I was working out the other day and one of the things that I do when I work out is I use this little piece of equipment similar to a Kettlebell, that is called Center Mass Bells. They’re made by Sorinex, and I really like them because they’re very versatile, but essentially, as I said, they’re a round hunk of metal essentially that you can stick your hand in. And there’s a handle inside of those, and they’re called Center Mass Bells.
Well, I was working out with them the other day, and my wife came out, and she says, “I really like those hollow balls,” that’s what she calls our Center Mass Bell. She calls them hollow balls. And as funny as it was, it really prompted me to think about hollow balls. And I know it sounds funny, I know maybe it’s a leap to make this, to come to this conclusion that I’m going to share with you today. But as I started thinking about what she called these things, hollow balls, it really made me think about what we see in society and the increase, the rise if you will, of hollow balls.
Now, when I say that I’m talking about hollow balls as in figuratively it seems that more and more men lack the testicular fortitude to be the type of men that they’re capable of being and that other people are relying upon them to be. So, I mean it both figuratively, and I mean it literally as well when it comes to levels of testosterone and how we’re showing up, and the things that we’re doing as men. So I figured I’d talk with you on both fronts, both the figurative side of things and the literal side of things and why it’s so important that we reject the rise of hollow balls and that we actually have, again, both literally and figuratively substance to what is our anatomy and who we are as men.
So let’s talk about this from a figurative standpoint. When I say hollow balls, what are we referring to here? Well, ultimately I’m referring to the feminization of our culture, the feminization of society. And please, as you’re listening to this, don’t misunderstand me, there’s nothing wrong with the feminine. All right, there’re too many movements out there in what has been dubbed, and I don’t like this term necessarily, the “manosphere” who seem to be at odds with women. Who seem to want to run away from women. Who are “going their own way” at the expense of entering into intimate relationships with women.
And I think that this is a very unhealthy way to approach life. I think if you’re rejecting women, and you believe that women are the enemy, that you are probably just a scared little boy who has been victimized or assumed the role of victim and rather than approaching it in a healthy manner, you’ve decided to take it to the extreme. So this idea of rejecting women and running away from altogether is basically the equivalent for men of third-wave feminist movements. So I don’t believe that’s what we ought to be doing. I believe that there is power in femininity. I believe there’s a softness and empathy and compassion in femininity that completes me in a way that my wife brings something to the table that frankly I don’t bring all that much and that completion of the masculine and feminine is very powerful.
So I throw that disclaimer out there because I want you to understand that I don’t believe that there’s anything inherently wrong with femininity, but I do believe, I do believe that there is danger in the overall and general feminization of society. It’s actually pretty interesting. Every time I make a post on Instagram or Facebook or wherever I’m on social media, I inevitably have women who step into the conversation, which I don’t mind. I want to hear that perspective, but it’s always fascinating when women try to tell me how men behave or how men should behave. And while I think, for the most part, it comes from a place of help and wanting to be helpful. The reality is that men and women are different.
The other day I had made a post about venting and I said something to the effect of, “Women want to vent. Boys tend to explode emotionally, but men solve problems.” And what this woman had said is she said, “Well, men vent too.” I said, “Yes, that’s true. But women generally vent verbally. They communicate with other women and that’s how they vent and that’s how they release some of their steam or work through some of the problems. Men, on the other hand, and it’s been proven, that men vent via action, typically towards some noble or purpose-driven objective or goal, and we do that best with other men. So although both men and women vent, we do it differently.” And I think that there’s this huge, huge push in society for men to behave like women. The American Psychological Association came out and said that, “The characteristics and traits that we would normally consider as masculine, for example, competitiveness, stoicism, and aggressiveness,” I believe was the other one made it sound as if in this quasi-study that those traits were inherently toxic or destructive to society, and it’s quite literally the exact opposite.
