Guest Post by John Romaniello
Today’s guest post comes from my friend John Romaniello, a trainer and comic book geek from New York City who just so happens to be the author of the new program, Super Hero Fat Loss. Roman, as we call him, is uniquely qualified to write a program of that kind, as he and his co-author work with many high level clients, including some actors and models who have been in Super Hero films. In this post, Roman will provide detailed insight into what makes a Super Hero body—and give you a free workout to get you on your way. Enjoy!
Like many people, when the summer rolls around, the goals of most of my clients shift towards dropping fat and looking better with less clothing. That’s not unusual, of course—in the summer, people want to be lean for pool parties, beach days and the occasional bar-be-que.
For as long as I can remember, summer itself has inspired people to get lean; however, for the past 10 years or so, summer has brought with it another source of another source of inspiration to get into great shape: Super Hero movies. From the time Hugh Jackman first stepped on screen as a ripped Wolverine, every summer has graced us with another super hero movie to look forward to, and another impressive physique to gawk at.
Something to consider here is that having that type of body is not just attractive, it’s also useful…and, strangely, trendy.
Hey, hear me out. You see, performance is making a huge comeback; it’s sort of back in vogue. Oh, sure, I don’t think athletes are going to become the season’s hot new accessory; however, the increased popularity of everything from Crossfit to challenge races like Tough Mudders, Warrior Dashes and Mud Runs makes it absolutely clear that there is a culture shift towards athleticism.
Of course, as a culture, we are never going focus solely on performance—there’s also a huge aesthetic component. In addition being able to kick ass and take names, we want to look like we can kick ass and take names.
The trend now is for a lithe, lean, athletic look: a good bit of muscle, but also a sinewy leanness compounded with a density built as much from athletic feats as it is from time in the weight room.
In short, the trend is to look like a SUPER HERO—and like most trends, it all stars in Hollywood.
The stars playing SUPER HEROES in film have gotten enormous amounts of media attention or their bodies.
What is it about the appearance of Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, or Chris Evans that gains so much attention? It’s not like people haven’t seen a leading role in shape before. But this is different.
There is a certain aesthetic that demands this kind of attention.
Women are no different.
Scarlett Johansson’s turn as the beautiful, bad-ass bounty hunter Black Widow in the Avengers required the hallmark body of a SUPER HERO. Anne Hathaway sports this look for her role as Selina Kyle—aka Catwoman—in the upcoming Dark Knight Rises. And, not surprisingly, during the lead up to each of these films, these women are discussed as muc for the shape they were in than for their on-screen skill.
Even though the appearance of men and women is radically different, there is a certain “look” that a body needs to have to portray a Hero who can kick-ass and save the day.
It starts with a body that is lean, dense, and powerfully athletic looking.
The “look” is comprised of strong, sexy shoulders and a wide back that compliments a lean waist, and streamlined but powerful looking arms. And there is a level of muscularity that is above average, and even obvious in clothing.
But even the muscle is different. It’s not awkward or out of place. This physique always looks good in clothes, whether dressed up in a suit or wearing casual clothes, rather than being awkward and bulky.
When you have the SUPER HERO body, you can don a comfortable-fitting shirt and everyone will know that they’re in great shape without looking like a show-off or a meathead. Or, if you prefer, dress your physique down and maintain your carefully guarded secret identity.
To the uninformed, the SUPER HERO‘s exterior can be either immediately impressive, or completely unassuming (depending on wardrobe)—but always has a secret reserve of strength—the HERO is stronger and more powerful than most people that outweigh them by 20 or 30 pounds.
This is evident in the gym, a flag football game, or in the event of an emergency that calls upon physical prowess. For women, it’s evident in the way you never need a man’s help, or how your husband asks YOU to open pickle jars
Lastly, the body LOOKS as great as it performs. It’s the type of body that peers view with jealously and prospective hook-ups stare at with longing. He—or she—who possesses the powerful SUPER HERO body looks more like a (ahem) Roman statue, fitness model or an Olympic athlete than like a giant mass of muscle.
These are the true hallmarks of a physique that is inspired by HEROES; a physique that looks like it could have jumped right from the pages of a comic book—and it is from those books that we have drawn inspiration for the various phases of this training program.
THE OBLIGATORY Origin Story
OR, “Why We Decided to Write This Book”
The best way to start this is probably with the classic line, “it’s kind of a funny story…” Well, in fact, it’s two stories that happen to be startlingly similar.
