HOBBIES FOR MEN: THE ULTIMATE LIST
Looking to grow as a man? Learn about 8 masculine hobbies that aren't easy-going, but will bring out the best in you.
When it comes to hobbies for men, the word ‘hobby’ doesn’t do it justice. Hobbies? Men need a vocation. Having something to apply their strength, intellect and endurance to is the lifeblood of men.
While today most men would probably state ‘watching TV’ or ‘surfing the internet’ as their so-called hobbies, there are more challenging and demanding pastimes than that. These are the types of hobbies that provide for the unbeatable feeling of achievement. For one, this feeling may arise when you achieve a concrete goal.
The other, more compelling occasion is when after all the practicing you finally reach the point where you can say that you are good at something that you had to learn from scratch. And that is just what a hobby is supposed to be: an activity that challenges you, and that will result in personal growth once you are beginning to master the task.
Hobbies For Men That Bring Growth And Improvement
No fast cars, fancy clothing or helicopter flights here. No pottery, either. In this article we are going for the essential things, those that bear substance. It’s time to get busy – here are 8 activities for men that are masculine, fun to do and that provide for personal growth on top of it.
This one stems from the ancient Roman arena where it was a blood-ridden spectacle used to entertain the blood-thirsty masses. In stark contrast, boxing of today is a professional, demanding and fulfilling hobby for men.
Refering to boxing as a (physically) demanding hobby, is almost an understatement. Together with one other type of martial arts (below), boxing might just be the physically most demanding hobby of them all.
Speaking of sports: women and the politically correct-crowd are prone to make you believe that boxing is in fact not a sport, but an animalistic practice of violence disguising itself as a sport. While this can be easily refuted by reminding these people that boxing still is an Olympic event, it is simple life experience that will tell you how much of a sport boxing really is. Any man who has ever been in a bare knuckle street fight knows that out on the streets there are no rules. Mind you that there are no gloves, either.
In boxing, however, there are rules. If anything, then this great hobby for men comes with a verycalculated risk. Compared to standing your ground in nightlife on the weekends, boxing is as innocent of a hobby as it possibly gets.
How To Get Started
Check out the homepage of the national boxing association of your country. Most of these sites will have a databse where you can ocate a boxing gym in your city. Here are the links to the national boxing association of France and Germany. Google helps you with the others
When choosing your boxing gym keep this one advice in mind: Avoid any gym that works in cooperation with a regular fitness center. These are either run by people who have no idea about boxing and see the sport as some kind of new age workout instead of an athletic discipline – or they are run by failed boxing professionals who will charge you horrendous fees for their boxing classes.
Boxing gyms that are located within fitness centers might seem interesting at first sight. After all, they probably have brandnew equipment and you can probably use the fitness centers sauna free of charge. What you must know, however, is that the boxing gym is the only place in the world where a slightly run-down look and a mild smell of sweat in the air are bullet-proof indicators of quality.
2. Learning An Instrument
This is the one hobby you always wanted to pick up on, but never did. Here come the good news: it is never too late. Learning an instrument is not only part of any well-grounded education that extends beyond languages and the sciences, it is also the most fundamental and joyful way of expressing yourself artistically.
And there is more good news: Western, modern music itself is a logical system whose rules and idiosyncrasies remain the same no matter what instrument you choose for yourself. Learning the flute at 4 years old in Kindergarten will help you tremendously later on in life when you are switching over to playing the guitar isntead. It is no coincidence that today’s most prolific guitarists have started playing an instrument – and be it just playing the flute – from a very early age on. Why should you do it any differently?
And the supposed success with women? Being a ‘cool musician’ surely is overhyped as flirting with women and dating them almost is a science in itself. Nonetheless, playing an instrument surely won’t hurt your chances on the dating market, either.
How To Get Started
I wished everything was that easy. Just go over to your local music store and ask if any of the guys working there is giving classes. Your chances that there will be at least one talented local guitarist/bassist/drummer offering classes for a very convenient price are at a good 100%. And for the rare case that no one is around the folks at the store will know of those guys with empty slots in their schedules. If they do not offer a complimentary first lesson, then simply give them a miss and walk over to the next guitar store.
3. Reading Manly Books
What in the world are ‘manly’ books and how can reading such books be a hobby?
The answer is simple. When it comes to books only a small minority of them ever caters to the interest of men. Most non-scientific books you will come across in your average bookstore aim either at a female clientele, or at a complete mainstream audience. Men’s interests, in any case, are thrown right under the bus most of the time.
