#InfinityGauntletFitness – Intro

It’s that time again! The fog of the holidays has finally lifted (the older I get the longer it lingers.) The weather has been turning warmer and warmer down here in Florida and it’s time to gear up for a brand new fitness series!!

Themed fitness series have been the best thing for me in regards to getting on track with my personal health and fitness. From my #AvengerinTraining series to my #PrincessBootCamp, each one has motivated me beyond just meal plans and fitness routines. These are opportunities to break bad habits, discover new things and make real, lasting lifestyle changes. Even if you only take away 1 or 2 things from each series, that builds up to a really good life. And as my friend Renita always says, #babystepstogreatness.

With Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War on the horizon, I thought I’d start with the franchise that motivates me more than any other franchise out there. Do I think I could be a superhero one day? Yes! Do I think I have some work to do before I achieve superhero status? You betcha. But I don’t like to recycle fitness plans. The thing that worked for me 4 years ago with #AvengerinTraining won’t work for me now. My life is different. My schedule is different. And my body is older. So I have to move at a pace that works for today’s me, not yesterday’s me.

But like my #AvengerinTraining series, I wanted to use Marvel as my inspo. So I came up with a series based on the Infinity Stones. Which have been peppered throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years, if you’ve been watching closely. The stones are the McGuffins that Thanos himself has been seeking since The Avengers hit movie theaters in 2012. They are all powerful gemstones that are tied to all the power in the universe. Each one has a different property and purpose, but when they are all combined in the Infinity Gauntlet, they grant the user…

With that in mind, I devised a 7 week series. 1 week for each of the 6 Infinity Stones (Space, Reality, Power, Mind, Time and Soul Stones) and a 7th week for the full Infinity Gauntlet!

Stay tuned for a full week by week breakdown, starting with Week 1: The Space Stone.

But here’s a little tip if you want to dive into a new fitness series, or anything really…put your money where your dreams are! I’m starting each week by purchasing all my fitness classes up front and creating my schedule right off the bat. That way, I have no excuses. The money has been put aside, the classes have been purchased and it’s just up to me to do the things I say I want to do. So…stay tuned!!

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 12

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 12 Hulk Smash Avengers t shirt fashion blog post Bruce Banner

Thrift Store Cosplay fashion blogger nerd post Instagram challenge

Day 12: Hulk

HULK LIKE THRIFT!

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 12: Hulk Smash

And…BONUS!! This shirt has a special surprise!

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 12

T-Shirt from Goodwill

Shorts from OMG! Thrift

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 12 flat lay Hulk Smash fashion blog post Avengers Marvel

Thrift Store Cosplay Day 12 flat lay fashion blog post Avengers Bruce Banner

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Photo from Comic Vine

The Road to Civil War

Marvel Cinematic Universe Entertainment Civil War #TeamCap blog

Marvel Cinematic Universe Entertainment Civil War #TeamCap blog

We are on the verge of Civil War…no, not the North vs. South kind…no, not the Dems vs. GOP kind. The Marvel-ous kind!! The #TeamCap vs. #TeamIronMan kind!! The kind that will have grown men and women crying in the aisles come Thursday, May 5th (for the early birds) and Friday, May 6th for the rest of the viewing public.

There are those who have already laid eyes on this highly anticipated entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the word is GOOOOOOOD!!!

So get ready for it…if you can. You’ll probably need lots and lots of tissues. Marvel has probably purchased stock in Kleenex cause they know we’re gonna need them!

To prepare for this journey I am watching the entire MCU in order starting today, Wednesday, April 27th and going all the way till the premier of Captain America: Civil War.

Join me over on Twitter every night for live tweets. But be warned…my gif game is hella strong, so if you choose to join…you better be ready to bring it!

We know where Spiderman stands…and Black Widow and Hawkeye and Ant-Man and Rhodey and The Winter Soldier himself. But where do you stand, nerd?? WHERE!

My feet are firmly planted in the #TeamCap camp!! But there is room for everyone in my nerdy family. (Even those who make bad choices…looking at you #TeamIronMan *wink…just kidding…i love ya…but seriously!)

See schedule below…

Captain America: Civil War Marvel movies watching blog

UNITED WE STAND                                                                                                DIVIDED WE FALL

Marvel’s Shipyard

Today I’m examining relationships in the MCU. Watching Agents of Shield last week led me to the realization that there are very few functioning or healthy relationships over at Marvel.
Maybe it’s the superhero business…there’s hardly time for love much less relationship counseling. Has to be hard to find time for romance when you’re trying to save lives and save the world.
Let’s see who stands a chance of making their ship sail… (and see how many ship analogies I can possibly come up with!!)

