Ok, Goblins and geeks. Let’s face it: despite fandom’s obsession with superheroic physiques and mythical characters, geekdom has a bad reputation with respect to physical fitness.
The general consensus is our subculture either looks like the cast of Big Bang Theory, the founders of Microsoft or grossly-obese, cholesterol timebombs stuffed into cosplay Jedi linens or Klingon costumes.
Fact is, assuming you are blessed with good health, the only thing in life we can truly control is our physical fitness.
Now, let me preface this by saying I was a fat kid.
My mom, bless her heart, called me “big boned” but the truth is I was a little fatass. I dreamed of dropkicking Gorn and staged intricate battles with my G.I. Joes.
I might have played with my Six Million Dollar Man and Masketron until all hours but what I didn’t do enough of was running, jumping and riding my big wheel. My mom fed me as healthily as one could be a child of the early 80s and yet I was the fat kid.
I was active but not active enough.
Strangely though, when I played little league baseball and football mysteriously I would lose weight. Magic, isn’t it? But when the season ended and little league became Intellivision the pounds would go right back on.
Then this odd thing called puberty occurred — late for me but occur it did.
I discovered girls and, as a lifelong stark-raving Hulkamaniac, I discovered I had both a lot of newfound testosterone and an aptitude for weightlifting.
In my senior year of high school, I was lifting as much if not more weight than the football team — and we had a pretty tough football team. Fat melted away, pythons appeared and beautiful babes became plentiful.
In college, I worked security at some of the top nightclubs in Chicago and around Illinois State. I had the pleasure of handing out many beatings and took a few. I actually picked a guy up over my head and threw him behind the bar.
Just like Thunderlips throwing Rocky. That was pretty cool.
All the while I never lost who I was. I played D&D and Starfleet Battles at my local game shop in Suburban Chicago. I collected comics. I had every issue of Iron Man at one point during the time Robert Downey Jr. was making teenage comedies. I drew comics and had hoped to get a job as a comic book artist or a professional wrestler and I dreamed of starships (and pussy).
I went to the early Wizard-Cons and even got mistaken for an actor or wrestler of some sort. They told me I couldn’t possibly be one of the fans attending. Guess that was a compliment.
The point is we can break the stereotypes. We don’t have to be either the geek or the jock. We can become both.
Many of us already have, especially here at Film Goblin, which is for sure a much more worldly genre website. But for those that fall into that unfortunate weight-challenged (tubby) or general pansy category, I’m here to help.
We’re here to help one another.
So let’s talk some basic diet, principals and fitness to get your shit on track. And let’s please hear about your challenges, your successes and interests with respect to fitness and improving one’s self-image.
First off, I am a bodybuilder. I did a little power building as well but I train as a bodybuilder. I have 21” arms and have had them since college. I have a 34” waist and in college, it was 32”. I’m just north of 40 years old.
I have what is known as an Endomorphic-Meso build. That’s a stockier build with a good propensity to build big muscles but and unfortunately equally good propensity to hold body fat.
Ectos would be the cast of Big Bang Theory, Mesos are the star athletes and a pure Endo would be a fatass Jedi with a fake lightsaber in one hand and microwave burrito in the other.
The good news is these types blend into one another and you can change your metabolism with hard work and determination. The first thing you need to do is evaluate yourself and figure out your own type.
Consult A Real Doctor
How old are you?
This will determine your body’s ability to process calories as well as your body’s natural hormone production. Get a check-up and get a blood test.
It may be that you have high cholesterol or low testosterone. If you are in your mid-30s and inactive your body will produce less testosterone. That translates to moobs, fat bellies, lethargy and heart disease.
So, if you are serious about making a change in your life please see a doctor and find out where your lipids and hormones are at.
Women get assistance with hormones imbalance, there should be no stigma for men.
You Are What You Eat
Now that we’ve determined your body type, age, hormone and lipid levels… what does your current diet look like?
Write it down, let’s say over the past few days or as far back as you can remember. Try to look up the nutritional info on the stuff you are cramming in your face.
Carbs Are Not The Jedi Way
If you are pure Endomorph then carbs are not your friend.
In fact, eliminate them completely over a period of a couple weeks. Don’t go cold turkey. You may go into withdrawals. Carbs, especially processed sugars and starchy, processed breads are like crack for your metabolism.
Start substituting the carbs for green veggies and healthy fats like avocado, almonds and peanut butter. Your body can’t burn fat if it doesn’t know it’s supposed to use fat as fuel.
