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North Hollywood’s Nerdstrong Died Because Gym Rats Were Scared Of The Geeks

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Nerdstrong was a way of life, a battle cry for Angelenos who hadn’t felt wanted by traditional sports culture. Andrew Deutsch, also known as Coach Andrew, got the idea in 2013 after inspiring a friend to keep training with a dungeon fighting session. It started in his garage before moving into an establishment where they eventually took over the adjoining room. But a combination of the pandemic and the way even self-styled nerds can leave others out contributed to the Nerdstrong Gym closing.

The premise was simple: a gym that encouraged people who love superhero films, role-playing games, and other iconic pieces of pop culture. It was for those who didn’t initially see themselves as gym people, in the spirit of other gyms for people who aren’t that into exercising – but taken to a new, larger-than-life level.

“My people were different … I didn’t open a gym, I opened a clubhouse,” said Deutsch. “We hugged for who they were. And they weren’t afraid to be as nerdy as they wanted to be and talk about it openly … We said, ‘You know, it’s okay to be here with you.’ “

Turning Pop Culture into Intense Workouts Work

Nerdstrong members and staff display these superhero muscles.

(Courtesy Andrew Deutsch)

The centerpiece were group fitness courses aimed at self-proclaimed nerds and geeks who would have felt like outsiders in other gyms. It would obscure everything from CrossFit to high-intensity interval training with a theme or story, though the workouts occasionally included a mace or sword (don’t worry, they were fake).

While you’re pumping iron you’ve been encouraged to try yourself harder by imagining defeating the Death Star, exercising with Cyclops in the X-Men’s Danger Room, or battling a few zombies. A workout based on the ending of Star Wars: The Force Awakens involved clumsily holding a five to ten pound weight for two minutes to represent Rey, who was trying to get Luke to shut his lightsaber accept.

“The more we were drawn to Comic-Con, the more people wanted to come in and try it out,” said Deutsch. “My theory has always been that I could write you a hundred pushups on the board, but what if I say a dragon is trying to attack the gym and it has a hundred hit points? And for every burpee you do, you as a class deal one hit point damage. “

Some of these workouts were big hits, though some members had to wake up to how hard it is to be a superhero.

“Marvel was huge back then, and they see these superheroes and they want to do that, and suddenly they find out that it’s actually quite a grueling job,” Deutsch said.

But he noted that this setting around the workouts would make the classes work much harder than usual. Deutsch tried to incorporate some of the characters’ actual movements into a movie or game and let the members bring those movements to life awaken.

“They think less about the numbers and more about what they think about when they play a video game or Dungeons and Dragons – which does the job as opposed to the deterrent,” Deutsch said. “It was hard for her to even get to the gym. If I could get her to come back now, I knew I was doing something right. “

He added to the growing community of gym goers by talking to them during class about new movies, books they read, and more culture.

“I felt that this was part of the elixir that made the room really perfect for some of these people,” said Deutsch. “People who just wanted to come in, work out, and leave weren’t as tied to the gym as the people who wanted community more than anything.”

Even if a new class started, Deutsch said, he would see people hanging out for an hour just talking to one another. They talked about everything from crossing over to Comic-Con to their Harry Potter house – to their training goals.

The end of a nerd empire

At the beginning of the pandemic, Nerdstrong tried to move his classes online, experimented with Zoom classes, a Twitch channel, and more. It also started doing outdoor park workouts on weekends.

According to German, the five-year lease for the fitness studio expired in April 2020.

“At the end of April we wanted to move the gym to another location and sign a new lease – and we just decided not to,” he said.

He saw it as a coincidence, although the gym ultimately attributed its closure to a combination of COVID-19 and a dispute with the landlord in an August 2020 statement. The gym management has decided to wait for the stores to open, the restrictions lifted, and everything to return to normal before another attempt to run a gym is made.

The gym sold its equipment (along with parting with the Space Invaders painting on the wall and the Dungeons and Dragons throwing carpet). Deutsch originally feared it could take months to move the equipment, but the pandemic shortage of fitness equipment resulted in moving weights and other equipment like the hot cakes that people wanted to remove from their diet.

Be inclusive for jocks

Pumping iron in Nerdstrong is the way you went into battle.

(Courtesy Andrew Deutsch)

But there was one problem that maybe even without these problems would have changed: the people who normally go to the gym were put off by the nerds. Despite all of the press it has received over the years (from The New York Times to Men’s Health) and calls to get a version of it to other cities, Nerdstrong only had about 100 members when it closed. Some of these members have been to the gym since the gym opened, some were drawn to the gym because it opposed toxic masculinity.

