Sci-Fi Debate Club

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If you’ve seen this week’s episode of my web series, then you know about my Sci-Fi Debate Club. If you missed it, take a look…

We didn’t plan it. We didn’t mean for it to happen. But when two of more nerds are gathered together, nerdy…geeky…dorky debates are bound to ensue! And yes… they can get rather heated at times. We nerds are passionate about our fandoms (to say the least.) But I think we can all agree that we are united in the way we love. We love with intensity. We love with all we have.

Here are some of the hottest debates (not all are science fiction related) in the nerd community…

#1 -Star Wars vs. Star Trek

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Photo from FuriousFanboys.com

Do you prefer a galaxy far, far away full of rebels and stormtroopers, blasters and lightsabers, the Dark side and the Light side. Or do you tend to lean towards the order of Starfleet. The uniforms, the space exploration, the strange new worlds and civilizations? Personally, I don’t like to choose. I grew up with both of them in my life from a very young age and have never known a time when there wasn’t something to look forward to in the world of one or both of them. That being said, Star Wars does hold an extra special place in my heart. I cried when I saw the newest trailer for The Force Awakens and none of the Star Trek’s have elicited quite that response. But I do love both world greatly.

#2 – Would sex with Superman kill Lois Lane?

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Photo from io9

Gotta admit that I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about this one. But I sorta think they’d find a way to make it work. Love will conquer all… even super powered nether regions.

#3 – Who’s the best Doctor?

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This is a case of…why choose? Although, if I really did have to pick between all of Doctors that have ever been, I’d definitely choose the tenth Doctor, played by the incomparable David Tennant. (I guess I chose after all!)

#4 – Mac vs. PC or Android

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This is more of a geeky tech debate. But it’s one that is had often and can get heated. Mac people are loyal and unswayed in their devotion to the apple. I used to be unflinchingly Mac oriented. And when it comes to computers, my loyalty stands. Now when it comes to phones…different story. 4 years ago when I finally upgraded to a smart phone, I was ready to take my place in the iPhone community, but alas, T-mobile did not carry iPhones at the time and that is the service my family uses. So I was forced to join the world of Samsung instead… and I’ve never looked back.

#5 – Bale vs. Keaton

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What this boils down to is more of a best-Batman-ever-debate. Contenders: Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Kevin Conroy, Christian Bale & Ben Affleck (I guess we still have to wait and see about that last one.) I’m firmly in the Kevin Conroy camp. For those of you not in the know, Conroy voiced Batman on the beloved Batman: The Animated Series from the 90’s. The same series that hosted Mark Hamill’s icon voicing of the Joker (another popular debate among nerds: Best Joker ever.) Keaton comes in as a solid second for me (Batman Returns is one of my faves…I love Pfeiffer’s Catwoman!)

#6 – Marvel vs. DC

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Photo from Kweeper.com

This is an issue where I really don’t want to take a stand. I could argue passionately for both. Though Marvel’s immersive world is just so unique and impressive right now. I grew up on the Batman and Superman animated series. And Superman has long been my favorite superhero of all time. Now as for favorite superhero team, I love The Avengers and I also really love X-Men. But my favorite villain is Harley Quinn. My imaginary superhero boyfriend is Captain America. But my imaginary best friend is Catwoman. See… I’m all over the place. I dip my toe in both pools and I just don’t wanna choose…so I won’t!

#7 – Game of Thrones vs. Lord of the Rings

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This is a no brainer for me. One is a pop culture phenomenon. The show that brought dragons to the mainstream audience. That’s an amazing feat, to be sure. But the other is a piece of classic literature. A set of beloved stories that a parent can pass down to their children. An epic tale of hope and fellowship. An author who inspired the other so much that he went and added R’s in his name for that very reason. Any other argument is made invalid by that fact alone. (mic dropped…Liz out!)

#8 – Pirates vs. Ninjas

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Photo from baconbag.com

Ok… we have to talk first about where and why and in what time period are these pirates fighting the ninjas. Are they allowed to bring their pistols to the sword fight?  Cause pirates fight dirty, while ninjas are all about tradition. Though my coworker just brought up a good point…the pirates would probably be inebriated for the fight. So there’s that.

#9 – Captain Kirk vs. Captain Picard

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There is a greater debate along these lines, who’s the best Starfleet Captain of all? Are you a Kirk fan? A Picard follower? Is it Captain Sisko that really gets you? Perhaps Janeway is the lady captain for you? Or maybe….nope that’s it! (Sorry Scott Bakula… I love you, but Enterprise doesn’t count.) Personally I’m a Captain Picard girl. I was a child of the 80’s and a preteen of the 90’s. And my parents l-l-loved Star Trek: The Next Generation. We used to watch it together all the time. So there’s a great deal of nostalgia and warm fuzzies attached to Jean-Luc. And while I really enjoy all the other Star Trek series as well and think they have stellar captains at the helm, it’s Picard for me!