Is that the end of the story? By far not. If you know what you are looking for, even the most mainstream bookstore will have something that is worth reading from a male point of view. Most of the time, however, you will get to know interesting new books not by going through what is on display on the shelves, but through heavy research on Google, by the recommendation of a friend or by sheer accident.
How To Get Started
Talking about a recommendation, how about you try out the all-time classic of Female Psychology For The Practical Man? Even though written about American women who – on avergae – can be quite bubbly and naive in comparison to the Stasi-charme of many German, Swiss or English women, the book of 2008 comes with a ton of timeless insight into modern male-female relations.
And how can reading manly books turn into an actual hobby? – That one is easy, too. The first book reasonably explaining a high-interest topic for men – and women are such a topic – that very first book might just be your first step to the life-long journey of self-development. Your dating life, your professional life, your political views – all the invisible walls holding you back in these segments can be breached through by the mastery of your thought alone.
4. Smoking Cigars
If you thought that having a good cigar was more amusement or showing-off than an actual hobby you should think again. In fact, from the type of tobacco leaves to the size, weight and even the way a cigar is rolled there is so much to know about cigars and the aedquate way of consuming them that ‘having a cigar’ is by no means simple amusement.
The more you dive into one of the manliest hobbies of them all the more will you be inclined to learn where your favorite cigar comes from and how it is made. In short, smoking cigars as a pastime is ultimately linked to traveling. Did you know that not only Cuba and the Dominican Republic are prime locations for handmade cigars, but that Greece, too, has a long-standing tradition of making cigars?
How To Get Started
Just like learning an instrument, your local cigar store is your way to go. To get into this extravagant hobby is to simply introduce yourself to your local cigar dealer as a novice smoker and ask for advice on a beginner’s cigar. This will do anything but make you lose face. Your cigar dealer will be glad to give advice and help you get started, and your first hour-long visit to the cigar store might even include a free cigar of your choice. As imposing as it may appear at first sight, smoking cigars can be some of the most joyful and social hobbies for men ever.
5. Gaining Muscle Mass
Unless you are part of the minority of men that go to the gym to lose weight, gaining muscle mass is a hobby you most likely already engage in. Because let’s face it: you go to the gym to become a lean, mean, fighting machine ready to crush the skulls of your enemies – and not to “maintain a healthy lifestyle” or because your doctor told you so. But what about the result of all those hours in the sweaty gym halls and the occasional freakshow in the dressing room? Often results are meager, at the very least they are not what you expect from all the work you put in.
Now, before you throw in the towel, let me give you the one reason why you don’t gain as much muscle mass as you want to. The real reason behind that is far more simple. It is not your genes, it is not your ‘ectomorphe’ body type or your ‘high’ basal metabolic rate. The real reason why you don’t gain weight is: nutrition. To put it in very simple terms: you just don’t eat enough.
Once you have accepted this basic insight to be a fact, we need to find a way out of the downward spiral of rushing to the gym, torturing yourself on machines (something you should never do, by the way. Always go for free weights) and then seeing measly results.
Apart from the basic advice to never work out on an empty stomach, the second most important advice is to start eating the millisecond your training is over. How do you do that? How do you ‘eat’ when you are leaving the gym heading for the parking lot to get out of there? There is a way that allows you to combine a maximum of calorie intake with a high degree in food quality. That way is: making your own homemade mass gainer.
How To Get Started
Here comes my personal recipe for taking in 2500kcal in high quality nutrition that will not cost no more than 3€. You start with 500g of oats that you can buy at any supermarket for literally a couple of cents. Put these oats into the blender, take the whole blender into your hands and shake it while it’s running at its highest speed. That way you ensure that all have the oats get shredded (if that sounds too complicated to you then you can buy pre-shedded oats online for about 4€ per 1000g on shops like MyProtein.com). Within a minute the oats have turned into a fine powder.