And if you are a fatso and you are shoving carb calories down your throat your body thinks it’s supposed to be using those carbs for energy. To complicate matters if you are a slug sitting on your ass all day, all those extra carb calories are getting stored as fat. Got it?
Your diet should be roughly 60% protein, 40% green veggies and healthy fats.
Meals and portion sizes should be smaller and you should eat about five small meals throughout the day. The good news is:
Do you like steak? Do you like burger patties, grilled chicken, fish, pork loin? You’ll be eating a lot of all of that stuff.
If you are a pure Mesomorph you can eat pretty much what you want within reason and still look like a jock.
Carbs should be moderate but your body will burn them especially if you’re working out. 60% protein 20% healthy fats 20% Complex grain carbs and veggies.
The five meals a day applies but portions will be a bit larger.
Get Some Gainz, Beanpole
If you are an Ectomorph you need calories. Eat clean but eat big meals and eat often. You’ll have a problem gaining good muscle weight. Same diet as a Meso by the more of it.
I prefer to eat good clean food but I understand it can be tough with work and family to stay strict so if going and getting protein bars and powder to make smoothies helps then, by all means, do so.
Quest bars are pretty good high in fiber and will help you shit. One bars are delicious and I like Gold Standard whey protein as it’s a good quality protein that tastes great. It can also be gotten at Costco in a huge bag for a great price.
You’ll get the hang of it.
Water! Do You Drink It???
Stop drinking fucking soda all day long and drink water. A lot of it. Water purifies the internal organs especially the kidneys. Water removes toxins from your body and effectively burns calories better.
Drink water. I’m not kidding around here. Liters.
Feel sluggish? Drink coffee and or tea, just make sure to drink additional water. Caffeine is a diuretic.
Push It! One More! Give Me One More!
Anything that gets you off your ass and moving your body is good, so let’s give it a try.
Cycling, martial arts, boxing, running, walking, calisthenics or weight training. Whatever your fancy, commit to giving it a go.
I am partial to the benefits of weight training so for the purposes of this article, we will focus on that. Furthermore, as almost all athletic endeavors now incorporate some form of weight training or resistance calisthenics as its core training, it’s good to know some basics.
It won’t happen overnight but if you are willing to sweat and commit to your diet you will see some noticeable results in short order.
For beginners I want you to train 3-4 days a week. Do a different body part each workout with light to moderate weight. I want you to be able to do 3-4 sets for each exercise with 7-10 good reps and feel the weight. If it’s too easy the weight is insufficient. If it’s too hard your using too much weight. For every exercise warm up with light weight.
Start each workout with warmup cardio for 20 min enough to break a light sweat and get your heart rate going.
For chest, pick three exercises.
For beginners, stick with machines until you build up your strength and balance:
Incline chest, chest press, dips and pec flys are good.
If you can do push-ups add them between sets. They work. And are the flat-out best overall exercises for building chest and upper body strength.
Everyone loves to train arms. But remember arms aren’t only biceps, in fact, the tricep makes up the majority of the upper arm muscles. These are easy.
3 bicep exercises:
- Preacher curls
- Dumbbell curls
- Barbell curls
- Cable curls
3 tricep exercises:
- Dip machine
- Cable push downs
- Cable rope extensions
On The Wings Of An Eagle
Back time. Assisted chin-ups are awesome, if you have the machine. Also:
- Lat pulldowns
- Lat rows upper
- Lat rows lower
- T bar rows
When you build up your strength a little bit incorporate some lower back exercises as well.
Stay away from military presses, bad for the rotator cuffs.
Machine shoulder presses and machine lateral raises are probably good enough for beginners.
Most overdo shoulder training and get hurt. Remember your shoulders are small muscle groups and get work with every chest and back workout.
Don’t Skip Legs!
Incorporate both machine leg presses and machine squats.
Add leg extensions and leg curls as well as calf extensions.
Nothing released the body’s natural hormone production than heavy trunk exercises like squats and leg presses.
Never Settle For The Six Pack Abs
There are at least eight visible abdominal muscles. Do light exercises with every workout. Pick your favorite ones and stick with them. You can even do them between sets to keep your heart rate up.
Warm down with light to moderate cardio after each workout. Will help prevent cramping.
Can’t Get To A Gym?
Lift water jugs, paint cans. Do resistance exercises instead. Every Walmart will have resistance weight rubber bands. No excuses, everywhere can be a gym.
I hope this helps. Depending on how this article is received we may do another for more advanced training.
Best of luck. You have the power to make improvements but no one is gonna do it for you.
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