Too many men make the mistake of focusing on looks over performance in their training. While it is important to look good and feel confident, overlooking the athletic side of things can actually hurt your progress, both in terms of strength and aesthetics. Unless you have a carefully thought-out drug stack, your appearance will be closely related to your overall strength and energy burned through cardio training, and you’ll have to train smart. Someone who trains without performance enhancing drugs will get the best results if he or she focuses on performing better – e.g. getting stronger, faster, more agile, improving endurance and mastering certain complex motor patterns – and just letting their body develop as a nice little side-effect of hard training. Let’s see how this actually works.
Heavy compound movement activate the smaller muscle groups as well
Some people fall into the trap of thinking that a single exercise has to work a single muscle group. This probably comes from local bodybuilders who don’t quite understand exercise science, and it is completely wrong. If you excluded all other muscles except the one you wanted to target, you’d drop to the floor. The human body is quite complex, and both large and small muscles work together at all times – some stabilize the body during movement and others are engaged to a greater or lesser extent.
This is why compound movements like squats, deadlifts, dips, pull-ups, Romanian deadlifts, the overhead press, the bench press and power cleans pretty much cover all the major upper and lower body muscles. Throw in a few isolation movements, particularly for the core and rotator cuffs, to avoid muscular imbalances and you can be in and out of the gym quickly, while getting great results.
Training the entire body each session instead of splitting things up will speed up progress
After an intense training bout the muscles will keep growing for another 24-48 hours, which means that you can afford to hit the same muscle about three times a week to ensure optimal growth. Training more frequently and focusing on several key movement patterns allows your body to become comfortable with the movements, to where you can do them without thinking too much about positioning and balance. It’s the same principle as learning any physical skill, be it a sport or a martial art. A full body workout around three times a week also allows you to cover all your bases, and makes it easy to reschedule workouts. They can take up to 90 minutes, which helps you burn a few more calories as well.
Warming up, foam rolling, cooling down and stretching ensure a balanced physique and prevent injuries
Athletes make sure to properly prepare their body for each workout, and to slowly relax it after training. This not only prevents injuries and helps you get the most out of your training for the day, but it also drastically improves posture and helps you burn a few more calories. If you want to stand tall and move like a panther, which is essential for pulling of a stylish alpha male look, then a balanced routine with an additional 20 minutes devoted to warming up before and stretching after workouts is a must.
Being able to move and carry a load for extended periods of time is a great advantage
You will see a lot of gym rats go for a quick five minute spin on the stationary bike, do a few arm circles and hit the weights. They will do a few supersets and think that they have their cardio work covered. However, for optimal health and enhanced performance in other daily activities, you need to work on both anaerobic and aerobic training. This means that you should have days where you train for explosiveness and short bursts of maximal effort, e.g. box jumps and sprints, and days where you go for endurance, e.g. running a mile at a steady pace or carrying a moderate load over a certain distance. Improving cardio will give you more energy, and help you perform better both in the field and in the bed, which is an incredible confidence boost.
A true alpha male is a gentleman who prides himself in having class and a unique style, but he also feels comfortable in his own skin and takes on a role of a problem solver and protector. Confidence comes from physical prowess, not merely looking nice without a t-shirt. Since athletes manage to sculpt exceptional bodies through training, without ever thinking of aesthetics as a primary goal, it’s easy to see how focusing on performance can help you develop both the mental and physical traits of a competent alpha male.