How to Be a Muscle Nerd: No Muscle Suit Needed

Ever wanted to up your cosplay game by looking more like you favorite character, or do you have fitness goals you want to meet before Dragon Con 2018? Fitness enthusiasts and cosplayers Victor DelCampo, Damaris Degan, James Elmer, and Joe Miksan shared their best fitness tips for achieving the goals you want in the Hilton 302–305 on Saturday at 11:30 AM.

When starting a nutrition program, first evaluate where you’re at and create a plan from there. Many of the panelists use the My Fitness Pal app and the online version to track calorie intake and input exercise routines. Just remember that, like DelCampo said, fitness and health are 80% nutrition. This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid carbs or fall victim to crash diets, but you need to have structure in your diet, make changes where needed, and eat six portioned meals a day, in moderation. However, everyone is different, so keep track of what you are doing to see what works and adjust as needed. Great abs start in the kitchen.

According to Degan, many women believe the myth that if they go to the gym and do weights, they will bulk up and look like bodybuilding men. The truth is that women don’t have the same hormones and levels that men have and won’t naturally bulk up. Degan works out six times a week for 45 minutes of heavy weights and cycling. As she said, she is fit, not bulky.

The second stereotype that women believe is that if they bulk up, they will lose their flexibility. The myth has been debunked, but you do have to properly stretch before and after exercising.

The third myth is that of cardio only and weight loss. Even at heavy intervals, cardio creates “skinny fat.” If you like or prefer cardio, then do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), cardio with weights instead of cardio only. Dumbbells are your friends.

One of the most frustrating things about working out is hitting that seemingly unbeatable plateau. One attendee asked what to do when you hit a barbell weight that is your max. DelCampo said not to worry about it because achieving that goal is progress, and everyone maxes out at a weight at some point. Otherwise, life-long lifters would be benching weights the equivalent of a horse. Degan’s advice is to change up your routine, and Miksan reminded everyone that it isn’t always about the weights. Change the number of reps.

Once you’ve got a good routine going, traveling, like to Dragon Con, can really throw everything off. DelCampo eats hamburgers without French fries. For Degan, she brings Quest bars. Miksan packs a hotplate and uses meal prep services that do the preparation work. Elmer’s advice is that you can always pay for the party afterward.

So, how do you get fit? Play video games. While riding a stationary bike the whole time, of course.

Author of the article

Not everyone can say they watch television for homework, read novels for inspiration, and are paid to follow what’s trending. For Alicia Pack, it is all part of life as a writer and media enthusiast.  When she isn't lost in the world she is trying to create, you can find her with her nose in a book or catching up on her favorite supernatural shows.  She has a Master’s degree in Mass Communications and a Bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television, and Film.  Her nine years of diverse media experience include news writing, copywriting, website content management, social media, promotions, television production, and teaching.