Five Ways to Be in the Top 10% of Men

The pathetic average

Lots of men are looking to get ahead in life. (If instead you’re one of those who lives for his widescreen TV, you can stop reading right now.)

The average man in this country – and lots of other countries – is a pathetic sight.

And you can use the pathetic average man to your advantage: namely, it’s just not that hard to put yourself into the top 10% of men, in looks, health, attractiveness to women, even status. Here’s my more or less off-the-cuff list of five ways to almost instantly vault yourself into the top 10% of men.

1. Lose weight

Obesity is not only an eyesore, but indicates a lot about the man inside. While there may be exceptions, obesity mostly indicates an unwillingness or lack of concern about taking care of oneself. Two thirds of men in this country are overweight or obese, so by not being one of them you stand a good chance of vaulting yourself into the top 10%. Cut the carbs and get with the program.

2. Gain muscle

The one third of the male population that isn’t obese or overweight is still not known for its muscularity. Gain some muscle while staying trim and you’ll probably be in the top 5% for your age. Hit the gym two or three times a week, lift weights – real, heavy weights – and you’ll be streets ahead of the crowd.

If you’re older (like me), it’s even easier. Most men (and women) lose a lot of muscle by the time that they’re older, the extreme case being sarcopenia, or muscle-wasting. Lift weights with any kind of regularity and discipline and you’ll look better than any man your age.

3. Quit dressing like a goof

I know this is a blog dedicated to a science-based view of men’s health, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here, especially since I’m no style expert. Nevertheless.

Get rid of the cargo shorts, sweat shirts and pants, legible T-shirts, baseball caps, and flip flops.

Nothing says “goofball” like a dude in a T-shirt with an ad on it.

You don’t have much money? I guarantee I could go into a Wal-Mart and come out better dressed than most men.

Get well-fitting clothes. You can go here for much more detail.

Also, get a haircut and don’t wear non-standard facial hair. The number of men that a simple haircut would improve their appearance 100% is legion.

4. Eat right

As discussed in my supplements book for men, there’s no agreed upon definition of what constitutes “eating right”, though I tend to think a paleo-style diet is best.

The important thing is to get rid of the junk: vegetable oils (found in almost everything processed), the sugar, the flour, the high-carb low nutritive value food.

Eat meat, eggs, cheese, yogurt, fruits and vegetables, maybe some potatoes if you exercise a lot or have a highly energy-demanding job and don’t need to lose weight. Recall the acronym JERF: Just Eat Real Food. Don’t buy processed crap, which includes almost anything that comes in a box or bag with a brand name on it. If you follow this program, you’ll not only become more lean and muscular, but your skin will glow and your energy level will attract the right kind of attention.

5. Posture

Walk upright like the man you are. Don’t slouch. Most men I see walk around as if they have the burdens of the world on their shoulders, when in reality they’re just going to the store for a pack of smokes.

When a man walks with confidence, he not only appears like he’s a worthwhile man, but it can instill confidence in the man who lacks it, on the principle of fake it until you make it.

Seriously, try it if you’re not doing it already. Walking with your chest out and your head held high instills confidence, than which there’s nothing more attractive to women.

Don’t be average

If you’re average, you’ll get an average woman, an average job, and have an average life, and that’s probably going to suck.

A minimum of effort will make a man look and feel above average and worthy of attention, thanks to the low standards current these days. As I pointed out in the preface to my book, one reason why U.S. Navy Seals and Army Rangers are so respected is because they are physically fit and wear military uniforms and act like men, thus following the five items laid out above. Physically fit and upright men get hired and promoted faster and make more money. And they get the girl.

PS: read my book Muscle Up to become better than average.

PPS: Check out my Supplements Buying Guide for Men.



Leave a Comment:

Shawn says November 7, 2014

Good article. I’ll add avoid tattoos unless one wants to appear low class.

    P. D. Mangan says November 7, 2014

    Thanks, yes I agree.

James F. says November 10, 2014

i highly disagree with this.

the only men who can be in the top ten percent of men are of high phenotypic quality (i.e. good looks) and that is established at conception. simple lifestyle changing habits cannot “bend” or “alter” female choice because females look for “honest signals” in a mate, which are for the most part, non-alterable (aside from cosmetic surgery). if a man is low on the sexual dimorphic scale (feminine face and/or short in stature) there’s practically nothing he can do to become a part of the top ten percent.

    lemmy caution says November 10, 2014

    James, assuming what you say is true, what should a man low on the sexual dimorphic scale do?

    Maybe, do all 5 things anyway?

    P. D. Mangan says November 10, 2014

    “Honest signals” can include leanness and muscularity, because they have a cost and show self-discipline. And honest signals can get overlooked because of things like pot bellies or acne or poor posture. So while short stature or a feminine face are indeed handicaps, they can be mitigated in other areas.

