100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy: Super Mario Workout

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

After seeing Ariel’s (Nerdy Birdie) 100 Days of Geek Chic and Healthy theme, I couldn’t help but be interested. Fitness and eating right have both been well established in my life (with a cheat day here and there, of course), but my inner-geek isn’t as strong as it once was. This challenge will hopefully step up my geek chic game with inspiration, and I hope to be able to inspire you with different workout and recipe ideas.

While being able to go to the gym is great for strength training, sometimes you just don’t have access to a gym. Thankfully, there is a workout (and more) for that. I love body weight exercises (as does American Ninja Warrior Kacy) and think they can be just as beneficial as having dumbbells.

I also know from experience it’s fun to have a theme or something to have in mind while working out… And honestly, who wouldn’t want to go through a Super Mario course?

Super Mario World Workout

The following workout is called a Circuit Workout, which includes strength as well as endurance training. Try to go through the entire workout without stopping.

Super Mario World: 1-1 Workout
Warm-Up
Jog: 60 seconds
Arm Swing Rotation (Horizontal and vertical): 60 second
Alternating Leg Swings: 60 seconds
Workout
Get that Coin: 60 second Knee Tuck Jumps
Ride that Yoshi: 60 second Tricep Dips
Climb Up the Vine: 60 second Mountain Climbers
Fire Power: 60 second Push-Ups
Up The Stairs!: 60 seconds Alternating Lunges
- (or) Hard Mode!!: 60 seconds Jump Alternating Lunges
Dodge the Hammer/Shell/Item Thrown at You: 60 second Burpees
Down the Finish Pole: 60 second Plank
- repeat workout x2

How To
Knee Tuck Jumps
Tricep Dips
Mountain Climber
Push-Ups
Lunges
Jump Lunges
Burpees
Plank

With some of these exercises, you may have to work your way up to doing 60 seconds (like the plank.) Go as long as your body will hold. As long as you continue doing circuit training like the one above, your hold time will improve.

 

What It Takes To Be: Korra

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Earth. Fire. Air. Water. Only the Avatar can master all four elements and bring balance to the world.

And while realistically you can’t master those four elements, you can master these: strength, cardio, flexibility and balance.

first-lok-image

Korra, even before before Legend of Korra began, had my interest. When they first released this image, my first thought was, “Dang, that girl is strong.” Look at that muscle definition.

Then the show was released a year later. It was very much a love-hate relationship for me. At first she seemed cool and relatable, and then she became big-headed and started draining on my nerves (especially after the way she treated one of her guy friends after she found out he liked her. Friends just don’t do that to each other—especially with their sibling.)

korra-season2

In season two she redeemed herself a bit; especially at the end. She’s matured quite a bit, and while she’s a B.A. she also has more humility then her season one head-to-big-for-her-shoulders counterpart.

Throughout both seasons, we see Korra fight and make her way through with plenty of strength and balance. While we may not have her 18 years of training, we can still strengthen ourself in the same aspects.

korra

Korra Workout

Strength
Warm-Up: 60 seconds of: Jumping Jacks, High Knees, Arm Swings
1. Full Body: 60 seconds Mountain Climber
2. Shoulder & Arms: 60 seconds Punching Circuits
3. Core: 12-15 Bicycle Crunches (each side)
4. Legs: 15 Bodyweight Squat
5. Back: 30-60 seconds Superman
6. Chest: 12 Push-Ups
Repeat 2-3x

Cardio
15 minutes of running (we all know how much of that the Krew have to do), cycling or if you do have access to a gym, elliptical (but if you’re not sweating by the end of it, you’re not working anything!)
Yoga
Not only do you need strength to be strong as a whole, you need flexibility, balance and piece of mind. Yoga is a great way to do both while cooling down from a hard workout. Here’s a 10 minute video to get you started.

How To
Mountain Climber
Punching Exercises
Bicycle Crunches
Squat
Superman
Push Up

As you can see in this workout, I’ve given a variation in numbers of repetitions (aka reps) per exercise. It all depends on your current shape. If you feel like you can make it to the maximum reps, then go for it. Just remember you have to do these exercises 2-3 more times.

Again, I do advise anyone whose just beginning this to make sure through their doctor that they’re able to workout. While exercise is very beneficial and important for your health, if you’re not in the right condition you could end up worse for wear.

Same goes for form. If you have a mirror, make sure you have the same body position as the person on video while doing each exercise. Bad form = bad injury.

 

What It Takes To Be: Black Widow

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Sometimes it’s tough being a woman in the comic book world.

For comic book characters and their fans.

Captain America II was full of all kinds of twists and turns as well as fight scenes. Chris Evans once again perfected his role as Steve Rogers, the strong, loyal and wise all-American hero. Sam Wilson was brought in for a smooth landing via Anthony D. Mackie. Sebastian Stan played the hard, cold Winter Solider to the tee.

And Scarlett Johansson gave the Black Widow more life and personality then any of the previous Marvel movies.

And obviously, this is because Natasha Romanoff is a spy and doesn’t open up to us until she’s around the Avengers for long enough to trust them.

In the movie, Natasha goes through the ringer several times. Yet, every time she comes back as a B.A. Sometimes it felt like these moments could have been overlooked by all of the other action going on, but for a human without any power, she was able to get over just about anything thrown at her.

She has brains, yes. That is one of her obvious traits that helps her through many obstacles.

She also has plenty of muscle to back that up.

Yes, in that small, shapely body is a lot of lean muscle that allows Black Widow to twist in mid air, perform the thigh hold with the greatest of ease, punch, kick and hold herself up with rope to avoid falling to her death.

Sadly, the misconception is that having muscle for women makes you bulky. Natasha Romanoff (and in real life, Scarlett Johansson and her stunt double Heidi Moneymaker) are proof of that is not the case. In fact, muscle for women makes us lean, mean fighting machines.

And it helps when you can show guys that yes, you can move that recliner chair all by yourself. That, and it may show some guys not to question your comic book fandom.

In order to build this muscle, you’ve got to figure out the areas you need to develop and how to work it out.

wit2b-blackwidow

Black Widow Workout

Upper Arm: 12 Bench Dips
Cardio: 60 second Jumping Jacks
Chest: 12 Dumbbell Bench Press
Cardio: 60 second Jump Rope
*If you don’t have a physical jump rope, use your imaginary jump rope
Upper Leg: 12 Dumbbell Squats
*If you’re just beginning or getting back into working out, go ahead and just use your bodyweight on this one.
Cardio: 60 second jog in place
Core: 30-60 second Plank

- Repeat 2-3x

How To
Bench Dips
Bench Press
Squat
Plank

When you do any exercise (especially strength training), it’s highly advised that you keep an eye on your form. If there’s ever a mirror around that you can see your stance, use it. Poor form equals injury and injury gets you no where (but pain.)

You may also notice that I didn’t add how much weight to should use. It’s going to be different for everyone. What you’re looking for is something that you can get through 2-3 repeats, or sets, with but it needs to be challenging enough to the third set is pretty darn hard to finish.

Cardio is an important factor as well. If you’ve seen any of the movies Black Window’s been in, you know how much she runs or how she’s never out of breath after taking down a room full of men. Incorporating cardio into your strength training kills two birds with one stone.

I do advise anyone whose just beginning this to make sure through their doctor that they’re able to workout. While exercise is very beneficial and important for your body, if you’re not in the right condition you could end up worse for wear.