“I think one of the challenges is to find this hybrid solution that works for the gym rat, the typical gym audience, and the people who used to go to Nerdstrong,” Deutsch said. “Because it is still a small group, although the desire for such a facility was great. Those who were willing to actually go out of their way were a small niche demographic. “

A new gym may be coming from the trainer behind Nerdstrong. But it won’t be before 2022 and it won’t be called “Nerdstrong” – even though he plans to have Nerdstrong classes. The new gym would also target a broader market, going beyond the nerds to attract those who refer to themselves as “sport rats,” Deutsch said.

“We first said that we would give these nerds a place to exercise. And it turned out that it actually displaced people who don’t think they’re nerds, ”said Deutsch. “They still wanted to go to the gym, just didn’t know if they wanted to hang out with some nerds. So it was like this strange, contrasting, upside-down high school world. The athletes say: ‘Am I going to be kicked out because I’m not nerdy enough?’ “

Along with other business factors, there could be something to it – a reviewer on the Nerdstrong Yelp page wrote that he feared he wasn’t nerdy enough about the gym but ended up liking it when it worked.

The future of the gym

NERDSTRONG GYM CLOSURE

Stand under the Hogwarts house banners.

(Courtesy Andrew Deutsch)

Deutsch continues to find the gyms difficult, even if things open up, at least until next year. Several members of the Nerdstrong gym, including some of its private coaching clients, built their own home gyms during the pandemic.

“They put a lot of time and effort into the places they have at home, so I don’t know if people are willing to give up on that for a group fitness situation,” said Deutsch.

For those who aren’t ready to hit the gym just yet, Deutsch recommends some of the virtual classes he expanded through Youtube, Apple Fitness, Peloton, and more during the pandemic.

“Many of our viewers wanted this playful aspect of fitness and I always tried to give it to them,” said Deutsch. “And I think these services have now done a really good job of giving people those badges and the metrics they really want.”

Some ex-nerdstrong trainers kept the nerdstrong spirit alive with a new gym in Burbank, Hero’s Journey Fitness. He also recommends checking out the Twitch streaming service for others to train with. And this community built up at Nerdstrong continues to organize itself online, including via a Nerdstrong Discord chat server. For example, they will find a YouTube workout and do it together.

Deutsch plans to watch the market before taking his next move – or a superjump / charge-shot / spin attack, as the case may be.

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Men’s Health

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Explained Why He Doesn’t Have Six-Pack Abs

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Axelle / Bauer-GriffinGetty Images

Before we start, let’s agree on something: For someone who is nearly 50 years old, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is in incredible shape. As someone with a background in professional American football, wrestling and performing hardcore action scenes – with decades of strength training under the (weight) belt – DJ is a fitness icon for men half his age and has made a name for himself made by Hollywood’s strongest leading actors.

These physical skills are what power tens of thousands of frantic Google searches as those desperately looking for Johnson’s workouts try to find the plan that got him into such gigantic shape. But the internet has defied one mystery: Where are Johnson’s six pack abs? He’s got the core strength and low body fat required to make them pop, after all.

That was the question Johnson asked during a recent WIRED “Autocomplete” interview in which DJ answered some of the internet community’s most burning questions. The question read by his Jungle Cruise co-star, Emily Blunt, was, “What’s wrong with The Rock’s abs?”

“That sucks!” replied Johnson to the question that struck his body. “There’s nothing wrong with them, no. Here’s the thing. I think because on Instagram all these Instagram fitness models have these incredible six, eight, 12, 24 packs.”

This content is imported from Instagram. You may find the same content in a different format or more information on their website.

“I have a five and a half pack, sometimes a four and a half pack,” he continued. “But the problem was – which a lot of people don’t know – I ripped the upper part of my thigh off my pelvis in a wrestling match and it popped, in a wrestling match.

“And then it started a chain reaction and tore my abdominal wall, so I had to do emergency surgery with a triple hernia, one tear, one tear, and one tear.” [pointing to each tear].

Sounds like a tough ride – one that will definitely ruin any unwarranted keyboard comment. “Those bastards who google what’s wrong with the abs on The Rock? ‘ Well, it’s called a 45 minute wrestling match and the top of my quad popped out of my pelvis and my adductor popped out of my pelvis, “said Johnson.

“And the pain I’ve been through … I have to fix this shit. I’ll google what got over The Rock?”

Very good reason, you will agree with me.


Ed Cooper is Assistant Digital Editor at Men’s Health UK, writing and editing on anything you want to know – from tech to fitness, mental health to style, food and more.

This content is created and maintained by a third party and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may find more information on this and similar content at piano.io

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Men’s Health

Why Winter is The Best Season for Bulking

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With the lack of beach days forcing you to put up with it all and minimal impromptu parties popping up on the calendar, there’s relatively no need to wear a chiseled six-pack year round. Therefore, winter is the best time of year to build as much lean muscle mass as possible. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it should be made clear that bulking doesn’t translate directly to bodybuilding (aka You Won’t Walk Away Like the Michelin Man).

