#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

The Good, The Bad and The Bigger Problem

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This weekend I went to see Marvel’s live show at the Barclay Center. And let me begin by saying that it was amazing! The costumes, the sets, the background CG work, the stunts, the pyrotechnics. It was a complete joy ride!

And with the partnership of characters that we can only dream of seeing in the MCU. The usual players were present: Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Wido, Hawkeye, Ironman, Falcon, Nick Fury and Maria Hill. Add to that a few favorite mutants: Wolverine, Cyclops and Storm. And of course the web-slinger himself (and incidental crowd favorite) Spiderman. And let’s not forget the best addition of all… Captain freakin’ Marvel!! Talk about fangirl moment, I love me some Carol Danvers!

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And the good side wasn’t the only side peppered with the fairer sex. Black Cat and Madame Hydra joined villains like Red Skull, Loki and the rest of the Sinister Six: Green Goblin, Rhino, Lizard, Doc Ock and Electro. Along with Whiplash and a passel of Chitauri baddies.

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The entire show was entertaining from beginning to end. And it was epic to see so many favorite characters on stage together.

Here comes the ugly. Ever since Guardians of the Galaxy came out, women and girls everywhere have been asking #WheresGamora. Sadly the promotional product available in the lobby has left me asking the same question.

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Yes, I understand that in years past, the comic book world has been a predominantly male one. But times are a changing. And that doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen and more than that, it should happen!

It’s starting to feel as if Marvel doesn’t believe that boys will want toys and other products if a female appeared on it. Call me optimistic, but I can’t believe that’s true.

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I sat next to a lovely family of 3: mom, dad and son. And the son was trying to convince his mom to dress up with him for Halloween in Marvel Universe characters. In eager anticipation, this mom bought a tattoo sleeve in the lobby just to fuel her excitement about dressing up for Halloween for the first time as an adult. When she pulled the sleeve out, not a single female hero was to be found on it, to her and my dismay and yes, even her son’s dismay, “Mom, where’s Black Widow?”

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I have to ask a question, Marvel… you know boys like girls right? In fact, I believe that seeing strong representations of females in an embodiment they understand could only have a positive effect of our young men. Imagine young boys growing up knowing that women are just as strong and powerful as men are. And in Captain Marvel’s case, more powerful than some! (Chick can fly!)

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Listen, everybody understands that change is hard and takes time. The fact that there was more than just one female hero in the show was a great start. But time is up and now you need to step up your game!

Girls don’t just want girl toys. I want a Captain Marvel figure as much as I want a Captain America one. And I have a feeling that if treated correctly, you’d find boys don’t just want boy toys either!

#WheresGamora

#WheresBlackWidow

#WheresCaptainMarvel

#Wherearemyladies

Change is coming and I don’t know if you’ve heard yet but… Girls sort of Rule!!

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At the end of the day, it’s a great show worth seeing!! So if it comes near you, go! You won’t regret it.