5 Lessons The Avengers taught us about fitness.
First off, lets get one thing straight.
Superhero movies are amazing.
C'mon, admit it, at one point or another we've all wanted to be a superhero.
Some of you may have spent your childhood hitting the comic book store, pocket money in hand, in a frenzy of fan boy hysteria. The other slightly less nerd-equse among you may have just enjoyed the latest big budget Marvel movies with their perfect mix of action, comedy and dramatic story-telling.
Either way, no matter what your nerd level, I think we can all agree being a superhero would be awesome.
Okay okay, what the hell does this have to do with fitness?
Recently we were watching The Avengers for the 6th time after a back to back marvel movie marathon, and started thinking about the different parallels that can be drawn from their journey, and the journey many of us have through the fitness world.
So come with Apex, as we lay out what we've learned from the Avengers and how you can use these lessons to make you fitter, stronger and more superhuman than ever before.
1 - Don't be afraid to ask for help.
" There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, so when we needed them, they could fight the battles we never could. " - Nicky Fury
Nick fury knew the right time to initiate the avengers initiative, he knew the right time to ask for help - and so should you.
One of the biggest reasons you may not be getting results in your fitness journey is the inability to stay objective about our own progress. If you currently create your own training program, i'm willing to bet that at least 90% of it is made up of stuff you're good at, and probably don't need to work on.
Often times when you think you've plateaued or completely hit a brick wall, you just need a completely new lens through which to view your training, a fresh pair of eyes.
This doesn't make you weak.
Scared to ask for help? Consider this...
Some of the best coaches in the industry have coaches of their own. It's not because said coach doesn't know how to get results of their own, it's because they need objectivity and accountability.
We know starting out that getting fit, loosing weight, gaining muscle and getting healthier may sometimes seem like an insurmountable task, but the truth is it, it doesn't need to be.
You don't have to go it alone. Ask for help and once you get started, you'll be surprised how easy it is. Which brings us on to lesson 2.
2 - It's not as scary as you think.
Throughout the finale of the Avengers movie we see the main villain, Thor's evil brother Loki, reap havoc across the city of New York as he summons his alien army, the Chitauri.
From the outside Loki plays the villain well, visibly cold to the chaos around him, seemingly unstoppable in his path of destruction. For a moment things are looking pretty bleak for our heros, and Loki seems like one scary dude.
Until he meets the Hulk.
In one of the best scenes from the entire movie, all visions of grandeur and menace fade away from Loki in one epic Hulk smash.
Left battered and broken on the ground, Loki no longer seems that scary. As Bruce Banner puts it - " Puny God "
The health and fitness world from the outside may seem like a scary one, but once you get started you'll realise you had very little to worry about.
Lifting weights for the first time? It's not as scary as you think.
Ready to start losing weight for the first time? It's not as scary as you think.
Want to run your first marathon? It's not as scary as you think.
None of this stuff needs to be scary. Just start. Ask for help if you need to but above all else just get started. And remember, when things get scary, just hulk smash.
3 - Anger is an energy. Use it correctly.
Bruce Banner is a socially withdrawn and emotionally reserved physicist who can transform, both voluntarily and involuntarily, into as Tony Stark puts it quite brilliantly in the movie - " An enormous green rage monster "
The Hulk is by far the strongest and most powerful of the Avengers, but he's not without weakness. His struggle is an internal one, the struggle to control and most importantly harness his anger as an energy source, a source of unbelievable power that can be used to defend against evil.
Training should be the place you unleash your hulk. Whatever 'training' may mean to you, whether you lift weights, run, swim, fight, play a sport, or just enjoy a mix of everything, go in to every session with intent.
Whatever stress you have built up, harness your emotion and use it to better your health and body.
4 - Make time to relax.
Even the Avengers make time to chill.
' Overtraining ' is pretty hard to do (unless you're an elite athlete)
Under-recovering however, is extremely easy and fairly common. There needs to be a ying and yang to everyones training routine.
Don't run your body into the ground 24/7 and allow it no time to re-generate.
Don't exercise 7 times a week and eat 500 calories a day in the pursuit of fat loss.
Don't walk up to the bar and expect to pull a max deadlift without first warming up and ramping the weight.
Listen fitness isn't everything.
Your life should not be defined by the gym. Training should make your life better, not rule it.
Make time for downtime.
5 - Finally, anything is possible with
the right people around you.
Individually each Avenger has their own skill set which makes them deadly. Together they become a force that can overcome anything.
This one ties in with lesson 1. There is no need to go it alone.
Every Avenger plays their part.
One of the best things you can do to enhance your results and enjoyment of training is to find a training partner, or even better, a group of like-minded people who want to kick ass as much as you do.
Love it or hate it, its probably the single biggest reason why Crossfit has become such a popular training methodology, because they foster community unlike anything else.
This is one of the biggest things we hope to do at Apex - facilitate a sense of community and camaraderie between our clients. Training with someone else, or in a group, can open your eyes to just how strong you really are, as you push each other beyond what you thought was possible on your own.
Starting your fitness journey? Reach out to friends and family to start theirs with you, you'd be surprised about the challenges you can conquer together.