This is the first in a series of posts that will relate to masculinity. They will cover how it should be defined and how to become the man you are meant to be. These articles will also direct you to resources that will aid you on your journey to becoming the man you are meant to be. In this first article, we are going to cover fragile masculinity. In today’s society there is no question that manlinessmasculinity and being a man are under fire. Everywhere you look you see arguments about gender roles, “toxic masculinity and fragile masculinity. Society labels you a chauvinist if you support masculinity in any form. That means that there is no proper guidance to becoming a man in today’s world. This has contributed to a so-called phenomenon called fragile masculinity. Many males of today do not know what it means to be a man. They feel anxiety and pressure that they aren’t living up to whatever they believe to be the standard of manliness. This standard of manliness has changed over time based on the needs of society. In times of war, we needed strong and courageous men to protect the ones at home. In times of peace and prosperity, we needed providers. Society shuts down the need for a standard of manliness in today’s world. They say that manliness and masculinity are dangerous and threaten it. That deems manliness an “offensive” topic in society so people now avoid it. With that in mind, this creates an overwhelming sense of confusion for young males. It weakens their sense of being manly and instills a feeling of fragile masculinity. Or worse, it creates a complete rejection of it. We do not have masculine figures to pass on a sense of what it is to be a man. We have a society that shuts down the idea of it. Now there are so many young males who do not have the motivation to become men. Building strength and becoming more capable can help you define what it is to be a man within yourself. We are going to talk about manliness, masculinity and how building strength will help define who you are. Strength gives you direction and the ability to become a man.

What is Fragile Masculinity?

fragile masculinity Fragile masculinity is the insecurity of a person’s level of manliness. This stems to feeling a need to prove their manliness through stereotypical manly “actions” like aggression. It is the pressure young boys/males feel when they desire to be a man but feel that they aren’t one. I read articles that connected fragile masculinity to political parties, “toxic masculinity” and how manly characteristics are dangerous to society. Their arguments stated that males with fragile masculinity went out into the world, got into fights and treated women horribly. While, there are certainly guys (and women) that behave that way, I do not feel that it represents most people. Fragile masculinity arises from an internal conflict with oneself. It happens when the individual feels that they are not sufficiently meeting what it means to be a man. Males are further confused and left even more insecure because society is trying to change what a man is. This part of society has downright targeted masculinity as a societal problem. Males dealing with fragile masculinity is valid because I know it exists. It just might not exactly be the problem that experts have deemed it to be. Perhaps, it is just the natural drive to become a man in the first place and these aspiring men just have no direction. Young boys wanting to prove themselves as men was obviously what made some of the strongest men in history. There is a difference between the great men of history and males now. The amount of guidance toward manhood is not as prevalent as in the past. Additionally, support for masculine men in our society is not what it once was. That is the difference. Not knowing what “kind of man” you should become can create even more confusion and insecurity in itself. Especially if you listen to the mainstream line of thinking on men and masculinity in the world. So, what does it mean to be a man?

What Does It Mean To Be A Man?

partying is bad for recovery Societies have spent a lot of time contemplating and developing what it means to be a man. For thousands of years, men around the world had rites of passages that initiated them into manhood. The elders taught young males to ensure that they properly learned the duties of a man. After they achieved manhood, it was a lifelong endeavor to practice and pass on to the next generation. However, when we come to today’s society, we’ve turned our backs on the idea of this tradition. We’ve stopped encouraging manhood and some of society has even deemed it a problem. We no longer celebrate rites of passage into manhood. So many books and speeches on the topics of manliness and manhood have ceased. Manliness mentors have disappeared and the father figure is dwindling. Our society refuses to offer any concrete ideals about being a man because it is “offensive” and “exclusive”. So, as a whole we let our young boys create their own idea of manhood. Society has begun to skew the gender roles and what the genders are in itself. This leaves them left alone to figure out what it all means on their own. Furthermore, without any clear guidance on what it means to be man, “fragile masculinity” will arise. We have so many young males today stuck between adolescence and adulthood without any direction or drive. That is the result when you don’t contemplate manhood and put masculinity in the crosshairs. Ultimately, what it means to be a man can be up to you. Although, for the masses that has seemed to create confusion and insecurity on some level. We can all look to the past for guidance toward manhood if you cannot find it in your own life. Many cultures practiced, celebrated and relied on masculinity and manliness to survive.

