Is it Time to Draw Attention to the “Weak Leans”?

I’ve had this nag for a long time.

Back when I was 20-something and living in Japan, I had visible abs. Not when I showed up — too many pizzas in college saw to that — but gradually, over some months as I ate more and more on the Japanese economy and when at sea and visiting Korea, the Philippines and other places in Southeast Asia, eating the standard food, I dropped weight: got lean.

But was I strong? I dunno; never tested myself. Did I care? Why should I? I was single, made very good money and had a party disposition galavanting in countries were my wages made me a "rich young man."

Do the math.

Among the many comments to my last post, one stood out to me.

so thats leangains for you mr, give me one rep full effort!!! kyaaaaaa!! me? healthy, pain free toned muscles all around, with my crappy bodyweitgh metod of chins, push ups, squats a backpack and a set of dumbbells. ( yes im an ashole) give those muscles a rest!

Leangains is grossly missrepesented, as you can see from my reply. But then, a commenter drew attention to the "toned muscles" bit with a lol and it got me to thinking about the time I was pretty weak, but had "toned muscles."

Well, perhaps I’m old fashioned. I think that if evolution dictated that we men were to be stronger than the female in general, and to such an extent that on average, a man can kill a women with bare hands at will and that women must live their lives under that realization and amazingly decide to bed down with such potential killers; that we, men, ought to take a moment every now and then to thank our fucking lucky stars. Secretly, I think the women have a perception far advanced past our own (but don’t tell anyone, particularly my wife, that I said that).

Please don’t give me the knife or gun in your sleep BS, or the severed penis. That street goes both ways and breasts can be severed with knives. I’m talking about the evolutionary reality of brute, foundational strength.


OK, so how come so many 20-something Paleos are content to become weak leans? This is sorta analogous to the skinny fat term that perhaps came from Art de Vany, but is right on.

You know what? I don’t give a runny shit about what 20-something paleo is eating, especially on Twitter for shit’s sake. I don’t even want to get into the inanity I see because it’s just so banal, and it goes on day after day. Yea, I get it: you like fucking avocados. Hey, news flash: when I was a 20 year old I could get 4 avocados for a dollar at the fruit & vegetable stand and I would eat all four at a sitting when I did.

That’s a long way off. It doesn’t matter. No one cares. And if I did it today, I would expect a big yawn in absence of serious effort to construct a complete meal and competently photograph it.

OK, perhaps it was time to call out the 20-somethings, because no one ever does but alas, there is an inherent advantage for leanness in them and I have yet to hear one call that out. Instead, I see some implication that they are paleo Gods because they have abs. Big whoop. But worse, I see that so many are content to sit on their lean laurels while remaining weak, risking not being able to pay back; or, to really strut their stuff as men.

You see, there’s not really a mystery about why women bed down with killers. That’s how evolution designed it and they eagerly snuggle down to their role in the scheme. That means that your ego is well massaged. Your part is to be strong enough and determined enough — and serious strength builds serious determination — that you hold up your end. It serves a smart and capable women to have a natural born killer as a mate. Her job is to tame. Your job it to train.

…Not impressed with the weak-leans. …But keep on those bodyweight "exercises."

Addendum: It quickly became apparent in comments that I may not have been clear enough or distinct enough. The dig on bodyweight exercises is merely an archetypical reference, not a dig on bodyweight or really any form of exercise per se, so long as one’s goal is to attain reasonable strength. My point is that just as you can be a skinny or a fat fatty, you can as well be a fat weakling or a skinny weakling….a ‘weak lean.’ What I’m arguing for is a bit of a shift in emphasis away from leanness as a primary goal towards strength as a primary goal. Sure, get lean & ripped, but not at the expense of strength…and certainly not as the starting and end point for those already lean once diet is tuned up.

Addendum #2: OK, this one is to clarify something that’s not a failure to draw distinctions on my part. This is simply to call out your basic mush brained imbecile with no rational sense of perspective. So guess what? According to mush brain (@vic574m on Twitter — Victor Moreno) you need a total of 1,000 pounds combined on deadlift, squat and bench in order to write the post I did, above. This is nonsense and has no application to what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about — and anyone with an ounce of sense knows this — being competitive in powerlifting.

Nope, I don’t total over 1,000. Currently, 735# to be precise (325 DL x 5 reps, 225 squat x 5 reps, 185 bench x 5 reps). If I plug those into the One Rep Max Calculator, it comes out to 827#, which I contend is strong for a 50-yr-old and likely in a very high percentile even amongst today’s 20-somethings. And so I’ll just call his original Tweet — "do you even total over 1000? Don’t be calling others weak if you don’t man, everyone got a right to do what they want" — dumb on just about every level I can imagine. Most egregious is this sort of girly man ideal of "don’t judge."

More about my Leangains workout regime here and here.

If you’d like to share this post on Facebook or Twitter, the buttons are at the top.

Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. The cost of two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance the travel to write, photo, and film from interesting places and share the experiences with you.


  1. Tim Morales on February 13, 2011 at 01:01

    I now live in Ukraine, and I have just recently started an effort to turn back the clock, which includes (an attempt at) increasing my strength, as well as quitting smoking and losing weight.

    My wife, a Ukrainian, is behind the project but with the caveat that I don’t “end up looking like a boy.” Like most Ukrainian women, she’s very practical and minimalist about what is attractive in a man. The main thing is that a man should be strong.

    I remember her once looking over my shoulder at a photo of what you would call a weak lean (or, as I call them, a Porsche Boxster); she rolled her eyes and said “so I’ll have to carry the luggage when we go on holiday?”

    Of course, this is all hypothetical for me at the moment, as I have just started out. But I agree with what you’re saying. Almost as much as my wife does.

    • Ruben on February 23, 2011 at 07:39

      I can vouch for this: my Ukrainian neighbour can’t take her eyes off me, because I am strong and have a serious beard. Fortunately for me my wife (who isn’t Ukrainian) likes those two assets too. :)

  2. James M on February 12, 2011 at 18:57

    I escaped my 20’s just over a year ago. A lot of guys in that age group want to have the six-pack, regardless of how the rest of their body is built. They may be 6’0, 150 pounds, but they have that six pack! A six pack and being lean is something I want to achieve, but I am more focused on building muscle and keeping my body strong to fight off the aging process. I’m never sure when it’s going to hit.

    Great message.

  3. Grok on February 12, 2011 at 19:41

    Bodyweight stuff kinda got tossed under the bus there at the end. These guys look pretty weak:

    • Richard Nikoley on February 12, 2011 at 22:31

      You know very well that’s not what I’m talking about, and because you know it and post bullshit like this in my face, you get a big go fuck yourself, with your vegetables and fart-assed beans,, Grok.


      • Dave Fish on February 12, 2011 at 22:37

        Guess I missed the point too. Maybe I should have read the comment that spawned this post before replying.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 12, 2011 at 23:02

        Well I can’t imagine how one word in a short prase at the end of a substantial post got taken to mean that this is about doing bodyweight exercise instead of iron and not about strong vs weak.

        Look, I try to be patient,especially to regulars but this really made me pop a cork. I can’t see how anyone could mistake the message unless they were looking to.

        And I didnt throw bodyweight exercise “under the bus.” it’s merely an atypical reference.

      • Dave Fish on February 12, 2011 at 23:06

        It’s late and my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders. No worries. It’s considered a badge of honor to get sworn at by Richard!

      • Richard Nikoley on February 12, 2011 at 23:13

        thanks for being a sport, Dave. I’d apologize but I don’t want to deprive you of that badge. Getting late here too. About time to fall asleep in front of the tv.

      • Grok on February 12, 2011 at 23:20

        Ditto Dave. Skimmed right over it. The rant makes more sense after rereading.

        I’ve known lots of ecto/mesomorphs who think they’re cool because they can eat McDonald’s, cupcakes, do 5 pushups a week and run a staircase and still look good. Guess the bodyweight generalization came out of context and hit a little to close to home, since bodyweight is a big part of my workouts. As much I want to… too many past injuries to stack on piles of plates. I’m totally on board with heavy/compound combo. Big fan of Martin.

        You forgot the fruit Richard ;) Maybe date suppositories would be even better for restoring glycogen? I could lick my fingers afterward for some B12 :)

      • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 01:23

        I’m just cranky from having to sleep in a chair for time being. I’ll see if I can clarify my message in the morning.

        Nighty night.

      • Daniel on February 14, 2011 at 05:56

        Grok, what happened to you man? You used to be cool. But seriously, I am equally baffled and genuinely curious as to how you underwent such the dramatic transformation that you have. Your site is still a great resource and some of your older posts will forever remain amongst my favorites. I can’t be convinced that you’re doing yourself any favors with the LFRV until you post up some labwork results or something- keep an eye on that HBA1C. But who the fuck am I? A nobody, that’s who.

      • Grok on February 14, 2011 at 11:49

        Daniel, I’m not anti-paleo/primal lifestyle in the slightest. I still recommend it practically daily. This is Richard’s site and it’d be off topic, so contact me directly for questions.

  4. JK on February 12, 2011 at 19:50

    22 year old here. Love your blog, Richard. Not just the nutrition stuff, but the no bullshit attitude. Can’t stand being lied to. I follow Leangains with a mostly Paleo food selection. Looking back on my “exercise” history, I’ve recently concluded that every single workout before reading Starting Strength and implementing Squats, Deadlifts, and Heavy Chins/Dips was a complete waste of time. I’ve never been stronger. As seems to be the case with most things, the tried and true methods work best. Lifting heavy shit will never get old. Thanks again.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 12, 2011 at 22:35

      Now you’re talkin’, JK. Can’t tell you how many skinny, weak 20-somethings I see at th gym with 10# dumbbells, and standing on one of those silly hemisherical ball bullshit things like five yr old girls doing fucking hopscotch.


      • Dave Fish on February 12, 2011 at 22:51

        This guy’s saying what you’re saying. But I don’t consider Bosus and stability balls body weight training.

      • LeanMachine on February 13, 2011 at 13:31

        Richard, you’re a dumb fuck. You have the writing ability of a cave man. Please go die in a car fire.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 13:48

        Jeez, guess I came down a little too hard on your clitoris, “Lean Machine.”

        I’m guessing that’s more weak lean “machine” than any particular emphasis on strength. Otherwise, your pussy would hurt less.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 15:06

        And BTW, “LeanMachine” there ’round Fountain Hills, AZ, why the anonymity? I mean, pseudonym, no web address, fake email?

        What gives? Or should we just guess what you’re all about?

        Oh, FWIW, go ahead and have yourself a nice, long, happy life and when you do kick it, let it be quick & painless.

      • Skyler Tanner on February 13, 2011 at 15:37

        I grew up in Fountain Hills, which is the last place I’d expect someone to be trolling from. You pissed off a retiree, Richard!

      • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 15:45

        Well, I’m very glad to see that you’re out of retirement. :)

      • Skyler Tanner on February 15, 2011 at 05:21

        Where is a rimshot button when we need one?

      • bee on February 14, 2011 at 09:07

        i went to the only store that sells serious fitness gear in my town and the heaviest kettlebells they have are 53 lbs. they do have the 10 lb ones though – the one i call keychains. they want to know why a girl like me wants 70 plus lb kettlebells. idiots.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2011 at 09:34

        you go, girl.

        Ha! Keychains. Love it.

  5. William on February 12, 2011 at 20:04

    I’m not that interested in the super cut lean look as evidenced by ubiquitous magazine covers, with young twenty somethings. Performance, and feeling like the twenty something I once was, is paramount. And at fifty-six, I can still out fight, out fuck, out fucking work, and out run many of those super lean twenty somethings in a foot race. Not a long distance foot race, mind you, but a 100 yard dash for starters. More to the point, a hundred yard dash with an eight foot sofa carried over my head. And that’s no bullshit!

    • Al Ciampa on February 12, 2011 at 21:05

      Easy William; respectfully, there’s no need to curse like a Sailor just because Richard was one. And if you’re toting around 8-foot couches, by yourself, at 56, then you’re overdosing on your replacement hormones.

      My bad, I didn’t ask if was pull out or not. Now that would be impressive.


      • William on February 12, 2011 at 21:15

        No problem, Al! But I was cursing before Richard was born, (yes, I cursed at six hahaha) and was a sailor when Richard was in junior high… or is it middle school, these days? And I’ll try the pullout routine some time. If I’m successful, I’ll see about posting a video on YouTube.

      • Al Ciampa on February 12, 2011 at 21:17

        Fair enough, William. And thanks for serving.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 12, 2011 at 22:41

      OK, William, but I’m not going to go there with the fucking. At 20 something, enthusiasm is the name of the game, if you remember. And I mean wild eyed, drop anything and everything enthusiasm. And that lays the foundation for mastery if you eventually get your head about you.

  6. Al Ciampa on February 12, 2011 at 20:52


    This is what for me, makes this blog so valuable: some of the information that I forgot years ago and took for granted is being reawakened; how does that saying go, “One day I’ll forget what you’ll never know”? No, a better way to say this is that as a coach and longtime athlete, I am being reminded of how little beginners know, and how much bullshit is being pushed out.

    Heavy compound barbell movements get one stronger than bodyweight movements? Holy shit! Now I remember. Moreover, the Olympic lifts get you more flexible than a gymnast, more powerful than a thrower, and faster than sprinter? This stuff is gold.

    We were twenty something once. When we were, however, we had more respect for those who were older and wiser. I said that out of line – I did, and some youths today have it for me; but wholly, in a day and age when older dudes are engaging in traditionally younger dudes’ habits for the first time, there’s going to be an upset of the system. Give them a right to mouth off to an elder?

    Re: narcs… my last few bouts of surgery had the army docs throwing percs and V-dizzles my way… tons of ’em. Worst part for me, loss of plumbing. (I kinda liked the constant drooling). My chemistry works best with cyclobenziprine (a muscle relaxer); and some drug that gets injected into my ass every once and again in order to “reboot” the system. Apparently, chronic pain can fool the synapse chemical into “fire” mode. Starts with a “T”, if anyone cares. I’m always too woozy to remember. In my experience with chronic or acute pain, you have to go down the list and figure out which chemical works best with your chemistry.

    MRI’s: maybe get used to them. I freaked out once, but it’s a lesson in patience to relax and not feel like that blue line is an inch from your face. I’ve had over ten such imaging session. The worst ones are contrast (with dye), but you didn’t go through that with your neck, I’m sure.