Stoicism, which is an understanding of emotions is a very good thing. Aggressiveness, in the right environments and in the right situation, is a very good thing. Competitiveness has always driven innovation and growth and progress and expansion not only within our lives but the people that we’re serving, our families, our businesses, our communities, society, in general, and so these things are not inherently wrong, but when you have this feminization of culture, and I’ll tell you why I believe that is here in a second. What we begin to see is that everything that could potentially be identified or defined as masculine somehow becomes a problem. And this is why I have a problem with the term toxic masculinity, and I know what a lot of people are saying. They’re not saying masculinity in and of itself is toxic. What a lot of people are saying is that it’s just the inappropriate response or inappropriate behavior of men that is somehow toxic.
Unfortunately, there’s a huge, huge group of people that believe that masculinity in and of itself is toxic and that’s why I don’t use that term because when people talk about it, I have no idea what the hell they’re talking about. What camp do they fall in? That the inappropriate use of masculine energy is toxic or that masculinity of itself is toxic? Which I hope most of us, if not all of us listening to this belief that that’s not the case because it isn’t. So we’ve got this feminization of society and what it’s doing is it’s figuratively increasing or elevating this rise of hollow balls, this emptiness of masculinity.
Now, I told you I’d tell you why this is the case. I believe that this began to happen during the Industrial Revolution. Before the Industrial Revolution, what was happening in the home is that little Timmy and little Tommy and little Johnny were standing quite literally shoulder to shoulder with dad out into the field plowing fields, working on the home, learning how to use their hands, learning how to work hard, having discipline, having structure. And they were standing by their father, learning about life and learning about responsibility and learning about meaning. And they were getting that in droves because they were around other achieving men. Men who are strong, men who are committed, men who were sacrificing what they needed to sacrifice for the greater good of themselves and their families and their communities.
And so these little boys were learning by experience what it meant to be a man. And what happened, during the Industrial Revolution, as wonderful as it was, is that we started to have these manufacturing companies. And so the dad was plucked from the field, from the farm, from the home, from the property, and he was then shipped to big cities, and so he wasn’t at home. He was now at big cities. He was operating, he was working, and he was doing the nine to five or longer and then he would come home.
Well, if you think about a schedule like this and how this would work is that the dad would wake up and do what he needed to do. Then he would ship himself into the cities before little Timmy and Tommy and Johnny were even awake and if they were, they weren’t awake very long, and he would go into work. Well, the boys would learn from who? From mom because mom was there. And then what would happen is dad would work all day, and he would come back and when he came back the kids were tired, or they were in bed already and so little Timmy and little Tommy and little Johnny never learned from dad because dad just wasn’t around, and it continues to be a problem. More men are outside of the house. Fortunately for me, I’m in a position where I can be in the home now.
I’m still working during the day. But just the fact that I’m here with not only my sons but my daughter as well is there’s a better opportunity I have to engage with them. Especially with my oldest son because he does the orders for Order of Man. And so we go down every day, and we fill orders, and we talk about how we want to do this right and how we can elevate the experience for the people who are spending money with us. And when he doesn’t want to do it, I can talk with him about how we have responsibilities and obligations that we’ve committed to, and he learns that from me. Now, there’re certain other things that, of course, my boys, and my daughter are going to learn from their mother, my wife, and that’s good. But if they don’t have the balance, if all they’re getting is the feminine, then that’s a problem.
Now, so we’ve got dad out into the factories doing manufacturing, doing what he does every day. Moms raising the kids. Now, if mom’s not raising the kids, what happens? Well, now we have the school system, right? So we’ve got the school system and if you look at school teachers, men versus women, you can see that it’s extremely more prevalent that women are going to be raising our kids. So if mom’s not raising them, because now mom’s out into the workforce, which is also not good. Moms out in the workforce, dad’s out in the workforce. We ship our kids to public school where they’re being raised and taught primarily by liberal women. I mean you can see how this is going to create a really big problem for little boys trying to figure out why they’re aggressive, why they can’t sit still, why they want to fight, why they want to have a rock-throwing contest, why they want to compete with other boys.
And when they do, when they exhibit any sort of masculine tendencies or behaviors, which is completely natural that they would, then they’re told that their problem children. They’re told that they have ADD or ADHD or whatever acronym is the one to use now. That they can’t sit down, that they can’t sit still, that they’re aggressive, that they’re wild. Well, no, maybe they are, but there’s nothing wrong with that. We have to harness that. We have to harness that. How do we harness that? By letting the men teach them how to harness that and that’s what I came back to earlier when women are trying to tell me how men behave or how men should behave, there’s a problem with that. There’s a gap in that. Women will never be able to fully raise boys into men because they aren’t men, and they don’t understand all the dynamics of what it means to be a man.
