No doubt about it, working out with iron certainly carries macho connotations. Big muscles mean strength and power, and, people who train with weights that bare-faced lie about their feats of strength are ten a penny… even if they train like complete wussies and are weaker than your grandma.
Arnold Schwarzenegger once remarked that many people who trained at the gyms he worked for (Yup, Governor Schwarzenegger was a gym worker and personal trainer during his bodybuilding career) people would ‘merely come to pamper themselves’, and recalled how when he trained people who just wanted to go through the motions it annoyed him.
Hey – you can’t blame him; he was training to be Mr. Olympia, and was notorious for his hardcore training and dedication… so it must have been frustrating to try to teach people and drum into them the same principles when they just wanted to go through the motions.
No pain (at least, good pain) no gain is true. You can’t expect good results unless you are dedicated and constantly push yourself.
Don’t get the wrong idea in thinking that you need to have blood coming out of your eyes and nose when you lift, that you have to train to failure and vomiting and passing out is mandatory. It’s not – those kinds of things, which they do happen in extreme training circumstances – but certainly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone each and every session is the mark of a real workout.
So, what kind of lifts can a real man like you do?
Well, heavy strength-based compound exercises, of course. Ass-To-Grass barbell squats, bench press, dead lifts, upright rows, bent over rows, military press, lunges.
As they say, go heavy or go home. That’s the mark of a real workout. Real men get stronger when they train, because they push themselves. Wussies never get stronger.
For such compound exercises I recommend training each exercise with a repetition scheme of 1-5 reps, and sets of 3-5. This keeps them firmly within the strength training spectrum.