    Sorry to hear about the neck. That ain’t gonna heal by itself, as your history reveals. Pull downs and pull ups use your traps, just not the upper, that “pull” on the cervical spine. My input: no primary mover works without its antagonist firing as well. Hence, lower traps contract… upper traps contract, just not as hard. Are you looking up at the bar as you pull? Point taken?

    Take it for what its worth, Richard. Get that shit squared away and get back in the game.

    Guam switched me from Bourbon to Rum – go figure. I consider it an environmental change.

    Take care, man – seriously.


  7. William on February 12, 2011 at 21:09

    Ok Grok, I concede: I can’t do most of the things those young bucks on the monkey bars do. But at my advancing age, I don’t do too bad. Besides, there is nothing wrong with bodyweight exercises; only the super lean younguns who prance around like they are strong, but in reality, aren’t. Your video guys are pretty damn impressive!

  8. Dave Fish on February 12, 2011 at 22:34

    Gotta agree with Grok. You can get insanely strong doing body weight exercises. Check out the book Convict Conditioning. One arm handstand push ups and one arm pull ups cannot be done by weaklings.

    • Al Ciampa on February 12, 2011 at 22:41


      “Insanely strong”? No. Stronger than average, yes. Stronger than those moving external loads? No. It doesn’t even make sense to a thinking person.

      Gymnasts – throw that out there. I’ll halfway agree with you there. Why? Because gymnasts are engaging in a specific type of training AND reducing body weight to ultimate minimums for their events. And their performance looks sexy. Weightlifters are engaging in something else altogether. Who’s stronger? Depends upon how you quantify.

      Insanely strong though? By no one’s standards does this hold. It’s basic physics, man.


    • Richard Nikoley on February 12, 2011 at 22:55

      Jesus Fucking Christ already for shit’s sake. The Post is about being fucking Weak Lean. It’s not a fucking critique on bodyweight exercise. Fuck.

      • Al Ciampa on February 13, 2011 at 22:59

        Makes more sense now rereading in the right light… and sober.

        Gotta save the comments for the next day from now on.


  9. Dave Fish on February 12, 2011 at 23:02

    OK maybe a poor choice of words but neither falls in the weak lean category. And I now get what Richard was talking about. Still I think you have to have great strength to do one arm push ups, pull ups, handstand push ups, etc. I like lifting the iron but I like push ups and pull ups too, especially when traveling. And to the person whose comment was the genesis for this post, injuries can happen with bodyweight exercises as well. Nothing is without risk.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 12, 2011 at 23:10


      This post is not about iron vs bodyweight, or anything like that. It is about being strong. How strong. Strong enough. Like a man.

      That goes for lots of men who never hit the gym but work in the trades, using their bodies every day, eating hefty like men, and getting strong like men.

      What this post is about, essentially, and the pretty abs with “toned” muscles but who are not strong and are most likely pretty weak.

      It’s to introduce a term: weak leans (weaklings). Like with skinny fat, it’s not quantifiable particu.larly, you just know it when you see it.

  10. Walter on February 13, 2011 at 00:44

    Hey, Richard,

    Speaking of working out, I might have mention in a past comment that I just resumed working out after finishing physical therapy from a car accident. Frankly right now not hurting myself during the workout is my biggest concern. I’ve had good luck in the past with ADV’s hierarchical (15,8,4) sets. What was your experience with them?

  11. Andrew on February 13, 2011 at 16:26

    Fighting ability is disproportionately a function of upper-body strength; if strength assessments are made by a mechanism that is specialized for judging fighting ability, then they should also disproportionately reflect upper- body strength… Indeed, in our data, upper-body strength independently predicted… ratings of strength, while leg strength did not. This means that the cues the strength detection system is using to judge a man’s strength… are ones that disproportionately weight the component of strength that is most relevant to fighting ability.” – Sell et al. 2009 [PDF]

    The most adaptive hunter-gatherer factor in leg-strength regularly utilized would have been sprinting. However, this wouldn’t have been developed by modern weight-training methods, but by… sprinting. Not that sprinters have “toothpick legs,” but the activity itself doesn’t generate massive legs.

    It’s more silly to imagine H-Gs doing movements similar to a squat or deadlift. Lifting boulders might make for intriguing HD video training footage, but H-Gs don’t “train”, they just do the movements they need to do. Outside of hunting and showing off for women, the only other kinda sorta strength demanding activity would be building shelters. But mobile hunter-gatherer bands don’t fall massive trees and lug them around. They build fast & light… the women and children assist, then they move on… carrying very little. Brute strength would have been opportunistically valuable, but I’d have to see some anthropology – indicating it would have been sufficiently advantageous across the Pleistocene… on average – to bite on a claim that weightlifting strength is evolutionarily viable to the point of criticizing others who don’t abide by the metrics proclaimed by weightlifters.

    I don’t think the modern world is a whole lot different than the Paleolithic in one regard… tools, smarts (technology), and cooperation are used for defense more than brute strength. Without them, ancestral humans weren’t at all fierce in terms of strength when compared with the predators they faced. Rather, these strategies replaced the necessity of strength then, as now.

    Sell, Aaron, Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, Daniel Sznycer, Christopher von Rueden, and Michael Gurven. “Human adaptations for the visual assessment of strength and fighting ability from the body and face.” Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society 276, no. 1656 (February 2009): 575-84.

    • Leo on February 13, 2011 at 17:03

      No disagreement with your well written argument. Eloquent.

      I think we may be missing the point of this post a bit though, which is in my opinion: that being “ripped” but skinny and/or weak is not only not very impressive but not what Richard respects or desires. Being both ripped and super strong on the other hand is a goal more lofty than being lean but weaker than possible, merely to maintain a ripped physique.

    • Dave Fish on February 13, 2011 at 18:22

      Have you read Manthropology by Peter McAllister? In it he argues that today’s modern male is the worst in human history, both physically and intellectually, and he lays out his arguments pretty convincingly.

      But to the original subject, for me its all about health and fitness. I want to avoid getting sick (haven’t in three years despite having traveled nearly 500,000 miles in that time), and maintain my strength and agility as I get older (will turn 50 in 18 months). As Art De Vany promotes, randomness when it comes to exercise probably best emulates our ancestors lifestyle, some days involved lifting heavy things, some days involved sprinting, and some days involved nothing more than sitting around taking it easy. Mixing it up between lifting weights, body weight exercises, sprints, and lots of rest seem to be an effective formula for achieving my goals.

      • Andrew on February 13, 2011 at 19:23

        I haven’t read Manthropology, but I did watch a talk by the author a few weeks ago. It gives a good overview. I’m highly skeptical about the conclusions he draws from some of the ‘data’, but will reserve judgment until I actually read it.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2011 at 08:44


      You may be missing the point of all of this. In no way am I advocating for any _particular_ exercise approach and certainly, certainly never for reenactment.

      I think that our genes and hormone squirting organs and glands don’t have a clue of the difference between hauling an antelope, deer, side of buffalo and iron.

      I approach this from two simple givens: the human male is on average significantly stronger than the human female. So, whatever you do, be strong, it’s your natural heritage and in today’s comfy world if you’re not a tradesman hauling gear and climbing up & down ladders all day you might need to get out of the house — and if you’re gonna work out for 30 minutes 2-3 times per week you are probably going to have to lift, pull and press heavy shit to make up for all the down time a tradesman or an HG would not have had the luxury of. Relative, reasonable, functional is fine. Any individual ought to be able to work out for themselves whether they are strong enough.

      The primary thrust of my article is an emphasis on leanness (and to some extent, so-called “functionality”) over strength. And I think this plagues the 20-somethings disproportionately because they are naturally lean with little work. Hell, some are lean no matter what they eat or do.

      Or, to put it another way, I am way, way stronger at 50 than at any time in my lean 20s, flabby 30s, or fat 40s.

      • Justin Foerster on February 14, 2011 at 15:53

        I’m not trying to start a whole “thing” here, but I personally am a 26 year-old male and NOT naturally lean. I realize that most 20-something males are.

    • Paul Verizzo on February 14, 2011 at 10:55

      I was going to post something about modern H-G’s, but you hit on some of my thoughts here.

      Within my limited knowledge, I’ve never seen muscular H-G males. Are they strong? Most likely, I guess. I was an ectomorph most of my life and I recall being able to do rope climbs hand over hand without legs in my kid’s school gym. I didn’t do any training, but boy, was I skinny!

      Last summer I found I couldn’t do one pullup. I’ve been doing mostly Body by Science training since then and I’ve really filled out and am over 400% stronger on some machines.

      But, my observation again, is just how muscular those natural men are.

  12. Sean on February 13, 2011 at 03:53

    Well, in my case my 1RM *is* my bodyweight, so I’ve got the best of both worlds.

  13. bubba29 on February 13, 2011 at 05:21

    whether i agree with you or not, my favorite part of your personality as portrayed on this site is that you don’t give a shit about what other people think. that is a good trait in a man.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 08:09

      What I like bubba is what good sports my commenters are.

      I think the fact I blog at all and that I have comments argues against the notion that I don’t give a shit what people think. n fact, I care a great deal. But, when I disagree and some aspect of that hits me just right then I really don’t care to pussyfoot around the issue. Usually.

      At any rate, my behavior is often atrocious, but I think that’s just going to happen from time to time.

  14. Patrick on February 13, 2011 at 05:46

    Hmmm… interesting. Is it weird that I see this post as an argument for masculinity as opposed to a call-out against weak leans/skinny fatties? Of course, I’d say those are the same — it’s really just a matter of the angle you’re looking at it from.

    I might be dense, but I’m really reading that being lean does not equate to strength, and not all who have good fundamental and functional strength have 6% body fat and ultra-defined musculature. So is the most ancient of philosophical arguments; namely, one of appearance (weak leans) vs being (functional strength) and how each factors into evolutionary masculinity?

    • Patrick on February 13, 2011 at 05:47

      God, I can’t type this morning. The last sentence is supposed to be a question: “So is this the most…”

  15. Sue on February 13, 2011 at 06:23

    While reading the comments, all I could hear in my head is the refrain “men, men, men, men, men, men, men, men….” and now it will be rattling around in my head all day. Thanks for that.

  16. Erik on February 13, 2011 at 06:49

    20-year old here who has been a weak lean. Still lean (I don’t know if I could change that if I wanted to) but tossing heavy logs around in the backyard has made a noticeable difference. And it does feel different, knowing that there’s some real strength behind my appearance now. Less stress, in a way, since it brings greater self-confidence.

    That said, not to keep on the bodyweight point, but I think there’s real value to both types of training (external vs. internal load). Why? We use our muscles for, primarily, two things; moving external loads and manipulating our own positions in our 3-dimensional environment (of course those overlap quite a lot, so I’m simplifying). Even if we were to assume that the effect on the pectoral muscle of a planche push-up and a bench-press were the same, they rely on different nerve pathways to integrate the body to support that movement, one a movement of the self, the other a movement of an external load.

    That’s not at all to excuse guys who think they’re hot stuff because they do 50 pushups every day. Useful bodyweight exercise should follow a progression where changes in form increase difficulty. If you can do more than 10 reps per set, it’s probably no longer doing much benefit.

    So Richard might be more impressed by a guy who can bench 250% of his bodyweight, and some gymnast might be more impressed by the guy who can knock of a set of perfect planche-to-handstand presses, but in the end, I’d rather be able to do both. You know?

    And I’m working on it.

    • Julie on February 13, 2011 at 07:20

      Great post, Erik. If you’re not training in all 3 planes of movement, you are ignoring full biomechanical function and setting yourself up for injury! It’s often a foundational fault in training regimens. There are plenty of weak-leans, but also plenty of injured, low-functional strong people.

  17. Matt Himelfarb on February 13, 2011 at 07:37

    What you’re referring to is myspace ripped people:

    It’s even worse when your in high school. Emaciated kids who think they’re big solely because they have abs.

    Myspace Ripped kid: “Hey, i’m jacked. I got a six-pack!”

    Me: “Yeah, so do fucking holocaust survivors.”

  18. Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 08:05

    Due to some of the confusion I created by calling out bodyweight exercises, I just added the following to the post:

    Addendum: It quickly became apparent in comments that I may not have ben clear enough or distinct enough. The dig on bodyweight exercises is merely an archetypical reference, not a dig on bodyweight or really any form of exercise, so long as one’s goal is to attain reasonable strength. My point is that just as you can be a skinny or a fat fatty, you can be a fat weakling or a skinny weakling….a ‘weak lean.” What I’m arguing for a bit of a shift n emphasis away from leanness as a primary goal towards strength as a primary goal. Sure, get lean & ripped, but not at the expense of strength and certainly not as the starting and end point for those already lean once diet is tuned up.

  19. Gruesome on February 13, 2011 at 08:12

    What is the definition of brute (strength)?

    Question: Pick the “weaklean” from the men who practice the regimens below:

    A. Mark Sisson’s Grok
    B. Robb Wolf’s Crossfitter
    C. Paul Wade’s Convict
    D. Scott Sonnon’s Commando
    E. Maxick & Saldo’s Maxalder
    F. Eugen Sandow’s Oldtime Strongman
    G. Martin Berkhan’s Leangainer

    Bet there will never be an outright winner.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 09:05

      gruesome, I’m not familiar with c-f, but as the others, none need be weak. Lean or not, they don’t have to be weak and that’s my point.

      Brute strength definition might fall the same as SCOTUS once said about obscenity: you know it when you see it. If say that if you don’t know for sure you’re strong for your body comp, weight, age, that’s it’s time to get strong, whatever means you use to accomplish it.

      • Gruesome on February 14, 2011 at 07:35


        I certainly agree with the SCOTUS way of thinking about it. Some people like Sisson have tried to resolve the question in the context of “power-to-weight ratio” – how fast you can move a heavy unwieldy mass through space when compared with your body composition – which really is saying that strength is relative. Thus, skinny ant guy who can haul a leaf 100 yards along the jungle floor back to the colony is pretty impressive.

        Others like Sonnon say that it’s a health-first, not a strength-first, perspective that’s required. Strength is just one among many other EQUALLY important attributes – like speed, power, endurance, flexibility, “functionality” – not the sole or most important. Hence, what good is a 300 lb. bench press if an impinged rotator cuff is your just reward? Le Corre also seems to come down this path, emphasizing “skill” of the natural or primal kind perhaps over and above raw strength.