We Can Learn How to Get Rid of Fragile Masculinity From Past Cultures

strength Look at the most prominent cultures throughout history. We can see that manhood meant a lot to them and we can apply their values in our own lives. For many of the ancient Greeks, manliness meant living a life filled with “human flourishing,” or excellence. They believed that man’s purpose was to take actions that would lead to excellence in every aspect of their lives. Manliness meant being the best man you could be in all areas of life to the Greeks. For the ancient Romans, manliness meant living a life of virtue. The word “virtue” comes from the Latin word virtus. It meant manliness, valor, excellence, courage and masculine strength. A man had to cultivate those virtues and others like temperance and dutifulness to be manly. Therefore, the ancient Romans believed manliness meant living a life of virtue. Look at what was Spartan culture and their brutal rites of passage. Their young boys became some of history’s strongest men and the most feared warriors in history. They believed in duty, honor, loyalty, service and sacrifice and engrained those values into their adolescents. The Spartan’s built their entire way of life around manhood and they focused on handing it down to their future generations. I value many of the characteristics of these cultures of manhood. I take some of their ideas and apply those characteristics and values in my own life. Some of these values are:
  • Strength
  • Capability/Excellence
  • Honor
  • Courage
  • Selflessness
  • Love
  • Will
  • Discipline
  • Resiliency
  • And self-reliance
This is only an abbreviated list of the values I hold to myself. Although the primary value I focus on with this site is, by no surprise, strength. We can use the cultures of the past to form an appropriate sense of masculinity in our own lives. You will eradicate fragile masculinity from your life once you know what your target is. When you know where you need to be, it can be much easier to get there. We have thought about what being a man is, but how do we get there?

Getting Rid of Fragile Masculinity and Becoming A Man In Your Own Eyes

Mental and Emotional Strength On the topic of attaining manhood, masculinity and manliness, there are some mindsets that males in general have. An argument against masculinity is that it is bad and dangerous to society. That masculine men do more harm than good. We are not even going to dignify that with a response. Some males believe that you are born a man and will grow into manhood without any effort to become a “real” man. Although that may have been a valid notion in the past, I don’t believe that is true. Especially not in today’s society. Lastly, I believe in the idea that you need to train yourself to become a real man. You can do this by taking action and developing masculine traits in yourself to reach what manhood means to you. You may be born a male but that does not mean you are by default a man. If you want to become a man, then it must be learned, proven and then maintained. The cultures of the past also believed this. The most important thing our ancestors understood is that humans will take the path of least resistance without any guidance or drive. It is no surprised that we have thousands of males in society who are stuck between childhood and manhood. The path to manhood, and going through life in general, is a constant battle. It is like climbing a mountain. You need guidance and motivation to keep climbing toward the top. Otherwise, you will just fall to the bottom and that is where you will stay. You have to try to drop the things that weigh you down. You also must be sure you have the fuel to climb the mountain most efficiently. Making decisions that weigh you down will eventually drag you back to the bottom. At the very least they will slow your climb exponentially. Instead, we should strive to fuel our climb to the top and speed up the progression toward self-satisfaction and manhood. In the process you will benefit the ones you love greatly. We can fuel this drive by studying manliness and what it means to be a man. There are many groups and websites have joined the cause, or fight, for manhood, masculinity and manliness. We can also use methods that our ancestors used to transform boys into men. Cultures throughout history have spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be a man. They had a form of fragile masculinity. However, they knew the importance of turning boys into the men they needed in their society. Many cultures did this through rites of passage and you can/should use this for yourself as well.

