Quickly, I’m still working on the full nutrition article that’ll help you create your Man Diet Approved meal plan to cut fat, increase testosterone in men, and gain muscle, so I should have that for you by tomorrow.
Why is sleep important?
Every extra hour of sleep you get up until 8 hours helps you see a jump in testosterone of about 15%.
Think about that…
Your T levels will increase by 60% if you get 8 hours of sleep vs 4 hours of sleep.
Cortisol – along with estrogen – is one of the biggest obstacles you face in trying to create optimal testosterone levels. Sleep helps you dramatically lower your cortisol levels.
On top of that, we produce the vast majority of our testosterone levels when we sleep (primarily in REM sleep, or ‘deep sleep’).
So how do you get more REM sleep?
Well, I’m the perfect guy to write this email because for YEARS I suffered from insomnia. I’ve visited dozens of sleep doctors, tried nearly everything, and over the years I’ve created routines, habits, even diets that have helped me get great sleeps.
So, here’s what I’ve come up with thus far that has helped me sleep from years of research but also a ton of trial and error.
How to Get an EPIC Sleep (Routine)
1. Coffee in the morning.
Coffee is awesome, it helps with energy levels, clarity, and focus. It tastes great. 2 cups before a workout helps increase testosterone levels during said workout. It also increases cortisol levels, which isn’t bad while we work, and that helps us lower our cortisol levels later in the evening.
When your body works to lower your cortisol levels, it increases melatonin, which helps us sleep.
2. Morning workout.
A few studies have shown that training in the morning helps you sleep. So, I’ve been training in the morning for a while now, and it helps.
Compared to not-exercising at all, working out will help you sleep no matter when you do it, but the effect of a workout in the morning is greater than afternoon or evening.
3. Your last meal.
I consume a hefty amount of carbs in my last meal – which occurs at round 5 or 6. Carbs help lower cortisol levels, which helps us relax, be calm, and get sleepy. It isn’t immediate, but a few hours after that last meal I’m fading.
I take ZMA (zinc, magnesium) an hour before bed, along with ashwagandha.
It lowers cortisol by 27%, which is a lot. That final cortisol reduction really helps with sleep quantity and quantity, which is one of the main reasons why I created VIKING. I’m a fan of ashwagandha, and with VIKING we give you an overdose (which is good).
5. Brain dump/reflection.
At the end of every work day I reflect on the work done, set up the next day, write something I’m grateful for, and close the book on that work day.
If I don’t do this, my mind races, I don’t reflect on the day so I’m continually thinking about what I should’ve done or have to do tomorrow. This is vital.
Every evening (mostly every evening) I’ll throw on an episode of the Office or Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm, and laugh.
I love to laugh. I need it. Does it help me sleep? I think so. Watching the news has the opposite effect, and actually so does reading a good book.
At night, when we’re tired, we’re irrational. The logical part of our brain doesn’t work the same. So thinking about deep, important topics isn’t advised.
Laughing, again, lowers cortisol, which helps you relax, produce more melatonin, and sleep better.
Give that little list a shot.
The sleep QUALITY is important. Not just the quantity, so lowering your cortisol levels at night is vital.
The Magic of Thinking Big and Overcoming Fears. The magic of thinking big is that it’s something anyone and everyone should do. You can think however you want to think, on whatever scope you want to think on, in any manner, so what not thinking daring thoughts, aim higher, and think bigger? (Read: How to Set Massive Goals and Achieve Them)
The Aim Is Everything
We’re limited by our own perception of what we can achieve. We limit ourselves for a few reasons:
We don’t think we can actually do something, we lack confidence because we haven’t done it yet. But just because something hasn’t been done doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. And if we’re willing to do the work and persist, success becomes very likely, not unlikely.
I’ve faced this in my own business, by curbing my aims to suit what I know I can achieve. Or at least I found that in the past. When I think bigger and actually plan to achieve it, I get far more motivated and do a heck of a lot more work than I would if I set a goal that’s easy to achieve, even if, deep down, I didn’t think I could do it or that it would be as good as I wanted it to be.
Example: I really didn’t think I could write a good book that guys would like, apply, and would impact their lives. I have two such books, and wrote two books within a year.