#10 – Did Han shoot first?

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Artwork by Fitz Fitzpatrick

This one is less a debate and more of a sore spot for hardcore fans of Star Wars. See… here’s the story. Star Wars was released in 1977. Beautiful, iconic, practically perfect in every way! 20 years later, George Lucas remastered his masterpiece to include some new things. Including, but not limited to, the scene between Greedo and Han Solo in the Mos Eisley cantina. In the original, untainted version of Star Wars, Han shoots Greedo, killing him and thus ending their conversation. This gave Han a cold-blooded killer persona. One that the Maker did not intend for Han. So when the remastered editions came out, George took the chance to set the record straight and added CGI footage of Greedo shooting first, missing and then Han shooting and killing him afterwards. Fans were unhappy, to say the least (the very least.) In actuality, fans were pissed!! 20 years of believing something about their beloved hero only to have it changed? This isn’t the only thing about the remastered versions that would upset the fans. But George Lucas maintains that Greedo shot first, while fans insist the opposite. Han Solo himself (Harrison Ford) was asked about this nerd debate in a 2014 Reddit conversation. His response…”I don’t know and I don’t care.”

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At the end of the day, we all love and love hard. So what are your thoughts on these very important and pressing issues in the world of nerdy things? Let me know in the comments below!! Even if we disagree, I still love to hear about it!

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Brand New Episode

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Previously on So…This Happened…

And now…

Episode 36: Sci-Fi Debate Club

Starring:

Liz Tailor & Elizabeth Faulkner

Sponsored by:

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(Click here for more information on our sponsor: Licensure Exams)

For more information on the companies we partner with and what they stand for CLICK HERE, and for more on the fashions and where to get them CLICK HERE.

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Check back every Tuesday for brand new episodes!!

NITC Book Club: Star Wars Edition

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wishing you a

There are only 7 months to go till Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will be hitting theaters and changing our world as we know it. Which mean I only have 7 months for my Star Wars Book Club Challenge. Tall order, but I am determined to get through as many of them as I physically can.

Don’t forget to join me… if you feel up to the challenge! This week I’d reading the second book in Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy, Dark Force Rising.

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Tension is rising as Princess Leia attempts to confront a tribe of Noghri who have been made slaves by the Empire to track and kill her.

Dark Jedi, Joruus C’boath is on a mission to bring Leia, her force sensitive, unborn twins and Luke to him to teach the dark side of the Force.

And Han and Lando embark on a mission of their own to find out who has been double crossing the New Republic and trying to overthrow Admiral Ackbar and Mon Monthma’s leadership.

This is how you JEM

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Ok I rare to never post about things I don’t like. I think there’s too much negativity on the internet already and I really don’t feel the need or desire to add to that. But I gotta talk about this new trailer for JEM and the Holograms…

WHAT THE?!?!?! This is not JEM. This is basically the 2001 Josie and the Pussycats reboot for 2015. (And yes…I secretly love that movie even though it’s terrible! But it helps if you think of it separately from the 80’s cartoon of the same name.) Which is exactly what will need to be done for any JEM fans watching this new movie. Completely put everything out of your mind that you loved about the cartoon. Like… the Misfits (they could very well be in this film, but the trailer doesn’t mention them at all). JEM being Jerrica’s alter-ego/ superpower/ hologram (it’s a thing), not her stage name! The fact that JEM is not some angsty teenager (the show is certainly not without a little angst, but come on!!) And I’m sure many other things.

Here’s where my head is at with a JEM reboot:

1. Katy Perry

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Katy Perry basically is JEM in real life. She has the spirit of Jerrica Benton and she sure can sing.

2. Emma Stone

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Emma Stone would make a fun, spicy JEM. Sadly, this fan art will only ever be a fan’s dream.

3. Blake Lively

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Blake Lively definitely has the look of Jerrica Benton. Not sure about the singing, but in Hollywood, most impossible things are made possible.

I could cast out the whole movie. The Holograms – Kimber, Shana, Aja and Raya. The Misfits – Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy and Jetta… But I think the lynch pin is JEM herself. And the new movie has clearly lost it’s mind in making by making it into a teeny bopper movie that may as well be called something else entirely. In fact, if they had named it something else, I might actually go see it. Cause I’m a sucker for movies like that! But why take the name and make it something so completely unrecognizable? I just don’t get it.

