Josh Conway

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Why You Shouldn’t Try So Hard to be an Alpha Male

If you’ve spent any time on the internet (like you are right now) then you are probably familiar with what an Alpha Male is. 

At least, you think you are. 

But what if I told you that your definition of an Alpha Male is incorrect? 

What if I told you that trying too hard to be an Alpha Male will make you less Alpha?

And what if I told you that trying so hard to be “Alpha” is actually making your social life worse? 

Read on to discover what being an Alpha Male is, and isn’t, so that you can go about building a better life for yourself the right way. 

So, What is an Alpha Male?

An Alpha Male is simply the leader of a group. 

It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with patriarchy, as Alpha females are present in groups as well. The advice in this article applies to anyone, male/female/whatever. 

Again, an Alpha Male is the leader of a group. That’s it. 

He’s not necessarily the toughest / strongest / biggest / loudest / smartest / biggest-dick-having member of the group. Just the male that has the most authority and metaphorical weight amongst the group. 

The final decision maker of the group, if you will. 

The way the term is used today, many people believe that Alpha Males have to be the most dominant, loudest, most aggressive members of a group. 

Guys that are trying to be “Alpha” always make sure to talk the loudest and force their will upon others. 

This is not being an Alpha. This is being a douche (that’s scientific jargon BTW). 


While some leaders are the most dominant and aggressive members of a group, these are usually not the leaders that people like. 

Ever have a boss that yells and screams and make all of the employees feel like shit? He may be Alpha, but he’s not a leader that anyone wants to follow. 

No one wants to include their dick boss in their happy hour plans. And no one will give the boss any respect outside of work. 

Bully Alpha Males often lose their position in the group the second that they no longer have power over the group.  In this example, maybe the boss was moved to a different department or maybe his performance numbers have been slipping. Either way, the boss will get turned on by the group at the first possible opportunity. 

However, caring Alpha Males often get to keep their position long after they have stopped being the most capable leader of the group. And even after they have lost their position, they still have the group’s respect and goodwill. 

This article will help you become more of a thoughtful, caring person that a group can come to love and respect. It will also help you realize which of your “Alpha” behaviors are really just bullying. 

I had two inspirations for this article- a TED Talk by primatologist Frans de Waal and the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Definitely watch the TED Talk after you’ve finished reading this article and read the novel if you are a reader (it’s definitely worth the read).  

The TED Talk discusses the right and wrong way to be an Alpha Male. The novel shows you an example of when the Bully-Alpha Male style can go wrong (and it goes very, very wrong in the book). 

But first, I want to quickly address the cultural label of the Beta Male. 

Is Being a Beta Male Bad?

In the way that most of the internet means it, yes. 

In the actual world, nope. 

When you hear the word Beta online, usually people are referring to a weak, sniveling, underling type of person. 

Beta AF

If you are generally weak and sniveling, then that is definitely something you can work on improving. (Start by reading my article How to Become More Attractive.)

However, being an actual Beta Male is a perfectly fine thing to be. 

A real Beta Male has many of the qualities of an Alpha Male, but he is second in command. 

For example, let’s look at the United States Army. 

The Alpha Male of the US army is the General of the Army (creative title, I know). He is a 5 star general. 

The Beta Males of the Army would be the Generals, as they are still in command but second to the 5 star general. (Regular Generals have 4 stars). 

So ask yourself, do you think that Generals are sniveling underlings because they don’t have that fifth star on their uniform. 


Not the Alpha, but still a Boss. Patton didn't need a fifth star to be a leader and neither do you.

You don’t have to be THE LEADER of your group in order to feel like you have a good social life. 

Being a valued member of a group that helps out and gives input, but doesn’t have final say on everything, is perfectly fine. 

That being said, it’s cool if you do want to aspire to be the General of the Army and get that fifth star in your uniform. 

But it’s probably not smart to go about it in the normal, “Bully-Alpha” style. 

Use the tips below to go about it in a smarter, savvier way. 

