Energy Is The X Factor

by Frost on October 28, 2011

Willpower is vastly overrated.

Whenever I’m in a positive state in my life, having “willpower” comes incredibly easily to me. On a high-energy day, I never have to force myself to have a great workout, grind though a tough and frustrating project, or get amped up to be social, meet girls, and have a good time. On a low-energy day, I’m useless in every respect.

Willpower is important. But you will find it far, far easier to muster if you do the following five things to optimize your energy levels.

1) Sleep

Yes, you already know that poor sleep will affect your energy levels. Not only will you be – obviously – tired the next day, failing to get proper sleep interferes with your body’s testosterone production, which is a major factor in your energy, focus and motivation. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, try cutting yourself off from unnatural light, TV, and computer screens immediately after the sun goes down. If that doesn’t work, try supplementing with Zinc and melatonin.

2) Feast

Regular readers are well aware that I’m all about the Paleo Diet. One of the happy side effects to stepping off the insulin roller coaster that comes with eating low-carb is that my energy levels are much higher, and much more consistent throughout the day. There is no mid-afternoon post-lunch crash that afflicts so many, and I’m never crippled by angry, low-blood-sugar-induced hunger whenever I go more than three hours without a meal.

Eating a diet high in protein and animal fats also stimulates testosterone production – again, a key factor in increasing energy levels.

3) Lift

Lifitng heavy weights – squats, deadlifts, bench press, clean and presses – will increase your metabolism, and (am I starting to sound like a broken record?) increase your testosterone levels. Lifting heavy also limbers up and exhausts the entire body, which I find makes it easier for me to concentrate. If I haven’t lifted, sprinted, or played an intense sport in a while, by body gets jittery.

4) Play

I recently read The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. Great book.  I don’t know if happiness causes high energy or vice versa, but the two mental states are highly correlated.

5) Fuck

The relationship between sex and energy levels is complex. Getting laid is invigorating. It can also be draining and distracting. Having the mentality of a hungry wolf is good. But go a month without getting laid, and I doubt you’ll be able to think about anything else, not to mention the effects that a dry spell will have on a man’s self-confidence and zest for life.

My current strategy is to give myself 2-3 days stretches of self-imposed celibacy. Then I’ll have one or two nights of mucho sex, followed by another 2-3 day stretch of sexually frustrated hungry-wolf mentality.

Also, I don’t jerk off. Masturbating saps a man of his vital life energy in a way that sex doesn’t, and if you’re not getting laid, abstaining from ejaculation entirely will be all the motivation you need to overcome your approach anxiety.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Expat Chronicles November 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Great post. I’d never thought about it before. But maybe energy shares equal importance as willpower?

Also, never thought I’d say it but I’ve completely cut benching. Handstand pushups, 1-arm pushups, dips. If any barbell pressing, I do strict or push presses. Seems we have the same underlying training principles, so I thought I’d share. More functional / performance-oriented (unless you’re tested on bench press).

Nice to know about Magnesium. However long ago I accepted jerking off as a lifetime hobby :)

Frost November 11, 2011 at 1:02 am

Yeah man! I forget if I’ve recommended this to you before, but you should check out a book called convict conditioning. I have a mini routine of pushups, squats, handstands and shadow boxing that I do for 20 minutes when I don’t have time to hit the gym. Can’t say I’ve seen a huge change in my strength/body comp, but my shoulder joints and knees feel a lot better.

John Robie October 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm

“abstaining from ejaculation entirely will be all the motivation you need to overcome your approach anxiety.”

While I’ve found that not masturbating does indeed help out, that’s only one of many variables that goes into doing daily approaches. Rather than tooling around with variables “in order to the motivation / state / horniness” to “overcome approach anxiety,” a more direct route is simply getting out and talking to women every single day. By meeting a massive amount of women every single day no matter what, the changes in your life (diet, masturbation, etc.) you need to make in order to sustain the massive approaches will quickly become apparent. Cheers.

tenthring October 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm

More related to tour Elam post. Delusional Damage just did a post where he points out that when Elam talks about how all you need to get a girl is to get next to her he’s not talking about game, he’s talking about creepin’. Game is when you put work into getting high quality interactions with attractive girls. Creepin’ is about grinding up against fugly club sluts until one offers to spread her legs.

Tonight we’ve been discussing creepin’ because one of our housemates been doing it a lot lately. In particular he fucked an annoying fugly from what we have deemed “house uglo” a few houses down. Now they try to hang around us and get fresh meat and they are annoying to be around. So we are giving him a hard time over this, to which he replies, “you gotta slay a bunch of dragons to get to the princess.” Personally, if you’ve started to have any success, fucking fuglies is a lot worse them masturbating IMO. You don’t need to grow as a man when a drunk fugly walks up, grabs your junk, and says, “let’s fuck,” which is how it went down for him at the bar recently.

