#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

Game of Thrones countdown

We are 1 day and change away fron the season 3 premier of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

As a prelude to the premier, HBO and Time Warner have opened up a free pop-up museum in NYC on 57th between 5th and 6th avenues.

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It reportedly has a replica of the Iron Throne inside.

No wonder the line is around the block, making it quite impossible to get in unless you are ready to wait in line for a very long time.

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If anyone has made it in, let me know. I’d love to hear about it! I have a feeling I’m not gonna make it in.

Bachelorette Madness: Round 1

READ WITH CAUTION!!!

Here we have a 2 for 1 special. 2 winning representations of the human male specimen in 1 fabulous night of bachelorette party fun.

Being the single girl in the group usually leads to shennanigans like this:

It all started with dare cards and the Joshua Tree in midtown. The bride was given a deck of dare cards to bestow to each of us throughout the night. And being the faithful entourage, we were enlisted to comply.

I was given the card that said “Kiss the cutest guy at the bar (chosen by your friends)” Of course I get this card!! It’s my lot in life to be the girl who makes out with the stranger at the bachelorette party. But if we’re being completely honest… I’m pretty much always game for a bit of a make out with a complete stranger, especially for pure entertainment value.

I agree to let this occur seeing as how my motto is “What the bride wants, the bride gets.” (within reason)

So we all proceed to scan for someone good looking and game for a laugh. Enter TDH. Tall, dark, and handsome. I point him out, the girls approve, so I approach. Basically I say “I’m with this bachelorette party, we have to do crazy dares and here’s mine.” And I show him and his buddy the card. His buddy backed away with his hands in the air in total fear of this card. (How attractive and manly of him.) But not TDH. He grabs, dips and kisses me in front of the bridal entourage. Mission accomplished!

Except after this I expected to just walk away. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am…sir. But no. TDH had to be a stage 5 clinger. King of the Klingons. Really? You couldn’t just accept a little fun and move on? He needed my number. Wanted to go back to my place. Asked where I lived. And why I didn’t live closer. Kept giving me these little peck kisses, like we were married or something. Pulled me over to dance a few times. Wouldn’t leave it alone. I didn’t really kiss this guy for an intimate, relationship connection. It’s a game. And a bar going man like this should know how to play! End of story!!!

 

Enter SDA (short, douchey, a-hole) This guy was really cute. Came up to our table and started dancing (non-creepily) with all of us. The life of the party. And he kinda looked like Hodgins from the TV show Bones. All in all cute. I hadn’t said 2 words to the kid when he and his buddy walk up to me with this gem:

– SDA: “So.. we going back to your place?” (pointing to his buddy, to himself and to me)

– Me: “No….?”

– SDA: “Come on, you can have us both!”

– Me: “Neither of you could handle me so again I’m gonna go with NO!”

-SDA: (sensored for grandmas and moms the world over) “Come on, I’ll F*&@ your brains out.”

-Me: ………………………………………..

Baffled. Shocked. Appalled. And wondering if that has ever actually worked. Now I’m not at these places to meet Mr. Right or anything and thank God I’m not. Because he clearly never goes to bars. Or clubs. Or to karaoke on Tuesday night. I’ve yet to encounter a man that doesn’t completely rip apart my hopes and dreams about what a man should be. But the search continues!