The same could be true for fathers raising daughters. I can’t fully raise my daughter by myself into a young woman because I’m not a woman. There’re dynamics and there’re things going on there that I will never understand. So if we continue to allow our boys to be raised by women, it’s going to create an increasing problem. And I think we’re beginning to see this. There’s this feminization of culture. There’s a softening, in general, of culture. And I think that has to do with the fact that they’re being mostly raised by women. And women, by their nature, are feminine. They’re compassionate, they’re empathetic, they’re more kind, they’re softer, they’re more delicate. And so our boys are being raised this way. Competitiveness is squashed. It’s why we have participation trophies because women are running these organizations. Women are even running the Boy Scouts.
And so, heaven forbid, these little boys figure out what it means to not only win but to also lose. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with learning how to lose. There’s nothing wrong with learning how to win. In fact, that’s probably a pretty good thing. So I’ve talked a little bit about this at length with the feminization of culture, but I also think there’re some other problems here. And that is that there’s this inherent ease and comfort of current times. It’s wonderful. If you get hot, you turn on the air conditioning. If you get cold, you turn on the heater. If you need food, you run down, and you grab a quick bite. You don’t have to earn that. You just go grab a quick bite. If you want something now you can buy it on Amazon and have it delivered the next day.
There’s so much ease in the life that we live and because there’s so much ease, we’ve become fat, and we’ve become lazy, and we’ve become weak, and we’ve become soft because there’s no challenge in our life. There’s no toil, there’s no struggle. Masculinity, frankly, isn’t needed anymore. My friend, Jack Donovan, says that “You aren’t required to be a man anymore. It’s something that you have to voluntarily step into,” and I think that’s true.
I look at young men, I look at boys. I look at a lot of older men as well. And I think, “Man, this guy has had no struggle. No toil, no difficulty in his life, and he never had to test who he was as a man. Therefore, he is not fully the man that he’s capable of becoming,” and this is why it’s so critical that we step into voluntary hardship. That we step under a bar at the gym. That we go push ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally. That we have difficult conversations. That we compete with other men. And I’m going to talk a little bit about this, how we can address the problem with “hollow balls” here, but we have to accept challenges. We have to embrace the challenge because it’s not going to be thrust upon us. We have to voluntarily step into it.
And then the last component of this is that there’s no responsibility. There’s no responsibility. If something goes wrong in your life, you will be saved. If something goes wrong with your employment, you’ll get unemployment benefits. If something goes wrong in your marriage, you can get a quick divorce and everything will be just fine. If you get into financial trouble, you declare bankruptcy and that’s okay, and that’s acceptable. In fact, in a lot of cases, it’s encouraged. There’s no responsibility in life anymore, and maybe the better term is accountability, but there’s no accountability.
There is no consequence for your piss-poor behavior and your poor performance, and if it is, it’s very minimal, and it’s easy to overcome. Guys, we’ve got to accept responsibility for our lives. We’ve got to take ownership of our lives. We’ve got to step in to challenge, voluntary hardship. We’ve got to turn around and raise our boys and stop letting the women raise our boys. They can have a part to play in it, a hand to play in it, but ultimately we have to contribute as well. And all of these problems are leading to this figurative rise of hollow balls, the lack of testicular fortitude that our young boys have and that a lot of grown men have, and I shouldn’t even say grown men, I should say, grown males because I think it takes so much more than biology and age to be a man. They’re males, but they’re not men, so that’s a figurative side of things.
All right, let’s talk about the literal side of things. When I say hollow balls, quite literally, I mean that we are not producing testosterone levels to the degree that we were 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago. There have been studies that show that we have as much as 17% lower testosterone levels than that of the late 80s, early 90s. Testosterone levels generationally continued to decline because of the lack of challenge and the feminization of culture and the lack of responsibility and the fact that we just don’t need to step up as men. It’s pathetic, and it’s sad and something needs to be done about it. We need to find out ways, and we know what they are, but we need to incorporate ways to build our levels of testosterone. Testosterone therapy is on the rise.
