Doing yoga on a paddle board
I am not trying to make you feel poorly about yourself. You are beautiful in every way, inside and out. Always love yourself, no matter what you look like. You are the only you, be proud of this.
I am not a personal trainer, nor am I a nutritionist. These are suggestions based on my knowledge from my major (Sports and Exercise Science), based on my knowledge from my yoga training (Registered Yoga Teacher 200 hour level), and based on my personal experience and love for fitness…and it’s benefits for cosplaying <3<3
There is no guarantee that these suggestions will work for everyone, it also depends on your body’s genetic make up, and always consult your doctor before participating in any activity you’re not sure you should. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
You. Are. Beautiful.
“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else? Can I get an AMEN?”
So, with that being said, as a cosplayer nerd who is also obsessed with physical activity and health, I figured I would try my hand at suggestions to merge the two topics! So, I look back to what started my obsession with my own personal health, and, to be honest, it does link back to nerdy things. (This doesn’t count when I was young and my parents put me in dance. This was when I made the conscious choice at 11 to get involved with something that I wanted to do!) The reason I see this as important, is because (while I don’t blame video games and the sort for it) there is an increasing amount of people who are sedentary in their lifestyles, and through going to conventions often, I see a lot of people who may (or may not be) sedentary who DO associate themselves with nerdy stuff, and I’m reaching out! Often times, I will talk to someone about costumes, and they will say things like “Yeah, well if I was thin….” or they will point at someone and say “If I looked like her in a body suit…”, and my response, in my head, is always “YOU CAN!!” but you can’t just say that to people, they’ll think you’re so rude! So instead, I just smile awkwardly and try to escape the situation without being offensive. So, any of you nerds who have ever thought “I would cosplay if I was more (insert positively associated body terminology)” or “I would dress more like that if I wasn’t (insert self-deprecating body image thoughts here)” THIS IS ME SHOUTING OUT TO YOU THAT YOU CAN, IT JUST TAKES WORK!!!
Let me explain my nerdy fitness journey…..~*~*~*~*~*flashback*~*~*~*~ When I was 11 years old, I told my mom I didn’t want to dance anymore, but I LOVED the culture of the elves in Lord of the Rings, and of course, Link from Ocarina of Time was like a role model to me, so instead, I wanted to learn to sword fight. We found a fencing studio near where we lived, and I was hook-shotted from day one (ha haaa! You see what I did there?!) To this day, I can say that was one of the most grueling, physically demanding sports I ever participated in. I attribute this mostly to my maestro, who was very old school. He trained both of the Zorro’s how to fence o_o what?! Yeah. He was serious business. However grueling this was, though, I kept thinking to myself “Some day, I will be an elf!!”.
So, I want you to close your eyes. Just do it, the blog isn’t going to make you smell something gross when you aren’t paying attention or something. So, your eyes are closed, actually, no they’re not while you’re reading this….ya know what, open your eyes, after I give you instructions you can close them and then follow said instructions. You’re going to close your eyes, and you’re going to be picturing any character you’ve ever wished you could look like. Even google a photo of them when you open your eyes, and look at them and think about what it is about this character that makes you want to be like them physically. Take in to account certain restrictions you have no control over, such as “I have no boobies, but I want to look like Yoko Ritona in a bathing suit” Well…bad news, no amount of working out will give you dem boobies…But you can get a flat stomach like hers! Then stuff your bra like crazy!
Dem boobies? Not from working out.
So, discount all of those attributes. You’re not going to get taller or shorter, or bigger boobied, or smaller fore-headed. Just focus on the body bits that you may not have similar to theirs because of too much love to grab on to.
The first place to start, is by looking at your lifestyle, and not changing it, but altering it. If you like to play video games at night, then don’t play so late that you can’t wake up in the morning and go for a jog! Or during load screens, do 5 push ups or something! And when choosing an exercise plan, choose one that you enjoy. Personally…I hate HATE HATE going to the gym and lifting weights…But I love going out with friends and dancing until I’m about ready to pass out from dehydration. So when you pick a work out routine, pick one that suits you and your interests!! Never try to force yourself to do something you hate, or something that hurts you. (Now now now, this doesn’t mean that if it makes you uncomfortable and you think “I HATE THIS, IT HURTS” While running because you know it is working, that doesn’t count. But if you are running and you break your leg…Don’t keep running…Go to the doctor). What a lot of people don’t realize, is that the options are limitless for them when it comes to ways to get in to shape, and it doesn’t take a million dollars a month to do something that will get you fit. All it takes is dedication, desire, and a goal you can visualize.
Here’s the cool thing about using characters as a catalyst for your own inspiration, look at the character you want to cosplay, let’s use two characters who are very easy to spot differences between. Dom from Gears of War, and Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop.
Dom from Gears of War
If you want to get HUGE like a character like Dom, think about what it is he would be doing all day every day in his activities that would help him maintain that size. He would be running FAST for SHORT distances (Sprinting). Lifting REALLY heavy things only a couple of times (high weight, low rep work outs) and not really worry about endurance so much. Just being able to stand up and sit down with all of his gear (weighted squats). He would be doing work outs known as “fast twitch fiber stimulating” meaning it’s not work that requires a lot of endurance. The muscle needs to perform a super powerful output only one time, then it will have time to recover.
Spike from Cowboy Bebop
Now look at Spike. He’s very toned, but very thin. You couldn’t say he wasn’t in as good of shape as Dom, you would just say he is a different body type. This may be true, but in muscularity, he is more primarily composed of what you would call “slow twitch fibers”. On a daily basis, Spike can be found practicing his martial arts, and he has to be able to run for long distances to be able to chase down bounties. His cardiovascular capacity is much higher, and his workouts would be things that cater to being nimble, and quick on his feet. If you were to see him in the gym, he wouldn’t be lifting heavy things a couple of times. He would be doing lower weight with higher reps. He may do un-weighted squats, but do more of them. When he runs, it will be at a moderate pace, but for a longer duration of time.
So when looking at a character, think about what he or she would do on a daily basis that would maintain that shape, and chances are (unless it’s some strange, mutant character) That by doing what it is they do, you can also get that body!
If you do even the most basic research on the internet
(google, ftw!) you can figure out some good work outs for these different muscle fiber types.
So you see?! Finding that perfect cosplay body you’ve been searching for, whatever that means to you, isn’t so far out of reach! It just takes work and dedication…And having a friend with a similar body plan helps, because it’s always nice to have someone else there with you to be like “Man, this sucks, but your biceps look awesome!” I’ve put together a list of some things that you can do for each of the fiber types to give you a better place to start, my fast twitch list will be much shorter, because I’m almost 100% slow twitch fibers! Sorry for that, all you bulk builders!
I hope you found this interesting, helpful, and hopefully a little entertaining. If not, I’m sorry!! >__<
Much love, beautiful humans.
High weight, low rep work outs
P90x doubles or standard
Mixed Martial Arts training
Low weight, high rep work outs
Martial Arts (like fencing, karate, Tae Kwon Do)
Just for fun “I don’t want to do any thing to look like a character, I just want to get in to shape” things:
Playing sports with friends, like basketball or football
Dancing around your house
Walking your dog
Bicycling with a buddy
Any of the things listed above
And anything else that gets your a$$ up and moving! Lets do this people!!!