This is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot all over again, except without Megan Fox…thank goodness!! (Don’t even get me started on that!)

Let’s look back at the original, untouchable JEM who was truly outrageous!!!

Also, to any JEM fans out there, let me know what you think. And use the hashtag #ThisishowyouJEM to set the record straight on how this JEM and the Holograms reboot should be!!

Brand New Episode

Photo by Cristina Fowler

Previously on So…This Happened…

And now…

Episode 35: Boys vs. Girls

Starring:

Liz Tailor, Sheila Williams, Brianne Blessitt, Eriana Burdan & Patrick Cann

Ethical Closet (Click the links below):

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Sponsored by:

Corporate Logo

(Click here for more information on our sponsor: Licensure Exams)

For more information on the companies we partner with and what they stand for CLICK HERE, and for more on the fashions and where to get them CLICK HERE.

Photo by Cristina Fowler
Photo by Cristina Fowler
Photo by Cristina Fowler
Photo by Cristina Fowler

Check back every Tuesday for brand new episodes!!

NITC Book Club: Star Wars Edition

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wishing you a

I am embarking on a rather large undertaking. For those super fans out there, you know what I mean when I say Expanded Universe. And you also know that the entire library of books that you previously believed to be canon has been relegated to Star Wars Legends. Meaning, they no longer exist in the regular Star Wars Universe. To some most, this is a big, fat disappointment because that’s all we’ve known. Mara Jade, Jaina and Jacen, Ben, little Anakin, Grand Admiral Thrawn, the death of Chewie. These are all stories that we are aware of and believe to be apart of a grander universe that we know and love.

But fans, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I like to believe that the novels are some sort of alternate universe. Like they could still all be true somehow. Making them Legends doesn’t diminish the excellent quality of writing and story telling. It just allows for a whole new onslaught of tales to delve into.

So here’s my mission. Between now and December I am going to plow through as much of the Expanded Universe: Legends as I can, starting with Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn Trilogy and hopefully making it all the way to the end which would be Crucible by Troy Denning. That’s 69 books in all. I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me. (Especially since I’m not the fastest reader.)

After December, I will be devouring every single new canon book, comic, etc as it becomes available. I invite you to join me with the hashtag #NITCBookClubSW Let me know what you’re reading, if you like it and how you feel about Legends vs new canon. We’re all in this together, Star Wars nerds.

Heir to the Empire

by Timothy Zahn

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I read this book years and years ago. And I don’t know how this happened, but I forgot how amazing it is. Timothy Zahn was already an amazing sci-fi writer before he was unleashed on the Star Wars Universe. And he is made all the better by writing for these beloved characters in a galaxy far, far away!

All the characters that we love are back in this action packed story set in the time of the New Republic. Obviously Vader is the biggest and bestest of the bad, but if there is someone who is a decent predecessor to his pre-redemption evil intentions, it would be Grand Admiral Thrawn. The last of the Grand Admirals. Who takes it upon himself to rebuild the Empire and fight the New Republic that has been trying to rebuild since the Return of the Jedi.

Leia Organa Solo is pregnant with twins and still managing to go on diplomatic missions to expand the reach of the New Republic. Luke is being tracked by a mysterious woman who is hell bent on seeking revenge. Lando is back. Han is back. Chewie is back!! It’s everything you love about Star Wars. And Zahn’s voice fits in so perfectly with my predetermined ideas of the SWU.

A seriously great addition to the Star Wars Universe and an excellent place to start if you are thinking of joining my Nerd in the City Book Club Challenge. 69 books between now and December. Join me and together we can…. read a lot of books!

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 May the Force be with you… always!

#AvengerinTraining – Recap

After 6 weeks of weekly challenges, superhero meal plans and different classes all around New York City, I lost 15 pounds and I feel stronger than I ever have.
15 pounds is by no means as extraordinary amount of weight to lose. But it’s a good amount and it’s enough to be very proud of.
There were times I faltered. Times I gave in to the temptation to fall off track. But it’s the getting back on part that makes the difference!!

If you decide to take this #Avengerintraining challenge, remember that any amount of activity is better than none.

-Staying motivated is sometimes hard, but never impossible.

-The second you make it about more than just a number on a scale…that’s when you find out the reason you want to do it in the first place.

-Never compare yourself to someone else’s goals or progress. Not the models in a magazine or fit actors in a movie or your coworker who is always hitting the gym. Their plan isn’t your plan. Their plan might not work for you. Find what does and ignore the rest!