Growing up, we (that is, both of your humble authors) loved comics, and the heroes in them. In fact, we probably enjoyed them more than most other young boys, simply because of location. Living in New York and reading comics, it’s hard NOT to picture yourself IN them. Whether you call it “Gotham” or “Metropolis” or “Star City” – the fact is that NYC serves as the backdrop for nearly every major comic book character in the world.
Like most young boys, we both wished we could BE the SUPER HEROES from the comic books; the next best thing would be to look like them. As we got older and went through our respective physique transformations, both each of us was able to draw constant inspiration from the bodies of the HEROES we admired.
Years later, SUPER HERO movies began to be popular, and since that time we’ve been able to draw a lot of professional inspiration from the transformations that actors have undergone to achieve “the look.”
And in some cases, we’ve been able to be a part of it.
It just so happens that ONE of your authors (Mr. Matt McGorry) has trained a number of actors for films, including a few SUPER HERO films. Roman, on the other hand, has trained models who have gone on to serve as the body-image model for CGI characters in video games.
So, the truth is, we KNOW.
We know what it takes to build a Super Hero bodies – both for our clients, and ourselves. Here’s a picture of me, doing my best impression of Superman changing out of his costume. (Or, just taking my shirt off in slow motion.)
Shirtless pictures notwithstanding, that the decision to write Super Hero Fat Loss came very easily to us, because we really do have first-hand experience building actual SUPER HEROES. Factor in our Geeky love of the subject matter, as well as our complete expertise with regard to training every type of person…this was a match made in heaven.
Add to that the frequency with which we get questions like the following:
- “How do I get abs like Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern?”
- “How do I get a chest like Chris Evans in Captain America?”
- “How do I get shoulders like Jessica Biel in Blade?”
- “How do I get arms like Hugh Jackman in X-Men?”
…and it’s not hard to see why we thought there was a need for a program like this—particularly when we’re in the middle of summer, and especially we’re sitting on the answers!
And so, like everyone else, this summer, I’m interested in fat loss, and helping my clients lose fat—and I’m also interested in Super Heroes. And that’s why this summer, this week is so exciting for me: because, like the stars playing super heroes, I get to bring my love of both training and comic together in one package.
In other words, I get to be a geek and a trainer, and release my brand new program, Super Hero Fat Loss.
Written as a sort of prequel to last year’s smash hit The Super Hero Workout, SHFL has a very similar goal: to help you develop a SUPER HERO body. Or, to quote the tagline, build a body that can fight crime, thwart evil, and burn fat with super human speed.
The next evolution of Super Hero training, SHFL focus on fat loss (obviously), but also enhancing performance through a number of different mechanisms…but we’ll get to that in a bit.
First, let’s cover the basics, mmkay?
The Super Hero Fat Loss is a 12-week program engineered to be kryptonite to your fat cells—but it’s more than just fat loss. In addition to helping you bring your waist size down, it will bring out your abs, help create dense muscle definition…while increasing endurance, strength, speed and power.
In just 12 weeks, you’ll get leaner and more athletic, creating a physique that looks and performs like it just jumped out of the pages of a comic book; you won’t just look the part of a SUPER HERO. Because of the structure, at the end of the program…you’ll be able to perform like one.
So get ready—because in just 12 short weeks, you’re going to have to stop yourself from fighting crime in your underwear.
Oh, and PS…
If you needed further convincing, guys who are built like super heroes get all the girls.
Proof: chicks dig lean bodies and/or adamantium claws.
Okay, I can’t back that up with science or anything…I just like this picture.
And now for what I promised: a sample workout from the brand new program, Super Hero Fat Loss.
Phase Two – Workout Two
Density Training for Fat Loss with Super Speed
Set a timer for 18-minutes, and perform A1-A6 sequentially, resting as infrequently as your conditioning allows. Try not to rest between exercises, or even circuits. Remember, these are not complexes, and therefore not done with a single pair or DBs; rather, use weight that is appropriately challenging for each exercise.
A1) Barbell Deadlift
A2) Lumberjack Press
A3) Dumbbell Floor Press
A4) Jump Lunge
A5) Single Arm Bent Over Row (on bench)
A6) Goblet Squat
Perform 8-10 reps for each exercise and proceed in a circuit fashion. If you can get through 4 or more complete circuits in 18 minutes, increase the weight the next time you perform that workout.
At the conclusion of the 18-minute period, rest 4 minutes and proceed to B.
I’m sorry I can’t reveal the rest of the workout, but give this a shot this week, and I KNOW you’ll pick up the program and get access to not only this workout, but all 12 workouts in the program!