Why? Because men aren’t getting it naturally, and it actually is not a complicated process. I’ve got, I don’t know, six or seven tips right here that I’m going to go through here in a second to increase your testosterone levels naturally, because I think when we learn to increase our testosterone levels, and we start to see those levels rise, then the figurative side of things, the feminization of culture, the lack of fathers in home, the lack of competitiveness and the participation generation and the ease and the comfort and the challenges and the no responsibility. I think a lot of that will begin to correct and rectify itself when we figure out ways to increase our testosterone levels. So let’s talk about this. I’ve talked about this in other podcasts. You can go back and listen to them, but this is critical that we do these things.
Specifically, lift heavy weights. That’s been proven to boost testosterone production in your testicles, so exercise and also lose weight. And I don’t know all the intricacies and nuances of how this works, but your fat basically stores estrogen. So when you have a higher fat percentage on your body, it’s more likely that you’re carrying around more estrogen than you should be, which can be at direct odds, in a lot of cases, with testosterone. So as you start to lose weight, you start to reduce some of that and as you start to build muscle, then we have these, I believe they’re called androgen receptors, that will bind with testosterone and boost testosterone production and store testosterone as well, so we’ve got to develop muscle, and we’ve got to lose body fat. How do you do that? You exercise, that’s it.
You exercise and you eat smarter, you eat healthier, you don’t shove your face full of crap that is not going to serve you. That’s going to put that spare tire around your midsection and cause you to increase estrogen levels and reduce testosterone levels. So number one, exercise every day. If you’re not doing it every day, you should be doing it every day. Then I know there are people who say, “Well, you should lift two to four times a week and that’s all you should do.” Great, fine. But I’m just telling you, if you’re not getting in some level of exercise every day, you’re doing yourself a disservice. I think your body will naturally start to conform. I don’t know if that’s the right word, but understand what you expect of it. So if your baseline is that you exercise every day, then it will become accustomed to that, although it may be difficult at first, that’s number one.
2. Eat Protein
Eating protein has proven to boost testosterone. I know there’s a big push to be Vegan and be vegetarian if that’s a decision you’ve made, great. But I’m just telling you that there’s something natural about eating protein. And, in fact, it’s one of the most natural things that we could do. We’ve been hunters for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years. That’s not going to change anytime soon. And some people will say, “Well, we’ve outgrown hunting. We’ve evolved past hunting.” No, we haven’t. No, we haven’t. We are human beings. We require protein and we get that protein through animal muscle, which means that at some point an animal has to die, and we have to consume it. I know that is a controversial subject, but I can’t understand why considering that roughly 98% of the world’s population eats meat. We’re listening to the 2% like they actually have a matter or a say in the matter. Now, if you want to be a Vegan or vegetarian or you don’t believe in hunting or whatever, fine, but it’s been proven that consuming protein is going to boost testosterone production.
3. Reduce Stress
Now, I think there’s a couple of different types of stress and maybe it’s on a spectrum, but there’s healthy stress, which is, “Okay, I have to do this challenging thing and I’m stressed out about it,” but it pushes you to actually excel and then there’s unnecessary stress. There’s stress that that isn’t serving you well, and when you increase levels of stress, especially over sustained periods of time, you boost cortisol production. And cortisol is a hormone that is at direct odds with testosterone production. So the higher levels of cortisol, the lower levels of testosterone, if you can find a way to reduce your stress, I think a lot of this can come through some of the steps and tips I’m going to give you today. Exercise is one of them because your gets used to the physical stress you’re placing it under and some of these other tips I’ll share with you here in a minute, that naturally, you’re going to start to reduce some of this stress.
So it’s easy to say reduce stress. How do you do it? Well, I’m going to share this with you and I know a lot of people have stress about money, for example. Well, how do you reduce that stress? Stop having money problems. Easier said than done, but how do you do that? Get good with a budget. Understand how money works. Make yourself more valuable so you’re making more money. Stop making dumb decisions when it comes to the purchases that you’re making. These are all ways to reduce financial stress. I think a lot of us inherently know what this is, but there’s a gap. There’s this huge gap between what we know and then what we’re actually doing. It’s called the integrity gap. You need to make sure that you’re coordinated, that you’re well-rounded, that there’s congruency between what you believe about life and yourself, and what you’re actually doing about it. So number three, reducing stress and cortisol levels.
