Nerdy Jock Themed Workouts Tue, 20 Jan 2015 02:27:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Mario 3 Suits Workout Tue, 20 Jan 2015 02:26:55 +0000 Continue reading

I posted a different Mario 3 workout a while ago, but that one is meant to be done while playing the game. No NES required for this one – it’s just inspired by the suits and power ups of the game. Enjoy.

The Mario 3 Suits Workout

Some suit moves have two choices: A and B. The A option is closer to a basic Stronglifts workout, and you’ll want to complete up to 5 sets with the barbell. For the B option, do 3 sets. If you do the barbell moves, you’ll probably want to do the sets back to back. The others can be done back to back or in a circuit.

Tanooki Suit – Become a statue – 60 second plank, 30 second side planks

Fire flower – Hit the fireball-throwing muscles – A: Bench press for 5 heavy reps or B: 12-15 floor bridge dumbbell chest presses

Leaf/Raccoon Suit – Prepare for keeping that tail in motion – A: 5 barbell squats followed by ALAP wall sit or B: 12-15 dumbbell/kettlebell squats (use stability ball against the wall for assistance if you want) followed by 1 minute wall sit

Frog Suit – Strengthen your swimming muscles – A: 5 barbell overhead/military presses or B: 12 dumbbell lateral raises

Hammer Suit – Get ready to throw some hammers – A: 5 barbell bicep curls or B: 12-15 dumbbell hammer curls.

Kuribo’s Shoe/Star Power – Cardio drills. If you’re doing all sets back to back, do these after finishing all sets of one movement. If you’re doing a circuit, do these after completing one set of each exercise.

Start at one end of the room and do long jumps to the other side. Do 20 star jumps (jump squat -> to jumping jack). Do long jumps back to the other side.

The Mario 3 Suits Workout


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The Archer Mon, 12 Jan 2015 06:00:18 +0000 Continue reading

This workout has a move for every Archer character. For some of them, it was a bit of a challenge to think of characteristics that didn’t require the NSFW label – this show is crazy! Cracks me up, though. Enjoy.

The Archer Workout

Archer’s drinking and black-outs – Left dumbbell hammer curl, right dumbbell hammer curl, dumbbell burpee-pushup (10X)

Lana’s thigh-high boots – 6-10 leg presses, heavy

Malory’s micromanagerial whip-cracking – 45 seconds of battle rope waves

Pam’s dolphin puppet mediation – 10 dolphin pushups

Cyril’s on-the-run employee evaluation – 8 sprints across the room

Cheryl’s “gluing up” – 5 barbell or dumbbell high rows, heavy

Babou the Ocelot’s prowling – Plank walk twice across the room

Ray’s bionic legs – Weighted walking lunges, 20/side

Woodhouse’s despondent shuffle – 8 side shuffles across the room

Krieger’s “magic breath strips” – 1 minute side plank with raised leg, 1/side

Repeat 3X

The Archer Workout


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The Jacob Marley Sat, 10 Jan 2015 02:37:42 +0000 Continue reading

Okay… so I’m a little a lot late on this Christmas-themed workout. But the good news is that I am once again the proud owner of a functioning laptop! Hallelujah.

I could just wait until next year, but I really like this one and wanted to share it. A Christmas Carol was always my favorite Christmas movie growing up, and I still watch it every year. Last month, I put on a weight belt with a chain and 25-lb plate to do some dips. Suddenly, it hit me – Jacob Marley wasn’t stuck in Purgatory, he was just working out:

jacob marley workout

He’s weightless, so he needs the chains to make dips and pull-ups worthwhile.

The Jacob Marley Workout

Warm-up – Carry your weights up Ebenezer Scrooge’s staircase. Grab a pair of kettlebells – no more than 15 lbs. – and walk slowly on the stairmaster. 5 minutes.

Float your way into Scrooge’s room. Balance on 4 medicine balls and hold an elevated plank. Do as many pushups as possible. (Alternative: Pushups on 2 Bosus or kneeling pushups on 1 Bosu)

Dips and pull-ups – Grab a weight belt and add as much weight to it as you’re comfortable with. AMAP of each, to failure. (Alternative: bench dips and inverted rows)

Walking lunges – 20/side. Keep the weight from before; hold onto the plates on the belt if they get in the way.

*Repeat the pushups, dips, pull-ups, and walking lunges twice for a total of 3 times – one for each Spirit of Christmas. Between sets – sled pull/sled push! 2 times each.