      James F. says November 10, 2014

      @P.D. Mangan:
      ““Honest signals” can include leanness and muscularity…So while short stature or a feminine face are indeed handicaps, they can be mitigated in other areas.”

      This is true but only to a certain extent. Men can better themselves in varying degrees but the idea that these simple (or even complex) fixes can change a man’s inherent market value is a plain lie. The top ten percent is already reserved only for a hand-full of instinctively attractive men.

      @lemmy caution:
      I’m not saying men should not do their best to better themselves but the idea that in doing so, most men will reach the top ten percent out of sheer hard work, is ridiculous. That type of thinking does not bode well with what actual science says (namely, that of bio-evolution). The sexual mating market abides by a Pareto principle (80/20 rule) and this is largely based of attractive phenotypes and not personality quirks or muscular/postural “gains”.


      How so? One can say the same thing about your comment but it still doesn’t prove anything.

        Ohioan says November 30, 2014


        Have you done all five things? If you do all five things to the very best of your ability, your life will not get worse, I guarantee you of that.

        The idea of the top 10% of men is a thought exercise, not a quantitative ranking. A ranking would be impossible, because some aspects of it are subjective. But there’s nothing subjective about comparing your current self to your past self and seeing improvement.

    zax says November 10, 2014

    about everything you say here is demonstrably false.

      Bah says June 19, 2017

      He is a fat schlub who has given up and doesn’t want to do the work to improve himself, so naturally he insists that improvement is impossible.

PermanentGuest says November 10, 2014

This is good advice for the physical and health aspect. Surprising there is no angle on the mental/intellectual side, or the inner frame.

For the former, I would say to read. Pick up a good speed reading program, then be on your way to reading one book a week. The majority of Americans don’t read, so you’ll be ahead of the pack and expand your intelligence.

As for the latter, focus on self-belief. IT’s your default state, so work on acknowledging the negative thoughts that come in your head and chase them off like a thief in the night.

    P. D. Mangan says November 10, 2014

    Thanks. Agree of course that the mental side and the inner frame, as you put it, are not to be neglected. But since I mainly focus on health here, I left it at the physical side.

Being an Above Average Man - Permanent Guest says November 10, 2014

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Sam says November 17, 2014

Maybe you can’t work your way to THE top 10% but you can be the top 10% of your peer group and that’s better than where you were.

You spoke about posture. I know a surefire, no doubt way to make your posture perfect with no thinking.

“Miss Craig’s 21-Day Shape-Up Program for Men and Women: A Plan of Natural Movement Exercises for Anyone in Search of a Trim and Healthy Body”

It’s a very doorky looking book full of doorky stretchish type exercises. If you do these in 6 months you will feel abnormal if you slouch. For some reason the exercises just force your body to align itself in good posture. If you sit in a chair and try to slouch down it will uncomfortable. You have to sit up straight. Millions of these books sold and you can get one for a penny and postage on Amazon. Not only will it help your posture but I have a theory that health is somewhat related to pumping toxins out of the system. The lymph nodes do this and to work they need motion of the limbs. So while your helping your posture you’re also pumping waste from your system.

Interview with P.D. Mangan of - Fabulously Fit Over 40 says November 28, 2014

[…] a number of relevant topics including anti aging, intermittent Fasting, paleo dieting, JERF, autophagy , cognitive decline and plenty […]

Tony says December 13, 2014

What is non standard facial hair?

    P. D. Mangan says December 13, 2014

    Oh, mutton chops for example, or imperials. Although I rather like imperials.

Thibodeaux says March 3, 2015

As for dressing well, the thrift shop is also a great place for decent clothes. For example, I bought a couple of sport coats/blazers, for less than $10 each, took them to a tailor and had them taken in here and there for another $10 each. Shirts are event cheaper. Granted, you do have to comb through a bunch of junk to find something close to fitting. But it can be done.

Leo says September 14, 2016

As a young man, I think that your blog is great. Very helpful on how to be a better man.

Thanks for the content.

    P. D. Mangan says September 14, 2016

    Thanks, Leo, great to hear.

Anonymous says December 10, 2017

You recommend men, “Eat…fruits,” but only “maybe some potatoes.”

Are potatoes worse than fruit?

    P. D. Mangan says December 11, 2017

    I’m firmly in the low-carb camp. If someone is lean, doesn’t need to lose fat, muscular, exercises regularly, carbohydrates like potatoes and fruit will likely not cause much harm. But even there, stories abound of athletes becoming insulin resistant and on their way to diabetes because of a high carbohydrate diet, e.g. Shawn Baker and Tim Noakes, the former a powerlifter and sprinter, the latter a distance runner. Both got better by virtually eliminating carbs. If you have any markers of insulin resistance, such as too high body fat, and/or you don’t exercise regularly, I recommend you avoid concentrated sources of carbs like potatoes. Fruit is arguably worse than potatoes, since it contains lots of sugar including fructose, which is metabolically damaging, whereas potatoes contain only starch, which consists of chains of glucose.

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