GREEN BODY PAINT OPTIONAL
The first time I ever touched a bench press a not-so-small part of my brain thought, “I wonder if I’m going to get as jacked as a superhero?”. I didn’t because I was in high school, had moronic form, worked out in jeans and was a turd of a human being. However, it is undeniable that comic book superheroes have been the inspiration for millions of nerds, like me, to start lifting weights. And who’s the biggest, meanest, most massively jacked superhero of them all? The Hulk. So let’s tap into that inner child enthusiasm and leverage it for gains. Today we ask ourselves, “How could we get as big as the Hulk?”. It’s important to understand that getting as big as the Hulk is impossible because the Hulk isn’t real. But who cares? If you love superhero movies and comic books, why not have some fun with it and use it as inspiration for getting in the gym?
1. Hulk Lift Heavy
This should be a no-brainer. That’s good because the Hulk can act kind of stupid when he’s not in scientist mode. If you want big, green, mean muscles like the Hulk, well… First, you’re probably going to need either some nuclear radiation or some green body paint. I’d tentatively recommend the paint because the only power nuclear radiation gives you is cancer.
We’re getting too hung up on the whole “green” part. Let’s concentrate on muscles. When I imagine the Hulk working out I imagine him lifting heavy. Therefore, I lift heavy. That means heavy for me. I don’t load the bench with a city bus and crush my sternum like a dumbass. I also make sure to use proper form. The Hulk and I both like our joints. I started doing fewer reps with a higher weight. Rather than hitting the 8-12 rep range and slowly building up, I went with something drastically lower like 3-5. It was fast and mean. Hulk not lift light weight all day. That cardio. Hulk get his cardio chasing Loki around city. Hulk try to check heart rate with app but finger smash phone.
2. Hulk Do Compound Movements
Hulk throws cars at people. It’s a great compound movement exercise. You can’t do this. However, there are alternatives. I make sure to target large muscle groups. This means bench press, pulls ups (weighted or otherwise depending on your bodyweight), deadlifts and squats. You think Hulk skips leg day? Hell no. Hulk’s legs are almost as thick as his torso. Squats activate the largest muscle groups in your body and working out large muscle groups can help you build muscle faster. The Hulk is basically a giant green mountain of testosterone and bestial rage so I’m sure he already knows this.
3. Hulk Like Eat
How much do you think the Hulk eats? Uh….a lot. And I, for one, can’t picture him eating Sugary Fruit Pies, no matter how many ads for them he appeared in. You’re going to need to eat a lot of protein when you’re trying to catch up to the Hulk with your gains. Many nutritionists believe you should take 1.5 -2 grams per pound of lean body mass. That’s a lot of turkey legs. In fact, that’s what all those paper towels are for at the gym. Turkey grease. Also, when I’m putting on muscle, I have to make sure I’m getting enough calories. It’s easy to forget if I get too busy. There are a bunch of websites that can help you calculate your maintenance calories based on height, weight, age, physical activity etc. These aren’t set in stone but can be useful tools. However, if you’re lifting super heavy you may need even more. This is where supplementation can really shine as no one wants to sit down and eat 100 chicken breasts when they can guzzle down a simple protein shake. Hulk not spend all day in kitchen.
4. Hulk Sleep Now
Pretending to be the Hulk is hard work, at least that’s what I tell my wife when she asks why I’m laying on the couch. People who are trying to be superheroes need sleep. That’s probably why they put superheroes on pajamas. While you’re dreaming about smashing entire city blocks with your fists, your body is releasing testosterone and growth hormone. It’s also rebuilding the broken down muscle to be bigger and stronger. Why not use this as an excuse to push that alarm setting 30 minutes later? I know I do. You can even yell, “Hulk SMASH!” every time you hit the snooze button.
5. Hulk Never Give Up
The Hulk was “beast mode” before it was cool. Hulk tackles insurmountable odds and always keeps fighting. There’s something to be said for adopting this mindset in your workouts. We grow when we push ourselves and gain strength from the struggle. Find that inner, primal power that allows you to hit one more rep than the weaker version of yourself could. That’s what this is really about. Unlocking that monster within that won’t quit no matter the odds. When Hulk had to face down a Norse god did he give up? Nah, dude, he slammed that puny god Loki all over the floor. Still scared of the weight room?
There you have it. If you want to be like the Hulk this is a pretty good start. There’s nothing wrong with using a little comic book dorkery as motivation to hit the gym. Use that inner nerd to transform yourself into a massive, muscular nerd. Working out doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s allowed to be awesome. So get out there and lift, Hulk-a-maniacs! Wait…that’s not the right…oh never mind. Go lift!
(EDITOR’S NOTE: That amazing artwork we used for the thumbnail of this image was supplied and created by the author, Mr. Andrew DeWitt. Seriously awesome, isn’t it?)