2018 will once again be a super year for superheroes, with Black Panther right around the corner, Avengers: Infinity War coming soon, and Ant-Man and the Wasp ready to fly to theaters. Also in the 2018 pipeline: Deadpool 2, Aquaman, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Given this full slate of superhero movies for 2018, now seems the perfect year to get superhero fit! To get you started, you might want to buy some of the same gym equipment that Hollywood stars used to get in tiptop shape for their superhero roles.
Barbells and Dumbbells
Sure, it’s 2018 already, and a bevy of hi-tech, fancy gym equipment is available. But for a good, solid workout, a little old school mentality won’t hurt. Just ask Chris Hemsworth, who got himself all jacked and ripped to play the powerful Asgardian deity Thor by following the old-school bodybuilding approach of former Navy SEAL Duffy Gaver. Colloquially referred to as the Thor Workout, Hemsworth’s near-daily regimen prominently features dumbbells and barbells, with the 34-year-old actor performing, among others, dumbbell rows, barbell bench presses, military and Arnold presses, barbell shrugs, and back squats.
The medicine ball may just be a weighted ball, but it is a very versatile piece of gym equipment. So versatile, in fact, that Gal Gadot used it in some of her workouts to prepare her for her role as Wonder Woman. The high-octane Wonder Woman routine designed by trainer Jason Walsh includes “big movements that blast your major muscle groups and functional exercises that enhance posture.” One of the most effective exercises is the medicine ball slam. A medicine ball is perfect for a home gym as it is easy to store and can be used for multiple exercises, making it an all round gym equipment.
Resistance Bands and TRX
To play super spy Natasha Romanoff, Hollywood A-lister Scarlett Johansson needed to get in the shape of her life. Personal trainer Bobby Strom helped Johansson accomplish this by designing 90-minute, high-intensity workouts where the actress used a variety of gym equipment to perform “exercises that required explosive movements” so she could build muscle and develop her cardio. Aside from dumbbells, barbells, and medicines balls, Strom also had Johansson use resistance bands and the TRX, both of which would be excellent additions to your home gym.
If you want to purchase some gym equipment, you might want to consider the War Machine, which trainer Brad Bose likes a lot. Bose helped Robert Downey Jr. shape up for his role as Iron Man, and the War Machine was something Downey spent a lot of time using. This piece of equipment features a system of pulleys that provides resistance, stability, and core training. Not liking it yet? Let Bose convince you: “It’s inexpensive, versatile, and gives really good results.”
The superhero genre is the most successful film genre in cinema history and has attracted a large fan base that have become devoted to the characters. For fitness fans this has come through the multiple health features and articles on the actors who play these heroes. The fact that the superhero physique is highly sought after should come as no surprise considering the reach that the genre now has in pop culture. There are many websites specially designed to tap into the desire to get into superhero shape. This ideal body type is also promoted through every type of entertainment medium by either direct tie-ins or products inspired by the superhero genre. Digital games provider Slingo has several superhero-themed games, such as Amazon Queen and Thunderstruck, that not only allude to established DC and Marvel heroes (Wonder Women and Thor) but continue to promote the ideal physique through images of the characters. While it may not seem like much of an inspiration compared to the films, it is this continued exposure that influences fans. This is nothing new as fitness trends have often changed over time largely due to what is happening in popular culture. For instance, the changing trends for men from hyper-masculinity in the eighties (Sylvester Stallone in Rambo) to the leaner physique in the nineties (Brad Pitt in Fight Club).
Yes, the superhero genre is riding high on a seemingly unstoppable wave of momentum, and if you ride this same wave in your pursuit of fitness, you just might be superhero fit by the end of the year.