        How to solve the riddle of the lumbering man mountain.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2011 at 08:15

        One note on MovNat. While much of it is bodyweight stuff, there’s a lot of other things like hauling really heavy logs, big rocks, etc. Le Corre is VERY strong which I know from first hand experience.

  20. Max on February 13, 2011 at 08:54

    Hey Richard,

    I’ve been following your blog for a long time and have never actually commented. This is a freakin’ great post. I’m 22 years old and go to UC Davis which is essentially endurance-central. I frequently see these super lean/skinny guys barely banging out a few reps of 5lb dumbbell presses or using a 15lb bar to do 5 reps of 2″ squats. Afterward they go to the treadmill and run for an hour while I load my barbell.

    It’s amazing too how being “the strong guy” in college is actually almost looked downed upon and mocked by other guys. They assume that I’m totally out of shape because I’m using barbells instead of the elliptical.

    Interestingly enough I’ve had numerous female friends who love guys who wear spandex when biking or love the super skinny guys who run because it looks like “they’re running with a purpose”. I’m not opposed to running since I love going for runs every now but it looks to me that this “weak leans” body type you’re talking about is almost being selected for.

    Anyways, thanks for this post and all those before and after it.


    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 08:57

      you may be right, Max. Skinny fat girls selecting weak lean boys.

      • Max on February 13, 2011 at 09:00

        well….that sucks

      • Ruben on February 23, 2011 at 07:44

        No it isn’t. Who wants skinny-fat girls?

      • Dave Fish on February 13, 2011 at 10:44

        And they are probably Vegans. Here’s a comment from a Facebook thread on Tony Horton’s (P90X) page touting some stupid fucking Vegan propaganda documentary coming out in May:

        Many wonderful, enlightened men have vegan lifestyles. ANd they ae beautiful, lovely men who ooze machismo and intellicgence
        Lucky girls :)

        Despite the fact that they can’t spell or type worth a shit, I don’t think a Vegan woman would know machismo if it hit her in the face (and no I’m not advocating violence towards anyone).

      • Victoria on February 14, 2011 at 11:57

        ‘stupid fucking Vegan propaganda documentary’- sounds like ‘Forks over Knives’, I saw a prescreening of it yesterday… it is terrible. I’d say go and see it to get all riled up and invigorated, but it’s so bad you might actually fall asleep.

  21. Mallory on February 13, 2011 at 09:23

    even as a 25 yr old female, i love this post. this is EXACTLY ALSO WHY i NEVER EVER talk about food or what i eat on my blog. it is an absolute recipe for disaster. i was a weak-link or lean weak or whatever you call it about a year ago. a skinny as ripped underweight chick. i had every bodyweight exercise down to a T….then i changed because it was ‘gay’. lol

    put on 20 lbs and started lifting heavy shit twice a week, but i never did it for strength i did it in an attempt to bring my bone density up and fix the massive pain i suffer everyday in my joints/ligaments and bones. twice a week…thats it.

    i now deadlift 190 and squat 175 as of yesterday. i dont do bench because theres problems in my shoulders and chest from acting retarded. i can do 15 chin ups and 60 push ups though.

    i take that as STRENGTH and not being a weakling. it changed my whole view on the body. being strong comes with a little extra padding, especially if your a female who isnt interested in walking the runway of a bodybuilding show which i have no interest in and isnt interested in becoming obsessed with her diet again. my bones are stronger, i can take a walk without knee pain, and hell….i feel strong.

    trying to assist people in seeing this weaklean vs strong confident strength reflects in mind and body strength IMO.
    anyway, rant end, good post. im sick of seeing people who are obsessed with daily hours of bodyweight exercise lol

  22. rob on February 13, 2011 at 10:28

    I’m all about the alpha-maleness myself. Working with big weights in the gym is the greatest penis-enlarger in the history of the world. A session in the gym is better than any drug that has ever been invented.

    That may be cause I’m 48 and in the middle of a mid-life crisis, but whatever, I’m rolling with it.

    • Ruben on February 23, 2011 at 07:46

      If working with big weights is such a great penis enlarger, I’d be hung like an elephant!

      With my weights, probably like a female elephant. :(

  23. lalo on February 13, 2011 at 11:41

    Weak-leans? that’s funny, im not a bodybuilder but really who wants to look like that?…
    ( specially when involves pain) I dont think i look THAT weak btw… (kinda old pic, i have like 4x muscles and stuff now doing my girly chins)

    i didn’t feel pain when i was 18. i dont feel pain now that im 34. i do feel stronger. and healthy.
    thats good enough for me.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 11:44

      Well hey lalo, strength gains are nothing compared to growing a third hand right out of your side. :)

  24. lalo on February 13, 2011 at 12:09

    XD ok now you got me cracking up. i didn’t mean it in a bad way. ( not my language, so i tend to sound hasoler that i am) So yeah, the fact is that i learned a lot from you @ your experiences, this site, ( eating, cooking, thinking, hell im a no soap, no shampoo guy now) Hope the pain goes away soon Richard.

  25. Reo on February 13, 2011 at 13:01

    Honestly, I believe one is able to improve strength by performing body-weight exercises. Conversely, one should do some all-out, balls to the wall lifting. I only lift heavy 1-2/week.

  26. Steve on February 13, 2011 at 14:14

    At what point is a skinny dude no longer weak? 1.5x BW squat? 2x DL? More?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 14:56

      I would greatly resist any urge to quantify that, Steve. See Leo’s comment below and my response. In his case, yea. In someone else’s maybe not.

      I don’t think it has to be super strength. I think that if you reasonably know you’re strong and it is a priority to stay there and or get stronger, that’s the ideal. Individual results are going to vary.

      • Steve on February 14, 2011 at 09:02

        I can squat 1.6x BW and DL 2x BW, but most people wouldn’t know I work out and am your typical ectomorph.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2011 at 09:32

        I’m going to strongly disagree with you Steve, and I dont want any fuckin’ shit about it. You are NOT typical. You are a strong ectomorph. :)

        While many mesomorphs are willing to just appear to be strong, you Mage yourself strong even if your default appearance doesn’t suggest it.

    • Ruben on February 23, 2011 at 08:10

      Strength is a mental thing. You stop being weak once you honestly start trying to become strong.

  27. Leo on February 13, 2011 at 14:47

    Richard, good topic.
    I’m 28. Been on both sides of the coin. At 21 i weighted 270 @ 6’4″ looked like a tight end. 18-19% BF. 625 DL, 350 BP and 555 PL squat. Strong as shit. Lacked mobility, gave mayself asthma. Fuck. Started to chill out a bit lost some weight did moe strong man stuff. Felt awesome @ 235, still strong but a bit more mobile… looked better too.
    Than I got in to racing road bicycles and lost all my strength… dropped to 190… gues what? ripped to shreds. Veains visible in abs and glutes. gross, but lean….weaklean. felt like ass when i wanst on a bike. FUck, again. 3 years of being weak lean and this summer I started getting strong again.
    Back up to 225, 13% BF . 420 DL, 225 Clean and Jerk, 380 deep SQ, 300 BP. Feel better than i have in 3 years. Super lean is fine, but super weak is NOT.

    let’s see if I can figure out how to get a bit leaner an a lot stronger. Leangains style.

    skinny and weak aint no fun. get stronger, now.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 14:54

      You got it, Leo.

      Although, it should be pointed out that your super athleticism when younger set the stage for you to be dissatisfied with such an enormous strength loss. What may not have been apparent to anyone else weighed heavily on you because you had the context of history in terms of your own body.

      So, I’m not saying everyone who doesn’t DL and Squat super numbers is weak. It’s relative. You were weak ’cause you knew what you had lost.

      • Leo on February 13, 2011 at 16:23

        exaclty. so well put.

        Once you know what it is to be truly strong, it is hard to become weak.
        Some nice life lessons learned.

  28. J J Jason on February 13, 2011 at 15:00

    Stressing the body in moderation was a part of life in prehistory. It made us stronger and more able to survive. Without exercising the body a person is probably omitting to do 50% of the paleo lifestyle. 3 x 5 reps probably wasn’t a part of hunter gatherer life, but for those who are short on time and like to push themselves as long as they are in good health, I think it’s all good.

  29. Andrew on February 13, 2011 at 15:35

    “I think that if evolution dictated that we men were to be stronger than the female in general, and to such an extent that on average, a man can kill a women with bare hands…”

    Evolution via natural selection doesn’t typically influence sexual dimorphism, and humans don’t appear to be an exception. The difference in morphology tends to be caused by male-male competition as a signal that’s acted upon by female mate-choice. This is the same reason bucks have horns, peacocks have crazy feathers, and other male primates have much larger canines than the corresponding females.

    As such, the evolutionary argument is mixed between fighting-specific strength and the visual signals provided by upper body musculature; neither of which is an evolutionary argument for the validity of leg strength, or any other weightlifting metric for that matter. In this light, the strength side of the argument as you present it may actually be more arbitrary than the “weak leans” you deride.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2011 at 15:44

      I don’t disagree with para 2 at all. My point was not to the explain the why and how, just the reality. Incidentally, total sideline, how does the female of the species generally treat the male where innate strength is opposite. Doesn’t the black widow eat the male after mating?

      I have to disagree with para 3. Seems to me that for whatever reasons females selected as they did over the eons, superior male strength had to be a big factor and it’s kinda silly in my view to imagine primitives with well developed pecs and toothpic legs.

      Now, of course, modernity has made male physical strength less important on a number of levels, now that women get to rely on the police (when seconds count, they’re only minutes away) and for so many (including males) their cherished “safety net,” wherein, everyone attempts to live at the expense of everyone else.

  30. CPorter on February 13, 2011 at 19:16

    Man Richard, you say things again and again that just line up with the Bible!!

    Genesis 3:16  ¶Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

    Patriarchy rules!!!!

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2011 at 07:28


      Well I suppose I can’t help that some see things in my posts they want to see.

      For the first part it should come as no surprise that from time to time I’ll write about one of my observations and it may align with what some other human being writing 2,000 years ago observed. No mystery there.

      For the second part, in no way am I supporting, advocating, suggesting or in any way advancing male domination over the female of our species. I’m simply recognizing that the male is the physically stronger one by a very large margin on average. If anything that implies to me that it is impingent upon males to NOT dominate females physically or, emotionally/psychologically. And the latter may even be more important BECAUSE of the potential implicit consequences.

      Yea, the Islamic-esque male cruelty against women in the Bible is yet another good reason to “take out the trash.”

      It’s garbage.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2011 at 08:58

        …And I should add that the latter is a _moral_ judgment. Yes, the Bible is a profoundly immoral work of primitive literature on this and many other respects.

      • CPorter on February 14, 2011 at 22:18

        Oh come now Richard! You know that the Scriptures don’t advocate treating women like the Koran does. That’s silly to even say something that is so far off base when you know it isn’t true.

        The Bible tells Christian men to love their wives as Christ loved the church.

        Ephesians 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

        Ephesians 5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

        29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

        30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

        31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

        And lets face it: Men can always outwork women. Nothing wrong with embracing that truth. Men own most of the wealth in the world. Men are most often responsible for the great inventions of civilization.

        I revel in that.

      • gallier2 on February 14, 2011 at 23:10

        Try it with this list:

        # God fashions a woman out of one of Adam’s ribs. This was necessary since Adam couldn’t find a “help meet” in any of the animals that God made for him. 2:20-22

        # Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent. 3:12-13

        # “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. … Thy husband … shall rule over thee.”
        God punishes Eve, and all women after her, with the pains of childbirth and subjection to men. 3:16

        # Adam is also punished, although less severely. He now will have to work for a living because he “hearkened unto the voice” of his wife. 3:17

        # Lamech is the first of a long line of biblical men with more than one wife. It seems that God approves of such marriages. 4:19, 23

        # Finally, sometime in the next 800 years, Adam begat some daughters. These nameless ones are the first (and nearly the last) girls to be born in the Bible. 5:4

        # “The male and his female …” Notice that in the Bible female animals are the property of male animals, as women are the property of men. 7:2

        # Abram makes his wife lie for him, by telling the Egyptians that she is his sister. But at least it was half-true, since she was his half-sister. Such incestuous marriages are condemned elsewhere in the Bible, but god makes an exception for Abram and Sarai. (See Gen.17:15-16 where God blesses their marriage.) 12:13

        # Sarai is the first of a long line of barren women who were desperate for children. (In the Bible, it is the women who are barren, never the men.) She sends Abram into her handmaid, Hagar, so that she can “obtain children by her.” Abram gladly complies. 16:1-4

        # Sarah, who is about 90 years old and has gone through menopause, laughs at God when he tells her that she will have a son. She asks God if she will “have pleasure” with her “Lord” [Abraham], when both are so very old. God assures her that he will return and impregnate her at the appointed time. 18:11-14

        # Lot refuses to give up his angels to the perverted mob, offering his two “virgin daughters” instead. He tells the bunch of angel rapers to “do unto them [his daughters] as is good in your eyes.” This is the same man that is called “just” and “righteous” in 2 Pet.2:7-8. 19:8

        # Lot’s nameless wife looks back, and God turns her into a pillar of salt. 19:26

        # Lot and his daughters camp out in a cave for a while. The daughters get their “just and righteous” father drunk, and have sexual intercourse with him, and each conceives and bears a son (wouldn’t you know it!). 19:30-38

        # Honest Abe does the same “she’s my sister” routine again, for the same cowardly reason. And once again, the king just couldn’t resist Sarah — even though by now she is over 90 years old. (See Gen.12:13-20 for the first, nearly identical, episode.) 20:2

        # God gets angry with king Abimelech, though the king hasn’t even touched Sarah. He says to the king, “Behold, thou art but a dead man,” and threatens to kill him and all of his people. To compensate for the crime he never committed, Abimelech gives Abraham sheep, oxen, slaves, silver, and land. Finally, after Abraham “prayed unto God,” God lifts his punishment to Abimelech, “for the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah.” 20:3-18

        # God “closed all the wombs” because Abimelech believed Abe’s lie. 20:18

        # “And the damsel was fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her.” (Oh boy!) 24:16

        # Abraham had several concubines. 25:6

        # “She was barren.”
        In the Bible it’s always the woman that are “barren”, never the men. And when God “opens their womb,” the resulting babies are always little boys. 25:21-26

