Adonis Spotlight:Tales from a True Insider — “Why Average Is Ok”

Tales from a True Insider


Today’s special post is the latest installment of the Golden Eye for the Adonis Series.   Because it’s Friday and The Goal Is Frequency (TGIF) we are shining the Adonis Spotlight on one of our community members.

I’m pleased to announce a special guest post from Eric Weinbrenner.  Better know by his True Insider Handle, “eweinbrenner.”


EWeinbrenner: True Insider and One of our Top Bloggers in the Community

Eric Weinbrenner: True Insider and One of our Top Bloggers in the Community

The Adonis Community truly is an awesome resource to help answer the questions of those just becoming familiar with the AGR Program.  Veterans of the community are more than happy to lend sound advice and support one another in their journey to “Golden.”

While browsing the community earlier this week, I happened to stumble across a Blog of Eric’s and was simply blown away by his content.

Here is a sample blog entry from eweinbrenner that has transformed into a guest post!


 How to Look Awesome: Why “Average” is OK

When it comes to building muscle and getting in shape-being “average” is OK. Getting-and staying-in great shape is also a lot easier than most people believe (or would like you to believe). Before you disagree and point to the bazillion articles on the web arguing that building an awesome body is full of complicated formulas and endless hours in the gym–Let me explain.

First, we need to define a few terms, or perhaps ideas, that are essential to understanding–terms and ideas that nearly everyone in the fitness industry (fitness “gurus”, your average meat-head, and perhaps even you) tend to ignore.

The first idea that needs explanation is “building an awesome body.” There are many different ways to say this, some choose to express the idea by “building muscle” or “losing fat”, but these all really mean the same thing–trying to achieve a certain look.

What is an “awesome body”?

I would suggest that 99% of guys out there are working out, primarily, to build an awesome body. Or, at the very least, that’s why they started working out.
It would make sense, then, that people know what an awesome body looks like–considering this is their primary goal for working. Surprisingly, the idea of actually qualifying what an “awesome body” looks like  is extremely difficult to nail down–but I have found it really comes down to two images of male body perfection that are presented as “ideal” in the fitness industry.

As part of my thesis during my undergrad seminar course, I evaluated a few of the sales letters for the top selling online muscle-building products. Included were products by Mike Chang, Ben Pakulski, Zach Even-Esh, and Rusty Moore.

I chose these specific products because I think it is a good representative of the fitness industry and the authors are names that most fitness-junkies will recognize.

To avoid re-hashing a 25+ page paper (and boring you to death), I will break down my findings to this precise statement: There are two forms of an “ideal” or “awesome” male body portrayed in the fitness industry. One is the roided-out, massive bodybuilder look and the other is the more lean, athletic look associated with hollywood actors.

Most guys who workout consistently tend to use one of these images as their ideal-look–whether subconsciously or consciously.

My take is that most guys do NOT want to achieve the look of the “roided” out bodybuilder, but rather would prefer the lean, athletic look (which is, of course, what is exemplified within the AGR community).  Sure, there is a certain dominance that makes the idea of being  “massive” and “insanely huge” appealing, but when being honest, most will agree that this is not what is attractive to women or something they truly desire to look like.  Brad Howard has also provided numerous examples of data that support this idea that more muscle, or bigger muscles, isn’t equivalent with being more attractive or respected.

I go into all of this detail to define what I believe constitutes an “awesome body”, because I want you to be aware that you are likely, on some level, to be bombarded with conflicting messages about what your ideal body should look like. 

This is important because I know what it feels like to constantly feel like you should have bigger muscles, weigh more, or look like a roided-out bodybuilder in order to be a “real man.” I struggled with this for years, until I finally realized that wouldn’t be my best look, or even what I want to look like. I have simply been misled by the ridiculous marketing of what I consider a dark-side of the fitness industry.

Your Best Body

I have some news for you–news that some consider unfortunate, but I would suggest is actually freeing: If your goal is to look like the huge bodybuilders that grace the covers of fitness magazines and are placed alongside internet articles of all the major online fitness sources; you need to do 1 of 2 things (or both):

1. Go back and be reborn with different parents–preferably those of John Cena or The Rock.

2. Take steroids.

Number 1 is obviously not going to happen, so that leaves the second option–steroids. I personally have never taken steroids and never plan to, so if this is something you are interested in, please go find someone who can provide information related to that.