Be More Like Wind, Less Like Fire

Wind encourages you to go in a certain direction. 

Fire burns you if you get in its way. 

When you are trying to get a group to follow your lead, it helps to be more like wind and less like fire. 

Trying to be the fiery leader can often fail and backfire. 

In the novel “Things Fall Apart” the main character Okonkwo tries to use this strategy. 

In times of war and stress, a fiery personality can help you get your way quickly. 

But in times of peace (like what most of us in western society live in) the fiery personality can isolate you from others. And you can’t be an Alpha if you don’t have a group to lead. 

People who don’t want to get “burned” by your forceful personality may follow your lead temporarily, but they will almost always try to get away from you in the long run. 

As Okonkwo realizes toward the end of the book, fire turns things into ash. Being too fierce and aggressive can turn your relationships into a smoldering pile of ash. 

Don't be like this

Instead, be like the wind. 

When a strong wind is blowing, you don’t have to go in the same direction as the wind, but it is much easier for you if you do. 

Don’t force people to follow your lead, but make following your lead much easier than the alternative. 

Be Like This

For example, if you want your group to go out at your favorite bar, then don’t bully them into going there. Instead, show them that going to your favorite bar is actually the best and most convenient choice for the majority of the group. 

Don't Create Friction Unnecessarily 

This section could also be called “Pick Your Battles.”

Some leaders try to make sure that their lead is followed 24/7. 

Think of the micro-manager boss or group project leader that freaks out when a small instruction isn’t followed exactly as they “commanded”. 

Nobody likes leaders who act this way. So don’t act this way. 

Trying to force people to do exactly what you say creates friction in a relationship. Friction can lead to fire, which we just discussed the dangers of. 

Think they're excited to follow her lead?

Sometimes, an Alpha does need to put their foot down and be firm about a decision. 

But not always. Sometimes it’s Ok to led the group make decisions on their own as long as you handle it in a mature and respectful way. 

For example, let’s say that the group wants to go to another bar instead of your favorite bar. You can say “Ok, I think that my idea is better because of xyz reason, but since you guys want to go there instead we can give it a try.” 

If the bar they want to go to ends up being cool, just admit that they were right and be cool about it. 

If the bar they want to go to ends up sucking, just let on that your choice would have been better without being rude or bitter. Next time, people are more likely to go with your idea. 

Don't Try So Hard to be In Charge

Some people try so hard to be in charge that they forget to think about how they are perceived by others. 

Think about your own life. When someone tries to make you do something that you want to do, how do your respond? 

Being told what to do makes you not want to do it, right? 

People can sense when you are trying too hard to be an Alpha. This try-hardness makes people less likely to follow your lead. 

Think anybody wants to do what this guy says?

Instead, let your status in a group rise naturally over time. 

If you are competent, have good ideas, make solid decisions, and are considerate of others- your position in a group will naturally grow as people come to like and respect you. 

Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t become an Alpha Male overnight. 

Work on becoming a more confident, capable, caring person and your Alpha status will happen on it’s own. (To learn more about why being caring is important, watch the TED Talk linked to above.)

Take Care of the Group First

Author Simon Sinek has a popular book called Leaders Eat Last. You don’t need to read the book to understand the concept behind it. 

If a leader of a group makes sure that he gets what he wants first and puts others second, his group may start to resent him. 

Not very leader-like

If a leader makes sure that the group gets what it wants before he gets what he wants, then the group will like and respect him. 

People want to follow someone that they like and respect, not someone who they resent. 

People want to follow someone who will help take care of them, not someone who only takes care of himself. 

Simple, right? 

If you want to be the Alpha in a group, then worry about their needs too and not just your own. 

In the bar example, if your favorite bar only serves beer and half of your group doesn’t like beer, then it would be smart for you to choose another bar where everyone in the group can get a drink that they enjoy. 

If You are a Bully, Make Sure that you Keep your Strength

This last section is for the stubborn a-holes out there. 

Maybe you decide that you don’t want to be patient, work on improving yourself, and slowly become an Alpha over time. 