1. Tony Stark and Pepper Potts (aka #Pepperony)
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This is currently the strongest ship in the fleet. Tony and Pepper flirted in Iron Man, were together by the time Whiplash tried to take Tony out in IM2 and have survived not one but 3 other Marvel movies (Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Avengers: Age of Ultron.) It’s funny to think that the most narcissistic Avenger is the one in the healthiest relationship. Shows real growth! Good for you Tony (but we really mean Good for you, Pepper, cause we know who’s the Captain of this ship!)

2. Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter (aka #Huntingbird)
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These two were on again/ off again all last season, but currently things seem to be on the rise for these two. Bobbi is back in the field and Hunter has let his vengeance against Ward for almost killing his ex-wife cool off a bit. It’s tough to find a happy ending in the line of duty, but these two are really making a go of it. Their chemistry is great and I can’t wait to see where this ship sails off to.

3. Hope Van Dyne and Scott Lang (aka #Scope)
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Coming in third place would have to be the newcomers to the Marvel Universe. From Marvel’s Ant Man, I present Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne. This is a budding romance. So new that it hasn’t even made it through one full film yet. We’ll keep an eye on these two. But seeing as Hope already has title billing in the second Ant Man film aptly titled, Ant Man and the Wasp, chances are that come 2017, this ship will still be floating.

4. Daisy Johnson and Lincoln Campbell (aka #StaticQuake)
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This ship is still on it’s maiden voyage. Having just met last season and surviving some pretty heavy stuff, Lincoln went on the lamb. But he’s back and already making out with our girl, Quake. Definitely a ship to keep an eye on. (Although, am I alone in dreaming of Grant Ward secretly being on the side of good and eventually getting back together with Daisy/Quake/Skye? I’m willing to eventually give up on the dream…but not just yet. Come on #SkyeWard)

5. Thor Odinson and Jane Foster (aka #Fosterson)
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Talk about long distance relationships. These two don’t just have the pitfalls of a ‘normal’ couple, they have entire realms between them. They said goodbye at the end of the first Thor after a couple steamy kisses. Thor was far too busy fighting his brother in Avengers to visit his lady love. In Thor 2, the couple is reunited temporarily because of that pesky ether. But after returning Jane to Earth and heading back up to Aasgard, where he belongs (and returning for a quick, steamy kiss) they are parted again. While Thor does take time to brag on his girl in Avengers: Age of Ultron, I don’t see this ship surviving the long voyage. But hey, you never know. Long distance works for some people. Maybe Thor and Jane can make it.

6. Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter (aka #Steggy)
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Get out your tissues. We all know how this one ends. This ship never had the chance to get out of the dock. Luckily Peggy goes on to have a kick ass career as a spy and Rogers…well, we know that Marvel is pushing Peggy’s granddaughter, as a potential future ship. But for now, Steve has new Avengers to train and old Avengers to war against.

7. Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff (aka #Brutasha)
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This is one ship that has split the fanbase. In the comics both of these Avengers have very different love lives that don’t involve each other. Bruce was always destined for fellow scientist, Betty Ross (played by Liz Tyler in the Edward Norton film, The Incredible Hulk…but we won’t mention that one.) And Natasha had a couple ships in the comics including but not limited to Hawkeye, Daredevil and Captain America. So imagine everyone’s surprise when the MCU turns it all around and has Black Widow turning up the heat with Bruce in Avengers: Age of Ultron. A little flirting and a passionate kiss does not a solid ship build. But it gives us something to look out for in the future.

8. Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz (aka #FitzSimmons)
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Grab those tissues again, cause so far this is a ship that could rival the Titanic. At the end of season 2, Fitz and Simmons were on the verge of exploring their feelings for each other. Then along came the Kree Monolith that held a portal to another realm where a dark, handsome stranger and his arms were waiting for Simmons to cling to. (Not cool, Marvel. Not cool!) Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently in season 3. So the jury is still out on this ship. But given the givens, a happy ending is a long way off for these two.

9. Melinda May and Andrew Garner (aka #Meldrew)
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Tissues…you may as well hang on to them. (Are you sensing a trend here?) After the events of season 2, the future looked bright for Andrew and May as they rode off into the sunset. But come season 3 and this couple is not living happily ever after either. Agent May is busy fighting bad guys and Andrew…well, he’s a little busy being a bad guy. I’m still keeping hope alive for these two.