4. Get More Sleep
I know there’s a lot of guys out there that say, “Oh, I’m going to sleep when I’m dead, and I’m going to get two hours of sleep and I got too much work to do and I can’t sleep. I can’t afford.” You can’t afford to. You can’t afford not to. You’re increasing your cortisol levels. You’re significantly less productive when you’re tired. And so if I’m not tired, I’m energetic and I’m fully recovered and I’m rested, I’m going to get done in two, three, four hours what could take you eight, 10, 12 hours because I have that much more energy.
So look, I know it’s really cool. And there’re sound bites to say like, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” great. You’ll be dead sooner because you’re not getting the sleep that’s been proven that you need. So get your rest, seven to eight hours every night. “Oh, Ryan. But I got to get up early to do this.” Cool. Go to bed earlier. “Oh, but I want to stay up with my kids.” Cool. Put them to bed earlier too. Our kids go to bed at between 7:30 and 8 o’clock and a lot of people say, “Oh that’s so early.” It’s not really that early. But there’re some reasons we do that. The first reason is that I want time alone with my wife and if my kids are up until nine, 10, 11 o’clock well, that’s a problem. I don’t get any alone time with my wife. So it’s a boundary that we’ve established.
Number two is I want to go to bed. So I want my kids to wind down 7:30 get them into bed. They’re sleeping. Takes them 10, 15, 20 minutes if that. Sometimes they go to bed as soon as their head hits the pillow because we run them, we run them all day. We let them play outside. They’re involved in swimming and sports and other activities right now because that’s important for kids. So they do that. Then I get my time to be with my wife and I get to go to bed on time. Usually, go to bed about 10 o’clock roughly, wake up between 5:30 and 6 o’clock, get my workouts done, get my thing done. And I mean that’s the sleep I need. So sleep is an integral part of me being productive and me boosting my testosterone levels. So sleep, that’s number four.
5. Compete To Win
It’s been proven that as men compete with each other, with other men and win, that instantly boost testosterone levels. We are competitive by nature. We want to win. A lot of us are driven by our desire to win. And I know we hear society say, “It’s not always a competition and you shouldn’t always be worried about that.” That’s the feminization of culture speaking, right? That’s not men speaking. That’s women and feminized men speaking, “Oh, it’s not always a competition.” Well, no, that’s exactly what it is. It’s a competition against myself. It’s a competition against other people. When I’m looking at this podcast and seeing how well we’re doing, you bet your ass. I’m looking at other podcasts thinking, “Okay, how can I get to that level?” Why wouldn’t I do that?
If I’m outside mowing the lawn, I want to see if I can do it faster than I did last time. If I’m in the gym working out, I want to see if I can lift more than I did last time. If I’m at Jujitsu, the goal is to submit somebody else, to win. That’s the point. That’s the point of life and anybody who says any different has been overly feminized and they’re not stepping into who they truly are as men and who they could be if they embraced healthy competitiveness. Can it get unhealthy? Of course, you can take it to the extreme. It can be damaging and destructive if it’s not done in a healthy manner, but there is healthy competition. Guys, if you don’t have other men in your life who are pushing on you physically, mentally, emotionally, you’re selling yourself short. You’re doing yourself a real disservice and you’re potentially leaving testosterone growth that could be there had you found good, honorable, strong, capable men to push you. To compete with you. To beat you in a lot of ways.
I was sharing this on Instagram, by the way, guys, if you’re not following me on Instagram, make sure you do. I’m sharing a lot over there lately. I’m very, very active. It’s @ryanmichler. My last name is M-I-C-H-L-E-R. Anyways, I was sharing on Instagram, I think this was just last night, how I didn’t want to go to Jujitsu and I was coming up with every little excuse in the book like, “I’m tired. I already did my workout this morning. We’ve got a lot of stuff to unpack in the house. My wife and my kids need me.” So some of the excuses I had were complete BS and quite frankly, some of them had some validity to them. But I went anyway. I went anyways, I forced myself to do it because I made a commitment to do it. And I went and I got my butt handed to me for a couple of hours and I left. And you know what? I felt better. I felt better because physicality and competitiveness is good for men. And winning is good for men. So get out there, compete with other guys and win.