We see the work that’s involved in the bigger goal, in the more daring dream, and we don’t think we’re up to it. That’s laziness. Of course if you’re not willing to do the work you won’t live the life. Bigger goals, however, have magic behind them. When you aim higher you get far more energy from thinking big than you do from thinking small.
If you’re a hard worker – and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be, everyone should be a hard worker because everyone can be a hard worker – why would you not put those efforts to something that excites you and something worth doing? (Read: Yes, Be Hard on Yourself)
Why Think Small?
If you can think big, why would you think small? If you can work hard, why would you be lazy? Thinking small will get you small things. It will not get you the life you want. If you can’t conceive it, you won’t achieve it. You have to, on some level, be able to conceive something great, grand, and daring, and you can. You dream, don’t you?
Those dreams aren’t lies. That’s your ambition. Listen to it. Give it sustenance, air to breathe, energy, focus. Write them down. Put them on paper. Make them directions that you point your life in, and then get working on doing the things that will make them a reality.
Aim High and Be Aggressive
When some aim high they get timid. They think they don’t belong so they act like they don’t belong. This is tragic because it’s a choice. When you set your mind on something, meet that goal with aggression. Aggression is the antidote to fear, it’s something that few use.
The hunter is aggressive. The prey is fearful. If you’re pursuing a goal, you’re a hunter. Act like a hunter!
Archetypes and ideals are important. They’re proof that it can be done. History is filled with them. Conor McGregor is a great example of a guy who was on welfare, put the time and effort in to become great, and became great. He first thought it, then did the work to create it.
He’s failed time and time again, but his life is pointed in a great, grand direction. He’s seen the magic of thinking big.
Why wouldn’t you do the same?
If you want other examples, look into Captain James Cook and Napoleon Bonaparte, two men born into nothing when success was something you were born into.
To be a better man is a constant and never-ending quest. To be a better man isn’t just a goal, but a duty. There’s this idea that our life is ours and we can live it however we want to live it that leads some to think that laziness is a right, that mediocrity and minimal effort is something that they can aspire for if they so choose.
The fallacy in this belief has nothing to do with what it will get the individual who believes it – though it will bring a lack of happiness, meaning, and purpose, and a lack of self-respect and confidence – but with the fact that our life is not just ours, but in part, those who’ve allowed us to have such a life, one filled with opportunity that we don’t necessarily deserve.
Think of your life not just as your own, but as the latest line in generations. There’s your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and your other ancestors. For you to live, at some point, people made sacrifices. Your parents made many, but so did your ancestors. To survive as a human 5,000 years ago meant you had to be strong, courageous, and formidable. The weak would die, they would not procreate because they couldn’t protect.
You’re also a part of a society. If the Second World War had been lost, we would not be free. We would be speaking German or Japanese. It’s an easy example of men you don’t know sacrificing their lives so that you could live yours, whether you know it or they knew it at the time.
Your life is owed, it’s a gift. Thus, the gift must be repaid by not remaining as you are born, but improving, growing, evolving, and giving.
To be a better man is not just a goal, but a duty, and one that every man has to fulfill every day.
As man, you’re going to have a lot of weight on your shoulders. You’re the guy others look to for support, be it emotional, financial, or physical. That’s what being a man is. It’s about taking on more weight, not pushing it to someone else.
This is tough, it’s difficult, but it is what it is, it is who you are, there’s no escaping it. It’s this reason why your improvement as a man in many different areas is so important. The stronger you are, the more you can carry.
Be better at being a man.
There’s being a good man and being good at being a man. Being good at being a man speaks more to the basic reasons for men, the providers and protectors. You’re the fella at the city gates fighting and protecting those within the city. They may not know that you’re fighting for them, and that’s the goal. You should be working so hard, fighting so hard, that they’re free to live how they want to live, without the stress, worry, and fear that you take upon your shoulders.
On a basic level, this means you at least need the capacity to fight, protect, and provide. Get better at being dangerous. We need more good men who are dangerous, the bad ones will always train to develop that capacity.
Men need to be strong. If you think about the differences between men and women, our testosterone levels are important. For women, 70ng/dl is good, even high. For men, 1192ng/dl is high. That massive difference in testosterone means we’re going to be able to get stronger than women can.
Thus, it’s a duty to do so. It means you’re going to be more helpful, both when it comes to combat and even fixing and lifting things around the house. There’s nothing more useless than a weak man.
Get good at fighting.
