Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
June 25, 2018
For the next few weeks, we are going to have some fun with the blog. While looking at certain aspects of fitness is fun and dissecting them can be fruitful, sometimes you have to look at other aspects of fitness that are turning heads and possibly starting some odd trends. Good trends can be TRX Suspension training and advanced calisthenics, bad trends can be doing weird fasts as well as joining a Crossfit box that is not led by a certified personal trainer. I am not really a slave to trends, for I tend to be myself and speak out loudly against the current mores. Like what the heck is up with rappers and facial tattoos these days? I mean these guys are not even old enough to drink in some cases and they have massive face garbage on them. They really think they are that good of a rapper and will have that long of a career, especially when they do that mumble core rap style? Or how about the NBA taking nothing but three-pointers? C’mon guys, don’t let the advanced analytics get into the game. Basketball is meant to be an escape from baseball. Or maybe this…stop trying to buy everything Disney!! We don’t need Star Wars extended universe movies, dammit! Either way, one other thing I definitely do not follow anymore is comic book culture and the subsequent movies. I think too many people have taken this genre too far and it is now over saturated. There is so much media you have to consume now that you are in a never-ending loop. Personally I feel people that watch all these movies and lap them up like dogs are infantilized and have little idea of what true film making is about, but that is something for my other blog for another day. Action and so called “cleverness” have diluted the meaning of a good movie, and now we have people that become bored when they watch cinematic tour de forces like “Phantom Thread.” I mean, they chose “The Shape of Water” because it had a monster and pretty colors. Good movie in regards to Oscar contention, but not an Oscar winning film in my opinion. Anyway, before I go off on a tangent, I will say this about these comic book movies…the actors in them have to endure some insane fitness regimens.
Now the original idea was to illustrate who I think would be a better superhero…Batman or Superman. We all know the answer…Hellboy! But since I don’t watch these movies, I would know little about their inner details in regards to a real fight. I mean, one thing I wish they would portray more often in these movies is the very presence of these super beings would create separate “religions” onto themselves. I mean in “Captain America: Civil War” (I only watched because some friends were in town), all of these characters are well established world beaters. You think some kind of an accord would have stopped them without some backlash of supporters for the individual characters? A trashy dirtbag like Donald Trump has some hardcore fans, so you really think Tony Stark’s fans would not rise and try to get him excluded? You don’t think there would be a religion-style following of patriots that doted on Captain America? You don’t think Norwegians would deem Thor their god and savior when they realized he was real? Rather than trying to control mutants like in X-Men, so many religions would erupt that there would be perpetual wars when someone badmouthed their deity. Personally, if I had a choice I would choose The Flash…who doesn’t want the ability to go faster than the speed of light? I mean, the savings on flights would be worth it! Anyway, where the heck was I….oh fitness and stuff.
My man crush over the past decade has been Chris Evans, which is ironic because I think Captain America is possibly the lamest superhero of all time. The only thing that is not digitally enhanced in his movies is his arms and his abs, which is pretty impressive considering the movie “300” proved you don’t a good trainer just a good digital artist. Anyway, Evans had to put in a ton of work, and fortunately for him he had the money to do it, but not necessarily the time. You see, Evans used to be fairly lean but had to bulk up in six months to get the kind of physique required for Captain America. https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/chris-evans-captain-america-training-plan.htmlAccording to the article, he did a lot of “clean bulking” to get the size he needed, as well as working out everyday and doing minor cardio. Rather than doing cardio he did a lot of circuit training with medium sized weights. Each day he focused on multiple muscles groups, from major groups like his core, to smaller groups like forearms and traps. Since he had a small window this was necessary for him but since most people don’t have a 200 million dollar movie riding on a few scenes of you looking buff as hell, you can extend that window as well as eat less calories per day. Chris Hemsworth did a similar regimen for his Thor character, but had a much longer window to work since he was not an established name before he took the role. And here is the crazy part about these guys….both have lost weight at a couple points to play other roles and then went back on these regimens. Evans got off the regimen to do “Snowpiercer,” which ironically is one of his few roles outside of Captain America in the past decade. Hemsworth did it twice for “Blackhat" and “Rush,” where he noticeable had a smaller frame. Just remember your body has to adjust to all of these rigors so I would recommend you stay on a consistent regimen that suits you.