        # Isaac uses the same “she’s my sister” lie that his father used so effectively (see Gen.12:13, 20:2). 26:7

        # Esau “takes” two wives. 26:34

        # Esau, who already had two wives (26:34), “takes” another. 28:9

        # Jacob offers to work for seven years to pay for Rachel. As it turns out, he is tricked into having sex with her sister, Leah, instead, so he has to work for another seven years so in order to pay for them both. 29:18-30

        # Jacob is tricked by Laban, the father of Rachel and Leah. Jacob asks for Rachel so that he can “go in unto her.” But Laban gives him Leah instead, and Jacob “went in unto her [Leah]” by mistake. Jacob was fooled until morning — apparently he didn’t know who he was going in unto. Finally they worked things out and Jacob got to “go in unto” Rachel, too. 29:21-30

        # As part of the deal with Jacob, Zilpah and Bilhah (Laban’s slaves) are handed over to Leah and Rachel. 29:24, 29

        # Laban gives Rachel and Bilhah to Jacob. 29:28

        # Since Jacob hated Leah, God decided to “open her womb” and make Rachel barren. (Like he did to Sarah and Rebekah.) 29:31

        # Leah conceives and bears four sons. And it’s a good thing, too, since her husband hated her until then for not giving him any sons. 29:32-34

        # Give me children or else I die.” Rachel considers herself worthless if she cannot produce children for her husband. 30:1

        # But luckily she has an idea. She says to Jacob, “Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her.” She solved the problem the same way as did Sarah (16:2). 30:3

        # Leah, not to be outdone, gives Jacob her maid (Zilpah) “to wife.” And Zilpah “bare Jacob a son.” 30:9

        # Leah thinks her husband will honor her now that she has given him six sons. 30:20

        # And finally, “God remembered Rachel … and opened her womb. And she conceived and bare a son [surprise, surprise].” 30:22

        # “Then Jacob … set his … wives upon camels.” Jacob had four wives (or two wives and two concubines — this distinction is not clear in the Bible): Rachel, Leah, Billah, and Zilpah. There is no indication that God disapproves of this arrangement. 31:17

        # Jacob has two wives and two concubines, continuing the biblical tradition of polygamy. 32:22

        # Laban, Rachel’s father, is hunting for the “images” that Rachel had stolen from him. Rachel sits on the “images” and says to her father, “Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee: for the custom of women is upon me.” She knows that no man will come near her when she is menstruating. 31:34-35

        # Jacob has two wives and two concubines, continuing the biblical tradition of polygamy. 32:22

        # What did Dinah want? Did she love Shechem? Did she want to marry him? Or did she want him killed? We’ll ever know since it was of no interest to the biblical author. 34:1-31

        # Dinah’s brothers, to justify the massacre of a town for the rape of their sister, say: “Should he deal with our sister as with a harlot?” To the author of Genesis, rape is a crime against the honor of men rather than against a woman. 34:31

        # Rachel dies in childbirth; but at least she had another son. And in the Bible, a woman is expected to die happily as long as she has a son. 35:17-18

        # “Reuben went and lay with his father’s concubine.” 35:22, 49:4

        # Esau (Isaac’s son) had several wives (continuing the tradition of polygamy, with no editorial comment from the Bible). 36:2, 6

        # “And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite … and he took her, and went in unto her. And she conceived, and bare a son; and she called his name Er. And she conceived again [I guess Judah must have went in unto her again] and bare a son; and she called hi name Onan.” (It seems that the probability of having a biblical daughter is considerably less than 50%.) 38:2-4

        # After Judah pays Tamar for her services, he is told that she “played the harlot” and “is with child by whoredom.” When Judah hears this, he says, “Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.” 38:24


        # To commemorate the divine massacre of the Egyptian children, Moses instructs the Israelites to “sacrifice to the Lord all that openeth the matrix” — all the males, that is. God has no use for dead, burnt female bodies. 13:2, 13:12-15

        # Moses, like a coach giving instructions to the team before the big game, tells the men to “come not at your wives” before he goes up to Mt. Sinai. 19:15

        # “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, … nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” In the Bible, women are the property of men; they are his possessions — like an ox or an ass. 20:17

        # God explains how to go about selling your daughter — and what to do if she fails to please her new master. 21:7

        # God’s instructions for taking a second wife. 21:10

        # If you “entice” an “unmarried maid” to “lie” with you, then you must marry her, unless the father refuses to give her to you, in which case you must pay him the going price for virgins. 22:16

        # “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Thousands of innocent women have suffered excruciating deaths because of this verse. 22:18

        # Three times a year God wants to see all of the males. The females he never wants to see. 23:17

        # “Their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.” God always blames the women; it is they who “go a whoring” and then “make” the men “go a whoring.” 34:16

        # “Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord.” But what about the “women children”? Don’t they ever get to appear before the Lord? 34:23


        # Only unblemished males are to be killed and offered to God. Females don’t even make good burnt offerings. 1:3, 10

        # When a king sins only the best sacrifice will do — he must offer a male goat to God. But if a commoner sins, a female will do. 4:22-28

        # “If any one of the common people sin through ignorance … then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.” If a common person sins through ignorance, then kill a female goat. (More important people must kill male goats.) 4:27-28

        # “He shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD … a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats.”
        If you touch an insect, dead animal, or “the uncleanness of man” or if you swear to do something good or bad (5:2-4), kill a female lamb or goat for God. (A female will do since it’s a minor offense.) 5:6

        # “She shall be unclean.”
        Women are dirty and sinful after childbirth, so God prescribes rituals for their purification. (And baby girls make them twice as sinful and dirty as baby boys do.) 12:1-5

        # “If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days … And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days.”
        If a boy is born, the mother is unclean for 7 days and must be purified for 33 days. 12:2, 4

        # “But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks … and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.”
        If a girl is born, the mother is unclean for 14 days and be purified for 66 days. This is because, in the eyes of God, girls are twice as dirty as boys. 12:5

        # “She shall bring a lamb … for a burnt offering, and… a young pigeon, or dove, for a sin offering.”
        After a woman gives birth, a priest must kill a lamb, pigeon, or dove as a sin offering. This is because having children is sinful and God likes it when things are killed for him. 12:6

        # “She shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood.” 12:7

        # “if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons … and she shall be clean.” 12:8

        # “The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even.” 15:18

        # “If a woman have an issue, and her issue … be blood…” (God’s law for menstruating women)
        They are unclean and sinful. Anthing that they touch is unclean. Anyone who touches anything that they touch is unclean. Stay completely away from them. (And for God’s sake, don’t even think about having sex with them!) 15:19-30, 33

        # “If a woman have an issue, and her issue… be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even.” 15:19

        # “And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean.” 15:20

        # “And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.” 15:21

        # “Whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall … be unclean until the even.” 15:22

        # “And if it be on her bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even.” 15:23

        # “If any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean.” 1524:

        # “If a woman have an issue of her blood … she shall be unclean.” 15:25

        # “Every bed whereon she lieth … and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean.” 15:26

        # “Whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean.” 15:27

        # “But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean.”
        Women are unclean while mestruating and for seven days after bleeding has stopped. 15:28

        # “On the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons … for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness.” 15:29-30

        # “This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him whose seed goeth from him … And of her that is sick of her flowers, and of him that hath an issue, of the man, and of the woman, and of him that lieth with her that is unclean.” 15:32-33

        # A man who has sex with a menstruating woman “shall be unclean seven days.” 15:24

        # “Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is apart for her uncleanness,” Don’t even look at a menstruating woman. 18:19

        # If a man has sex with an engaged slave woman, scourge the woman, but don’t punish the man. (Even if he raped her?) 19:20-22

        # If a man has sex with his father’s wife, kill them both. 20:11

        # If a man has sex with his daughter in law, kill them both. 20:12

        # If a man has sex with his wife and her mother (now that sounds like fun!), burn to death all three. 20:14

        # If a woman “lies with a beast” both the woman and the animal are to be killed. 20:15

        # If a man has sex with a menstruating woman, they both “shall be cut off from among their people.” 20:18

        # Women with “familiar spirits” are to be stoned to death. 20:27

        # Priests can’t marry “whores”, “profane”, or divorced women. Why? Because “he is holy unto his God” and they would defile him. 21:7

        # A priest’s daughter who “plays the whore” is to be burned to death. 21:9

        # A priest can only marry a virgin. No harlots, widows, or divorced women will do. (God really likes virgins.) 21:13-14

        # If a priest’s daughter marries “a stranger” she can’t eat any holy things. 22:12

        # “Ye shall offer … a male without blemish … Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD … Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut.”
        God wants us to kill lots of animals for him. Not just any animals, though. God only wants dead, male animals without any blemishes. 22:19-24

        # God defines the value of human life in dollars and cents. Of course, to God, females are worth considerably less than males (50 – 60%) — but neither are worth much. 27:3-7


        # When “Moses numbered them according to the word of the Lord” he was told to count “every male from a month old and upward.” Women and girls didn’t count as persons. 3:15-16

        # The Law of Jealousies. If a man suspects his wife of being unfaithful, he reports it to the priest. The priest then makes her drink some “bitter water.” If she is guilty, the water makes her thigh rot and her belly swell. If innocent, no harm done — the woman is free and will “conceive seed.” In any case, “the man shall be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.” 5:11-31

        # “And the spirit of jealousy come upon him … and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him … and she be not defiled.”
        If a husband is jealous, his wife must submit to the law of jealousies whether she was “defiled” or not. 5:14

        # “Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest … And the priest shall … set her before the LORD … and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse.” 5:15-17

        # “And the priest shall … say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee … be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse.” 5:19

        # “Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell.” 5:20-21

        # “But if … some man have lain with thee beside thine husband … The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell.” 5:22

        # “And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse.” 5:24

        # “And when he hath made her to drink the water … if she be defiled … the water that causeth the curse shall … become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.” 5:27

        # “And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed.” 5:28

        # “Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity.” 5:31

        # Miriam and Aaron (Moses’ brother and sister) criticize Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman and thus breaking the law of God. But God makes it clear that his rules don’t apply to his favorites, and he strikes Miriam with leprosy. Notice that only Miriam is punished, though both she and Aaron complained. 12:1, 9-10

        # When one of the Israelite men brings home a foreign woman, “Phinehas (Aaron’s grandson) sees them and throws a spear “through the man .. and the woman through her belly.” This act pleases God so much that “the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.” But not before 24,000 had died. 25:6-9

        # For impaling the interracial couple, God rewards Phinehas and his sons with the everlasting priesthood. 25:10-13

        # If a man dies and has no son, then his inheritance goes to his daughter. But if he has a son, then the daughter gets nothing. Also no mention is made of wives, sisters, or aunts. 27:8

        # If men make vows, then God expects them to keep them. But a woman cannot make a vow, unless it is “allowed” by her husband or father. If it is “allowed,” then she must keep it — but even so, she is not responsible (her husband or father is). 30:3-16

        # Under God’s direction, Moses’ army defeats the Midianites. They kill all the adult males, but take the women and children captive. When Moses learns that they left some live, he angrily says: “Have you saved all the women alive? Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” So they went back and did as Moses (and presumably God) instructed, killing everyone except for the virgins. In this way they got 32,000 virgins — Wow! (Even God gets some of the booty — including the virgins.) 31:1-54


        # Don’t covet your neighbor’s wife or ass — or any thing that belongs to your neighbor. You see, in the eyes of God, women are the possessions of men. 5:21

        # Three times a year all of the males are to appear before God. The females he never wants to see. 16:16

        # In the cities that god “delivers into thine hands” you must kill all the males (including old men, boys, and babies) with “the edge of the sword …. But the women … shalt thou take unto yourself.” 20:13-14

        # If you see a pretty woman among the captives and would like her for a wife, then just bring her home and “go in unto her.” Later, if you decide you don’t like her, you can “let her go.” 21:11-14

        # Rules for those who have two wives: “one beloved, and another hated.” 21:15

        # When a man dies, his sons inherit his property. Wives and daughters get nothing at all. 21:16

        # Women are not to wear men’s clothing — it’s an “abomination unto the Lord.” 22:5

        # If a man marries, then decides that he hates his wife, he can claim she wasn’t a virgin when they were married. If her father can’t produce the “tokens of her virginity” (bloody sheets), then the woman is to be stoned to death at her father’s doorstep. 22:13-21

        # If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die. 22:22

        # If a betrothed virgin is raped in the city and doesn’t cry out loud enough, then “the men of the city shall stone her to death.” 22:23-24

        # If a woman is raped in the country, then only the man shall die (since there was no one to hear her if she cried out.) 22:25

        # If a man rapes an unbetrothed virgin, he must pay her father 50 shekels of silver and then marry her. 22:28-29

        # God says not be bring any whore into the house of the Lord. For “these things are an abomination to the Lord.” 23:17-18

        # If a man marries a woman and later finds “some uncleanness in her,” then he can divorce her and kick her out of his house. If another man marries her and then dies, the first husband cannot marry her again. “For that is an abomination before the Lord.” 24:1-4

        # If a man dies before his wife has a child, then the widow must marry her husband’s brother — whether she likes him or not, and whether she wants to or not. 25:5

        # If two men fight and the wife of one grabs the “secrets” of the other, “then thou shalt cut off her hand” and “thine eye shall not pity her.” 25:11-12

        # “Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife, because he uncovereth his father’s skirt.” (Why?) How does having sex with the father’s wife uncover the father’s skirt? Well, I guess it’s because the father owns his wife. So the offense is against him, not her. 27:20

        # “The tender and delicate woman” will be forced to eat her own children “that cometh out from between her feet.” 28:56-57

        # Caleb offers to give his daughter to whoever conquers the city of Debir. Caleb’s nephew wins the contest and is given his cousin for a prize. 15:16-17


        # Caleb offers to give his daughter to anyone who conquers the city of Debir. Caleb’s nephew wins the contest and is given his cousin for a prize. 1:12-13

        # Gideon had 70 sons (no one knows how many daughters) “for he had many wives.” 8:30

        # After being hit in the head with a millstone thrown by a woman, a soldier orders his armor bearer to kill him so that no one would say that a woman had killed him. 9:53-54

        # When “the spirit of the Lord” comes upon Jephthah, he makes a deal with God: If God will help him kill the Ammonites, then he (Jephthah) will offer to God as a burnt offering whatever comes out of his house to greet him. God keeps his end of the deal by providing Jephthah with “a very great slaughter.” But when Jephthah returns, his nameless daughter comes out to greet him (who’d he expect, his wife?). Well, a deal’s a deal, so he delivers her to God as a burnt offering — after letting her spend a couple of months going up and down on the mountains bewailing her virginity. 11:29-39