You may never have to fight, but you better be good at it in case. Not only will being good at fighting enable to you help those who need it and can’t fight themselves, but it’ll give you a quiet confidence that comes when you know you can handle yourself in any situation.
Reflection is a necessity. Keeping a journal, writing thoughts, making sure you’re going in the right direction rather than in just any direction, is vital. Spend 30 minutes a day at the end of the day in reflection. Were you good? Did you work hard? Did you live well? Did you focus on what you can control and not on what you can’t?
Reflection is as important to growth and improvement as planning.
I’m sure they exist, but I haven’t met a successful, good, honorable man who doesn’t read. Usually the more voraciously they read, the better they are at whatever they do.
Read for pleasure, of course, but read to improve. Read the stoics, about business, about historical figures you admire and would like to emulate.
Great lives have been lived. You nor I have to rewrite the journey, it’s been done, all we have to do is work our asses off and emulate.
Do what you set out to do.
If we can simply do what we set out to do, we will live a great life. And I mean a GREAT life. Most people don’t actually do this. They set out to do a million things and maybe do one or two. Imagine if you actually did, finished, completed, everything you set out to do. That would be a life well lived.
Be great at something.
You’re not just here to be, you’re here to do, to achieve, to prove that you were here for a reason. The work you do is evidence of that reason. Don’t jump from thing to thing, sit down and choose one thing, and become great at it.
Do what you don’t feel like doing.
If you don’t feel like doing something it’s probably a good barometer for something that must be done. Don’t think your way out of doing it. Don’t push it off. If you don’t feel like doing something, just do it.
Be careful about what you watch and listen to.
Don’t fill your brain with crap. Read good books. Watch good shows. Don’t watch the filth or read the filth that’s dominant, rampant today. Frivolousness begets frivolousness. Fame, today, is not something earned or warranted. It’s not something to admire. Be careful about what gets your attention, because it influences who you are.
Do what you have to do to be at your best.
Your family, friends, and everyone else around you, benefit from you being at your best. Thus, create a schedule and a structure that helps you become your best. If I’m not following my schedule, I am not at my best.
I rise at 530am everyday. I read for 45 minutes to an hour. I head to the gym. I come back and I work 10-12 hours. I do that 5 days a week. The other day is a half work day. And the Seventh Day is for God, nature, and living. That’s how I’m at my best, and I learn the lesson over and over again, if I don’t create the structure, if I deviate and don’t take care of myself first, I fail those around me.
It’s like in the airplanes when they say you have to put your oxygen mask on first before you put your kid’s on. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you cannot take care of others.
Struggle more. Struggle well.
In Ray Dalio’s book, Principles, he notes that life is struggle. If you try to avoid the daily struggle of work and discipline, you will end up bringing more struggle into your life in the form of obesity, poverty, and just outright failure. If, however, you learn to adopt more daily struggle in the form of work and exercise and so forth, and you learn to struggle well, you’ll live a better life.
You have one life, why live it chasing things that don’t really matter to you or excite you? Excitement brings energy. It’s powerful. Be daring, don’t be timid. Face your fears with aggression, not with a timid step or a weak heart.
Don’t be a critic.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Do the best with what you have and where you are. Don’t wish you were somewhere else. You have the capacity and potential to create pretty much anything you want. Don’t complain.
On top of that, no one wants to be around a little bitch, or with a little bitch. Don’t be a little bitch.
Stoicism is not being a slave to your emotions. It’s understanding that you can react to an event however you want to. You hold the power. The event does not.
So much of the pain and sadness we have in our lives is because of how we react, not the actual thing that has happened. Be a man. Be stoic.
If you want to know how to be an alpha male, think of the best leaders in history, they know how to be an alpha male because they often led louder, bigger, more aggressive men into battle. Should you WANT to know how to be an alpha male?
Well, you do, and you may not understand why you do, but no matter what anyone tells you, you want it. It’s something deep in your soul that wants greatness, achievement, to build a legacy, to win and succeed on a scale that you’re not entirely sure is possible.
You call it ‘being an alpha male’, a leader, a winner, but you could call it being a success, being a man, living a great life. Regardless, you should want to know how to be an alpha male. You should want to know how to reach your potential. You should want to know how to be your best and to live your best life and to win and dominate life.