Rites Of Passage

In the past, young boys around the world had rites of passages that initiated them into manhood. Experienced men oversaw the rites of passage. Furthermore, once boys became men, maintaining their manhood was a lifelong task. In the modern day, we have turned our back on these traditions. We stopped worrying about what it means to be a man and are even downright attacking it. We no longer celebrate rites of passage into manhood in society as a whole. Instead, we let boys create their own idea of manhood. Society expects them to figure out what it means to be a man on their own. Which led us to where we are now, discussing fragile masculinity. An example of a rite of passage in ancient history is the Spartan Agoge. All Spartan boys were taken from their homes at 7 years of age to begin training to become warriors and become men. They participated in training that was physical in nature and social in nature. They learned to fight, cooperate, sing, dance, and how to fit into their society. The Spartan’s way of raising men may be excessive in today’s views. There are also many other rites of passage that were used throughout history. But what is a rite of passage?

What Is A Rite of Passage?

vasily koloda 8CqDvPuo kI unsplash There are three phases that go into a proper rite of passage:
  1. Separation: You must remove yourself from your current life in some sense for the first phase. Examples of this are when an recruit enlists in the military or joins law enforcement. The recruit gets sent away to boot camp or an academy away from is former life. The recruit is stripped of his possessions, shaves his head, and must wear a uniform. During the separation phase, his old self is removed as he prepares to create a new identity.
  2. Transition: During the transition phase he is fully removed from his old life but is not prepared for his new life. He is still being trained, tested and molded to become ready. In tribal communities, the boys are taught what it means to be a man and the duties of being one. In law enforcement or the military, recruits are broken down to become soldiers and protectors. They are broken down to be rebuilt into the new man they are to become.
  3. Re-Introduction: Finally, the last phase is about being re-introduced to the world as a new man. There is usually a ceremony involved where members of the community and family attend to acknowledge the new man’s achievements. During all of the phases, the man is guided by others who have already done it themselves. They pass on their knowledge and experience.
Going away to college is probably the most common rite of passage in our society. Young adults pack up and go to college and, sometimes, graduate a new person. In my eyes it has lost it’s effectiveness on creating better men, although it serves its purpose. Once all of these phases are complete, the rite of passage is done and you should have learned a lot. Enough to become a new man or a man for the first time. Becoming a man is not an overnight change however. It must be continually practiced, built and reflected upon. Seeking out a form of a rite of passage for yourself can be a great experience for you. It will bring you closer to becoming a man. You will overcome the feelings of doubt or insecurity that has been labeled fragile masculinity. It is also a great way to help your sons begin the process to become the men they are meant to be. It can be a lifelong memory that they have to keep them on track to being the best man they can be as well.

Taking Part In or Creating A Rite of Passage

rite of passage for fragile masculinity We can seek out rites of passages to participate in to help us become the men we strive to be. We can even create one for ourselves or the ones we love like our sons. You can create one for yourself if you feel like you need to complete a rite of passage. It may take some self-motivation and drive to make it happen but it is do-able. You can even add to the sense of accomplishment and development of your idea of manhood. Make a list of your goals and ideals and go out and put yourself to the test in some way. When you come back, make a point that you are a changed man and will act on everything you learned. This will be hard for most guys. You could also join an event like a marathon, Spartan Race or something similar. You could compete in a sport or hobby to be the framework of your rite of passage. I’ll talk about this more toward the end of the article. Even planning an expedition of some sort, like climbing Mt. Everest, could be a rite of passage. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Just be sure that the primarily objective is for you to grow and become a new man. In addition, some careers have a rite of passage that is required to begin. We have already mentioned the military and law enforcement. When you start your career, you are required to go to a boot camp or a law enforcement academy. Both of these are incredible rites of passage and will help you grow tremendously. Another example is that firefighters and some paramedics have a form of academy that is similar in nature. When I worked in law enforcement, I went through this rite of passage by going to a law enforcement academy. I shaved my head, was screamed at and was broken down physically and mentally. I furthered the results for myself by exaggerating the process for me in my mind. It allowed me to grow more than if I just went through the motions without the intent to become better. Although I no longer work in that field, all the principles from the experience still resonate with me today. They help me become a stronger and more capable man every day. That rite of passage rid me of any insecurities I had that could be viewed as fragile masculinity. In other words, the experience brought me exponentially closer to the view manliness that I have for myself. What if you can’t really go on a rite of passage? If you can’t make that work then read on.