        # Manoah’s nameless wife, like so many biblical women, is barren. But an angel fixes that, and Samson is born. 13:2-3, 6, 9

        # “Samson … saw a woman … of the daughters of the Philistines … And Samson said unto his father … Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.” 14:1-3

        # After ripping up the lion, Samson went to visit the Philistine woman that he fell in lust with earlier. “And she pleased Samson well.” 14:7

        # “If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.”
        Samson called his wife a heifer. 14:18

        # “But Samson’s wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.” 14:20

        # Samson’s father-in-law gave Samson’s wife away to a friend, since he thought Samson “hated” her. He suggests that Samson take his younger daughter instead, saying the younger one’s prettier anyway. 15:2

        # After taking in a traveling Levite, the host offers his virgin daughter and his guest’s concubine to a mob of perverts (who want to have sex with his guest). The mob refuses the daughter, but accepts the concubine and they “abuse her all night.” The next morning she crawls back to the doorstep and dies. The Levite puts her dead body on an ass and takes her home. Then he chops her body up into twelve pieces and sends them to each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 19:22-30

        # After the Israelites heard the Levite’s story (about chopping up his dead concubine and sending her body parts to each tribe of Israel) they vowed not to “give” their daughters to the Benjamites. So now they had a problem: they just finished killing all the Benjamite women and children (Jg 20:48) so there were no women for the surviving Benjamite men to marry. [There were 600 Benjamite men that survived the war with the Israelites. (Jg 20:47)] 21:1-7

        # To find wives for the Benjamites (they were unwilling to use their own daughters), the other tribes attacked and killed all occupants of a city except for the young virgins. These virgins were then given to the Benjamites for wives. 21:7-23

        # Here’s what the Israelites decide to do. They will go and kill everyone in Jabeshgilead except for the virgin women and give them to the 600 surviving Benjamites. 21:11

        # So the Israelites killed all the non-virgin women and children in Jabeshgilead, bringing back 400 virgin women to give to the Benjamites. But they were still 200 short. Damn! 21:12-14

        # Then the elders of the congregation said, How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?” 21:16

        # “We may not give them wives of our daughters: for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, Cursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin.” 21:18

        # So they come up with another brilliant plan. Have the Benjamites hide in the bushes and then catch the daughters of Shiloh when they come out to dance. So that’s what they did and everyone lived happily ever after. 21:19-23


        # Ruth does as Naomi says, and then at midnight Boaz wakes up and finds Ruth “at his feet.” He asks who she is, and she says, “I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore your skirt over thine handmaid.” 3:7-9

        # Boaz purchases Ruth to be his wife. 4:10

        1 Samuel

        # “He [Samuel’s father] had two wives.” 1:2

        # “The Lord had shut up her [Hannah’s] womb.” 1:5

        # “And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her [he probably said something like, “Oh yeah, she’s the one whose womb I shut up.”]. And Hannah conceived and “bare a son [Oh boy, another boy!], and called his name Samuel.” 1:19-20

        # David and Saul have a contest to see who can kill the most people for God, and the women act as cheerleaders saying, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” 18:6-7, 21:11, 29:5

        # David kills 200 Philistines and brings their foreskins to Saul to buy his first wife (Saul’s daughter Michal). Saul had only asked for 100 foreskins, but David was feeling generous. 18:25-27

        # The priest tells David that he and his men can eat the “hallowed” bread if “they have kept themselves at least from women.” David assures the priest that they have and that “the vessels of the young men are holy.” So it’d be OK for them to eat the holy bread. 21:4-5

        # “And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.” This was convenient for David who then took his property and his wife, Abigail. 25:38

        # “When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD … And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.” 25:39

        # David takes his second wife (Abigail) after God killed her husband (Nabal). He also, at the same time, took another wife (#3), Abinam. In the meantime, Saul gave Michal (his daughter and David’s first wife) to another man. 25:41-44

        # “David rescued his two wives.”
        Oh, goodie! David got his wives back! 30:18

        2 Samuel

        # “David went up thither, and his two wives also.” 2:2

        # David, by this time, has at least seven wives (Michal, Ahinoam, Abigail, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, and Ehlah), and he was just getting started. 3:2-5

        # David says, “deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.” Well, he actually paid with two hundred foreskins (see 1 Sam.18:25-27). 3:14

        # Michal was bought by David with 200 Philistine foreskins (1 Sam.18:25-27), then she was “given” to Phatiel (1 Sam.25:44), and then “taken back” by David. Poor Phatiel must have loved her dearly since he “went along weeping behind her.” 3:15-16

        # “And David took him more concubines and wives.” (How many? God knows I suppose, but he doesn’t tell us in the Bible.) 5:13

        # King David dances nearly naked in front of God and everybody. When Michal criticizes him for exposing himself, God punishes her by having “no child unto the day of her death.” Although 2 Sam.21:8 says that she had five sons (which were sacrificed to God by David to stop God from starving people to death). 6:14-23

        # David sees a woman (Bathsheba) bathing and likes what he sees. so he sends for her and commits adultery with her “for she was purified from her uncleanness.” She conceives and bears a son (of course). 11:2-5

        # David tells Joab (his captain) to send Bathseba’s husband (Uriah) to “the forefront of the hottest battle … that he may be smitten and die.” In this way, David gets another wife. 11:15, 11:17, 11:27

        # God gave the wives of king Saul to David. 12:7-8

        # God is angry at David for having Uriah killed. As a punishment, he will have David’s wives raped by his neighbor while everyone else watches. It turns out that the “neighbor” that God sends to do his dirty work is David’s own son, Absalom (16:22). 12:11-12

        # To punish David for having Uriah killed, God kills Bathsheba’s baby boy. 12:14-18

        # After Bathsheba’s baby is killed by God, David comforts her by going “in unto her.” She conceives and bears another son (Solomon). 12:24

        # Ammon (David’s son) says to his half-sister Tamar, “Come lie with me, my sister.” But she resists, so he rapes her and then sends her away. Tamar, knowing that she now belongs to him (since she was a virgin), expects him to marry her, but he refuses. 13:1-22

        # Ammon (David’s son) says to his half-sister Tamar, “Come lie with me, my sister.” But she resists, so he rapes her and then sends her away. Tamar, knowing that she now belongs to him (since she was a virgin), expects him to marry her, but he refuses. 13:1-22

        # “And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.”
        David left Jerusalem because he was afraid that his son Absalom was going to kill him. But he left his concubines to fend for themselves. 15:16

        # Absalom “went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.” This was according the God’s plan as announced in 2 Sam.12:11-12. 16:21-22

        # To punish his ten concubines for being raped by his son, Absalom (See 16:21-22), David refuses to ever again have sex with them and forces them to “keep house” for the rest of their lives. 20:3

        1 Kings

        # Old King David tries to get some heat by having a beautiful virgin minister unto him. 1:1-4

        # “King Solomon loved many strange women.”
        God didn’t mind the number so much; it was their “strangeness” that he objected to. 11:1

        # “The LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.”
        Note that Solomon is told to stay away from foreign women. Why? Because they have different (“strange”) religious beliefs, and God disapproves of mixed-faith marriages. 11:2

        # “He had seven hundred wives … and three hundred concubines.” 11:3

        # His wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God.”
        The wisest man that ever lived (1 Kings 4:31) was misled by his wives into worshipping other gods. 11:4

        # The wisest man that ever lived (1 Kg.4:31) was misled by his wives into worshipping other gods. 11:4, 15:3

        # Jezebel (Ahab’s “strange” wife) “stirred up” Ahab to “work wickedness in the sight of the Lord.” to punish her, God vows that “the dogs shall eat Jezebel.” 21:23, 25

        # The dogs shall eat Jezebel.” Jezebel (Ahab’s “strange” wife) “stirred up” Ahab to “work wickedness in the sight of the Lord.” To punish her, God will feed her dead body to the dogs. He also plans to feed Ahab’s family to the dogs (if they live in the city) and to the birds (if they are country folks). 21:23-25

        2 Kings (None)

        1 Chronicles

        # “Keturah, Abraham’s concubine” 1:23

        # “And Tamar his daughter in law bore him Pharez.”
        See Gen.38 for all the sordid details. 2:4

        # Since Sheshan had no sons (and was getting impatient about it), he gave one of his daughters to a slave so they could produce a son for him. 2:34-35

        # Ashur had two wives, continuing the long line of biblical polygamists. 4:5

        # “And David took more wives” with the apparent approval of God. 14:3

        2 Chronicles

        # Solomon’s Egyptian wife can’t be around holy places. Is that because she is a woman or because she is an Egyptian, or both? 8:11

        # Rehoboam loved Maachah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines.” 11:21a

        # “He took eighteen wives, and threescore concubines.” 11:21b

        # “But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives.” Apparently, in the eyes of God, a man’s status is determined by the number of wives that he possesses. 13:21

        # “Jehoiada took for him two wives” — without comment, complaint, or criticism from the bible. 24:3


        # The Israelites offend God by “taking” foreign wives and thereby corrupting “the holy seed.” 9:2

        # Ezra tells the men that they must abandon their wives and children if they are to avoid God’s wrath. 10:2-3, 10-12


        # Nehemiah rebukes the men for marrying “strange wives.” To punish them he “contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair.” 13:25-27


        # King Ahasuerus throws a party and encourages his guests to drink to excess. Then, when they are all drunk, he orders Queen Vashti to show her stuff before him and his guests. 1:7-11

        # Vashti refuses to entertain the king’s drunken guests by dancing before them. For this she is no longer to be queen, to be replaced by someone better (prettier?). 1:12-19

        # Because of Vashti’s disobedience, the king decrees that “all the wives shall give to their husbands honor, both the great and the small” and “that every man should bear rule over his own house.” 1:20-22

        # “All the fair young virgins” throughout the kingdom are brought before the king, and the one that “pleaseth” the king the most will replace Vashti. 2:2-4

        # When it was Esther turn to “go in unto the king,” she pleases the king the most. So, having won the sex contest, she is made queen in Vashti’s place. 2:8-9, 12-17

        # Since women are inherently dirty, the woman that “pleased the king” the most must be “purified” for twelve months before she can be made queen. 2:9-12


        # Job’s wife rightly says that if Job is to keep his integrity, then he should curse God (for playing vicious games with Satan) and die. Job replies that she is talking like a “foolish woman.” 2:9-10

        # Speaking of births, Job says: “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean. Not one.” So according to the Bible, women are dirty (sinful), giving birth is dirty (sinful), and the newborn baby is dirty (sinful). 14:4

        # After God (or Satan) kills Job’s first set of kids (1:19), he is given an even better set — with even prettier daughters! 42:13-15


        # “In sin did my mother conceive me.” God considers both women and sex to be sinful. 51:5

        # God sent a plague on the Israelites for “committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab.” But “then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment [by throwing a spear through a newly married couple]: and so the plague was stayed.” But not before 24,000 (1 Cor.10:8 says 23,000) had died. (See Num.25:6-9 for all the gory details.) 106:29-30

        # “Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”
        A man should have as many children as he can. To hell with birth control. 127:3-5


        # God warns us about the dangers of “strange women.” Strange men are OK though. 2:16-19

        # The feet of strange women “go down to death,” and “her steps take hold on hell.” 5:3-5

        # Watch out for those evil, strange, and whorish women. 6:24-26

        # A woman that seduces a man is evil — the man is just an innocent victim. 7:5-27

        # We are warned again about “foolish women” who are “simple” and “knoweth nothing,” who drag their guests into “the depths of hell.” 9:13-18

        # A fair woman without discretion is like a golden jewel in a pig’s snout. 11:22

        # Avoid living with “brawling” women. 21:9, 25:24

        # Try not to live with “contentious” or “angry” women. 21:19

        # “Strange women” have “deep pits” for mouths into which fall those whom God hates. 22:14

        # “Whores” and “strange women” lie around waiting to trap innocent men. 23:27-28

        # Don’t even look at any “strange women.” If you do, you will utter perverse things. 23:33

        # “Contentious women” are like “a continual dropping on a very rainy day.” There are no contentious men. Well, maybe there are a few, but they are like sunny spring days. 27:15

        # Adulterous women eat, wipe their mouths, and say “what a good girl am I.” 30:20

        # One of the four things that the earth cannot bear is: an odious woman when she is married.” 30:21, 23

        # Don’t give your strength to women. 31:3

        # “Who can find a virtuous woman?” Virtuous men are much more common. 31:10


        # “But a woman among all those have I not found.”
        The Preacher could find a few good men (maybe one in a thousand or so), but not a single good woman. 7:28

        Song of Solomon

        # “There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.” 6:8


        # Isaiah shows his contempt for women by saying that things have gotten so bad for his people that “women rule over them.” 3:12

        # God will “smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion” and “will discover their secret parts” since he doesn’t like the way they dress and walk. 3:16-17

        # After God takes away the women’s jewelry and perfume, “discovers their secret parts,” and makes them all bald and stinking, he’ll kill their husbands. Women will then become so desperate that “seven women will take hold of one man, saying … let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” 4:1

        # After God “washed away the filth” from the women and killed the men, he set up “a cloud and smoke by day” and a “flaming fire by night.” 4:4-5

        # Egypt will become weakened and frightened “like unto women.” 19:16

        # Talking about graven images Isaiah says, “thou shalt cast them away as a menstrous cloth.” 30:22

        # “Tremble, ye women that are at ease .. strip you, and make you bare … They shall lament for the teats.” 32:12


        # Jeremiah insults people by calling them “harlots” who have sex on every hill and under every tree. 2:20

        # God compares Jerusalem’s sinful ways to a promiscuous woman, or a wild donkey in heat. 2:24

        # “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire?” This is meant to be a rhetorical question with an obvious answer: Of course not; women think only about their clothes. 2:32

        # A divorced woman is “polluted” when she remarries. The man, of course, remains perfectly clean through it all, even though he was the one who “put her away” in the first place. 3:1

        # “In the ways thou hast sat for them …” A woman can’t even sit anymore without being condemned by God. 3:2

        # Jeremiah loves to insult people. His favorite insult is to call someone a whore. In this verse he accuses Judah of having a “whore’s forehead.” 3:3

