#AvengerinTraining – Hulk Week

Hitting Stride

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

In Week 2 I really felt like I was in the zone. My morning runs were really strong. And coming out of Iron Man week I was ready for the next challenges. The foods I ate during Iron Man week really helped me reboot my eating habits and eat clean and healthier meals! Heading into week 2 it was time to up the ante. Check out the plan for Hulk Week below:

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Week 2: Hulk Week

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Artwork by Blule

The next Avenger to be introduced to the franchise was, The Hulk. After an accident in the lab and exposure to toxic amounts of Gamma radiation, mild-mannered scientist, Bruce Banner, was transformed into the green behemoth known as The Hulk. When angered Bruce goes green and starts smashing.

Originally played by Edward Norton, the role of the Hulk was recast for The Avengers. Mark Ruffalo took over the role. Obviously the muscle mass that The Hulk has onscreen is a creation of the magicians of the CGI department at Marvel. Ruffalo himself did do some training for the role, but maintained a scientists’ physique. He also reportedly gave up meat and dairy to prepare for the role of The Hulk. Read Mark’s interview with Paste Magazine here. And check out The Incredible Hulk fitness plan from MensFitness.com which is where I got some inspiration for this week’s plan.

Movies

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Again, Avengers and Age of Ultron are on the list for the obvious reasons. I also watched The Incredible Hulk for inspiration, which is the least successful movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I actually really like it. And I think Norton makes an excellent Hulk! (I tried to watch Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk’… but that was a mistake. It’s a really terrible movie.) Besides the Avengers, there’s another group of super beings that might be able to relate to Hulk’s mutation…the X-Men. X-Men 1 and 2 are both great films and keep with the theme of being a little different than the average human. And then I added Fight Club to the list for good measure because 1: it has Edward Norton so…there’s that. and 2: it’s just a really phenomenal movie.

Music

This list is comprised of music from The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers as well as music that reminded me of the Hulk. Anything to get me in the mindset while pumping iron every morning. Hope you pump up the jam with this playlist!

Meals

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For Hulk week’s meal planning, I took a lot of suggestions from The Incredible Hulk fitness plan from MuscleandFitness.com and just tweaked it by removing dairy and meat from the list. A lot of greens (obviously) but mixed with some of the leftover items from Iron Man week, it made for a great week of eating!

Weekly Workout Challenge

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Day 1: Dumbbell Chest Presses and Flys (2 sets of 15)

Day 2: Dumbbell Chest Presses and Flys (2 sets of 25)

Day 3: Rest Day

Day 4: Standing Shoulder Presses and Arm Curls (2 sets of 15)

Day 5: Standing Shoulder Presses and Arm Curls (2 sets of 25)

Day 6: Chest Flys, Dumbbell Chest Presses, Standing Shoulder Presses, Arm Curls (15 reps)

Day 7: Chest Flys, Dumbbell Chest Presses, Standing Shoulder Presses, Arm Curls (25 reps)

Remember to add in Day 7 (2 sets of Full Front Planks (60 second hold, rest in between)) from Iron Man week before each day’s challenge in Hulk Week. We are building up to a full body workout by the time we hit the end of the 6 weeks.

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Extra Credit

Here are the extra classes I took for Hulk Week to keep thinking Hulk-y thoughts:

Cycling @ Monster Cycle

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Photo from Monster Cycle

This is a relatively new cycling studio in Manhattan. Right off the bat I was told that this was different than any cycling class I had previously took, but most specifically from Soul Cycle (which I told them I was used to doing.) Monster has great music, good energy and no tap backs. I have to be honest and tell you that Soul Cycle is my jam. But Monster was definitely my jelly!! I really enjoyed this class. And their first time rate is only $13, while their single class rate is $33. Definitely a class worth trying!

Yoga @ LuluLemon

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Photo from LuluLemon

I chose to do yoga for Hulk week because keeping the heart rate in check is one of the ways that Edward Norton’s Banner keeps from transforming into The Hulk. Every Sunday at stores around the country, Lululemon closes down it’s shop and makes room for the yoga mats. They offer free yoga in their stores and even provide mats if you need one. It’s a wonderful, free weekly workout and they feature different instructors from local yoga studios each week. So you can get a sneak preview of different studios in case you are looking for more than just once a week. The instructor I took from during Hulk week came from Jivamukti Yoga and it was a really amazing practice! I have never been able to do a full bridge, and the instructor really pulled me out of my comfort zone…literally!!

Stay tuned for the following Avengers: Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye and Captain America. And check out Iron Man week if you missed it.

Make sure to comment below with any questions, comments, etc! And let me know if you join my Avenger in training revolution. It is really transforming me and I hope it can do the same for you!

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Photo by Cristina Fowler

Fan Art Friday!!!

Yesterday I was contacted by someone who started watching my web series and asked if they could do some fan art.

Can they??? I mean… total geek out moment over the fact that anyone would want to do fan art of something I’ve done.

I’m usually the one who is the fan. So this is a very special treat!

And here it is. Fan art of The Vagina Whisperer himself.

FAn ARt!!!

Art by Mr. Phoenix of Justice

Why Superman is the hero we need and Batman is the hero we want

The world is already a dark place. Have you watched the news lately? There was yet another school shooting yesterday… dark!! In light of the upcoming Batman v. Superman movie, there has been much debate about the 2 superheroes. And for some reason Batman seems to be winning the popularity contest.

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He has never been my favorite superhero. Call me the eternal optimist, but I’ve always been a Supes girl myself! He’s the superhero we need. He’s the best of us. The one who makes the right decisions in the most impossible situations. The one who sees the best in humanity even when it makes no sense at all!

Bats

 

Artwork on Etsy by RetroInc

Batman on the other hand is the physical representation of who we currently are, not who we could be. I like the Bat! He’s gritty and real and bad ass! But as cool as he often is, he isn’t the best of us. And we as a culture want to be told that it’s ok to be that way. It’s ok to not be the best version of yourself because it’s your choice and your life and somehow that makes it ok.

Supes

Artwork available on Society 6 by Pandreaa

Superman is the challenge. The ideal. The seemingly alien goodness that shines in the darkened world. We need that. We need the ideal. The hope. Because a world without hope is like a Gotham without Batman. And that’s not somewhere I ever want to live.

My Last Words

Last night, after a delish-ful reunion with a certain red-headed roommate (who was gone from my life for 5 whole days. Wah!), at Lillie’s on W. 17th, we stopped to get a donut at Dunkin. Cause sometimes a girl just needs a giant cinnamon coffee roll (don’t judge me!)

So we’re walking and talking and eating, a difficult combo by the way, And just imagine the conversation taking place, if you will…. yeah, you guessed it. It was about Star Wars… what the hell else would we be talking about? In the middle of this convo, i start to choke on my coffee roll. And I said to Roommate, “If I die please don’t tell anyone that my last words were about Star Wars.” To which she replied, “I think your last words should absolutely be about Star Wars. It would be completely appropriate!”

And I couldn’t help but agree. My last words in this life should not be tearful goodbyes to my loved ones or final prayers up to the Lord. They should 100% be about the greatest movies ever made in this lifetime!! So I have decided what my last words will be.

“Han shot first!!!” (Am i right, nerds? Can I get an Amen!)

Han Shot First  by Fitz Fitzpatrick

Artwork by: Fitz Fitzpatrick