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It’s a very common question here on the blog, and for good reason! There are a bunch of really outlandish characters with really fantastic physiques here on the blog, ranging from an assassin to a space marine, a giant ape to a time-jumping gunslinger, a Greek god to a one-winged angel.
So, can these workouts, as laid out here on the blog, REALLY give you the body of the character they cover?
Well, that answer is, actually…a little complicated.
Yes. And no.
So, I take two approaches when it comes to writing up workout. I look at a character, and I ask myself, A) Is this character’s physique actually humanly possible, and B) are these character’s feats of physical strength/endurance actually plausible?
For example, when I covered Spiderman I admitted that, yeah, you’re never going to be nearly as strong as Spiderman. However, you can get as strong as possible for a HUMAN your size, and Spiderman’s physique, while fantastic, is not particularly superhuman. So, I designed a workout that would make you STRONG, and would also give you a fantastic Spiderman-like physique (well developed but relatively slim muscles.)
On the other hand, Krieg‘s physique is pretty…inhuman. Like, you’re basically never going to encounter someone with that shoulder:hip ratio in the world. So, I designed a workout for maximum shoulder development, but realistically speaking, you’re never going to quite hit that ratio. I admit this in whatever workouts where this sort of situation is the case.
So, basically, assuming a character’s physique is human and attainable, the workouts I design here on the blog should get you pretty damn close. Especially if you’re starting from the perspective of someone who has never worked out before in their life.
However, there are two important ingredients here, and they are, in order of importance…
Your nutritional intake is the single biggest decider in how you look, physique-wise. I can get you big muscles with just dumbbells. I can slim you down with no workout at all. Neither of these things are possible without the right diet behind it. Could you look like Solid Snake doing just pull ups and push ups? You could get pretty damn close, if you eat properly for it. However, if you don’t, well then you can do push ups and pull ups all day long and still look like a mildly annoyed string bean.
So, what is “eating properly?” Well, this is a topic I’ve covered here on the blog before, but just for a refresher course:
Macros and You! introduces you to the concept of “macronutrients,” as well as caloric intake and how they affect your body composition.
The Secret to Building Mass is, well, pretty much exactly what it says. If your muscles are small, and you want them to get big, this is the place to come.
The Secret to Burning Fat is, once again, a self explanatory title. If you want to lose weight, slim down, tone up, and show off your definition, this is the place to be.
So, allow me to make myself perfectly clear: The key to gaining the physique of “X” character is, first and foremost, in your diet, not your workout.
You can gain muscle mass doing only bodyweight exercises if your diet is right (granted, not as much or as fast as if you lifted weights, but I digress…) You can lift weight but still not “get huge” if your diet is right. You can lift weights and get so damn big people would swear your on steroids, again, if your diet is right.
Diet. Is. Key.
Now, I did say there were two secret ingredients, and the second ingredient is…
Now, before you go any further and blame genetics for success or failure in sculpting your body, realize this: Almost no one works to the point where their genetics are limiting them. Barring an actual inborn medical condition, your genetics are not holding you back, so don’t allow yourself that excuse. However, genetics can effect some things. Your height, obviously, is one big factor. Another is muscular insertion points, which is where your muscles attach to your skeleton. Your insertion points can affect the shape and “look” of your muscles when you get down to particularly low body fat percentages.
Finally, genetics can dictate your upper strength, cardiovascular, and endurance ceilings. Now, here’s the good news: if you’re asking this question, you’re not at these ceilings. You’re not even close. No offense, but if you’re asking questions like this about physique and fitness stuff, you haven’t been training long enough, hard enough, or well enough to even consider yourself close to your full physical potential. I mean that not as an insult, but as a sign of, “Hey friend, have hope, you are nowhere near your maximum capabilities yet!” It’s a good thing!
Genetics can also affect how quickly you gain muscle mass, but believe it or not, most of the people that claim to be held back in this department by genetics just aren’t eating enough or training hard enough compared to people that don’t claim to be held back by genetics.
Basically, the bottom line is, genetics can and will affect your physique and physical performance in small ways, but don’t ever let yourself use them as an excuse.
Will “X” workout make you look like “X” character? Yes, as long as you eat properly, train properly, and are in it for the long haul. I’m talking, like, years.
Also, as a final footnote, this blog is set up to be accessible to people who have just started working out, may not have much equipment, may not have access to a gym, or may not feel comfortable taking that step, yet. But let me be perfectly clear:
The best way to get strong is to lift weights. Period.
Bodyweight stuff is great. If you’re not looking to hit the upper limits of your strength, great! But here’s the deal: Top tier marathon runners lift weights. Olympic sprinters lift weights. Competitive gymnasts lift weights. Anyone who is looking to hit the upper limits of their athletic ability, no matter what activity they’re involved in, will benefit from a weightlifting regimen in additional to their regular training.
Can you get started on the road to fitness with sandbags, a pull up bar, and a can-do attitude? Absolutely! You can get in pretty damn good shape, and look pretty damn good, too! But there is nothing, and I mean nothing that beats barbell and dumbbell work when it comes to physique and strength training. Period.
I hope that clears up some questions and misconceptions! If you’ve got any more questions or concerns, please stop in at RPG FitGroup, myself or any of the other friendly, qualified people there would be happy to help!
Next Monday is a new character! Patrons will be able to see them tomorrow! Until then, live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome.
Oh, also, putting you on notice: The Be a Game Character YouTube Channel and The Best Dan Wallace are going to be updated daily for the rest of the year, starting tomorrow. (Well, The Best Dan Wallace has been daily for all of 2018 before, buuuut…)