Cool-down – Float back down the stairs. Slow backwards incline walk on the treadmill, 5 minutes.




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The Flatlanders’ Workout – exercising in different planes Thu, 11 Dec 2014 03:13:14 +0000 Continue reading

When I posted this tesseract themed workout and discussed different dimensions, a commenter suggested I check out the movie Flatland. I did! It’s based on an old book and you can watch the whole movie here on YouTube. The setting is “Flatland,” a 2D world with different shapes as characters. A revolution is brewing, as the shapes who don’t like change feel increasingly threatened by the “chromatists” – shapes who encourage the Flatlanders to use their ability to change colors. I won’t give away too much, but the main character (a square) is pulled into the 3D world and blown away by what he sees. It’s a strange, quirky movie and worth a watch. A little wine with it doesn’t hurt.

Speaking of being stuck in a certain dimension, most of us aren’t much better when it comes to exercise. (Nice segue, NJ.) Have you ever noticed that most exercises we do involve moving from front to back? Look around the gym. You’ll notice that whether people are doing weights or cardio, the majority are moving in this plane. This is called the sagittal plane of motion, and it cuts the body into left and right sections.

It’s important to train in different planes of motion. Not only will your muscles appear more developed this way, they will be more functional and able to work in different directions. Your body can also move from side to side (frontal plane) and rotate (transverse plane).



Any good training program will incorporate exercises that move you in these directions. This is especially important for athletes. Injuries on the field happen most often in twisting motions, and exercising in multiple planes can help prevent this.

For today’s workout, we’ll be just like a Flatlander who’s discovered the 3D world. We’re going to take three traditional exercises and do them in different planes, taking full advantage of our 3-dimensional existence. If you’re used to doing mostly sagittal plane exercises, this might feel weird! But you’ll see why it’s important. Take your time and cut down on the time or number of reps if you need to.

This isn’t a formal workout; it’s more of a prompt to get you moving in different planes. Go slowly and pay attention to how different it feels to incorporate the frontal and transverse planes in your exercises.

1. Treadmill running

Start with 2-3 minutes of normal, forward jogging. Next lower your speed (start with 1.0) if you’ve never done this; you can raise it later. Walk sideways, keeping both of your feet pointed straight out to the side. Now, try raising the speed. Once you’re moving as fast as you feel comfortable with, stay there for 1 minute. Then switch sides, dropping the speed again first and working your way up. Switch back and forth every minute for a total of 4 minutes on each side – 8 minutes total.

If you enjoyed the sideways walking/running, try going backwards. Lower the speed, turn around, and walk. As you get comfortable, raise the speed. Hang on to the railings until you have the hang of it. (Technically this is also the sagittal plane, but the benefits are the same since you aren’t used to moving in this direction.)

2. Lunges

You’ve probably done plenty of traditional lunges. Let’s try frontal. Instead of moving your foot forward, you’re going to move it to the side and bend your knee.

Next, try transverse lunges. Instead of moving your foot straight forward, pivot and place it pointing almost backwards. If you’re starting with both feet pointing at 12 o’clock, your foot should point back to 5 o’clock. Bend your knee and lean in over that foot. (If you have any knee or hip issues, do this slowly and carefully.)

Try 10 of F and T lunges in each direction.

3. Core work

Regular crunches involve moving front to back along the line of your body, so they’re – that’s right – sagittal plane. Do 20 on a Bosu or stability ball.

Let’s work our core in the frontal plane next. Come down into a side plank and raise your top leg several inches. Try to hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Finally, let’s do transverse ab work: cable twists. Find a free motion machine or cable. Grab the fixture in your hands, stand back so that the cable is taut, and twist at the waist. Your arms are only to hold the weight. Try not to use any muscles but your obliques.

These are just a few examples of how incorporating the transverse and frontal planes can give you a more complete workout. Consider adding in more movements like these – your muscles will thank you.


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Captain Janeway’s Buns of Steel Wed, 03 Dec 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Continue reading

We all know there are three ways to do anything: the right way, the wrong way, and the Janeway. I’d follow Janeway to the Delta Quadrant any day. She’s an open book, after all. You can tell exactly how serious any situation is by the messiness of her bun. As long as the The Bun is sill intact, everything is going to be just fine.

Janeway Bun Scale

Today, we’ll be taking a page from the book of Voyager’s captain and working on our “buns.”