Why Building Physical Strength Will Help You Become A Man and Destroy Fragile Masculinity

bench press Whether you have completed a rite of passage, created one for yourself or do not care about one, getting into fitness WILL help you become a better person. In many ways building up my physical strength helped me become a better man. I have learned a lot from consistently trying to get stronger and change my body. Many of the traits that define what being a man is, are required to make any consistent progress in the weight room. Traits like discipline, grit, resiliency, strength and drive are required in the gym and to become a man. Even if you don’t think of it in terms of “becoming a man”, there is no doubt that it will help you become a better version of yourself. Why do this? Why should I become stronger if I want to get rid of fragile masculinity and be the best man I can be? The answer to this is because no matter where you look, being physically and mentally strong is the basis of what a man is. I’m not saying that every meathead you see is a real man. I am saying that going through the process of becoming stronger will help develop and practice traits that are associated with manhood and manliness. You can learn many valuable lessons by beginning a training regimen. Some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years are:
  • Commitment and dedication are key to anything you are passionate about.
  • Hard work pays off.
  • You can’t fake real results.
  • When things get tough and you push yourself, results will come.
  • Patience is paramount
  • Trusting the process, even when you don’t see results immediately.
  • Seeking knowledge can go a long way.
  • Your ego can get you hurt.
  • Finding out what you’re made of can be motivating one day AND disheartening another.
  • The long term is what matters.
  • And many more!
These are some of the life lessons that my fitness journey has taught me. You can learn so much by getting under that bar and going for it! You can see that many masculine blogs/podcasts like The Order of Man, The Art of Manliness and others also prize physical strength and the process of building it. It is because strength in all aspects is part of the foundation of being a man.

Where To Start?

Now that you are hooked, you want to start your fitness journey. That’s great! Or maybe you just want to refresh the one you’re on. That’s great too! But where do you start? You need to at least try to get your nutrition in check to get the best results from any training you do. That’s why I address it first.

Nutrition Is What Fuels A Man

meal planning Most online article only talk about training programs and just mention nutrition. I am going to mention it first and foremost because you WILL see the best results in your strength when your diet is set up properly. You will also feel a lot better when you eat whole foods that are unprocessed. Your nutrition will be different depending on the goals that you are after. The method that I use and recommend is counting your calories and macronutrients, also known as IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) diet. If you are into paleo, keto, vegan or anything like that, you can adjust it accordingly. In order to find out your caloric amounts you can use an online calculator, or you can read our article on proper nutrition. It will guide you through the process to getting your diet dialed in for your personal goals. The three approaches you can take with your diet will depend on your goals:
  • Eating in a caloric deficit will help you lose fat.
  • A caloric surplus will help you gain muscle and strength.
  • Eating the same number of calories that you burn off every day will maintain your current weight.
You can use these each of phases to gain weight and mass, lose fat and change your body composition. That being said, your nutrition and the amount you eat will dictate how fast your progress will be toward your goals. If you want to learn more about how to use a caloric surplus or deficit, or need to find out how many calories/macros you need, then you can read that article here.

Destroy Fragile Masculinity With Proven Strength Building Plans

“The best way that I know to help make you a better man and to FEEL like one is to lift heavy weights and build your size and strength and therefore, your confidence. Strength training has been a huge contributor to the man I have become today.”
The best way that I know to help make you a better man and to FEEL like one is to lift heavy weights and build your size and strength and therefore, your confidence. Strength training has been a huge contributor to the man I have become today. The benefits to becoming a stronger man are vast. You will enjoy your life so much more. Some of the benefits are:
  • Increased strength/capability
  • Better movement
  • Pain free joints
  • More sleep
  • Look more attractive
  • More sex
  • Higher confidence
  • And so many more!
There are so many benefits to getting stronger that I cannot recommend it enough. Read on to find out where you can start!

