For something uber-geeky, here's a pic of me doing my best Jean Grey impression from a photo shoot I just had with the amazing Tyler Core.
The Captain America Regiment
Nothing encapsulates the transformation from “99 lb weakling” to Super Soldier Megahunk better than Steve Rogers becoming Captain America. And since I haven’t any Super Soldier Serum handy, I’ll have to hit the gym a bit harder with actor Chris Evans’ workout. His anaerobic workout consisted of mixing three body-weight exercises per session, each one done at thirty seconds, resting for two minutes, then repeating the three until a decent amount of reps became exhausting. He stayed away from cardio and focused on strength training. Take one exercise from each list per workout:
alternating position push-ups
Wide Grip pull up
narrow grip pull-up
The Thor Regiment
You don’t have to be the God of Thunder to have the body of a god. Chris Hemsworth focused on compound exercises to add the massive twenty pounds of hammer wielding muscle he showcased in Thor. Maintaining your form throughout each exercise will ensure that the various muscles you are training at once are working together synergistically. Eric Cressey, C.S.C.S put together a Thor inspired workout (based on Hemsworth’s personal regiment) for Men’s Health*:
Sledgehammer Slam: Stand about a foot from a tire, knees slightly bent. Rotate your upper back slightly to the right and raise a sledge above your right side. (Don't rotate your hips.) Brace your abs and swing the hammer down; aim for the tire's inside edge. Do all reps, and switch sides. If you don't have a tire or a sledgehammer, you can reap similar benefits by doing overhead medicine-ball slams. (8 reps on each side)
Lateral Hop: Stand with your chest up and hips back. Dip your knees slightly; explosively hop off your left leg and move horizontally to your right. Land on your right foot, and "stick" the landing so your body stops moving. Pause, and then immediately hop back off your right leg, landing on your left. (8 reps on each side)
T-Pushup: Assume a pushup position with your hands on hex dumbbells. Lower your body to the floor, and as you push yourself back up, rotate the right side of your body upward as you pull the right dumbbell toward your torso. Now straighten your arm so the dumbbell is above your right shoulder. Lower the dumbbell and repeat on your left side. (8 reps on each side)
Mountain Climber: Assume a pushup position, making sure your arms are straight. Lift your right foot off the floor and slowly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can. Touch the floor with your right foot. Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg. That's 1 rep. (15 reps on each leg)
*Do each exercises as a circuit three times per workout, resting between each set
Diet and rest were also key to Hemsworth’s godlike physique. He practiced carb manipulation, a way of altering your intake of carbohydrates throughout the day. The most common practice of this is to consume carbs and starches until your workout and only focus on proteins and fats post-workout. He avoided sugar, embraced protein and maintained an even balance of fats.
The Green Lantern Regiment
So Green Lantern wasn’t exactly tops at the box office. So it wasn’t the best comic book movie. Ryan Reynolds looked hot in it! He (like Hemsworth) practiced carb manipulation. As opposed to Hemsworth’s compound training, Reynolds focused on intense isolation sessions that would last two to three hours a day, six days a week:
Day 1: Legs
Day 2: Shoulders
Day 3: Chest
Day 4: Back
Day 5: Legs
Day 6: Shoulders
Day 7: Rest
Now, since we aren’t all born with X-genes or hit with gamma rays, we can’t all handle changes to our bodies so well. And I'm no Reed Richards or Hank Pym, so check with your physician before starting any new diet or fitness program. The most important thing in achieving a superhero body is balance. Make sure you are getting enough rest, exercise and good, healthy food. And give yourself a cheat day: we wouldn’t want you Hulking out on us (worse than roid rage.) GEEK ON!
Danny Bernardo is GoPride's official geekologist. He's slowly adding some DC into his life for 2012 by trying out the Green Lantern regiment. For more info, visit his website.
5. Occupy Mario
SUPER MARIO LAND 3D dropped in November of this year and to celebrate (promote) the launch, Nintendo coordinated Mario flash mobs over 5 different markets. Hundreds of brand ambassadors dressed as our favorite Princess-saving-plumber took over the streets of Chicago, NYC, San Diego, Atlanta and Austin, entertaining all with choreography to the midi score of the 8-bit classic. Not only a clever bit of marketing, it was pretty frickin awesome.