6. Avoid Testosterone Blockers
I’m not the scientist on this, you guys can look a little bit more into this, but there’re testosterone blockers. There’s estrogen-like compounds and components in a lot of the products that we use, whether it’s a shampoo or soap or even plastic, a lot of testosterone blockers inside of plastic. So switching over to different cups that aren’t plastic will really go a long way. And so again, I’m not the scientist on this, but there’re things in your soaps, in your shampoos and the things that you put on your skin. I mean we now know that the skin is basically a big absorbing organ. It’s like a mouth that anything that you put on your skin you’re going to consume into your body, it’s going to be absorbed into your body. And if you’re putting testosterone blockers on your skin, that’s going to be absorbed into your body and it’s naturally going to decrease testosterone production. So be very, very careful of that. Be aware of that.
Again, if you want more specifics, Christopher Walker’s got some great stuff on testosterone and how to boost testosterone naturally. So I would definitely recommend that you check that out. Nicholas Bayerle’s been on the podcast and he’s got some great information on testosterone production as well. So go back and check those things out because they talk about these things at length. So there it is guys. Literally again, exercise and lose weight. Number two, eat protein. Number three, reduced stress, cortisol production. Number four, sleep. Number five, compete and win. And number six, avoid testosterone blockers. That’s on the literal side.
Figuratively. Again, we talked about the feminization of culture and society. We talked about the lack of fathers in the home. There’s also, I believe, a war on men. I mean, just look at the family court system. It’s brutal. It’s brutal and it’s completely stacked against men. And so we have, I can’t tell you how many men I have, who I’ve talked with, who they can’t see their kids. They’re banned from seeing their children and being involved in their lives and how sad, not only for the men but how sad for the kids, especially the boys. I shouldn’t say especially the boys, the boys, and the girls. I only say the boys because if the boys don’t have a positive male influence in their lives, they’re really being set up for failure, which is unfortunate.
We talked about the lack of competitiveness in society. We also talked about the ease and comfort of modern times as well. That there’re no challenges, there’s no responsibility, and all of this is leading to the concept of the rise of hollow balls. And so I want to just tell my wife, “Thanks for sharing that.” Not only was it funny, but it got me thinking about how dire the situation is. Now, I don’t think it’s catastrophic yet because I think they’re guys like me and you and the millions of people who listen to this podcast, you understand exactly what I’m talking about and have the desire to do something about it.
So if that’s you, I’d encourage you to band with us in the Facebook group, facebook.com/groups/orderofman. I’d encourage you to take it a step further and join us in our exclusive brotherhood, The Iron Council, orderofmen.com/ironcouncil. We’ve got a meetup coming up August 10th and 11th, 2019 in Maine. Here at my home. My property, you can go to orderofman.com/maine, as in the state. So Maine Event and get registered. Do that quickly because I think we’re pretty close to sold out on that. I haven’t looked but I think we’re very, very close on that. Those are some resources, outside of that, share this. All right, share this. If you’ve got information that’s going to help another man in your life, your father, your brother, your colleagues, your coworkers, your cousin, your son, then you’ve got an obligation to share it. And if you find value from this episode or value from this podcast in general, then please share this.
It’s a very non-threatening, non-challenging way to get good information out into the world about being a more capable man. And that’s what we’re about here. So, guys, I want to thank you as I part today. Hope you guys enjoyed the weekend. Again, I’m honored that you’re here. I’m honored that you are part of this movement and that you’re sharing it and you’re doing your part. I’m inspired by you each and every day and we’ve got to do something. We’ve got to do something about the rise of “hollow balls,” and we’ve got to get some things figured out. I hope I’ve given you some frameworks to think about as you go into your life and as you share this with other men in your life as well. All right guys, get out there, take action, become the man you are meant to be.