10. Agent Colson and Rosalind Price (aka #Coulsalind)
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I don’t know if anyone was really on board with this one. But I never was. Coulson is very special to the Marvel Universe and he deserves a lady love who is equally special. Rosalind does not fit the bill. Plus…after last week’s episode it seems like she may not be on the side of good after all. It’s only a matter of time before this ship runs a ground. (Thank goodness.)

Which ships are you hoping will get a little work done in the MCU? Let me know in the comments below or connect with me on Twitter: @nerdinthecity

44 Reasons Why It Is Good To Be a Nerd

It is so darn good to be a nerd right now. And if you don’t consider yourself a nerd, let me go ahead and give you your very own, personal invitation. It is never too late to join our tribe.
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We may come off a little strong at first, but we love when people come to the Dark Side (or the Light, if you’re into that sort of thing.) Don’t mistake our passion and zeal for anything other than just that.

Sure…there are trolls. But trust me when I say, we take care of our own! Here are 44 reasons why right now is the time to join us…and together we can rule the fandom!!!
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1. STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS (tickets have been purchased!! Internets have been broken. This is the big leagues.)
2. Star Wars Episode VIII (ok we don’t know what it’s called yet, but the script is written and the funds are already designated!)
3. Star Wars Episode IX (we don’t even know who’s directing this one, but trust us…we’ll be there!)
4. Star Wars: Rogue One
5. Rumors of a young Han Solo film (rumors are our bread and butter. Get used to it.)
6.Star Wars Rebels (It’s only on season 2, plenty of time to catch up!)
7. Anything else Star Wars that is in the Disney pipeline. (If you aren’t sensing a trend then there may not be hope for your induction into our society.)
8. Ok…we do like some other things too…try Star Trek (anything with Star in it makes the short list!)
9.New Star Trek TV show in the works
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10. Any and all things Marvel (ie: the next 14 items on the list)
11. Marvel’s Jessica Jones (this one premiers in 7 days so you better catch up and watch all of Daredevil on Netflix stat!)
12. Marvel’s Captain America Civil War (trailer will be dropping very soon.)
13. Marvel’s Doctor Strange
14. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2
15. Marvel’s Spider-Man
16. Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok
17. Marvel’s Black Panther
18. Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 1
19. Marvel’s Ant Man and the Wasp
20. Marvel’s Captain Marvel
21. Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 2
22. Marvel’s Agents of Shield (currently in season 3 on ABC)
23. Marvel’s Agent Carter (season 2 starts in January)
24. Marvel’s Luke Cage and Iron Fist (both coming to Netflix along with season 2 of Daredevil.)
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25. DC has a lot of exciting things coming to our eyeballs soon as well (they just haven’t all earned their own number slot in this nerd’s estimation, but some are worthy like…)
26. DC’s Suicide Squad
27. DC’s Justice League
28. DC’s Arrow (currently in season 3 on The CW)
29. DC’s The Flash (currently in season 2 also on The CW)
30. DC’s Supergirl (kicking major butt in it’s first season on CBS)
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31. The Walking Dead
32. Once Upon a Time
33. Doctor Who
34. Game of Thrones
35. More Jurassic Park
36. Word of more Indiana Jones is in the ether.
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37. A little thing called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (translation: more Harry Potter)
38. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (translation: even more Harry Potter)
39. Netflix and Hulu are making it easier than ever to catch up on your nerd. In my day you had to wait for DVD sets to be released and either rent from Blockbuster (yeah that was a thing) or just spend the $29.99 to own it. You’ve got no excuses anymore! LOST, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Heroes, Supernatural, X-Files they can all be yours!)
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40. Speaking of The X-Files, you better get started cause new X-Files is coming our way in January. Jump on it and believe!
41. Star Wars Battlefront (if you aren’t a gamer yet, why not let Battlefront pull you in!)
42. Any and all things Disney (they make things other than Star Wars and Marvel movies as well. I know…crazy!)
43. Oh, speaking of Star Wars…there is so much amazing expanded universe literature coming out. (Start reading! Reading is cool! There’s a lot to catch up on!)
44. There are plenty of other awesomely nerdy things coming out before and after and in between all that’s listed above. But I’m trying to think past December 17th, 2015 and I’m finding it very hard to do.

Well…you have a lot of homework to do so you better get started now. See you on the other side where I’ll be waiting with your Nerd membership card*. We will engage in an obligatory lightsaber battle and a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. It’s what we do!