        # More talk of harlots who have sex under every tree. 3:6

        # Judah commits adultery with “stocks and stones.” 3:9

        # “Thou … hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree.” 3:13

        # “As a wife treacherously departeth from her husband …” If a woman leaves her husband, she is “treacherous,” but a man is blameless when he “puts her away” for no reason. 3:20

        # God threatens to punish the men by taking away all of their property, including their wives, and giving them to others. 6:12

        # To punish men, God will “give their wives unto others.” 8:10

        # God compares the destruction of Jerusalem to the rape of a woman who deserves to be raped because she has sinned. 13:22

        # God plans to expose Jerusalem’s private parts to the world by lifting her skirt over her head, so to speak. He’s seen her commit whoredoms and abominations and whatnot on the hills, and he’s getting darned sick of it! 13:26-27

        # “Have you forgotten … the wickedness of your wives?” Jeremiah blames it all on “the wickedness” of the Israelites’ wives. 44:9

        # God is going to do some really bad things to the people because the women burned incense to the “Queen of Heaven” (Mary?). 44:15-23

        # God will cause the daughters of Rabbah to be burned with fire. 49:2

        # God plans to make the Babylonian men “become like women.” (A fate worse than death to a misogynous god.). 50:37


        # Jerusalem is compared to a naked woman who sighs and turns backward. “Her filthiness is in her skirts.” 1:8-9

        # The adversary puts his hand upon “all her pleasant things. 1:10

        # “Jerusalem is as a menstrous woman.” (To God this is an insult.) 1:17

        # God mercilessly kills everyone, young and old. He even causes women to eat their children. 2:20-22

        # God “accomplishes his fury” by making women eat their children. 4:10-11

        # When God gets angry at you he calls you a drunken whore. 4:21


        # God sends a “man clothed with linen” to mark the foreheads of the men who will be saved. Apparently only men are considered good enough to keep, the others (unmarked men, “maids”, little children, and women) are to be slaughtered. God says he’ll “fill the courts with the slain” and will have pity on no one. 9:4-10

        # “Woe to the woman that sew pillows … Behold, I am against your pillows.” (God likes neither woman nor pillows.) 13:18-21

        # God dresses up Jerusalem, cleans off the blood that she was wallowing in, and compliments her on her nice hair and breasts. 16:6-7, 22

        # Jerusalem was a harlot who had sex with everyone that passed by. 16:15-16

        # “Thou hast … madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them.” 16:17

        # “Thou … hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by.” 16:25

        # “Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh.” (Jerusalem had sex with Egyptians with big penises.) 16:26

        # Jerusalem still wasn’t satisfied after having sex with the well-endowed Egyptians (v.26), so she had sex with the Assyrians too. Yet she still wasn’t satisfied. So she had sex with the men of Canaan and Chaldea, but still was not satisfied. 16:28-29

        # God calls Jerusalem “an imperious whorish woman.” 16:30

        # God says that Jerusalem has sex with strangers, hiring them to “come in unto thee on every side.” 16:32-33

        # Because she is such a filthy harlot, God will expose her nakedness before all of her lovers. 16:35-36

        # After exposing her nakedness, God will give her “blood in fury and jealousy” and strip her naked once more. 16:38-41

        # A good man never gets near a menstruating woman. 18:5-6

        # Information from God about discovering the nakedness of fathers, committing adultery with neighbor’s wives, sex with menstruating women, daughters-in-law, sisters, etc. 22:1-11

        # Two sisters were guilty of “committing whoredoms” by pressing their breasts and bruising “the teats of their virginity.” As a punishment, one sister’s nakedness was discovered, her children were taken from her, and she was killed by the sword. And the fate of the surviving sister was even worse: Her nose and ears were cut off, she was made to “pluck off” her own breasts, and then after being raped and mutilated, she is stoned to death. 23:1-49

        # “Their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.” 23:3

        # “Thus she committed her whoredoms with them … with all their idols she defiled herself.” 23:7

        # “They bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her.” 23:8

        # “These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword.” 23:10

        # “Her sister … was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms.” 23:11

        # “And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them.” 23:17

        # “So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness … she multiplied her whoredoms.” 23:18-19

        # Really Big Penises. One of the sister (Aholibah) had lovers “whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.” 23:20

        # “The lewdness of thy youth, in bruising thy teats by the Egyptians for the paps of thy youth.” 23:21

        # “They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels.” 23:26

        # “I will do these things unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen … Thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision … thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow.” 23:30-33

        # “Thou shalt … pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.” 23:34

        # “They came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments, And satest upon a stately bed.” 23:40-41

        # “They went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot.” 23:44

        # “And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses, and after the manner of women that shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands.” 23:45

        # “Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught.” 23:48

        # God kills Ezekiel’s wife and then tells him not to mourn her. 24:15-18

        # God says he will destroy Tyrus. He plans to kill everyone, but he is especially looking forward to killing all of the women. “And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD.” 26:1-21

        # In condemning Israel God says, “their way was before me as the uncleanliness of a removed woman.” 36:16-17


        # Jesus says that divorce is permissible when the wife is guilty of fornication. But what if the husband is unfaithful? Jesus doesn’t seem to care about that. 5:32, 19:9

        # When Jesus’ mother wants to see him, Jesus asks, “Who is my mother?” 12:47-49

        # Abandon your wife and children for Jesus and he’ll give you a big reward. 19:29

        # “Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days.” Why? Does God especially hate pregnant and nursing women? 24:19

        # Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to ten virgins who went to meet their bridegroom. 25:1


        # Jesus shows disrespect for his mother and family by asking, “Who is my mother, or my brethren?” when he is told that his family wants to speak with him. 3:31-34

        # Jesus will reward men who abandon their wives and families. 10:29-30

        # In the last days God will make things especially rough on pregnant women. 13:17


        # Even Mary had to be “purified” after giving birth to Jesus. Was she defiled by giving birth to the Son of God? 2:22

        # Males are holy to God, not females. 2:23

        # Peter and his partners (James and John) abandon their wives and children to follow Jesus. 5:11

        # Jesus, when told that his mother and brothers want to see him, ignores and insults them by saying that his mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it. 8:20-21

        # Abandon your wife and family for Jesus and he’ll give you a big reward. 18:29-30


        # Jesus tells Mary Magdalene not to touch him because he hasn’t yet ascended — as if the touch of a woman would defile him and somehow prevent him from ascending into heaven. 20:17

        Acts (None)


        # Paul explains that “the natural use” of women is to act as sexual objects for the pleasure of men. 1:27

        # “Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church.”
        The Revised Standard Version calls Phoebe a “deaconess”, which would make would make her a church leader. If the RSV translation is correct, this verse contradicts the requirement that women not be permitted to teach and that they must be silent in church. (1 Cor.14:34-35, 1 Tim.2:11-12). 16:1

        # “Junia … of note among the apostles”
        Was there a woman apostle? That is how some interpret this verse and use it to justify a more active role for women in the church. 16:7

        1 Corinthians

        # Paul would prefer that no one marry. but he says “to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife.” 7:1-2

        # “Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.” 7:27

        # Paul says “the head of the woman is the man,” meaning that the women are to be subordinate to men. 11:3

        # If a woman refuses to cover her head in church, then her her head must be shaved. 11:5-6

        # Men are made in the image of God; women in the image of men. Women were created from and for men. 11:7-9

        # Every women should have power on her head because of the angels. 11:10

        # Women are commanded by Paul to be silent in church and to be obedient to men. He further says that “if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in church.” 14:34-35

        2 Corinthians (None)

        Galatians (None)


        # Wives must submit to their husbands “in every thing” as though they were Christ. “For the husband is the head of the wife.” 5:22-24

        # Wives must reverence their husband. 5:33

        Philippians (None)


        # Wives, according to Paul, must submit themselves to their husbands. 3:18

        1 Thessalonians (None)

        2 Thessalonians (None)

        1 Timothy

        # Women are to dress modestly, “with shamefacedness” — “not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” 2:9

        # “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” 2:11-12

        # Men are superior to women since Adam was made before, and sinned after, Eve. But even though women are inferior to men, they shouldn’t be discouraged because they shall “be saved in childbearing.” 2:14-15

        # “A bishop must be … the husband of one wife.” Apparently, it’s OK for laymen to have several. 3:2

        # Real widows are “desolate” and pray “night and day.” But those widows that experience pleasure are “dead while [they] live.” 5:5-6

        # You should help a widow only if she 1) is over 60 years old, 2) had only one husband, 3) has raised children, 4) has lodged strangers, 5) has “washed the saints feet,” 6) has relieved the afflicted, and 7) has “diligently followed very good work.” Otherwise, let them starve. “But the younger widows refuse [to help]: for … they will marry; having damnation.” Besides the young widows are always idle tattlers — “busybodies, spreading things which they ought not.” He adds that “some are already turned aside after Satan.” 5:9-15

        2 Timothy

        # In the last days, “silly women” who are “ever learning” will be “led away with divers lusts.” 3:6-7


        # A bishop should have only one wife. I guess it’s OK for laymen to have several. 1:6-7

        # “Teach the young women to be … obedient to their own husbands.” 2:4-5

        Philemon (None)

        Hebrews (None)

        James (None)

        1 Peter

        # Peter orders all wives to be “in subjection” to their husbands. 3:1

        # Wives are to use “chaste conversation, coupled with fear.” They are not to braid their hair, wear gold, or put on any “apparel.” They are to do these things in imitation of the “holy” women of the Old testament who were “in subjection to their won husbands: even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord.” 3:2-6

        # In relation to her husband, the wife is “the weaker vessel.” 3:7

        2 Peter

        # Lot, who in Gen.19:8 offers his two virgin daughters to a crowd of angel rapers and later (19:30-38) impregnates them, was a “righteous man.” 2:8

        1 John

        # John writes to the men (fathers) only. Women (mothers?) are not important enough to address. 2:13-14

        2 John (None)

        3 John (None)

        Jude (None)


        # Jezebel (whom God had thrown off a wall, trampled by horses, and eaten by dogs [2 Kg.9:33-37]) is further reviled by John, saying “that woman Jezebel” taught and seduced God’s “servants to commit fornication.” 2:20

        # Jesus will “cast her [Jezebel] into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her.” 2:22

        # Only 144,000 celibate men will be saved. (Those who were not “defiled with women.”) 14:1-4

        # Drinking the wine of her fornication. 14:8

        # The great whore has “committed fornication” with all the kings on earth. Everyone else is “drunk with the wine of her fornication.” She sits on a scarlet colored beast with the usual 7 heads and 10 horns. She carries a cup full of the “filthiness of her abominations” and has a big sign on her forehead saying: “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.” You’ll know her when you see her. 17:1-5

        # “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs.” 17:6

        # “All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her.” 18:3

        # The “great whore” corrupted the earth with her fornication. 19:2

        346 citations

      • CPorter on February 15, 2011 at 00:51

        Dude, that was wayyyy too long. And everyone knows the great whore isn’t a literal female.

      • gallier2 on February 15, 2011 at 01:22

        I see, inconvenient facts are too long to bother with. These were 346 extracts of the bible that were from lightly to heavily misogynist. Your measly 5 instances were it is not don’t make up for that.
        As for your literal female, why use whore as corrupting agent?
        Why not “The great fucker corrupted the earth with his fornication”, see why this expression can be interpreted as mysoginist even when not read literally?

      • CPorter on February 15, 2011 at 10:02

        It’s a man’s world. That’s just the way it is. No reason for me to kick against the pricks, as the Bible says.

        Personally, I don’t find the use of the word whore to describe a whorish religious movement in Revelations to be offensive.

        As a Christian, what the New testament says applies to me. And it’s still, to the evolutionist and skeptics, going to be offensive because it clearly states that men are to be the head of women.

        And like I said to Richard, if you were honest, you’d have to agree that for the continuation of the species, the stronger of the sexes being the head and the weaker of the sexes (physically) being to caretaker and nurturer of the offspring is what keeps this old world going.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2011 at 12:45

        “It’s a man’s world. That’s just the way it is.”

        That has actually never been the case as the given, you just want to lay down because you personally find it comfortable. It get it. But you don’t represent all women.

        “as the Bible says.” …”As a Christian, what the New testament says applies to me.”

        And what does it say (even the NT parts)? Gallier posted far more than you, and you quipped & dismissed. Don’t you see how that makes you look? Seriously? There are thousands of people looking at this, and you wanna look like a primitive dumbfuck?

        Hey, you can be as stupid as you wanna be.

        But hey, I get it.

        I recall vividly how, as a teenager in a “born-again” home, prior to heading off to divinity school, how family and church fiends hucked it up about how stupid was “The World” … for various reasons, foremost of which was their rejection of the families’ favorite Bible tenants (not many or any of which were included in Gallier’s rendition).

        Jesus were we ever smug! I recall. We knew all the answers. People were just lost souls. They had not yet accepted Jesus into their hearts as their personal Lord & Savior. We “loved every sinner. Hated every “sin.”

        But, sadly, it was we who were so lost. I found that out 20 years ago and thankfully, all of the family I really care about has been pulled out of that morass of abject stupidity, even if in many cases, more on a practical than philosophical level (the stupidity affect all aspects of life), i.e., some still retain aspects of belief in Sup3r Pow3erz, but I’m happy with the progress.

      • Cporter on February 15, 2011 at 20:35

        Actually Richard, I was just trying to be polite and not start a debate about 300 different Scripture references that someone copied and pasted from some website. I mean, what’s his point?

        And I’m a dumbf*ck for not answering the guy who can copy and paste? Gee, what must you take for intelligence???

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2011 at 21:15

        Seems to me your evading the issue. You claim the Bible doesn’t support male dominion over the female. Seems pretty clear to me that it does.

      • CPorter on February 15, 2011 at 23:10

        I think the New Testament is clear that the Christian man should be the head of his home. I’m good with that.

        And it’s also clear the the NT that the male headship includes loving your wife as Christ loves the church. I’m good with that.

        Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I personally don’t like weak men, whether that’s physically weak or mentally weak. And I know that physically I am a weaker vessel. There are a lot of things that most men can do far better than I can. And I’m good with that too.

      • gallier2 on February 16, 2011 at 03:10

        Thank you, that was my point and when I’m just at it, excuse my simple gigantic copy-pasting of a huge text. It’s normally quite gross to fill comments with such big text, but CPorter needed to get a feeling of the sheer volume of text in the bible that contradicts his point (and in case he didn’t notice a big part of the citations are from the NT).
        So he can make up his bullshit as he wants but he can not use the scriptures to give a semblance of authority to them, even if we know that appeal to authority is a fallacy anyway.