Then add 300g of frozen fruit of your choice. Strawberry, pineapple, cherry – choose whatever you like. Don’t worry about the fruits being onebig icy block. Any regular blender will have no problem shredding the fruity ice block into pieces in no time. Together with the oats you now have the basis for your homemade mass gainer. Now add:
- one tea spoon of vanillin sugar
- one tea spoon of olive oil
- 4 egg whites (no egg yolks, unless you want your smoothie-like mass gainer to smell and taste like an omelette)
and finally fill up the blender with enough water (more fluid) or milk (more creamy) so that your mass gainer will have an easy-to-drink consistency. Et voilá: you now have about 2500kcal of high quality nutrition that tastes like an exotic smoothie. Fill it into a drinking bottle, and add ice cubes minutes before you leave the house to keep the whole thing cold. The next time you get back to the dressing room your new ice-cold weight gainer will calm your hot and empty stomach by laying a delicious film of nutrition onto your hot internals. What a relief.
6. Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu
Here comes round two in martial arts.
Well, what is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and why does it make for a good hobby for men? If you wanted to sum up this unusual sport in one word then that word would be ‘groundfight‘. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an evolved version of the classic martial art of Jiu-Jitsu which mostly is fought in standing and only sporadically goes to the ground. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, however, may start in standing, but will inevitably go to the ground after one of the contestants managed to do a takedown.
As a typical groundfight sport Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu implements many of the moves one might be familiar with from Judo, only that all of them are transformed to be working in a scenario that takes place on the ground exclusively.
Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brings you one step closer to a street-effective means of self-defense. While boxing may be effective for the first two seconds as throwing a punch is the fastest to defend yourself, the one rule remains that out on the street there are no rules. Meaning that things will come to the point where your opponent grabs you or tries to throw you down faster than you think. And in that case boxing is out of the equation.
How To Get Started
This is right where BJJ comes in. New BJJ clubs are spreading like wildfire through Europe’s cities. Sadly, the BJJ scene is not yet as organzied as boxing is. While there are organizations that act with a sense of being ‘official’, there are just too many of them to narrow them down to the reliable ones. Your best bet is to do a simple Google search for BJJ clubs in your city and then show up at their next training. If the atmosphere seems professional and you can say that you have learned something from your first training session, then you are on the right path.
No free first training session? This is a dead-giveaway for a bad BJJ gym. Just go for the next one.
This one hardly needs any explanation. Traveling is the one hobby for men that almost guarantees growth. And especially so the younger you are. Traveling will provide you with a foil to the current Western lifestyle, and it will ultimately make you see everything you are taking for granted in your every day life from a new and different perspective. That is, if you travel outside of Western Europe and North America. Something you should do, in any case.
How To Get Started
Hardly anything will be easier then getting into traveling. Your options are literally limitless. You are working in a large corporation that has an intranet with job offers? Skim through them and watch out for any job offer in a foreign city you find appealing. Then apply.
You are self-employed? Look out for possible business partners in a corner of the world that you would not mind traveling to. That way you are in the premiere position where you can literally combine business with pleasure.
You are a student? Congratulations, you have hit the jackpot. Head over to your university’s international office for detailed information on what foreign universities your university has treatises of exchange with. If you are enrolled with a university in a EU member state then you have practically won the lottery: ‘Erasmus’ will be your magic word here.
8. Learning a New Language
Ancient Greece had a special word for those who refused to get involved with public affairs. Those who would not partake in the governing the polis, the ancient city state, were the idiotes, a word many languages have adopted as idiot.
When caring only about yourself makes you an idiot, then how is speaking only one language any different? Speaking only one language just as much isolates you from the rest of the world where your language happens to be one among many others. Unsurprisingly, being multilingual is paramount for becoming a more worldly man. Become multilingual – don’t become an “idiot”.
How To Get Started
Nothing could be simpler. These days, languages are all around you. If you speak English as a second language and you had to look up words like “Ancient” or “paramount”, then improving your English can be done fast and efficiently: simply take your favorite DVD and watch the film in the original voice (if you are from Scandinavia you are most likely doing that anyway). And everytime your do not fully understand a word, you rewind. As often as you have to, until you understand the word properly. And should you really not get it then you can go for the English subtitles to solve the puzzle.
Learning a foreign language these days is just as easy. If you have any affiliation with a university then will be your first point of reference. Classes in any language may be offered free of charge and almost any university has a database with foreigners looking to do a tandem-exchange.
And then there are blackboards, craigslist, friends, language schools, foreign co-workers, books, cDVDs and online courses. As a European you even have a head start: european language rule the world, and unless your first language is Hungarian or Montenegrian you can easily understand a good deal of a new language as most European languages are members of either the Germanic language family (Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, German, Danish) or the Roman language family (Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Italian, Romansh, French).
The world is out there language-wise, get proactive!