Rob October 28, 2011 at 10:08 pm

It’s a good point about the connection between positivity and will power. Of course, if you have trouble being positive then will power is a bulwark against the rising tide of darkness. The will power to continue to engage in healthy habits has kept me alive for a long time.

On lifting, you MUST keep track by writing down everything. I could tell you how many squats I did and at what weight from a workout 12 months ago. Too many guys just go into the gym without a plan for what they are going to do and how they are going to get stronger. Once you get strong enough, I also recommend weighted chins and dips. They make you feel like a bad ass, which is nice. Get a dip belt so you don’t have to balance a dumbell between your legs.

Odds October 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm

great advice but boring.

take ephedrine (bronkaid) and caffeine pills.

you will have energy and it acts as a fast burner. The famed EC stack.

Dirt Man October 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm

On jerking off, I say, if you’re going to do it, do it in the middle of the night if you wake up horny (and there’s no sleeping beauty beside you to defile), or if you’re going to bed and haven’t gotten any action and want to choke the ole chicken. You’ll be good to go in the morning, your body will produce whatever it is that you lose by the time you wake up, and you’ll probably sleep better. Win/win.

Bronan the Barbarian! October 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I’ve noticed the same thing about jerking off. I always have shitty workouts and/or am less energetic if I do. However, for some reason getting laid doesn’t have the same effects. Anybody know if that’s purely psychological or if there’s a scientific reason behind this observation?

Acksiom October 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm

The problem with not ejaculating on a regular basis is the potential negative effects on the prostate.

We’re biologically designed to flush that tubing out on a semi-regular basis, and you’re doing your readers a disservice by not adding that caveat. Not everybody’s system works the way yours does, and some of us clearly function better when we ejaculate as needed rather than refraining.

The correct answer is observation of one’s state after trying these recommendations. Don’t just put your trust in some punk kid who doesn’t know better than to kick off a pissing match in the men’s community. . .or, for that matter, in some bitter old separatist fart like Elam who’s just as culpable of the same narcissistic, self-serving exploitation of men in general.

(r) evoluzione October 28, 2011 at 11:34 am

Great post. One note: zinc is important for sleep, more so for testosterone production and immunity, but magnesium is better for sleep and also helps relax muscles. Use both!

davver October 28, 2011 at 11:34 am

Willpower is good in small doses, but its a losing game in the long run. People who force themselves to do things over long periods of time end up draining themselves and usually burn out.

There are lots of people who work a lot of hours, but their particular project is what they want to do. You can spend 80 hours a week working on things you love. But try to force yourself through a 40 hour week doing something you hate and by the time you get home you are “drained” and just want to veg out.

For awhile my own life was bursts of willpower followed by burn out. Its not a healthy way to live. You have to start aligning your actions with your desires.

Shango October 28, 2011 at 10:57 am

The Happiness Project is not by Elizabeth Gilbert, who’s a fucking bitch, but by Gretchen Rubin.

Frost October 28, 2011 at 11:49 am

Thanks! Brain fart, along with the random amazon affiliate code at the bottom of the post originally. =/

Dirt Man October 28, 2011 at 10:17 am

I don’t think willpower itself is overrated, as it’s quite important, but as Roy Baumeister’s research shows, it can be exercised, as well as overused. He also has found that glucose levels are important to willpower, so sleep and food are key. I don’t have the entire reference handy but the title of the paper is: “Self-control relies on glucose as a limited energy source: Willpower is more than a metaphor”, by Baumeister et. al from 2007. It really all comes down to self-control, and self-control is linked to your energy and glucose levels, how much you use self-control over a given period of time etc. From the paper,

“Three main sets of findings supported the hypothesis that self-control depends on glucose. First, measurements of blood glucose showed significant drops following acts of self-control (e.g., during an interracial interaction), primarily among participants who
worked hardest. Second, low glucose after an initial self-control task (e.g., emotion regulation) was linked to poor self-control on a subsequent task. Third, experimental manipulations of glucose reduced or eliminated self-control decrements stemming from an initial self-control task.”

And he concludes with, “The present findings suggest that relatively small acts of self-control are sufficient to deplete the available supply of glucose, thereby impairing the control of thought and behavior, at least until the body can retrieve more glucose from its stores or ingest more calories. More generally, the body’s variable ability to mobilize glucose may be an important determinant of people’s capacity to live up to their ideals, pursue their goals, and realize their virtues.”

It’s fascinating stuff. Baumeister has a book out now on willpower. I actually saw him speak about it not too long ago, he’s pretty amazing.

NomadicNeill October 28, 2011 at 9:41 am

Agree with how important testosterone is.

Did you know that Dr. Kellog (The guys who told people to eat grains for breakfast) wanted to people to eat less meat with the express purpose of lowering their libido!?

The food many of are / were eating was literally intended to turn us into docile asexual herbivores.

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