*Membership card not guaranteed.

Ant Man

I’m currently on a blog hiatus for the month of July, but I just had to break it to talk about Ant Man! So many thoughts about it!! If you are into hard hitting criticism, this is not the review for you. This blogger LOVES Marvel and usually just takes time to sing it’s praises. This will be no different.

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I’ll keep this one SPOILER FREE. But I will have to go in depth later, cause the spoilers are really good ones and I wanna talk about them!! Here we go…

1. The Hype

I don’t usually listen to the hype or the critics or anyone, because I like to inform my own opinions about a movie. But the news was good from the early screenings and I have to say that it started to make me even more excited to see it. What’s more, the hype was well deserved!

2. The Cast

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Ah-Maze-Ing. Once again Marvel proves that it knows it’s properties and it’s fans very well. Paul Rudd did a wonderful job as Scott Lang’s Ant Man. He has a Tom Hanks charm about him that you just can’t help but love and root for. And I could literally go on and on about how amazing he is as Ant Man. He’s just one of those actors that is so dang likable. Add serious action moves and a surprising set of abs and he just belongs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perfect choice!!

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Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, the original Ant Man and mentor to Scott Lang. I forgot how much I love Michael Douglas! And whatever they did to make him look young again was really convincing! Really good makeup or CGI? I didn’t care. I believed that somehow they found a time machine and brought back a younger Michael Douglas to play a younger Hank Pym. Cause if anyone has a time machine it’s Disney/Marvel/Star Wars!

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Evangeline Lilly has already reached nerd royalty status with her roles as Kate in LOST and as Tauriel in The Hobbit Trilogy. Lilly plays Hope, the daughter of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne. Rocking a serious bob and some majorly bad ass martial arts moves. No spoilers, like I said, but they take her character to a wonderful place and I can’t wait to see her future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!! Anyone who has been upset by the lack of ladies in the MCU will not be disappointed with what they do with Hope’s character!!

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Michael Pena, T.I. and David Dastmalchian play Luis, Dave and Kurt. A trio of crooks who are friends with Scott Lang and get roped into helping with Ant Man’s heist. Special shout out to Pena who is completely hilarious and delightful!! i hope they all have a future in the MCU cause they were really funny!

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Cory Stoll rounds it out as the villain of the movie, Darren Cross aka the Yellowjacket. I really enjoyed Stoll’s turn as the wounded baddie. All he wants is for Hank to show him his secrets and share his technology, but he doesn’t. So he has to make his own way and he kills a lot of lambs in the process. He will probably be compared to other bad guys in the MCU, but he doesn’t deserve the comparison. I think he’s a good villain and the antithesis to Ant Man in every way.

3. The Laughs

The entire theater was in stitches throughout the whole film! Every single joke landed and then punched you in the funny bone!

4. The Effects

The visual effects team should just go ahead and take some high fives for themselves. Ant Man requires heavy effects because of all the shrinking and getting big again stuff. The fights were so good!! Not only the parts when he is little and beating people up, which basically looks like they are mental. But also the parts where he is normal sized and fighting bad guys too. The action is really hard hitting!

5. The Cameos

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I promised I wouldn’t give any spoilers! And I won’t. But there is a spot on TV that does tell you that an Avenger does make an appearance. I won’t tell you which one. But it is awesome!! Epically awesome. Not only that, but there are some other familiar faces that make it into the movie, setting up some interesting plot points for Ant Man’s return in the future! Can Not Wait for that.

Ant Man’s release brings an end to Marvel’s Phase II. Now we have to wait till May 6, 2016 for the next installment. Captain America: Civil War will start Phase III.

I will definitely be seeing it at least 2 more times in the theaters. It’s that good! But don’t take my word on Ant Man… go see it for yourself! Give Marvel your money.

30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 10

Day 10: Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) from Avengers: Age of Ultron

If you haven’t seen Avengers: Age of Ultron then you must be living in a dark cave somewhere, far away from civilization and a movie theater.  As of now, the movie has made over 1.3 billion dollars worldwide. So…yeah. It’s kind of a big deal. And if you’re looking for a favorite Avenger, allow me to present Black Widow! She is one seriously bad ass lady, especially since she has to deal with so many men. That a tough gig!

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Not to mention that Natasha’s hair manages to be ready for action and/ or a photo shoot at any given moment. If I had to kick bad guy’s butts on the regular, I promise you, my hair wouldn’t look this good all the time!

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Earth’s Mightiest Hair!!

#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

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!!