only a few decades. In this preface, I try to stick to my area of expertise, namely health, so I don’t give advice on how men should act towards their wives or girlfriends. Yet having good relations with women, including being attractive to them, is intertwined with health, especially as it concerns having energy, a lean and muscular body, and that outward glow of health. These won’t be all a man needs to attract and hold the interest of women, but surely are a huge help, and may be all that a given man needs to increase his success in that area massively.
That being said, the preface also discusses other crucial aspects of why men should be active and not passive in terms of their health and fitness. Read on for the preface.
As the reader may have noticed, the U.S., along with much of the rest of the world, is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Starting sometime vaguely in the 1970s – although some scholars of the subject believe that its roots go back much further, to the post-WW I era – it has expanded both itself and our waistlines and rear ends at an almost exponential pace, and it shows no sign of stopping. The obesity epidemic brings with it a train of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and pain, depression and other mental illnesses – in short, tons of human misery. Any man in his right mind will want to steer clear of it, giving it the wide berth it needs.
In the old days, before obesity (which I’ll use as shorthand for being overweight, with Body Mass Index >25, and obese, BMI >30), more women than men were obese. But sadly for all concerned, in the developed world it appears that more men than women are obese. Men used to work long hours that featured tough physical work, and they ate home-cooked meals prepared by their wives or mothers; equally as important, they ate those meals only at the prescribed times, and at the table. Now that has all been largely replaced: the farm or factory has become the cubicle, home cooking has become fast food burgers, fries, and cokes, and these are available round the clock. Our recreations have changed: whereas men formerly might play a game of baseball after work, or at least a round of golf on their day off, we now sit in front of the idiot box exerting no energy – while snacking, of course.
Along with the obesity epidemic, and even perhaps related to it, we’ve seen a sexual revolution. One consequence of that revolution has been high divorce rates. Up to 50% of all marriages end in divorce. And the dirty little secret about divorce is that women initiate up to 70% of them. Women have become much choosier about what kind of man satisfies them sexually, whether in marriage or out of it.
Any man in a marriage or contemplating one must up his game with women. While I can’t advise men here about how to be a better lover, or how to dress better, this book can help men with regard to their physical attractiveness – including being lean and muscular – along with their energy levels, their mood and mental health, and their general outlook on life. To have a successful marriage or long-term relationship today, men can leave no stone unturned in making themselves a more attractive husband and father. I can guarantee you that being a low-energy, unhappy tub of lard will do wonders in scaring a woman off.
Then there’s aging: men are living longer than ever now, but many of them do so with most of their lust for life stripped from them, some in pain, others with no vigor or virility. Many older men just have no joy in life.
Yet there’s a new breed of older men who are taking charge of their health and their virility. They lift weights or do high intensity training and eat right; they stay lean; many of them, wanting an active sex life and under a doctor’s supervision, do testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Men like these realize that although aging cannot be stopped, it can be dramatically slowed, and that older age need not take all the joys, including sexual joys, out of life.
But our younger men have their own problems. In their teens and early twenties, many men find themselves in a bind with women. Having not had enough time to accumulate the money and status that women look for in a desirable man, they are passed over by women their own age in favor of somewhat older men, who do have the right stuff. Among younger men as well, it’s often the jock or the naturally extroverted “player” who gets the girls, with the skinny, the overweight, and the introverted left behind. Young men need to up their game as well, including in the arena of physical attractiveness. Sadly, the obesity epidemic has not left young men untouched, and the other side of the coin, muscular under-development, is common as well. “Skinny fat” is now a startling common body type among men, young and old.
Men who are at the top of their game in terms of health and strength also prosper more than others in their careers and financially. Lean, muscular men with an erect bearing command respect, and get hired and promoted more readily than others. They make more money. Being in good physical shape is practically a prerequisite for being considered a leader. Look at widely admired military men, such as the U.S. Navy Seals, or the Army Rangers: you just don’t see too many men in better shape, and along with their daring and skill, it’s their sheer physicality that makes them so highly respected, by men and women alike. If you want to be respected, make more money, and move up the career ladder, it behooves you to be in the best shape possible.
If the reader doesn’t have some already, I’ve just given him a few good reasons why he should be interested in his health, strength, and virility. What I aim to do in this book is to show men how they can improve these. While most of the principles of healthy living can be applied equally by both sexes, men have needs all their own, and that’s the focus of this book.
Men develop serious illnesses and die younger than woman. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and others all strike men at younger ages. After the age of 44, heart disease is the leading cause of death, with cancer not far behind. As we’ll see in this book, much can be done to lessen the risk of these diseases.
Suicide is a leading cause of death in men; in fact, from ages 25 to 34, it’s the second leading cause. (CDC data.) Good physical health almost always entails good mental health, so we’ll be looking at the numerous ways that exercise, diet, and supplements can improve mental health, including depression, and help men avoid the scourge of suicide.
As men get older, sarcopenia, which is essentially no more than muscle wasting, becomes common. But loss of muscle mass begins by age 30, at a rate of 3 to 8% per decade of life, and it even occurs in men who are physically active. (Journals of Gerontology, 2014.) The right forms of exercise, weightlifting and high intensity training – but not running – can protect against loss of muscle mass; so can a greater amount of protein in the diet, as well as select supplements. Men looking to gain muscle mass at younger ages also benefit from these strategies.
What about virility? There’s a relatively natural course of aging that causes testosterone levels to drop. That doesn’t mean that men are or should be happy with it, and there are many things one can do about this. But there’s also a less natural course: at the population level in American men, there is a long-term decline in testosterone levels: in “A Population-Level Decline in Serum Testosterone Levels in American Men” (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2006), the authors of this study found that T levels have been declining at about 0.6% per year over and above the normal decline attributed to age.
Some reports have claimed that as many as 50% of pubescent boys at least temporarily develop gynecomastia.
What could account for all this? As we’ll see, ubiquitous environmental chemicals called endocrine disruptors may very well be responsible.
“Muscle Up” is a life-altering book