4. The Death (and return) of Johnny Storm
Marvel had been teasing the death of one of the Fantastic Four in their "3" storyline for the last few months of 2010. January 25, 2011 was the fateful day that the world would find out that one of my top three favorite superheroes, Johnny Storm a.k.a. the Human Torch, would perish in the Negative Zone saving those he loved most in the world. His last words were his famous (and kinda gay) catchphrase "Flame on!" and I'd be lying if I didn't say I shed some tears over this one. The adage that "no one stays dead in comic books" has been tested with Uncle Ben, Gwen Stacy and Jean Grey having stayed firmly six feet under over the years (true believers: talking 616 obviously.) And while I wanted Johnny to come back, bringing him back would cheapen the death and sacrifice he made in his last stand. So when he returned in the special 600th issue of Fantastic Four in November, I was torn. The science and explanation of how he came back made sense (comment below if you want me to elaborate) and the time between his death and return to Earth were very heroic, but...it's still sort of cheapened. All things aside, this year the world and I felt the impact of Johnny's loss and celebrated his return. And I'm happy he's back.
3. Andrew Garfield at Comic-Con 2011
Anyone who's been to a (comic book)con(vention) has had the great annoyance of a sitting at a panel when a socially awkward fanboy/girl asks the most ridiculous, asinine, canon challenging questions that give all of us self-respecting geeks a bad name. I mean, sure, it gives us an opportunity to share a very special eye rolling moment with the panelists, but ultimately they wasted everyone's time and someone's opportunity to ask a pertinent question. So when a fanboy in an ill-fitting Spider-Man costume (with fanny pack) interrupts the introduction of panelists for the film reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man at this year's San Diego Comic Con, everyone kind of silently groaned. As he breathlessly explained it was his lifelong dream to attend a con and talk about Spidey, all of us could relate, but come on, let's get on to the panel. And when he took off his mask to reveal that this seemingly awkward fanboy was actually Andrew Garfield, the latest actor to take on the role of Peter Parker, we all cheered with delight. What was amazing in his opening speech is that he proved to the geek community that he was the perfect actor to take over the role. He was a fanboy just like us. I was already thrilled that he'd been cast. This just cemented how perfect he was for it.
2. Billy and Teddy of the Young Avengers get intimate
Rarely do you get to see such great development and care taken with a comic book relationship (let alone a gay one) as you do with Billy Kaplan a.k.a. Wiccan and Teddy Altman a.k.a Hulkling in Allan Heinberg's Young Avengers. From issue 1, you see their relationship develop from cute flirtation to teen love then this great, deep connection that they share. They bicker and flirt like any other couple does. In the world of comics, you don't see a lot of gay representation of affection. Over the past couple of years, we've seen Rictor and Shatterstar get hot and heavy in X-Factor and Daken forcing a mad makeout with Bullseye in Dark Wolverine. What has been nice about Billy and Teddy is their emotional relationship is developing at the nice and steady pace that there physical one is. This was beautifully reflected in a page from this year's Avengers: Children's Crusade#3 (drawn by one of my favorite artists Jim Cheung.) In the grand scheme of things, as big of a step as it is for Marvel to show gay moments of passion, it's these quieter moments of intimacy showing the growth of a relationship that mean so much more.
1. "It Gets Better" Panel at New York Comic Con
One of my favorite gay geek organizations (from which I borrow the title for this column) Geeks Out hosted a remarkable "It Gets Better" panel at New York Comic-Con 2011, featuring my pal Daniel Ketchum, associate editor of the X-Men books. Some of the most out and proud comic book pros lead a discussion about LGBT themes and stories in the mainstream comic book world. Below is the first part of nine. Trust me, it's a very moving and informative panel. Definitely watch the rest!
2011 featured some of the best comic book movies in cinematic history. And I'd be amiss (this is a gay geek column after all) to shout out some of the supe'd up hotties to grace the silver screen this year.
*for those of you who know me (and my preference of Marvel over DC), you know how hard it is for me to mention Green Lantern. Still, hot is hot.
Hope everyone has a happy, safe and fun New Year! GEEK ON!
Danny Bernardo is GoPride's official geekologist. He believes if the world is really meant to end in 2012, Spidey and the Avengers will find a way to stop it. As a personal version of the "post credits surprise," the most geekgasm inducing moment of 2011 can be found here. For WALKING DEAD fans, here's **SPOILER** the best moment of season 2. For more info, visit his website.