So… the vast majority of us will never look like the guys in fitness mags…. should we just give up?

Absolutely not.

In fact, this is one of the most freeing realizations one can have, because building your best body–your version of “awesome”, is so much easier than what it takes to pump your body full of steroids and spend every waking hour in the gym.

Most of us not only don’t want to be as big and massive as bodybuilders; most of us don’t even want to be bodybuilders–we just want to feel confident when we go to the beach and take our shirts off. You don’t need to be “bodybuilder lean and muscular” to turn heads at the beach and look awesome–and achieving levels that are good enough to do so doesn’t take nearly as much work as many believe.

Dedication and consistency?  Definitely. But directing one’s whole life to training and obsessing over everything you eat or dropping hundreds of dollars on supplements each month? Not even close.

Many of the complicated formulas, expensive supplements, and marathon workouts are things that may matter if you are trying to get “insanely big” and compete in a show–but are not necessary to build an awesome looking body naturally.

Why Average is OK

So when I say crazy things like: “being average is OK”, I’m referring to “average” in terms of the fitness industry–and I’m being completely serious.

Let’s say Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his prime, is the ideal physique–the top-of-the line “awesome” that every man could aspire to; getting 80 or 85% of the way there is still awesome–and that’s all any of us will be capable of naturally and without committing every aspect of our lives to all things fitness.

This is confirmed all of the time in the AGR community. Look at any of the past contest winners or any of the guys who have reached Golden–do they look awesome? Yes, absolutely- but do they have the level of muscular development of Arnold or pro bodybuilders? Typically, no.
The vast majority of of guys who reach Golden would still be considered “average” when compared to a pro-bodybuilder if we buy the idea that being “massive” and “stage-ready” is the ideal look, as is often portrayed in the fitness industry.
So… is this a rah-rah, “you’re special in your own way” call that everyone is OK just as they are and no one should push themselves to get better? Am I telling you to embrace mediocrity?
Definitely Not. 
This doesn’t mean we stop setting goals or stop striving for improvement–it just means we keep things in perspective. It seems that all too often guys are reaching Golden AI measurements and still feel inferior–when this is the case, it may be time to refocus on what we are really trying to achieve and trusting in the system that will deliver YOUR best body.
The guys here at AGR have done a great job of reframing what the ideal “look” is, but we need to continually remind ourselves that we are NOT trying  to achieve the look that is often heralded as perfection the fitness industry
When looking at most of the images that we consider male-body perfection and look at to see if we “measure up”–pictures that are taken in perfect light by a professional photographer, when the person who is in the picture spent days preparing specifically for that photo shoot, and in pictures that may, or may not be digitally altered–and then feel inferior when we look in the mirror–it’s no wonder most guys feel like they suck at fitness and need more dedication, more supplements, and more time in the gym with the “perfect” workout.
But instead of responding by feeling inferior, we should respond with a sense of freedom–freedom knowing that we don’t even need or want to look like those guys–and that “average” is OK.
eweinbrenner's Transformation Pics

eweinbrenner’s Transformation Pic
So when I say crazy things like: “being average is OK”, I’m referring to “average” in terms of the fitness industry–and I’m being completely serious.


Wow Eric! Way to raise the “Adonis Bar” for the rest of us. You touched on a lot of great points in your post.  From avoiding “goal hi-jacking” to affirming the source of a man’s true  sense of  self-confidence when it comes to having an awesome body.

We look forward to hearing more from you in the future!

Well that’s all for now, hope you enjoyed the Adonis Spotlight.

Have a great weekend!


your brother in Iron,

Allen Elliott | Adonis Transformation Coach

P.S. If you want hear more from Eric you can reach out to him in community here. 

About Allen Elliott

Allen is the Editor-In Chief of the Adonis Index Blog, bringing you weekly articles on contest prep, transformation testimonials' and much more!

Additionally he is a published Fitness Personality, Certified Personal Trainer, and National Competitor in the NPC Men's Physique Division.

Last but not least, as an Adonis/Venus Index Transformation Coach, he works to provide guided solutions for people who sincerely strive to meet their fitness goals.

Being a fitness model and competitor gives him a lot of valuable insights that nobody else talks about. Among other things, he will teach you how to prepare for a live show or a fitness photoshoot yourself.

Click here to get more from him.