Yuk, yuk, yuk.

janeway facepalm

Captain Janeway’s Buns of Steel Workout


Tube walking, about 20 strides/leg

30-second side plank with hip abduction (raised top leg), 2/side

25 floor bridge hip drops

Floor bridge single-leg extensions, 10/side

Buns of Steel:

Assisted pistol squats, 10/side – unless you’re a BAMF who can do them unassisted!

Weighted floor bridge hip thrusts, 20-15-10 (go progressively heavier)

Barbell squats, 5X5 (heavy)

Leg press, 20-15-10 (progressively heavier)

Weighted walking lunges, 10/side (moderately heavy)

Seated hip abduction, 3X10 (moderately heavy)

Stability ball hamstring curls, 3X25


Fast treadmill walk or slow job, incline of at least 6 – BACKWARDS.

Captain Janeway's Buns of Steel Workout


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The Pumpkin Circuit Sun, 30 Nov 2014 23:09:59 +0000 Continue reading

It’s the last day of November, so I thought some of you might be getting ready to put those Halloween/Thanksgiving pumpkins out to pasture.

If you’ve ever seen an orange medicine ball before, you may have thought, “Hey, that looks like a pumpkin! ”

pumpkin med ball

But… have you ever seen a pumpkin and thought, “Hey, that looks like a medicine ball!”? Well, here’s your chance. This is a quick circuit you can do outside with that pumpkin before it goes into the woods or compost heap… assuming it’s not rotten yet, of course! If it is, save this one for next Halloween.

The Pumpkin Circuit

10 walkover pushups – Put one hand on the pumpkin and the other on the ground, do a pushup, and walk your hands over so that the opposite hand is on the pumpkin. Do 10/side.

1 minute wall sit – Hold the pumpkin in your lap as you hold a wall sit. For an extra kick, hold the pumpkin over your head.

20 core twists – Sit with your knees up and hold the pumpkin at your chest. Using your oblique, twist from side to side.

10 triceps pushups – Put your hands together on the pumpkin and come down into a pushup.

20 air squats – Hold the pumpkin at your chest and squat. Make sure you come down far enough! Your glutes should be below your knees.

1 minute of mountain climbers – Put your hands on the pumpkin and do mountain climbers.

15 lunges – Balance your back foot on the pumpkin and pulse. 15/side.

10 sumo squats – Hold the pumpkin between your legs (by the stem) and squat with a wide stance.

Repeat twice, or set a stopwatch for 20-30 minutes and see how many circuits you can do.

Goodbye, fall!

The Pumpkin Circuit

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The ‘Council of Nine’ – the South Park variety Sun, 23 Nov 2014 09:00:25 +0000 Continue reading

One of my favorite South Park multi-parters is the “Imaginationland” Trilogy. The “Council of Nine” is made up of leaders from Imaginationland: Aslan, Gandalf, Glinda, Jesus, Luke Skywalker, Morpheus, Popeye, Wonder Woman, and Zeus. (Zeus, incidentally, was on the original “Council of Nine” in Greek mythology. That council might get their own workout another day.

council of nine


Let’s help our Council of Nine (and Butters) fight off the evil imaginary characters from behind the wall. Each member has a different exercise.

Aslan – Thaw out your frozen allies: Warm up with 20 walking lunges and 10 arm circles in each direction

Gandalf – Fly on an eagle: 10 dumbbell or machine flyes

Glinda – Float around on your bubble: 25 stability (Swiss) ball crunches

Jesus – Walk on water: 5 minutes on the rowing machine or 1-minute plank on 4 medicine balls 2X

Luke Skywalker – Run around with Yoda on your back: Pick up the heaviest weight plates you can, one in each hand, and run around the gym/room with them 3X

Morpheus – Hover in mid-air in the Matrix: 1 minute plank, optional addition of forearm to hand raises

Popeye – Flex those forearms: 10 barbell or dumbbell preacher curls

Wonder Woman – Swing that Lasso of Truth: 30 seconds of battle rope waves, followed by throwing the tiara: 20 medicine ball wall slams

Zeus – Throw your lightning bolts at mortals who displease you: 20 box jumps with medicine ball slams (jump up onto the platform holding the ball, then slam the ball once you are at the top)

Repeat 3X.

The 'Council of 9' Workout

]]> 0 The Middle Way Wed, 19 Nov 2014 09:00:01 +0000 Continue reading

]]> A while back, my mom and I rented a movie called “Little Buddha” from Netflix. It takes place in modern times, but it’s dotted with flashbacks of the Buddha’s life.

The crazy part: Keanu Reeves plays Buddha.

The crazier part: It doesn’t totally suck. (Well, it sucks a little bit. But it’s entertaining and definitely not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, especially considering it was made in 1993.)



When I saw the, ahem, surprising casting choice, my expectations plummeted faster than [insert Peter Griffin anecdote here]. Good on ya, Keanu.

Part of Buddha’s early life and development involved finding balance between extreme ways of living. After growing up as an insanely wealthy prince, he was convinced that the key to a spiritual life was renouncing all possessions and living with the ascetics. Seemed legit… until he nearly starved to death and still wasn’t any wiser. The problem with such extreme deprivation is that you’re basically still a slave to your body and your senses. Insight and enlightenment are more likely obtained when living a life of balance between the two.

For our Middle Way workout, we’ll do 3 sets: one with a high number of lighter reps, the next with a low number of heavy reps, and the third with an in-between number of reps at a moderate weight.*

*This doesn’t mean that an in-between number of reps at an in-between weight is always ideal or how you should normally work out. There are multiple paths to muscle enlightenment. ;)

Set 1 – 25 reps of each

Chest – bosu pushups

Back – body weight rows

Biceps- dumbbell hammer curls

Triceps – bench dips

Legs – bosu squats

Core – bosu crunches

Set 2 – 5 reps

Chest – bench press

Back – Pull-ups

Biceps – barbell curls

Triceps – Full-body dips

Legs – barbell squats

Core – 60-second plank

Set 3 – 10 reps

Chest – machine press

Back – cable row

Biceps – cable gorilla curls

Triceps – rope extensions

Legs – walking lunges

Core – leg lifts, 3-3-3 second count

I’m far from enlightened, but I do know this: balance is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Obsessing over losing weight or getting into shape is no more effective than trying to gain wisdom by renouncing every worldly possession and starving yourself. Balance, people. That’s where it’s at.

The Middle Way Workout





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The Pangea Sun, 16 Nov 2014 21:36:22 +0000 Continue reading

Pangea the Supercontinent (doesn’t it sound like a superhero?) formed about 300 million years ago and broke after about 100 million years. Sad that those land masses called it quits, but the supercontinent still lasted 506.9 million times as long as Kim Kardashian’s last marriage.

Sorry, that was too easy. *Readjusts joke bar*


There were three breakup phases of Pangea, and each of those will be a part of our workout. “Split” means switch off between the exercises listed in the phase. Finish all sets of each phase before moving to the next.

1. Breakup #1: Pangea split into Laurasia (lower body) and Gondwana (upper body)

Upper/lower body split: 5 barbell squats/5 pull-ups or chin-ups (assisted if necessary, weighted for progression). Do one 5 squats followed by 5 pull-ups, and switch off. 5 sets, heavy.

2. Breakup #2: Gondwana split into Africa, South America, India, Antarctica, and Australia

Upper body split: 6-8 each of triceps extensions, overhead presses, bicep curls, chest presses, rows. 3 sets, moderate-heavy.

3. Breakup #3: North America and Greenland split from Eurasia, Australia split from Antarctica

Lower body split: 8 hip abduction + adduction, 10/side weighted walking lunges. 3 sets, moderate-heavy.

In honor of Pangea’s approximately 100 million years as a supercontinent, finish with 100 cardio drill reps. 20 each of jump squats, mountain climbers, star jumps, snowboard jumps, and battle rope waves.

The Pangea Workout



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Election Night Workout Tue, 04 Nov 2014 19:11:17 +0000 Continue reading

First, a quick thanks to the ones who came before us and paved the way for our right to vote. Regardless of your political leanings, please get out and vote today – and be courteous. My laptop is on the verge of exploding and running slower than molasses (hence my hiatus), so I have to keep this quick!

The Election Night Workout


A Democratic candidate is elected/re-elected Governor: 50 donkey kicks

A Republican candidate is elected/re-elected Governor: 50 jump squats

A Democrat wins a Congressional seat: 20 pushups

A Republican wins a Congressional seat: 20 triceps pushups

A Democrat wins a Senate seat: 20 crunches

A Republican wins a Senate seat: 20 leg lifts

If a third party candidate gets more than 5% of the vote when the race is called: Triple your reps. Mua ha ha.

There are plenty of drinking games floating around out there. I think my plan is healthier, but for an extra special workout, do both at once and see what happens. ;)

Enjoy. Stay safe, stay informed, and stay civil.

The Election Night Workout


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