Thank you for reading! I’ve got a couple ideas for some new nerdy workouts in the future. So I hope you’ll check back! And come follow me on other social media platforms! I love to connect with new people.

 

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Iron Man Week (photo by Cristina Fowler)
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Hulk Week (photo by Cristina Fowler)

 

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Black Widow Week (photo by Cristina Fowler)
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Thor Week (photo by Cristina Fowler)
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Hawkeye Week (photo by Cristina Fowler)
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Captain America Week (photo by Cristina Fowler )

Let me know what you thought about my workout. Did you try it, did you like it? And which week was your favorite?

#AvengerinTraining – Captain America Week

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Finishing Strong

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Entering the final week, I felt strong. Stronger than I’ve ever felt before. I discovered muscles I didn’t know could ache. I had better balance and control in my workouts. And since Captain America is my very favorite Avenger, I’d been looking forward to this week since the beginning of this challenge. And this week certainly did not disappoint!! It was an amazing finish to an amazing 6 weeks of focus and determination. I’m not an actress! And I’ll probably never be in a big budget action film. I’ll never have a crazy six pack or weigh 140 pounds. But I lost 15 pounds on this program and I have felt healthier than I ever have before! And that is success.

Week 6: Captain America Week

Watercolor Art by Blule
Watercolor Art by Blule

Steve Rogers, an average man with above average morals and a desire to do more than he was born to do. After joining the Army, Rogers was given a “Super Soldier Serum” that transformed him from a small town Brooklyn boy into the superhero known as Captain America.

To become what he needed to be to play the Super Soldier, Chris Evans packed on 30 pounds of muscle and spent a lot of time in the gym training as he never had before. Take a look over at BodyBuilding.com for the full report.

Inspiration

Movies

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Avengers, Age of Ultron, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are all obvious. And if there’s on other comic book hero that will bring that all-American spirit, it’s DC Comic’s Superman. The alien who started it all. Without Supes there might be no Cap. And just imagine that sad, sad world!!

Music

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Cap comes back the world but is out of his time and has missed decades of pop culture, music, movies, etc. To try and catch up, Cap keeps a running list of things that people suggest he see or do or listen to. I tried to add some of the music to this list that Cap might have missed in the decades he spent in the ice. Including Falcon’s suggestion, Trouble Man by Marvin Gaye.

Meals

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I really loved having steak back on my shopping list!! Thanks Chris Evans!! Take a look at Evans’ meal plan at BodyBuilding.com

Weekly Workout Challenge

I chose an army crawl challenge for Captain America Week for the obvious reason. Before becoming Captain America, puny Steve Rogers joins the army to try to make something more out of himself, not knowing at the time what that would mean for him in the long run. So army crawls it was!!

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Day 1: 2 Army Crawls across living room (Hands and Feet)

Day 2: 3 Army Crawls across living room (Hands and Feet)

Day 3: 4 Army Crawls across living room (Hands and Feet)

Day 4: Rest Day

Day 5: 3 Army Crawls across living room (Elbows and Knees)

Day 6: 4 Army Crawls across living room (Elbows and Knees)

Day 7: 6 Army Crawls across living room (Elbows and Knees)

Extra Credit

Boxing @ Church Street Boxing Gym

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Photo from Church Street Boxing Gym

This was my favorite class of the entire 6 week program. I’d never taken a full on boxing class before. Church Street Boxing Gym is everything a boxing gym should be. It’s in the basement of a building in downtown Manhattan. There are pictures plastered on the walls, a giant ring in the middle of the gym and punching bags hanging around every corner. Church Street offers a free intro class and it was so great! Best workout of the entire series. I love that they allow you to start punching the bags right away. Halfway through the class we were hitting the bags. I gotta tell you, it’s addictive and after all the other classes I’ve taken, I would sign up to do this weekly!!

Parkour @ Brooklyn Zoo

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Photo from Brooklyn Zoo

Parkour, for those of you who don’t know this word, is a form of free running. You’ll often see it in high speed action chases in movies/ TV like: Casino Royale, Arrow and of course Captain America. It’s the art of being able to handle any challenge that comes in your path as you run. Jumping, swinging, ducking. Throwing your body into the movements needed to keep your momentum up. Brooklyn Zoo specializes in a lot of amazing high intensity classes. And their parkour class did not disappoint!!! If I thought the boxing class or the cirque class was intense, I was mistaken after taking this!!! Another class I would definitely try again sometime. And their gym is really cool!! Classes are $20 if you pre register online. Give it a try and stretch yourself far beyond what you think you can accomplish!