Just as the alpha male ape does what the alpha male ape does (read this article on how the alpha male ape has to maintain power), constantly trying to win and keep power, you have to do the same. It’s who you are. It’s what will make you think that you lived a great and good and meaningful life. So, yes, you should want to know how to be an alpha male, but most of the information out there come from those who are the opposite, who are loud, hiding and trying to cover up weakness rather than trying to win, succeed, and dominate life.
Their’s is arrogance, not confidence, and you cannot have the former if you want to be an alpha male, it just won’t work.
How to Be An Alpha Male
Don’t be loud, it shows weakness.
The line comes from American Gangster. The loudest one in the room is often the weakest. You can see this in confrontation a lot. Growing up, in my early twenties, I knew how to fight. Or I learned how to fight by taking up boxing, having some fights, doing well, improving in the sport, and so forth. Knowing how to fight made me quieter, more confident.
I knew I could handle myself. Noise and false bravado wasn’t necessary. I got into a couple fights with guys who didn’t know how to fight. They would be loud, aggressive, mean, rude, and think that their aggression would make someone else timid, and I’m sure it often did. But they didn’t know how to fight. Not well at least. So when the loudness didn’t work, and they were forced to fight, they’d get beat up, and they’d see that all of their bravado was a lie, the loudness was a cover up for the fact that they weren’t unable to succeed at what they were threatening to do; beat me up.
Confidence for men comes from achievement, from overcoming obstacles. It cannot be a lie or it won’t stand the test of time. You need to set big goals and achieve them if you want to be a true alpha, as do I. We won’t truly feel powerful unless we become powerful.
Set goals and work hard. Even the daily achievement of doing work well will give you confidence, a deep, true confidence that comes from achievement, not some hippie thought tricks or chants.
Again, true power and confidence is won by overcoming obstacles. Thus, you have to see the obstacles in your life, whatever they are, or how out of control they make you feel, as opportunities, not as curses. Do not wish for them to go away, that’s what losers do.
Instead, figure out how to struggle well, how to rise above and conquer the obstacle and gain the confidence that comes from winning.
Build a strong body that makes you dangerous.
Part of being an alpha is to be what men are bred to be, protectors. We need more good men who are dangerous than bad men. You also need a strong, powerful body to be able to withstand the life you’re aiming to live, hopefully one filled with daring and ambition.
Learn how to fight and shoot.
Learning how to fight, especially, will give you a deep, inner power and confidence that’s hard to explain. When you know you can handle yourself in any situation, you don’t feel the need to be loud or overly aggressive, you just take care of business.
Teddy’s massive, dogo argentino head is on my lap. He’s snoring loudly, so I have to turn the volume up on the TV. The movie that’s on is Darkest Hour, the brilliant film about Churchill’s insertion into the Prime Ministership during the conflict of the Second World War.
He wakes with a glass of scotch of his own, a cigar, champagne for lunch, and port and wine in the evening. He’s witty, crude, and sees there can be no peace with the evil that is the Nazi regime under the leadership of Adolph Hitler.
As western civilization stood on the brink of speaking German, we needed a man that would now be deemed as suffering from the affliction of ‘toxic masculinity’ at our healm. The truth is, what they’re (and by ‘they’ I primarily mean the APA, the American Psychological Association who came out with a report saying that masculinity is bad for those who are masculine) labeling as toxic, is actually quite good, even necessary, not only for the individual, but for the family (which is the most important institution of a free society), and for the society.
Of course, there was also the Gillette ad that some see as a call for men to be better, but others see as a company, or a group of social justice types, telling men that they’re what’s wrong with society. Of course, both men and women created the greatest and freest nations the world has ever seen, together, but heavily on the backs of men who built the roads and bridges, who fought the wars and built the homes.
I see it as the latter, as a company telling men that they’re the problem, that who they are is wrong, that the roughness and toughness is toxic, that their competitiveness is bad, is harmful to the fairer sex. Of course, they’re not separating the jerk from the man. They’re not exclaiming the truth, the fact that there are jerks in both sexes, but a jerk can only be stopped by a good man who has a greater capacity for danger.
This toxic masculinity, this toughness, brutality, and strength, is necessary in the hands of a good man. We need more good men with the capacity of danger than bad men with that same capacity.
On top of that, you will not tell a rapist not to rape and be successful. They’re evil, and telling them not to be evil isn’t a good defense or deterrent, it’s stupid. Yet, labeling all men as toxic is just as retarded, just as infantile.
