Lifting is the #1 Red pill activity.
If you’ve been reading manosphere websites for even just a week, I’m sure you’ve already heard this time and again.
It’s almost a truism at this point, but that doesn’t make it any less relevant or important.
Lifting separates men from boys, reinforces the differences between men and women, and segregates the winners from the losers.
It generates a solid base (literally and metaphorically) from which all other healthy, productive activities more easily flow.
The benefits are numerous. Here are a few I have personally experienced:
- Health: I haven’t been sick since lifting. I felt like I was getting a cold one day, and it vanished within a few hours.
- Better sleep: I fall asleep faster, and sleep much deeper (although I do wake up very sore some days).
- Patience: My inner strength (power of mindset) is developing in pace with my outer strength.
- Discipline: succeeding in lifting gradually increasing weights has encouraged me to set and accomplish more goals in other areas of life.
- Confidence, confidence, confidence– from accomplishing goals, from getting stronger, from looking better, it all adds up until it’s overflowing.
But no matter how often I heard all of these points from various enlightened sources, I dragged my feet as long as possible.
The two things that held me back were:
1) Lack of motivation from an unhealthy life
Healthy habits beget healthy habits. You can’t continue to smoke & drink heavily, eat shitty food, stay up all hours playing mindless video games, and somehow have the proper mindset & discipline to succeed at lifting.
Before getting into lifting, I gradually cut down on all of those unhealthy activities.
The easiest way to change habits it to replace them with new ones.
I replaced playing video games with reading books.
I replaced eating shitty with cooking big meals with real foods and juicing vegetables and fruits.
I replaced smoking with body-weight exercises (pull-ups, push-ups, squats and planks).
And, finally, I greatly curbed my alcohol intake by taking Kratom (I purchase from Happy Hippo).
Kratom gave me a much-needed burst of positive energy and outlook on life and has continued to help me focus on healthy activities instead of relying on old crutches.
2) No Interest in Going to a Gym
I have no interest in paying membership fees.
I have no interest in commuting in order to exercise.
I have no interest in working out around people.
As an introvert, I am around people enough during the day, that I love, for the most part, having my workout be a time to regain my mental energy by being alone.
This wasn’t a big deal when my workouts revolved around body-weight exercises, but as I desired to start lifting heavy weights it became a great impediment as I had to go either all in or out.
Well, I made the jump, and already I have been so happy with it that I just couldn’t wait to post about the experience.
Let’s get started:
Power Rack Cage with Bench Racks (amazon)
This is an awesome piece of equipment and well worth the investment. Within the cage you can perform many exercises including the essential squats and bench presses in complete safety due to the presence of the adjustable safety bars. This leaves you free to stress your muscles with maximum amounts of weight by yourself without worry of accidental injury. I set up this rack by myself with no problems. It is completely solid and sturdy, and is great for pull-ups/chin-ups as well. I can’t recommend this piece of equipment enough.
Body Solid 7-Feet Olympic Bar (amazon)
This is the bar I bought. It’s only 100 bucks and it’s awesome. Just a warning, it comes straight from the machining factory covered in oil residue, so unbox it outside, and wash it with soap and water. If you are learning all the basics, like I was, then this is a standard Olympic sized, 45 lb bar. Olympic size is 2 inch diameter, which you will need to remember for all the plates you order. Forty five pounds is a great weight to start many lifts at. If you think that will be too heavy for you to start at, you can purchase lighter, training bars, but I think you are best advised to train with body weight exercises for 4-6 months first.
Flat Weight Bench (amazon)
This is the only piece I didn’t purchase myself. I ended up shelling out a little more ($228) for a bench from Rogue Fitness (link). But there’s really no need: this bench from amazon looks perfect for what you need. I just don’t recommend going any lower than 1000lb tested, as you don’t want to ever have any doubt that the bench won’t hold your weight + the weight you are lifting (even though the bench breaking isn’t life threatening as long as you are within the power rack with the safety bars properly placed).
Ultra Thick Gym Flooring (amazon)
You will need this to protect your floor. You might be able to set down the bar gently when dead lifting with only a plate on, but once you are lifting serious weight you will find yourself dropping the bar very quickly, slightly uncontrollably near the bottom.
Barbell Olympic 2-inch Weight Plates (amazon)
In order to be able to increase weight incrementally you will need the following plates:
(1) set of (2) of each of the following weights (in pounds): 2.5, 10, 25, 35, 45.
(2) sets (4) of 5s.
With just these weights you can load you bar with weights for every incremental of (5) from (45 – the weight of the bar) to (300).
That will be enough to keep you going for a long time. And then, when you need to, you only need to buy additional sets of 45s to increase the maximum.
Here’s a chart I created, which I printed out and hung in my garage for easy access (you don’t want to have to worry about math in the middle of your workout):
Weight Tree (amazon)
This isn’t necessary by any means, but it looks cool and makes storing and accessing your weights much easier. Plus, it’s only $49.99.
GSC Gym Chalk (amazon)
I didn’t use this much at first with lighter weights, but once I began lifting solid amounts, that extra traction helped a lot. Also, it feels cool clapping chalk between your hands.
CAP Barbell Olympic 2-Inch Spring Clip Collars (amazon)
These aren’t absolutely necessary, but it is great to know that the weights are secure, especially for dead lifts or bent-over rows. When the weights get really heavy, you might find yourself unable to keep the bar perfectly straight throughout the reps, and it would be very frustrating to not be able to complete reps because the plates have moved too much creating an uneven bar.
Olympic Fractional Plates (amazon)
I’ve been eying these for sometime. At a certain point, adding on 5 pounds each workout is too much. With fractional plates, you can edge up slower, allowing your body more time to adapt without becoming frustrated over many fails. I’ll be picking these up soon.
Flat-soled Shoes (amazon)
If you don’t already own any, you will need to purchase flat-soled shoes for weightlifting. The most popular and inexpensive are the converse all-stars. No need to go spend a lot of money on any specific weightlifting shoes. Anything with flat-bottoms will do.
Starting Strength (amazon)
I watched many youtube videos and read many different guides on the internet, and none of them compared to the wealth of information presented in this book. Instead of just walking you through the motions of each movement, Rippetoe goes in depth into the rational behind the movement so that you are able to internalize the necessary forms. This is the best book on weight lifting for beginners.
Like Cortez instructing his crew to burn their boats so that they couldn’t turn back, when you invest in a home gym you take on a conquering mindset.
No more dilly-dallying.
Stop dipping your toes in the water and jump in.