This is the fourth post in a four-part series on The Four Foundations of Masculinity.
The fourth foundation is Fitness.
The three other Foundations of Masculinity dealt with topics outside of ourselves: Faith, Family, and Fraternity. The foundation of fitness deals directly with our self. In fact, our physical self, our bodies.
Fitness is a foundation of masculinity because it IS masculinity. Masculinity is strength, power, and control. In order to live up to the masculine standards in other areas of our lives, we must be fit physically.
How can we properly protect and provide for our families if we’re physically unable to?
There are three specific things that fitness provides a man.
The first is the obvious one, health.
Staying physically fit is essential to our overall health and wellness. Regular exercise reduces the risk for a plethora of diseases and helps maintain our immune system to ward off infection. I don’t need to go into all the details of why fitness is healthy. You know why. You’ve been taught it since you were a kid in elementary school.
But here’s the problem. You don’t do it! You still sit in a chair all day at work, sit in your car on your commute home, then sit on your couch all evening eating terrible food and being lazy.
We all know this processed, chemical-ridden food is terrible for us, but we gobble it down anyway. We all know we need to get active and move our bodies, but we’d rather sit on the couch binge-watching our favorite Netflix show while we drink beer and eat chips.
Men must have control over their health. How can we be the provider, protector, and pastor of our family if we’re too sick to lead? Even worse, what kind of an example are we setting for our families if we make terrible health decisions?
Start tracking your calories. I know it’s a pain. Do it anyway. It’s actually fairly easy now with all the apps available like MyFitnessPal. You’ll soon realize how many worthless calories you’re eating, and drinking.
Start eating cleaner. Avoid all the processed foods with 200 ingredients you can’t pronounce. Stick to the basics. Eat your lean meat and vegetables. It’s not hard people. If you can’t be disciplined enough to eat right, how will you be disciplined in other areas of your life?
Fitness makes a healthy man. A healthy man can provide for his family.
Second, fitness provides a man with strength.
Men must be strong. When you picture a masculine man in your mind, he’s not some skinny wet noodle. He’s a strong, muscular, and confident man with broad shoulders.
Men need to be strong to protect their families. We are not that far removed from a time when men needed to be able to physically protect their families. And only a thin illusion of security protects us from that now.
How are you going to protect your family if you’re not physically strong? You might say, “I got my guns to protect my family.” While I’m an avid support of second amendment rights, that’s not enough. You need to be able to protect your family with nothing but your body. Get strong, get fit, and be sure you can protect what’s yours.
A strong man is a confident man. He stands taller. He sticks his chest out. He knows he’s capable of doing what he needs to do. It makes him more confident in the workplace, more confident romantically, and it improves his style and fashion as well.
If you’re not doing so already, start lifting weights. Cardio isn’t enough and is only a part of overall fitness. Strength training will help you build muscle while losing weight. So many people lose momentum in their fitness goals because they get bored doing nothing but running on the treadmill or riding an exercise bike. Pick up some dumbbells and start slinging iron! Lifting does so much for your physical fitness as well as mental fitness.
Want to be a strong man? Get to work training your body.
Men are the backbone of society. They’re the rock on which their family is built. In order to be the men we need to be, we must be strong.
Lastly, fitness provides a release for man’s primal nature.
Men are inherently violent. That’s not a bad thing. Modern society thinks it is unnecessary for men to be violent. I couldn’t disagree more. Men are wired with aggression. Men are designed to be violent.
We have repressed that innate violence so much in our society that it comes out in unnatural ways like abuse. If men only had a proper and healthy way to release the tension that naturally lives within them, we would have a lot less “bad” violence in our society.
Fitness gives man the arena to release that tension within him. It provides a healthy avenue for the release of stress and anxiety.
Men are made to be warriors. We were designed for battle. We need a battle to fight. The world has evolved so that men no longer need to be warriors to simply survive, but we do need a battle to fight. Fitness gives us that physical “battle” that our bodies and our instincts crave.
Men need to be capable of violence. If you’re not capable of violence, you’re not peaceful, you’re harmless.
Fitness provides men with a release of physical tension that is essential to his masculinity.
Fitness is a foundation of masculinity because a man’s body is the foundation for his life. We live our lives through our physical bodies. If our bodies are not in great shape, what shape will the rest of our lives look like?
Getting your fitness where it should be will help in so many other areas. It will improve your health and your strength. It will increase your confidence and determination. Being physically fit helps with mood and wards off depression and anxiety.
The Bible describes our bodies as a Temple. Our bodies are made in the image of God. God blessed us with these bodies as vessels for our souls here on earth. Our bodies are not our own, they’re His. Therefore, caring for our bodies is an act of worship towards God. Paul tells us we should use our bodies as “living sacrifices” for worship.
Fitness is not just important for our physical lives here on earth, it’s an act of worship for preparation for our spiritual lives in eternity.
A good man makes fitness a priority in his life. He knows physical fitness will lead to emotional fitness, mental fitness, and spiritual fitness. It will provide him with health, strength, and release.
Fitness is the fourth and final Foundation of Masculinity.
I hope you enjoyed this series on the Four Foundations of Masculinity. I certainly enjoyed writing it. These four foundations are areas of our lives that we must have under control in order to thrive as men and live the lives we are called to be.
A man who has a strong faith, a loving family, close fraternity, and practices fitness is man who has a firm foundation on which to live his life.
Faith, Family, Fraternity, and Fitness are the Four Foundations of Masculinity.