How can I measure my manliness?

Lesson #1: Get your mind out of the gutter.

Lesson #2: “How can I measure my manliness?” What scale are you using?

To measure our manliness we need to first determine what measuring stick we will be using. There will be naysayers out there who will say, “You don’t need to measure nuthin’! You are a man, you don’t need to prove anything to anybody.”

Lesson #3: If you are feeling the need to explore what being a man might mean, you will need to stop listening to the naysayers. Because all they say is, “Nay.”

In the Bible it is written, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” ~ Genesis 2:15

So, “to work and take care of it,” requires strength. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Lets look at the obvious first – physical strength.

And because we all will have a different physical capacity we will use this phrase, “What can you do? Do what you can to improve upon that,” to temper our application of any testing, or measuring, we may do of our physical strength.

“A good map-reading lieutenant is worthless if he can’t do pull-ups.”

~ General Jim Mattis, former Secretary of Defense, Marine, from his book: CALL SIGN CHAOS

Pull ups are hard. When I embarked on my physical testing in 2016, weighing in at 202lbs. I couldn’t do a single pull-up.

I looked for a gauge, a measuring devise, to use to let myself know where I could, or should be, for my age.

I went to the experts in men building. The United States Marines.


We have all heard the stories of their legendary basic training phase. It is considered the hardest in all the branches and at 12 1/2 weeks is the longest of the basic training programs.

To gauge fitness they use a 3 mile run, timed depending on your age from 18 minutes to a max time of 33 minutes for the 45 and older marines; pull-ups, not timed but strict form must be used until you let go of the bar; and ab crunches with a 2 minute time limit.

Using a max score of 300 they can see where your functional strength falls.

The Marines do not care about your appearance. These are functional tests.

I have adopted these as my measuring stick.

Over the last few years I have learned how to control my weight, and have endeavored to exercise more. I put together a smattering of weights, dip station, total gym for rowing capabilities, and started to learn how to box. I’ve also learned that I need breaks in my work out routine, I use three weeks as ‘in camp’ and depending on the time of the year, take a break of 3-5 days from any lengthy work outs. I will still do a set of pull-ups everyday and include front pike leg raises to activate my core… just to keep the edge honed.

If it is in the fall of the year I do quite a bit of hiking through the woods chasing ruffed-grouse with my dogs, and that keeps me moving. During the winter and spring it’s back to a 3 week weight lifting rotation with an added ‘fight day’, where I do 5 rounds on the heavy bag.

The gauge… am I better today than I was yesterday?

The only component I have yet to fully incorporate is a running program. I started one when I was at my last job and just haven’t made it a priority to get back to since starting this new job.

The last time I tested out I hit 12 pull ups, 62 ab crunches and posted a 23:57 3 mile run. Almost tossed up a lung after the run, but hey, ya gotta start somewhere.

A man needs to be as strong as he can be, in order to have the strength to bear up under the manly responsibilities he finds he is responsible for.

Having built up his strength he is then poised for action!

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