The APA is where the real problem lies. Sure they’re a majority of feminist women who hate men. Sure they want more clients, more people with mental problems, not fewer. Yet they shape policy, they influence how we school our boys. Thus, let’s look at what they deem as toxic, and see that what they see as bad is actually good, is actually something that you should aspire to be not try to hide from or avoid or suppress or destroy.
From the APA:
“The main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole, harmful.”
They go on to say:
“For example, a 2011 study led by Kristen Springer, PhD, of Rutgers University, found that men with the strongest beliefs about masculinity were only half as likely as men with more moderate masculine beliefs to get preventive health care (Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Vol. 52, No. 2). And in 2007, researchers led by James Mahalik, PhD, of Boston College, found that the more men conformed to masculine norms, the more likely they were to consider as normal risky health behaviors such as heavy drinking, using tobacco and avoiding vegetables, and to engage in these risky behaviors themselves (Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 64, No. 11).”
It is silly that they think not seeking out health care for who knows what issues, and smoking cigars, avoiding vegetables, and engaging in risky behaviors is an enemy that demands destruction.
The real issue, however, is with the wonderful qualities they deem as being a part of ‘toxic masculinity’, an absurd statement and label.
They make a man want to be more toxic. It will mean more happiness, more success, more power, a better family life, and more achievement. It’s as if they want to mold losers, only to leave a society eventually undefended, unsuccessful, and dependent on others for its care.
If you’re a man, and society is telling you that being a man is toxic, then you have no choice but to be as toxic as you can possibly be.
The Best a Man Can Be
Let’s look at the virtues – because that’s what they are, they’re not things to avoid, but attributes to develop – and how to best develop them.
The dictionary defines stoicism, in part, as the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.
The whole purpose of life is to struggle well. The better you can struggle, the better your life will be. Life will not be devoid of struggle. Even the avoidance of struggle – ie. the avoidance of work or ambition or self-improvement – will bring upon even more struggle. You’ll be broke, fat, and useless.
Struggle is a constant. It’s the entirety of life. Those who struggle well, live well. Those who do not struggle well, live bad lives.
Competitiveness is both necessary for the individual and for society. Without competitiveness, we’d still be in caves. For the man, being competitive is how you improve, grow, and evolve, and how you make the lives for others around you better.
If you’re competitive, cultivate that competitiveness into success. It’s good to be successful. Some would say it’s necessary. It’s the act of inching closer to your potential.
From a hormonal standpoint, competition will create increases in testosterone, which is important. Men need testosterone as high testosterone levels lower your likelihood of experiencing depression, heart disease, certain cancers, and impotence.
If you want to learn more about testosterone and how to increase it naturally, pick up a free copy of my book, the Man Diet below:
On the surface, dominance seems harsh, it seems like a bad thing to dominate others. But victory, high performance, being elite can be seen as being dominant.
Michael Jordan was most certainly dominant. Is there anything better than seeing someone who’s truly great at what they do? Everyone should aspire for dominance in that light.
To dominate is to be the best at what you do, and why would someone aim to do anything if they’re not trying to be the best? That simply makes no sense. It doesn’t make sense to try, one must always give their all or there’s really no point in attempting whatever it is you’re trying to do.
That they deem dominance as a negative attribute, makes me think of this quote taken from Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Let them criticise, while you’re in the arena, amongst the blood and sweat, winning.
Surely aggression is bad? Unless, of course, you need it. To put it bluntly, if a bad guy is attacking someone, a good guy needs to be aggressive to defeat the bad guy. We need more good men who are more dangerous than the bad men.
Aggression is a beautiful virtue when used correctly, and it’s good men who use it correctly. We cannot have a society filled with soft, weak, good men. If good men are soft, the bad men dominate.
Aggression is also the antidote to fear. In your own life, when you face adversity or long odds, face those obstacles not with a timid, soft soul, but with aggression. Meet your enemies on the battlefield of life and don’t take a step backward.
Be aggressive. Be dangerous. And in the eyes of the APA and Gillette, by all means, be toxic.
If you want to develop the virtues above, and others, along with developing your body to be stronger, healthier, and improve your ability to be dangerous and deadly, learn more about the Barbarian Virtues course, along with the 12 Virtues of Manliness, and the Average 2 alpha Tribe: