A Superhero Workout (With Character Sheets!)

 

It’s time for you to get started with a superhero workout! Fitness is a great place to start because it can be quick and easy.  To get started you don’t need to join the gym, you don’t need to workout for an hour, you just need to get started, and this post is all about making exercise a habit:

Part 1) The Health Hero Classes, exercise routines, and character sheet

Part 2) How to improve your will power

Part 3) How to make exercise a habit

Part 4) Health Hero training resources and videos

 

Pick Your Health Hero Class: Basic Exercise Level One

 

the_tank

This superhero workout routine is a beginner workout, and is meant for those that lead lives with little physical activity. I  suggest you see a sports physiotherapist, or consult your doctor before getting started.

unnamed (1)Description: “The Tank” character class isn’t know as fast moving, but when they arrive on the scene they always make a serious impact.  Think of superheroes like Hulk, and you should get a good idea of what “The Tank” class is all about.  Just remember your only starting your Health Hero Quest, your not a super hero yet! But with time and dedication you can SMASH like Hulk!

Level one training for “The Tank” class involves the following:

Exercise A:

Warm-up: 5 minutes of skipping rope

20 minutes of walking at a steady pace.

Cool down: 5 minutes of full body stretching

 

Exercise B:

Warm-up: 5 minutes of skipping rope

10 minutes of brisk walking, followed by one round of the seven minute workout. (See details resources section)

Cool down: 5 minutes of full body stretching

 

Make sure you always warm-up and cool down.  Perform each exercise twice per week. You should follow exercise A with an exercise B, and never workout more than two days in a row.    If a brisk walk is too difficult than try one minute of casual walking and one minute of brisk walking.  See more below about the 7 minute workout.

Why Walking Works:

What most people don’t realize when they start working out, is that weight lifting and running can really build your appetite. Walking, however, is less vigorous, so you’ll be less likely to over eat after your exercise.  And as personal trainer and author Pete Cerqua suggests in the “High Intensity Fitness Revolution for Men” it doesn’t matter how much you exercise, if you`re eating too much.

the_speedster

This superhero exercise routine is meant for those that lead lives with a bit of physical activity.  You should not go from being totally inactive, to starting your “Speedster” training, unless you first consult with your doctor or a sports physiotherapist.

unnamed

Description: These health heroes use speed and endurance to out manoeuvre and out last opponents.  The Flash is the classic example of a speedster.  Just remember you`re not going to move like a flash of lightning when just starting out.  But you’ll be surprised just how fast you can improve your Health Hero speed and endurance.

 

Level one training for “The Speedster”‘ class involves the following:

Exercise A:

Warm-up: 5 minutes of skipping rope

15 minutes of jogging at a steady pace

Cool down: 5 minutes of full body stretching

Exercise B:

Warm-up: 5 minutes of skipping rope

10 minutes of brisk running, followed by one round of the seven minute workout. (See details resources section)

Cool down: 5 minutes of full body stretching

Make sure you always warm-up and cool down.  Perform each exercise twice per week.   You should follow exercise A with an exercise B, and never workout more than two days in a row. If  running is too difficult, then try one minute of running, and one minute of brisk walking.  See more below about the 7 minute workout.

Why Running Works:

Running is a great way to start or end your day. It will energize you in the morning or melt away your days stress in the evening. Whenever you run, make sure you start slowly and steadily and increase your speed to a comfortable level.

the_warrior

This superhero workout is meant for those that lead lives that already include a good deal of physical activity.  You should not go from being totally inactive, to starting your warriors training unless you first consult with your doctor.

wolverine_vector_by_leofiger-d4a587lDescription: Health Hero warriors don’t have the brute force of the tank class or the lightning fast movements of the Speedsters, but are known for their skill and strength.  Think Wolverine, Thor, or Captain America. The warrior class is only fit for the toughest of Health Heroes.

Level one training for “The Warrior”‘ class involves the following:

Exercise A:

Warm-up: 5 minutes of skipping rope

Three rounds of the seven minute workout below. (See details resources section) Take one minute of rest time between rounds.

Cool down: 5 minutes of full body stretching

Exercise B:

Warm-up: 5 minutes of skipping rope

10 minutes of brisk running, followed by one round of the seven minute workout. (See details below)

Cool down: 5 minutes of full body stretching

Make sure you always warm-up and cool down. Perform each exercise twice per week. You should follow exercise A with an exercise B, and never workout more than two days in a row.  If  running is too difficult, then try one minute of running, and one minute of brisk walking.  See more below about the 7 minute workout.

Disclaimer: Although I have earned a Bachelor of Education, and was a qualified fitness instructor at one point, I am not currently a personal trainer. That said, I did get input on this program from Adam Scott of “Geek and Gamer Fitness” and BJ at “Geek Fitness.”  They are both qualified trainers.

 

health_hero_character_title

*It is highly recommended that you print off a character sheet.  It allows you to tie together all the important parts of this blog post, and will improve your chances of success greatly. Remember you can always use a PDF annotation app to keep the sheet on your phone.

Download your character sheet here

 

Build Your Will Powers: 3 Essentials

Most superheroes have super powers, but without will power these heroes are nothing.  Start building your will power, and you will discover your super power is the ability transform into a healthier and happier you.

Step One: What is your Why?

For me, my ‘why’ is always my loved ones.  I complete workouts because I want to be healthy and have energy for my young girls.  I don’t want them growing Superhero-girl-in-purpleup thinking “Dad doesn’t love me because he never gets off the couch.”  I’m determined to get in shape and stay in shape for them.

My wife tells me her ‘why’ is all about fitting into a little bikini.  And this maybe your goal too, but I always ask her if that will really make her happy long term? And will the bikini ever be small enough?

Here are some good ideas to get you started, but ultimately you must choose your own path:

1) I want to stop feeling so damn tired, so I can have more energy for life.

2) I want to improve my self confidence, and if I’m doing things that make me feel good about myself, my confidence will improve.

3) I want to inspire those around me to be healthy. I want to inspire my family and friends to be healthier people.

So what’s the next step? Write your ‘Why” down on the printable character sheet above. Try to make it specific to you, not just general like those above.  I’ll explain more about how you’ll use your ‘why’ in the next section.

Step Two: It’s 90% Mental

“The Now Habit” is honestly a pretty boring book, but it does include extremely insightful, and well researched facts. The one major thing I took away from the book by Neil Fiore is that improving your self talk can stop procrastination, and improve your will power.  In the past I would often verbally abuse myself in hopes of finding my motivation.

Mr. Fiore suggests that you are more likely to be successful if you simply coach yourself through the procrastination.  Using positive self-talk such as if you were talking to a child: “I know you can do this, and I`m going to be right here to help you. Everything is going to be okay.”

Another powerful phrase to use instead of “I must do this” is “I will exercise now, so that I can have guilt free time later.” I know I certainly feel guilty about not exercising, and feel much happier when I feel I have completed my important tasks for the day.

Ultimately, you need to become more conscious about your procrastination, and use positive self talk to overcome it!

Step Three: Accountability Measures

A good compliment to the strategies above is to have an external accountability measure.

  • Sign up for a 5km walking or running race, or some other obstacle race. Just make sure you pay for it well in advance.
  • Join an online group or forum where you need to post post workout selfies.
  • Find a workout partner!
  • Or signup for the goal setting social media site Lift.do

I find that signing up for a running event has kept me really accountable in the past, but after the race it can be a real struggle to maintain your momentum.  Just remember to use positive self talk, not `I need to train` but I will train now because it will help me be successful during my upcoming 10 km run.

Use Your Will Powers to Create Habits: 6 Steps

Even the most skilled superhero has established habits that help him or her build and maintain proficiencies. Whether they are building combat skills or physic abilities they didn’t become a superhero without a lot of effort.  So, here is how to get started building healthy habits.

portrait_of_a_hero_by_firienholt-d49r4bn

Step 1) Write down your workout times

Step 2) Set an alarm for workout time

The book “The Power of Habit” authored by Charles Duhigg explains that all habits have a trigger.  So when you’re trying to develop the habit of exercise, the alarm is going to trigger the thought process that will get you off the couch. Your thought process should be the following:

Step 3) Think about your why

Step 4) Use positive self talk

Step 5)  Think about your accountability measures using positive self talk

Step 6) Record your workout and reflect on how good you feel

The most important part of building a habit: you must remember that you will fail at some point.  I know I did when I first started, and I still do when I’m trying to develop new habits.  The key is to keep going.  NEVER STOP. If you miss one workout, damn well make the next one!  Be determined, the world needs more Health Heroes. Those around you need you to inspire them.

I’m not an expert, but I’m here to help in anyway I can.  Leave a comment below, or use the contact forum to ask me any questions.

 

Health Hero Training Resource:

It is always a good idea to seek help from more experienced Health Heroes.  It shouldn’t be hard to find a local running coach, personal trainer, or sports physiotherapist. These videos are not a replacement for one on one help from a professional.

Health Hero Apps:

Youtube Downloader: Before you watch the videos you should find a youtube downloader app on your phone.  That way to can review the videos before your workouts.  Simply watching them once isn’t going to be enough in most cases.

7 Minute Workout App: You can find free seven minute workout apps in the Android Play Store or in the iOS App Store.

Runkeeper: I highly recommend tracking your runs or walks because it allows you to see your progression over time, and allows you to set goals to improve.  You can find Runkeeper here in the Android Play Store or in the iOS App Store.

Warm-up:

Dan the man shows you some basics with skipping rope.  You can find the video on Youtude.com here.

In this second video, Dan gives you some tips to add variety to your skipping warm-up.  Variety is always a good thing because you’ll be engaging more muscles, which allows you to burn more calories, and build more muscle.

Walking:

Some how Steve and Jackie make a video on basic power walking entertaining. Find it on Youtube.com here.

Running:

Author and running coach Eric Iorton helps you with the basics of running form.  I suggest you also see a sports physiotherapist or running coach locally to perfect your running form.  Running can lead to a lot of different strains and pains if not completed correctly. Find the video on Youtube.com here.

 7 Minute Workout

The seven minute Workout is and app that can be downloaded here for IOS and here for Android.  In the video below Jackie demonstrates this workout and gives you the details of the workout.  I suggest watching the video before doing the workout several times, and seeing a local personal trainer for a session on how to perfect these different exercises. Find the full video here, and remember Health Heroes come in all shapes in sizes.

 

Cooldown Stretch:

Here is a great cool down stretch after your Health Hero Training. It is by Fitness Blender who have tons of great videos. Find the video here.

 

If you have any thoughts or questions about this superhero workout please comment below, or email me using the contact forum.

Art Sources:

Portrait of a Superhero Firienholt,

Purple Superhero Lady opensource clipart,

The Hulk by Daniel-Trujillo,

The Flash by NDGO,

and Wolverine by Leofiger.

4 Comments

  • Alykhan

    November 21, 2014

    Hey Mike,

    Man, this is really a killer resource for people looking to get started working out and those who just want to develop more consistency. I also read The Power of Habit and understanding the habit loop was huge for me. I now incorporate both triggers and rewards in any new habit I’m trying to build.

    I also love all the links to resources, tools and video demonstrations. Great job!

    Alykhan

    • Mike Sweetman

      November 21, 2014

      Thanks Alykhan!

      I hope it’s a fun resource that motivates folks to start their own Health Hero Quest…

  • The Mighty Jerd

    November 21, 2014

    I love it!

    • Mike Sweetman

      November 21, 2014

      Thanks Jeff…it was a lot of work…but I’m really happy with what I’ve created. I’ve always loved the epic content you create, and finally decided to do some of my own!