      • gallier2 on February 14, 2011 at 23:13

        Just to cite the sources

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2011 at 08:50

        “And lets face it: Men can always outwork women. Nothing wrong with embracing that truth. Men own most of the wealth in the world. Men are most often responsible for the great inventions of civilization.”

        Yes, for millenia women, by force, have been prevented from certain forms of production reserved for men. I suspect that men still might outperform even in the face of a free and level playing field because many women are content to play a role as homemaker and primary caregiver to children — an immensely crucial and important role, I might add. Nothing at all to look down upon there. The problem arises when a woman wants to produce in other areas like science, engineering, invention, finance and can’t that we have a problem.

        And that state of affairs persisted for these millenia primarily due to sources like your Bible and other primitive writings and teachings. And for the sake of male erections through force directed against women we have in essence squandered a lot of potential for advancements in many of these productive, inventive fields. Oh, well….

        “I revel in that.”


      • CPorter on February 15, 2011 at 09:56

        Honestly Richard, it just seems that if you really believed in evolution you’d be able to embrace the fact that women and men are completely different. Men are always going to be better at a great number of things.

        Whether you believe that the species evolved to be that way or were designed that way, the fact is that we are that way.

        Personally, I believe that the higher calling and duty is to the children, for the mother. An honest evolutionist would have to see the absolutely necessity in that, even though it is another one of those pesky Biblical principals.

        Because without the care of the young, society can cease to exist in the evolutionary scenario or in the Biblical scenario.

        The child left to its own devices in an evolutionary scenario dies and doesn’t procreate. In the Biblical scenario the child left to itself while the mother puts her own desires and interests first usually goes off the rails and doesn’t become a productive member of society.

        So the job of the mother in either scenario is to me, job 1. If she wants to produce in other fields, fine. But MOST women will always be drawn to motherhood. Very few women find a career anywhere near as fulfilling as motherhood.

        Whether you believe that was by some accident of evolution, or the design or a creator, it’s still a fact.

        Best to you!

      • Andrew on February 15, 2011 at 21:04

        Reciting your misunderstanding only highlights your misunderstanding. I tend to find this happens when arguments are regurgitated rather than actually comprehended by those recycling them.

        Unfortunately, I sometimes forget that attempting to have a logical and reasonable discussion with those whose world-views eschew logic and reason is typically an exercise in futility.

        If you think your faith truly goes beyond a psychologically rationalized denial of death, I challenge you to read Why Evolution Is True with the full intellect ‘god’ gave you. Alas, the Bible, like all cults, recommends that you avoid using your brain for fear its contrived facade will crumble like the dust from which we all came.

      • Brian Scott on February 15, 2011 at 10:06

        What Richard seems to be getting at is the institutionalised way that all societies and cultures have that discourage or outright forbid women from participating in any productive means other than motherhood. Yes, men, ceteris paribus, are stronger than women.

        The Bible, as advanced as it was for its time with regards to women’s rights, still operated under the axiom that women were of lesser status of the two sexes – a servant to her husband. There’s a vast difference between that and simple description of the differences between male and female physiologies.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2011 at 10:09

        “Honestly Richard, it just seems that if you really believed in evolution you’d be able to embrace the fact that women and men are completely different. Men are always going to be better at a great number of things”

        Evolution is a mundane scientic fact, as real as sunrise and sunset.

        It requires no belief. It’s merely situated in such a way that it comes in conflict with superstition, originally bread in ignorance and that persists due to the eons old propagation of ignorance for the sake of patriarchal dominance and i’s theologic bedfellow partner in the church & state. Don’t forget what gender has predominantly “manned” those offices.

        Alas, we evolved real minds. Minds that perceive, conceptualize, and integrate. And thus, individualism trumps evolution, and religion is primarily for the classes ignorant or obstinate on both.

        I applaud careful child rearing and respect the time and effort it takes to do well. But not every woman wants to do it and I equally respect that choice in a world where, most simply stated: they can.

      • CPorter on February 15, 2011 at 11:26

        For the New Testament Christian, the idea of servant leadership is a given to the male. And the status of the female is not “lower” but different.

      • CPorter on February 15, 2011 at 11:30

        Why respect a “choice” where a mother willingly devalues her own children and places herself above their needs? I do not respect that choice.

        Also, evolution is not a fact, it a theory that filled with years and years of hoaxes and lies designed to sucker the simpleminded.

        Sadly, it’s worked in some cases.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2011 at 12:05

        “For the New Testament Christian”

        Oh, so glad for you that you have a “NEW Testament.” What, did the Earth shift, get outta balance? Did the masters of erection figure they’d figured too far? Was it contrived after the fact?

        Is it convenient, like, out with the old, in with the New?

        Where’s the New, New Testament?

        Or, did the thing die long ago and you’re just a victim of literary archeology, thinking in your short life that you’re onto something?

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2011 at 13:10

        “Why respect a “choice” where a mother willingly devalues her own children and places herself above their needs? I do not respect that choice.”

        Simple. I respect results. Results are obtained in various ways. And unless you live under a rock, some professionals do a far better job of raising children than do wombs who are otherwise inept and not up to the task.

        But I get it. You care about dogma, not really about the kids themselves.

        “Also, evolution is not a fact, it a theory that filled with years and years of hoaxes and lies designed to sucker the simpleminded.”

        Ref my previous post about how we “born agains” were oh so sure.

        But that’s just a sideline. What’s more important is your conflation of fact with science. Gravity is a fact and yet, still holds sway as a scientific theory. Same for disease. It;s a fact it kills people. and yet, it holds sway, properly, as a scientific theory.

        I submit to you, my smart, intelligent but woefully ignorant madame, that you simply do not really know anything about science, not much. There are online courses.

        To sum them up, all science is “theory,” even gravity. That’s because it deals –or is supposed to — in honest investigation.

        You see, science is forever open-ended, which is why all is “merely” a theory — even though we can walk on it as though it’s real and factual. Because, we want to know more. And then, we want to know more and when that’s satisfied, we still want to know more.

        I don’t know how old you are, anything about you, but I do hope you find a way to get past what I perceive as self-imposed ignorance.

        Hey, if a former divinity school student can do it, so can you.

      • Andrew on February 15, 2011 at 16:11

        “…evolution is not a fact, it [is] a theory…”

        @CPorter, please understand that this claptrap is nothing but wordplay capitalizing on the intentional confusion of two distinct definitions of “theory.” One is the colloquial use, the other is the scientific use. Your argument is not even an argument per se, but something along the lines of slander, propaganda, or a blatant lie… its use demonstrates either willful intent to mislead or a fundamental misunderstanding of the science of evolution. It passes as legitimate only among those clamoring to cling to their untenable belief in magical invisible superheroes from outer-space.

        Please understand the wrongness of the argument before reciting it again: Evolution as theory and fact.

      • Cporter on February 15, 2011 at 20:40

        Richard, I’m not a Jew and I am not under the law of the Old Testament. Romans 6:14

        Neither are the Jews for that matter, but that’s another tangent for a different day.

        “Oh, so glad for you that you have a “NEW Testament.” What, did the Earth shift, get outta balance?“No, Christ died. Hebrews 9:16 – 17.

      • Cporter on February 15, 2011 at 20:41

        Andrew, evolution with it’s constant and every changing tenets is just a theory.

      • Cporter on February 15, 2011 at 20:47

        Richard, I’m probably the opposite of you. It sounds like you were a Christian, or believed you were at a younger age, perhaps as teen and then went off to Bible College, perhaps at TT?

        I on the other hand spent those young years rockin’ and rollin’ my way through college and believing in every bit of silly evolutionary thought that was every passed my way.

        I was a feminist and while I might have told people I was a Christian, because I’m from the South and everyone down here says they are, even the catholics and methodists. But in reality I was not and was about as big a sinner as a girl in the 80’s could be and still be somewhat respectable. After all, it was the 80’s.

        Take care, I enjoyed discussing things with you, but I’ve got a six year old here that needs a bed time story.



      • CPorter on February 15, 2011 at 23:17

        Thank you for your comments Andrew. After many years of study I concluded that evolution is theory, one that has been debunked even.

        That you have faith in the theory of evolution and its attended hoaxes doesn’t disturb me or threaten me, so I won’t be lowering myself to criticize you for your faith in evolution.

        I understand where you are coming from, I was once a staunch evolutionist.

      • Andrew on February 16, 2011 at 00:07

        Thanks for volunteering to maintain the loftiness of your self-righteous eminence, but I must humbly request that you not attempt to elevate my meager hominin understanding to your heightened level of rarefied air by proclamations on-high that faith is required to understand evolution.

        I’m not moved by your claims that you spent years studying as you’ve yet to say anything with content (and I’m not asking you to at this point). You’ve done nothing but recite words without saying anything, thus demonstrating that you have no grasp of science or evolution. So no, you do not understand where I’m coming from.

        Speaking about hoaxes whilst using the Bible as a reference is laughable. There are enough contradictions to choke a dozen Damascus donkeys in the gospels alone. The bummer about claiming divine inspiration is that it only takes one error to invalidate the whole mess.

        Okay, I’ll let you get back to laboring under the unbearable weight of bearing the cross for Jesus, along with the rest of your 80% minority.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 16, 2011 at 09:01

        “I was once a staunch evolutionist.”

        From “staunch” to “devout,” I see. Explains a lot.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 16, 2011 at 09:14

        “Andrew. After many years of study I concluded that evolution is theory”

        And that took “many years of study?” Anyone with a scintilla of actual understanding (incidentally, I don’t believe you, just so you know) of science in general and evolution in particular could tell you this at a glance.

        Perhaps you should have been less “staunch” (though I don’t believe you there, either) and of a more falsifiable mindset.

        Yes, indeed, NEWS FLASH: Science is “just” a bunch of theories. You see, real scientists and science minded people rely upon observations and hypothesis to form theories which then serve as the latest knowledge upon which time more observation and hypothesis serves to further refine theories or cast them aside in favor of better theories.

        It’s quite unlike the delusional comfort having a 2,000 year old primitive text written by dirt-scratching savages in the dessert serve as the final word for all time.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 16, 2011 at 12:59

        “Richard, I’m not a Jew and I am not under the law of the Old Testament.”

        Oh, right, that “chosen people” schtick. Well, given the history of that particular branch of Semitic peoples, I’m pretty happy to remain unchosen.

        Or to put it another way: with God as your chosen friend, who needs a fucking enemy?

        “Christ died.”

        Yea, yea. I know the bedtime story.

        Since my time in a church-sponsored school for JS and HS and then off to Bible college, it always amused me how some branches of Christianity — especially the ugly stepchildren: born again fundies — strive to distance themselves from the annals (or anals) of The Old Testament while from the other side of mouth, carry it around in their Bibles and preach from it often enough.

        What, did God have some epiphany? Was he, like, “Man, did I ever fuck up? Jesus (oops, not an epithet, yet), we’ve got people going around stoning wives and children for indiscretions in my name and well, though those were my orders, Christ (oops…), I wasn’t SERIOUS about it. Time for a NEW Testament. Hey, Jesus, come ‘er, wouldja? Gotta a job for ya and believe you me, when this scheme is laid, people will be speaking your name — even when they’re pissed off.”

        It is to laugh. The ability to cognitive dissonance in modern man absolutely boggles the mind. Then again, it wasn’t too long ago that young German soldiers were loading Jews into boxcars, dead to the voice of their own conscience, in full knowledge of what would come of them.

        But I know. That was all part of that wondrous god’s “plan.”

      • CPorter on February 16, 2011 at 21:31

        I don’t have a problem with the Old Testament. In fact, to my detriment spiritually I probably read too much in the OT. But that still doesn’t mean I am under the Law, or that the laws of the OT apply to me.

        And why is it so bothersome to you and Andrew that what is written is written? I mean, why get your self all worked up over the fact that the Jews (while wandering in the desert for 40 years without running water) were commanded to not have sex with their wives while their wives were menstruating?

        Why such hostility over things like that???

  31. rob on February 14, 2011 at 04:42

    From a Paleo perspective I don’t think the issue is whether Paleo Man lifted heavy weights, I think a more relevant comparison is hormone levels of Paleo Man versus Modern Man. I doubt that Paleo Man had a testosterone/estrogen imbalance, cause he wasn’t eating stuff that increased his estrogen levels.

    eating animal flesh
    lifting heavy weights

    both help keep your testosterone levels where they should be. Maybe not a big factor when you are in your 20’s but as you get older, keeping the testosterone level where it should be makes a big difference in your quality of life.

  32. Danny B on February 14, 2011 at 06:28

    Richard, I was turned on to the leangains approach through your site, thank you. Have started leangains and am starting week 2 today. Martin doesn’t except clients at this point, and i read your post on the workout approach, along with martin’s RPT articles, and using the squat, DL, Bench, and chinup as my compound lifts. I was just wondering what the 10 assistant exercises are that he prescribed u to use. I know you posted that they weren’t important as far as gains, but wondering if I’m on track. Currently assisting with 2 sets of each, pullups, pushups, db ohp, dips, some posterior chain, abs, triceps.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2011 at 08:12

      Danny B:

      For one, I’m not at liberty to talk about everything to do with the approach. I agreed to that condition.

      Second, according to Martin while the mail moves apply to most clients (which is why we talk about them) they don’t apply to all and this is where customization comes in.

      I don’t know how important that mix is, but I’m sure any reasonable collection of standard stuff will work for you especially if you stick to the eating with sufficient protein and get those main compound moves it.

      • Danny B on February 14, 2011 at 12:46

        Thanks for the feed back, I understand about not being able to tell all, I just figured I’d give it a shot, I can’t fucking wait for the book to come out so I can see if I’m following the protocol for calories and macro cycling correctly. Currently weigh 200lb. 3000 cal on workout days, and 2000 cal on rest days high carb postworkout, high fat on rest days, thanks again.

      • Jess on February 14, 2011 at 21:14

        On average, with 15 cals/lb you’d have a maintenance intake of 3000 calories per day; 3000 on workout days and 2000 on rest days is going to average below your maintenance.

        If you’re cutting, I’d say that sounds good. If you’re trying to bulk, you’d definitely want some more calories than that. All depends on what your goals are.

