How food shortages, supply chain disruptions, stagflation, and the engineering of a “less meat” world are attempting to kill your physique
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If you’re currently bodybuilding or planning to bodybuild as a means of “getting in shape” — we’re not talking going pro — then listen up.
Unless you can afford the ever-increasing cost of 300-500 calories above maintenance — the average food consumption needed to gain weight, check out a calorie counter here — then your game plan has to adapt.
If it doesn’t, good luck fighting an uphill battle.
You want to maintain a strong, healthy physique at all costs because if the body goes, so too goes the mind — and with an increasingly stressful next few decades, your mental needs to be on point.
Depending on where you are in the world, food shortages, supply chain disruptions, stagflation — inflation + a contracting economy, and a deliberate push towards “meat alternative diets” by the likes of the WEF (World Economic Forum) through carbon taxation schemes are all going to affect the traditional diet that has made traditional “men of iron”.
Honestly, ‘masculinity’ has been trending towards “more effeminate” and “less physically capable” for a while now. You don’t have to succumb, though. Be the outlier.
So your input is likely going to change — reduced calories and/or nutrients — the way you take care of your body will have to as well.
Let’s take a look at 3 workout categories that will help you retain peak physical performance in times of food instability.
Let’s face it, even in a food shortage and a downward economy, the lot of you aren’t going to give up bodybuilding.
It doesn’t matter if you have to eat brown rice and Costco chicken tenders for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, most of you are going to find a way to bulk.
Acknowledging that, bodybuilding for the masculine Millennial and Gen Z’ers is likely going to be less “I’m not going pro, but I’m training like it.” and more “I’m sculpting my muscles to look dominant in the office and on the beach.”
This is where “fitness” bodybuilding comes in.
In terms of diet, it’s centered around your usual macros — with an emphasis on protein intake.
When it comes to the lifts, however, this style of bodybuilding goes beyond your traditional bench, curls, rows, and leg presses.
Elements of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) — think “athleticism” — are generously incorporated to not just “mix up” the 5/2 split, but to bring mobility and explosive power to the table.
What does that look like?
It looks like lunges, box knee taps, medicine ball throws, and the use of kettlebells (be safe) just to name a few exercises.
And in all honesty, “fitness” bodybuilding has a lot of crossfit overlap — an emphasis on an aesthetic, athletic physique as opposed to that “pump” look.
The world is heading in a tense direction and if there’s one benefit to migrating towards a style of bodybuilding that includes more dynamic ranges of motion and cardio, it’s that you’ll be more useful to your tribe if shit ever hits the fan.
If you want some training routines to get your brain whirring, check out these 3 fitness channels:
- Steve Cook doesn’t just do traditional bodybuilding movements but incorporates elements of HIIT.
- Ben Carpenter talks a lot about the nutrition side of fitness.
- Obi Vincent focuses on the fitness lifestyle from a holistic productive and peaceful angle.
This one certainly wasn’t around back in my 20s, but with the rise of CrossFit — love it or hate it — adopting the training styles of Olympic greats like Lu Xiaojun and Dmitry Klokov has never been more accessible.
Olympic weightlifting is arguably the most functional workout regimen on the planet.
The second closest would be calisthenics, but Olympic lifting takes the medal by not only prioritizing stability, mobility, and rock-solid form but all of that using heavy weights which builds a bigger and stronger physique.
It’s the hybrid of Bodybuilding and “function” you want — especially as a man.
You won’t get much variety in movements weight training Olympic style, though.
A lot of the training centers around compound muscle movements — conventional, sumo, and Olympic deadlifts; back and front squats; and overhead presses. And all of that to prepare you for the complex Snatch and Clean & Jerk lifts.
But what makes this the ideal workout regimen for a restricted diet, is that the training doesn’t focus on getting as big as possible like the typical bodybuilding “pump”.
Instead, it’s about packing on dense, functional muscle — prioritizing strength over size.
This makes Olympic weightlifting ideal for a future with fewer net calories available for a calendar year. And on a restricted-calorie diet, finding the golden balance between size and strength is your best strategy for remaining dominant.
If you want to get your Olympic weightlifting workout plan started, go check out these two YouTubers who really focus on form, safety, and training schedule.
In times of extreme calorie restriction — or just poor nutrition, like prison — the go-to workout regimen is hands down calisthenics.
It’s the workout routine centered around bodyweight exercises with light weights or resistance tools thrown in to bump up the difficulty.
You’re not going to pack on size, but what you will accomplish is two-fold:
1. Create dense, functional muscle through high-rep, high time-under-tension sets using primarily two motions — push and pull.
The majority of calisthenic exercises focus on the upper body and push and pull mechanics.
That means you’ll be doing a lot of push-up variations — hand-stand, traditional, one-handed — as well as pull-ups and chin-ups.
2. Masterly manipulate your body by strengthening all of those little stabilizer muscles that often go ignored in Bodybuilding and Olympic weightlifting.
In heavy-weighted exercises, you can often “cheat” using momentum (swinging weights). Not so in calisthenics — it’s you and your body.
And to really kick ‘mastering your body’ into overdrive, you can add Olympic holds.
Exercises like L-sits and planches, when transitioned into push movements, easily create a body that falls completely under your control.
While you may not get the raw and explosive power gained from an Olympic weightlifting workout, calisthenics offers you the best functional strength results on a calorie-reduced diet.
If you want a great starting point for calisthenics workouts, check out these two YouTubers:
The future food supply is looking uncertain — the cost of calories is definitely heading up.
And with that reality, food choices — and as a result, nutrient variety and quality — are likely going to suffer.
There have always been times of food scarcity and variety throughout our history as a species — That’s no excuse to let your body go to shit.
As men, we are defined by our work. And the first tool we must always keep sharp is our bodies.
Adapt your workout regimen to an ever-changing world, gentlemen.