Starting Strength

Starting Strength is an extremely popular program designed by Mark Rippetoe. It is considered the got-to program for beginning lifters who need to rapidly build strength and add size to their frame. I highly recommend you check out the book to learn the proper form on the exercises you will be doing. Training can be dangerous if the exercises are not done properly and trust me, nothing is worse than having to stop training because of an injury. The workouts in Starting Strength are actually very simple but not easy. They rely on the most effective compound exercises and the focus of the program is achieving the biggest possible lifts by the end of it. There are two workouts, Workouts A and B. You will do heavy compound lifts each day. The squat, bench press and deadlift are key exercises. You start with Workout A on your first lifting day of the week, then rest a day and do Workout B. Rest a day, then back to Workout A and at the end of the week you take two rest days. Here is an example of a week laid out:
  • Monday: Workout A
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Workout B
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Workout A
  • Saturday/Sunday: Rest
Once you finish your first week you begin the next week, after your two day/weekend rest, with the alternate workout. So you would do Workout B the following Monday after completing the first week. Check out the book to get the full program! You can preview it in the picture above. If you want to learn more about this program you can read our guide to building strength!

Wendler’s 5/3/1

Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 system is a powerlifting and strength building training routine. The program is one of the most popular strength programs out there because it’s easy to understand, it gets results, it doesn’t require any special equipment, and the workouts are relatively short. A mesocycle of Wendler’s 5/3/1 lasts 4 weeks if you train 4 days per week, and 5+ weeks if you train 3 days per week. If you work out, say Monday/Wednesday/Friday, you will rotate between the 4 core workouts. If you work out 4 days per week, you will hit each workout once a week on the same training day. Wendler’s 5/3/1 consists of 4 core workouts:
  • Workout A. Squat and assistance work.
  • Workout B. Bench Press and assistance work.
  • Workout C. Deadlift and assistance work.
  • Workout D. Overhead Press and assistance work
If you run Wendler’s 5/3/1 for a year, this progression pattern can add 50 pounds to your bench and overhead press, and 100 pounds to your squat and deadlift. I highly recommend you grab Wendler’s 5/3/1 book if you plan on doing this program. You can preview it by clicking the picture above. Although, if you want to learn more our guide to building strength further elaborates the program.

The Juggernaut Method

The Juggernaut Method has become popular among elite strength athletes and is known for its ability to turn average guys into incredible performers. It was developed by Chad Wesley Smith of Juggernaut Training Systems, it is a combination of several sources: Jim Wendler’s famed 5/3/1, the training style of Doug Young, who was a legendary powerlifter who held multiple world titles throughout the 1970s, and simple block periodization. If you are an athlete looking to get big, strong, fast, and powerful—the Juggernaut Method Training Program was literally designed specifically for you. I am currently training under Juggernaut AI, and it has been a serious game changer for me. Describing The Juggernaut Method in this short article will not give it justice so I highly recommend reading the book. You can also preview it by clicking the picture above. It will go so much more into detail about the training and is a good read. I also recommend our guide to building strength if you want to learn more. These are some proven programs that have brought serious results to thousands of people aiming to get bigger and stronger. I have used many of these programs in my strength training journey. These are not the only programs you can try either. They are just a great starting point. Our guide to building strength has more strength training/powerlifting programs that you can get more details on if you want to give them a try.

Wrapping It Up

muscle soreness recovery and muscle growth Fragile masculinity is a relatively new term that labels guys with a loose grasp on their own manliness. You can probably tell from reading this that I don’t necessarily agree with it. I believe that fragile masculinity is actually a part of a young male’s own drive to become the man that he is supposed to be. If an older male feels this way, then he may have never received the assurance that he is a man. On the other hand, others may have never earned being called a man in the first place. The world is not what it once was. There is a lot less direction for modern generations and I hope that this article and website helps some find their way. That is my goal. What it means to be a man in today’s world will vary greatly from person to person and is up for debate. Striving for pure excellency in yourself and your life is surely among what it means to be a man for many. Building the strength and capability to forever chase this excellency is my mission. I aim to do this for myself, for my loved ones and for anyone reading this. If you start to build your physical strength, and fully commit to the process for the long term, it will teach you values of a strong man. I promise you. Striving for excellence and virtue in all areas of your life sums what we feel a man should be in a few words. Being the absolute best leader, brother, son, friend, husband and father, you can be is at the top of our values. No matter what you feel manliness is, you can apply these values to better yourself and your loved ones. If you would please follow us on our social media accounts! I’m most active on Instagram. Leave a comment below and tell me what you thought of this post! Also, don’t forget to subscribe with your email to stay up to date on the latest articles! You will also receive a downloadable FREE 7-day training routine that you can try!

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