  33. Paul C on February 14, 2011 at 08:01

    Some of us are so affected by gluten that basic nutrient absorbtion is compromised, and we have been weak leans our entire lives mostly because of that, eating tremendous amounts of food to compensate for our damaged digestion, causing more damage in the process. Weight lifting results are slow and difficult to hang onto.

    Add to that the societal pressure toward weakleans with chronic cardio and more exercise is better mentality. If you put a compromised person on a regimen of chronic cardio, they may very well waste away. Horrifically this wasting might be viewed as a good thing if the person is looking at improving a marathon time.

    Now I eat half of what I used to eat, and am gaining lean mass, and gaining weight, and spending a third of the time working out. Freeing the animal has allowed me to think critically about what is valuable and on what time is spent.

    • Erik on February 15, 2011 at 07:59

      That’s a really good point, actually, regarding gluten inhibiting nutrient absorption. I’ve noticed that for a few days after eating a lot of wheat (or drinking heavily) I pass through a LOT more “waste” even if I’m eating just as much as usual, and some of it comes out looking undigested. Interesting to consider that depending on WHAT you eat, you could be eating 3000 calories “worth” of food and only be actually taking in maybe half that. Keep that digestive tract healthy (gluten-free, in other words) and even a lot of that insoluble fiber in those optional veggies turns into highly bioavailable saturated fat in the colon.

      Makes you wonder just how much of the concept of “calories” in food (they’re determined by burning food in an incinerator) is complete bullshit. Maybe everyone’s getting the equivalent of half the actual calories they think they are, and we’d never know it.

      • Paul Verizzo on February 15, 2011 at 08:15

        The TEF (Thermal Effect of Food) for protein has long been recognized. For every calorie of protein that you consume, only 75%-80% is available for muscle energy. The rest is the cost of converting those amino acids to usable forms. As a rough calculator, take the grams of protein you consume and deduct that as calories. I.e., 200 grams of protein in a day means you effectively ate 200 fewer calories than the calculators tell you.

        I think we can drive ourselves nuts trying to get super accurate understanding of everything that – allegedly, may, or may not – happens in our bodies. And that’s without individual variation. You don’t want to consume saturated fats? Yet the bacteria in your colon convert some of that fiber to butric (sp?) acid, the main fat of butter. (Neener, neener, vegans!)

        We see undigested matter in our feces, and it is always vegetable in origin. So there is, I guess, another thermic effect in play, even cellulose.

  34. Brian Scott on February 14, 2011 at 11:15

    For me, right now, “leanness” is my main goal. Two reasons: 1) I want to look good. :P Sod the health benefits at 26. Even those “weak leans” guys are attractive. 2) Space considerations. I.e. I want to be more comfortable when I’m flying and I want to be able to go on rollercoasters when I go on vacation.

    That being said, I’m wondering if I should begin proper strength training. I have resistance bands but never got into the habit of using them. I’m wondering if I should start with them or go with that Starting Strength book someone mentioned further up.

  35. Helen on February 14, 2011 at 13:37

    Great post, Richard, bless your old-fashioned heart :)

  36. Gabe on February 14, 2011 at 14:36

    Brian: You can get reasonably strong without it affecting your flying comfort or ability to ride a roller coaster. There is a big range of size between “90’s Small” and some grotesque bodybuilder. For the love of your favorite deity, forget the resistance bands and get yourself a copy of Starting Strength if you’re serious about proper strength training. And if you do need some new clothes at the end of the program, your new-found levels of strength, self respect, and virility will more than make up for it.

    • Brian Scott on February 14, 2011 at 15:08

      Think I gave the wrong impression. I was more commenting on Richard giving emphasis to becoming strong while for me, being seriously overweight, losing fat is higher priority.

      • rob on February 14, 2011 at 16:22

        “Lean Health, Vitality and Attractiveness”

        I didn’t give a rat’s ass about strength until I lost a LARGE amount of fat eating this way and walking every morning, at one point I figure I was walking 35-40 miles a week. Nothing but walk, walk walk.

        The weight loss trumps everything, but when you do begin strength training imo methods that are easily quantifiable (amount of weight, number of reps) are better than methods that are not easily quantifiable (carrying a log through the woods, pulling against a large rubber band).

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2011 at 17:43

        Brian, realize that you have serious lean mass needed to carry the weight. When you get fat, it’s about 75/25 fat/lean. So, you’re likely to lose some of that losing fat. But you can get a jump by eating a real lot of protein (meat, baby, in gobs) while doing some serious lifting while losing the fat. That way, you may not need to try and regain lean.

        Otherwise, I agree. All else equal, that’s the priority.

      • Brian Scott on February 15, 2011 at 05:44

        Ah, that’s good to know. Guess I’ll snatch up that book and give it a shot.

  37. SB on February 14, 2011 at 15:40

    Are you still doing Body by Science workouts?
    Will this injury send you back to them?

  38. michael on February 14, 2011 at 17:25

    Totally off topic Richard, but just had to share the latest idiocy from Huff Post..


  39. jerry on February 14, 2011 at 19:48

    hey richard,

    i’ ve been trying to follow martin’s methods of intermittent fasting along with the workout routine similar to yours. i’ve read that we are allowed to go high-carb post workout, even with refined grains, and just wanted to know if you also follow this advise? or do you stick with your paleo/low-carb/ meat-dominant/food porn meals 24/7 regardless of workout or rest days?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2011 at 12:07

      Martin is paleo friendly. No gains necessary, though far as I know he does not prohibit for non-paleo clients.

  40. Brett Legree on February 15, 2011 at 14:30

    Weak Leans… yeah, that’s a good name for a couple of guys I saw this morning at breakfast (I am traveling for business).

    The B&B where I am staying has an all-you-can-eat hot breakfast included, freshly prepared i.e. not buffet.

    So of course I had 6 poached eggs and 6 sausage links (in retrospect, I should have had more…)

    I looked around the room, and saw two Weak Leans – what were they eating? One had a grapefruit, followed by a bowl of oatmeal with cream (oh, please!) and the other ate a single hard-boiled egg with a piece of whole grain toast, no butter.

    I am not kidding…

    Come on, EAT LIKE A *MAN* for crying out loud… skinny 50-something dudes, no muscle definition at all. Sheesh. Kill me if I ever look like that.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2011 at 14:38

      The pernicious shame Brett, is that they and so many others eat “meals” like that to make room for 10am dognuts and other stuff throughout the day.

      Hay, you wanna be hungry for dognuts. Remember?

  41. Bushrat on February 16, 2011 at 00:31

    Great post Richard. This shit pisses me off. I don’t know where the weak lean trend came from but I suspect it has something to do with the emasculisation of modern men. It pains me every time I hear a guy say he wants to look like Brad Pitt in fight club. Pitt is skinny in that movie. He is a twig. He just looks ripped because he has next to no body fat, and because the lead actor is the skinniest man in Hollywood, ever.

    I used to be 90 kg but went back down to 73 kg after switching to paleo and going through a rough low carb flu. Now I am rebuilding my strength base and it shits me that my lifts are so crap now. I’ve started starting strength again and this time I hope to surpass my old records before I have to switch to a different program.

    • Grok on February 17, 2011 at 18:11

      Like this skinny little Hollywood fighter guy who’s weak and only looks ripped next to little asian men?

      Edward Norton is no Lou Ferrigno, but he is the new Hulk ;) He knows how to lift heavy things. Here’s a picture from American History X 1 year before Fight Club. I’d bet money Norton weighs more than 73kg right now.

      Fit and strong doesn’t mean you’ll have a BB physique. Guys want to look like Brad Pitt, because woman want to have sex with people who look like Brad Pitt. He was crowned “Sexiest Man Alive” for the second time after that movie.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 17, 2011 at 21:43

        I’m amazed you fail to make critical distinctions at this point, Grok.


      • Richard Nikoley on February 17, 2011 at 21:44

        Correction: fucking simple critical distinctions.

      • Grok on February 18, 2011 at 01:59

        Richard, I’m 100% on board with the point of post. I was 5 days ago when I re-read and commented again at the top. I get it… you don’t like wimpy kids and their yappy mouths. The kid said “toned” for fucks sake. Who’s taking him seriously? That’s the kind of crap my Mom would have said when she taught aerobics in the early 80s.

        I was merely pointing out to the slightly confused gentleman above, don’t be so quick to judge. Just because someone looks skinny (relative term), doesn’t mean they’re an emasculated “weak lean”. They may have busted their ass lifting heavy shit like Bruce (and probably Brad) and just might rip your fucking throat out after after being popped off to.

        This whole page from top to bottom is a clusterfuck. Everyone seems to read it a different way. That’s why there’s so many confused comments. Doesn’t seem people are able to figure out if it’s about body comp, bodyweight, wimpy kids, hypocrite christians, or killing women?

      • Richard Nikoley on February 18, 2011 at 18:58


        Well I can’t disagree that this comment thread is a bit clusterfucked.

        But I have to tell you that when I saw Daniel’s comment…

        …I just had to shake my head in the affirmative, and then catching up on twitter today with all your #plantstrong stuff I just had to ask what we have in common, anymore. My cycles are very limited and I have to ask myself why I spend any of it reading a guy cramming 5,000 kcal of plants down his mouth every day in order to get enough nutrition.

        And plus, as everyone knows, for me, veggies are fine, but in their place. In other words, I simply have zero interest in your dietary experiment, new lifestyle, whatever it is to you. Congrats on making it work for you, apparently, but I just have no idea why you seemingly spend time trying to convince the paleo community that what you’re doing is nutritionally sound.

        And you may be right. It’s just that I couldn’t care less.

      • Grok on February 18, 2011 at 20:17

        I crammed even more when I was paleo ;) It’s not that I have to eat that much, it’s that I want or require it. Whether it’s physical or mental I’m not 100% sure yet. Probably a dose of both. I’ll spare the details.

        “I just had to ask what we have in common, anymore.”

        Actually we have quite bit:
        – Atheism
        – Libertarianism
        – Entrepreneurship (you significantly more successful)
        – both revived from the dead
        – Real Food
        – both diet agnostic (me significantly more)

        We don’t even part ways on exercise theory either… but I’m a 30 something with ultra-endurance interests, so my training will be different. This also happens to be mostly why my diet is different.

        “why you seemingly spend time trying to convince the paleo community that what you’re doing is nutritionally sound.”

        It’s not that I spend time trying to convince people that it “is” nutritionally sound, it’s more like I’m tired of hearing that it isn’t.

        “It’s just that I couldn’t care less.”

        I not forcing anyone to read my twitter feed. It’s just where I expel a great deal of mindless dribble and/or unfiltered thoughts. They’re good people, but I don’t follow a lot of the paleo community there. Just enough to get the good links and the friends I made years ago. Frankly, because “I couldn’t care less.” :)

  42. Brett Legree on February 16, 2011 at 02:27

    Exactly, dognuts and candies and so on… meanwhile, I wasn’t hungry for the rest of the day, and it didn’t matter because I went out for a HUGE steak last night (blue-rare, with garlic-butter fried mushrooms and Bearnaise sauce).

    I normally don’t eat breakfast as I have been following the Leangains approach since seeing it here at your site (thank you for that, by the way), but being on business and knowing how little choice there is for lunch where I am training, I take the REAL breakfast and skip the lunch.

    Heh heh I think I’ll have 8 sausages today.

  43. Felix on February 16, 2011 at 04:59

    Yeah, we should attack the skinny ones, too. Harrassing only the fat kid is just not pathetic enough. I think we should start an all out war on anyone who doesn’t have the physique currently marketed as ideal. Anything to help the diet industry, really …

    • Richard Nikoley on February 16, 2011 at 08:57

      What’s truly pathetic, Felix, is the guy who sees every criticism, every commentary, every disagreement or admonishment as an “attack.”

      • Felix on February 17, 2011 at 08:25

        … and writing a long-ass post in reply to it … ;-)

        No, the thing that annoys me is just this focus on appearance. Isn’t this about health? Do you need to be muscular to be healthy? Or skinny? Why create yet another way to group people into two camps in the diet-and-health field based on appearance preferences? My point being that there’s enough arbitrary “more natural than thou” competition as it is already.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 17, 2011 at 10:20

        “the thing that annoys me is just this focus on appearance. Isn’t this about health? ”

        False alternative. Show me a truly healthy person who does not have a suitable appearance. Show me a healthy animal in the wild that looks gross as a member of their species.

        Thing is, it’s easier and with better feedback to focus on appearance (weight, body comp, strength, etc.) than some nebulous notion of health. Eat, move, fast and sleep as a wild human animal, you begin to look like a normal one, and let the health take care of itself.

  44. rob on February 17, 2011 at 12:45

    I don’t even know what people mean by “health”

    -not having cancer?
    -not facing triple bypass surgery within the next few years?

    by that measure I was healthy when I was eating the conventional low fat diet.

    Looked and felt like crap though.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 17, 2011 at 12:48

      Absolutely, Rob.

      “health” is a wishy-washy concept used by virtually every ideologically based dietary regime: low-fat, vegetarian, vegan, raw food; “Healthy Choice” and “Honey Nut Cheerios.”

      While body comp can certainly be hijacked as well, not quite so easily.

  45. Bill Strahan on February 17, 2011 at 13:19

    Yeah! Let’s see. 275 bench, 425 deadlift, 335 squat. That puts me past that 1000 total, at age 43 and 189 pounds. So I guess I’m qualified according to addendum #2’s original instigator. About 4 years ago that would have been a 700 and change total at 239 pounds. Yuck.

    The bodyweight stuff has its place. Just like the barbell has it’s place. I don’t think Richard was dissing bodyweight exercises, just saying that if you do that exclusively you’re missing out on a big part of what you can develop.

    Sprint sometimes, walk sometimes, move just your body sometimes, and move the heaviest weight you can move sometimes. Do all of it. Muscle-ups, handstand pushups on one end and deadlift/squat on the other. Throw in some things like double-unders, perhaps intervals on a rower, and it’s starting to get well rounded.

    Core strength? It’s not found on a rubber ball, it’s found in pursuit of a bodyweight overhead squat.

  46. Chuck on February 19, 2011 at 20:03

    Richard – I haven’t check the blog in a long time. I am amazed at the tone, aggression, and negativity.

    It’s like you are your own blog troll! No other troll has a chance.

    B-bye, going to happier blogs…

    • Richard Nikoley on February 19, 2011 at 20:31

      Since you haven’t “check the blog in a long time” I can’t imagine why you would imagine I care that you don’t care.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.