Check out Iron Man week,  Hulk weekBlack Widow WeekThor Week and Hawkeye Week in case you missed them.

And make sure to comment below with any questions, comments, etc! And let me know if you are trying any of these. I would love to hear from you!!

#AvengerinTraining – Hawkeye Week

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Pushing Through

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After hitting the wall during Thor Week, I was back on track and pushing through Week 5. Spring had returned, making morning runs a joy to complete! I really love to workout in the morning. I feel like it’s my personal time to get things done. Like the rest of the world is asleep and the early morning hours were made just for me. I live right across from Astoria Park in Queens and I love to run along the water. It’s a gorgeous view and if it’s a particularly warm morning, the breeze from the water feels wonderful. It’s definitely one of my happy places!

Week 5: Hawkeye Week

Watercolor Art by Blule
Watercolor Art by Blule

Clint Barton was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor, when he was sent to the compound to keep an eye on a certain grounded Asgardian Prince. Barton, aka Hawkeye, is a proficient marksman in archery and joined the Avengers to help save the world from it’s biggest threats.

Jeremy Renner has been doing action films for a while now, The Hurt Locker, The Bourne Legacy, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, so stepping into the role of Hawkeye seemed like an easy fit (though I’m sure the workout regiment was not easy.) Renner is 44 years old, though you’d never know it. Take a look at his fitness regiment over at Muscle World.

Inspiration

Movies

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Avengers, Age of Ultron… duh. You can also go ahead and rewatch Thor if you’d like, since Hawkeye is introduced to the MCU in that one. I also added a couple excellent films starring Jeremy Renner. In Bourne Legacy, Renner takes Matt Damon’s place and runs around being awesome! Also, try Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol to keep with the spy spirit. And for good measure and an extra dose of archery, go ahead and watch The Hunger Games.

Music

Hawkeye is a warrior and a soldier, so I put a lot of music in this playlist that made me feel that way. Like I could run through bootcamp and finish the toughest challenges.

Meals

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For Hawkeye’s meal plan, I took my shopping list from CelebritiesExercise.com Honestly, I really believe that if you are watchful in your eating and keep to the simple rule of moderation, you could eat just about anything and maintain your health (with glaring exceptions of course.)

Weekly Workout Challenge

To channel my inner Clint Barton, I worked on my abs and did a crunch challenge. I know we see a lot of arms from Jeremy Renner, but the core always comes in handy, no matter which Avenger you are channeling! And since I have a serious sweet tooth, my stomach is one of my problem areas. All that sugar just sits right there. So working on the core and getting it strong was a big priority for me!

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Day 1: 30 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Day 2: 60 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Day 3: 90 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Day 4: Rest Day

Day 5: 150 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Day 6: 175 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Day 7: 200 Crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Make sure to take all the final day’s challenges from each Avenger with you into Captain America Week.:

-2 sets of Full Front Planks (60 second hold, rest in between)

-Chest Flys, Dumbbell Chest Presses, Standing Shoulder Presses, Arm Curls (25 reps)

-40 Squats (2 reps)

-20 Kettlebell Swings/ 20 Pushups

-200 crunches (Middle, Left, Right)

Extra Credit

Archery @ Big Apple Archery

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I loved archery! And Big Apple Archery in Queens is a really great place to learn. They do a great job of showing you proper technique and give you plenty of time to practice what you’ve learned. They have excellent equipment and a great range on which to practice. The class had a decent number of students, but wasn’t so full that it seemed overcrowded or anything. Plenty of room on the range for everyone in the class. I used a Groupon deal to take this class, but the first equipment rental is free and if you purchase a bow from there, the first class is free. Definitely worth a try!

Sports Conditioning @ Velocity Gym

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Photo from Velocity Sports Performance

Hawkeye is a warrior, a soldier, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. So I figured he’d have done a lot of different things to train. I took an intro class at Velocity where they focus on conditioning the whole body for different sports. We pulled weights, ran sprints (thought I was gonna die after the sprints) and worked with resistance bands. It was indeed a full-body workout! Every inch of me ached the next morning. An introductory class is free and when you walk in you might be a little intimidated, but don’t be. The instructors are really great and will help you make it through the whole class and finish strong. I trained with 3 other men on my team and it was a really great experience!!

Stay tuned for the following Avenger: Captain America. Check out Iron Man week,  Hulk weekBlack Widow Week and Thor Week in case you missed them.

And make sure to comment below with any questions, comments, etc! And let me know if you are trying any of these. I would love to hear from you!!