How do i start?

The most important thing is that to build muscle you need to eat a lot more. The reverse formula for what it takes to lose weight, bulking, requires you to expend more energy than the body needs while at the same time giving some of that energy, e.g. Through regular and strenuous physical activity to build muscle mass.

The amount of food you need to eat varies from person to person and takes into account your current physique and fitness goals, which is why I recommend that you always seek advice from your doctor. For some, it might mean adding an extra can of yogurt to your morning cereal, others need to include a different meal each day, but you want your wellness journey to be tailored just for you.

Wait … am I not getting fat?

While it may be a cause for concern for some, fat gain is part of the mass building process. However, you don’t want to fall into the pattern of simply eating more for profit, it’s all about quality and informed food choices.

Start increasing your calories in small increments, prioritizing more full fat dairy, whole grains, and lean meats to underpin each meal. Other high-calorie foods that should appear on your radar include avocado, sweet potato, and nuts.

Hot Tip: Swapping Vegemite for Peanut Butter on Toast will increase your energy and protein intake without increasing the bread amount, making you less likely to feel too full.

So am I doubling the protein requirement?

Contrary to popular belief, bulking requires more than just protein (so stop knocking down those shakes). The best sources of protein to include in your diet today should be: eggs, nuts and seeds, beans, legumes, lean meats, and seafood. Again, so many factors play a role in how much you need, including your gender, height, and exercise program.

If you are feeling fit and ready to reshape your body but are lacking inspiration in the kitchen department, I recommend investing in one of the many food delivery programs available across Austria that will support your fitness goals. Company like MACROS For example, provide plans called Sculpt, Perform, and Gain, all of which have been pre-portioned and dietitian-approved to suit your lifestyle. The best part? It ships right to your door, which means more time training and less effort preparing meals.

Forget everything you’ve heard about gobbling up whole pizzas, gallons of milk, and tons of cheeseburgers, bulking is far less scary than it sounds and can indeed be a welcome change from your usual fitness regimen.

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Men’s Health

Review finds women’s NCAA Tournament got less than men’s

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From the first practice session to the final four, the bells and whistles for this year’s NCAA women’s tournament lagged far behind those of the men’s tournament.

The inequalities were brought back to the fore on Tuesday in a damning review by Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, a law firm hired to review gender equality issues at NCAA championship events. Page by page, the review deals with the big and small differences. The women’s teams in San Antonio were getting less of several things – including amenities, transportation, and even food – than the men in Indianapolis last March.

From the beginning, when the organizers of the men’s tournament announced plans for an event with 68 teams in one central location due to the coronavirus last November, it took another month before the organizers of the women’s tournament were able to publish their plan.

At almost every step thereafter, the report said, the men’s tournament was in full swing with well-equipped weight rooms, spacious lounge areas in its hotels and tournament venues, while the organizers of the women’s tournament did not have similar resources.

“These gender inequalities were built into the structure of the tournaments and how the tournaments were viewed by the NCAA,” the report said.

The issues were publicized on social media, most notably by Oregon gamer Sedona Prince, whose first tweet on the subject has now been viewed more than 18 million times.

The company’s deep dive also revealed that the COVID-19 testing procedures were different on the two tournament bladders: men were given rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests daily, while women only had to do one PCR test per week along with daily antigen tests.

An athlete who participated in the review said the NCAA’s various testing protocols “really said about how they felt to us as humans, like we weren’t important enough to have good tests on (COVID-19) anything is life-threatening “.

The company’s report found that the inequality in tests did not put the health of people at either site at risk. “Nevertheless,” the report says, “antigen tests have a lower specificity than PCR tests and thus increase the likelihood of false positive or inconclusive results.”

The report found many other cases where women got less than men:

– Ways to escape from hotel life. The NCAA set up a park at a minor league ballpark in Indianapolis where teams could relax outside while women in San Antonio opened up opportunities through May 16.

– Meal. Men ate from a buffet layout in hotels, while women limited themselves to prepackaged meals until the inequality became known.

– Player gifts. The report found that the NCAA spent $ 125.55 per player on gifts and memorabilia distributed at the men’s tournament; it spent less than half ($ 60.42) on women in the first and second rounds.

The company found that the Texas women’s event had less signage and advertising than the Indianapolis men, and the March Madness brand was not used in women’s games. The NCAA later said the women’s tournament would use March Madness in the future.

Kaplan noted that the problems with the weight room and other inequalities between the two events were mainly due to a lack of staffing at the women’s tournament and coordination between the organizers of the two events.

“As these issues were exacerbated by the unique challenge of planning and conducting a championship amid a global pandemic,” the report said, “it became the world’s attention.”

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