Now this isn’t just a game for the young, for older men have attached themselves to these types of regimens. Ben Affleck (Batman) and Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) have stuck to some pretty solid regimens and both men are pushing 50. Jackman is especially impressive because he had to maintain his physique and do other roles (and some of them were pretty amazing) over the course of nearly two decades. People forget he was Wolverine for 17 years! Now of course, Jackman started at the age of 31 and maintained until 48 when he officially “retired” as Wolverine in Logan (not sorry for the spoilers, I didn’t even watch the movie and knew he was gonna die at the end). But how did he do it? Well, Jackman did a ton of High Intensity Interval Training in addition to a lot of plateau busting. What this means is he worked with smaller weights for high rep counts and did heavier weights with fewer rep counts. He blew up personal bests on a monthly basis! As he got older he started added intermittent fasting to the routine, for one thing is for certain as we get older our metabolism slows down. With his body already in a constant battle mode, he could scarf down 5,000 calories during his bulking period and maintain 3,000 on a regular. http://superherojacked.com/2017/01/10/hugh-jackman-workout/There is a reason why he has been able to keep his weight under 200. You have to be careful though and listen to your body. One reason why we never see Russell Crowe anymore is because he just went too damn hard and started getting injuries in his 40s. The guy barely acts anymore and he has ballooned in weight as a result of these injuries. So be careful as you get older! As for Ben Affleck, his biggest change was dietary. While he did not change much in weight, he stopped drinking beer on a daily basis (a typical food staple for a New England man) and essentially changed his fat into muscle. Affleck didn’t necessarily become shredded like the other men I have mentioned in this blog, but he certainly looks healthier and as a result, his career has hit a reboot as he is taking on more physically demanding roles that demand a certain body type (like “The Accountant”).
All this time, this blog has been a sausage fest. So what about the ladies? Well, unfortunately, Hollywood seems to have a massive problem with women bulking. While bulking is demanded of men in their roles, losing weight is demanded of women in their roles. Scarlett Johansson kinda hates her role as Black Widow mainly because she has to lean down, even though Black Widow is kind of a badass. Fortunately, this trend seems to be adjusting to the times as the women of “Black Panther” were not only ready for a fight, but looked toned and looked like they had actually seen a gym. Same with Gal Gadot and Robin Wright in Wonder Woman. The trouble though is Hollywood still gives unreasonable visual demands on these women, for they are still expected to be incredibly lean in the process. I mean, what is wrong with a little extra muscle? This is why I adore Gina Carano in spite of her questionable acting skills. She is downright “bulky” compared to some of her more mainstream counterparts and probably looks healthier as well. It’s a personal preference for sure but she has a much more attainable body type then the women I mentioned earlier who have been naturally thin most of their lives. Evangeline Lilly, who plays “The Wasp” in the Marvel Universe, is another more positive medium to the paradigm. For fans of “Lost” and “The Hobbit” we already know she has been one of the better representations of women and fitness, especially after she had a child. Now depending on your goals, the women’s side of fitness is not a whole lot different. If you want a more physically aesthetic look, it is better to clean bulk and work on specific muscle groups. Heavier weight routines are necessary if you really want to get bigger muscle than the average woman like Carano. If you want a leaner look look like Lilly, then calisthenics and body weight exercise routines are the norm in addition to a controlled caloric intake that involves a lot of macro and micro counting. Either way, it is important for women to hit some form of weight training as opposed to focusing on cardio and diet like the dark ages would demand. I cannot say it enough due to the fact so many women are more prone to osteoporosis.
Just remember, you got to work your butt off to be a superhero. Gone are the days of Hellboy when a 50+ year old man like Ron Perlman could put on a bodysuit and let the CGI do the talking for him. People have odd expectations of their superheroes. Look at David Harbour of the new Hellboy reboot. Rather than use a prosthetic, he went all in with diet and weight training despite being known as a doughboy in his series “Stranger Things” and will bring a new sense of grittiness to his character. While some make-up will be utilized to bring out his cuts and veins, the body will be his. So get ready in 2019 to hear all of the training stories for Hellboy. I am sure it will interesting.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
Meet the Author
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.