Maybe you’d rather bully your way to the top. It’s a strategy that many people use and it can work well in the short term, although it is doomed to fail in the long term. 

Why is it doomed to fail? Because you can’t be the strongest person in the group forever. 

In the TED Talk, you’ll learn that Alpha Males who dominate groups through their physical strength often lose their positions as soon as they are no longer the strongest person in the group (or when others decide to team up and overpower them). 

If you try to lead a group by having the most money or social connections, you’ll lose your power over the group the second someone richer or more connected comes along. 

If you try to dominate your employees through yelling and fear, you’ll lose your power when someone scarier than you comes along- or when your employees decide that they are tired of being afraid and that you aren’t so scary after all. 

So if you decide to bully your way into becoming an Alpha Male, then make sure you hold onto whatever trait you use to dominate the group. 

If you use physical strength, make sure that you stay the strongest. 

If you use money, make sure that you stay the richest. 

If you use yelling, make sure that you stay the loudest and that your yelling doesn’t lose its effect. 

Wrap Up

Most of the advice and rhetoric about Alpha Males is wrong. 

You don’t have to be a bully, loud, huge, or aggressive to be an Alpha Male. In fact, being these things may make it harder for a group to want to make you their leader. 

If you really want to be a leader, work on improving yourself, making good decisions, and being considerate of others. Your standing in a group will rise over time as a result. 

You can be strong and caring. It doesn’t have to be a choice. 

And Beta Males aren’t actually sniveling underlings, they are actually members of the group who are in high standing, they just don’t have final say over all group decisions. 

Be more like wind and less like fire. Don’t force people to try to do things your way all of the time, unless you want to be resented and burn bridges. 

To you becoming an Alpha Male the right way,


P.S. If you feel like you need help developing your mental, emotional, or physical strength in a healthy way, send me an email so we can talk about coaching! Having a coach on your side can help you achieve your goals a lot faster and more effectively. Email to get the ball rolling today. 

How to Bulgarian Split Squat (And Why You Need to Do It)

The Bulgarian Split Squat is my favorite leg exercise to do in the gym. It's also my least favorite leg exercise to do in the gym. 


It's my least favorite because when you do it with an appropriate weight, your leg muscles will really feel it. Your legs and glutes may be sore for a few days, especially when you just start performing the exercise. 

It's my favorite exercise because the benefits you get from it are MASSIVE. The overall muscle and strength development gains you get from the Bulgarian Split Squat (called BSS in the rest of the article) are well worth the muscle strain that you will feel during the movement. Your quads, hamstrings, and glutes will all benefit from the exercise. 

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How To Grow A Bigger, Stronger Chest

(Fundamentals + Exercises)

When you walk into a room, one of the first things people notice about you is your upper body. 

In particular, people will notice your chest (whether you are a man or woman, for different reasons obviously). 

For men, the size of your chest can often by a signal showing how strong, or not strong, you are. 

Many men will even puff their chests out when they want to seem tougher and more imposing. 

Chest Out

To grow a bigger, stronger chest that fills you with confidence, there are only a few simple principles that you need to follow. 

Growing a bigger chest comes down to working out consistently, lifting with progressive overload, mixing up your exercises, working out your entire body, and eating well. 

To learn the specifics needed to develop your chest properly, read on. 

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How To Become More Attractive (For Men)

When many ask how to get in shape, what they’re really asking is “How can I look better and be more attractive???”

Today’s article will tell you exactly how to do that- how to go from where you are now to a more attractive, more confident version of yourself. 

Becoming more attractive isn’t a false dream and doesn’t require any black magic or plastic surgery. 

It is simply a matter of improving yourself in certain key areas- like your body composition, skin quality, fashion, disposition and more. 

The only thing you can’t improve about your appearance is your height. Anything else though can be worked upon. 

This article will go over 14 factors that you can improve upon to become more attractive, giving  you instructions for how to go about making each factor better. 

But first….

Is it Ok to Want to Be more Attractive? Isn’t that Vain?

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