Movie workouts are all the rage this summer, and the underground cult zombie flick "Planet Terror" from the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino collaboration Grindhouse is no exception.
Grindhouse movies were famous for three things: Gratuitous violence, gratuitous sex, and wicked hot girls.
Robert Rodriguez' part of the Grindhouse double feature is a zombie flick called Planet Terror. It's the zombie look we are going to focus on today.
If you're looking for that hot gothic/retro/emo look has so recently become popular, there is no faster way than to become a zombie.
Why stop at looking like a rockstar? Go all the way to zombie. Get that hard, lean, toned body that says "You good lookin thing, don't you ever die."
The Planet Terror/Zombie Workout is a system that's pretty hard to pass up – immortal good looks, superhuman strength, and no long boring cardio ever!
Ok, actually it's more of a diet. Eat all brains, all the time. It's kind of like Atkins. And like Atkins or any other ketogenic diet, you have to make sure you eat lots of fiberous vegetables to keep your digestive track healthy.
Everyone knows how powerful bodyweight exercises and combat sports can be for fat loss. There is something about the intensity and variation that always leads to better body composition and increased fitness.
Anyone who has adding Turbo-Kickbox or Tae-Bo to their workout program knows what I'm talking about.
Zombie dismemberment is no exception.
In fact I'd argue that dismembering people is even MORE intense than other combat fitness programs! And that's good news for fat loss!
The other advantage is that you can dismember and disembowel people without fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership!
I'd go so far as to say that any place that you can find a mall or shopping center, you have ample people to dismember.
Most people make the mistake of having too little variety in their training programs.
They'll do the same things day in and day out for months, even years – then wonder why they haven't seen results!
The thing about the zombie workout is that there is endless variation!
Say goodbye to boring workout routines! In the zombie workout you never know what people are going to do!
Some days you may be sprinting after people, other days you may be wrestling around trying to eat their brains.
Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.
It's that kind of variation and intensity that is going to break through plateaus and help you burn off that stubborn fat!
The workout has often been criticized for it's over reliance on pulling exercises – ripping apart limbs, pulling out entrails, ripping boards off of windows ect.
The keen observer will notice the knees coming way out over the toes.
Unlike the vertical motion of squatting and deadlifting, ripping out entrails puts relatively little sheer force on the knee!
The forward knee position is required for balance, and is in many ways similar to the rooting stances in Chinese martial arts.
Another benefit of being undead is that you no longer need to worry about arching your back.
Where normal human beings have to arch their back to protect the muscles, ligaments, and bones in the lower back, as a zombie your lower back is protected by supernatural evil!
Think of all the trips to the chiropractor THAT will save!
The same way that marathon runners tend to get overdeveloped outer thighs (abductors) that pull their knees outward causing them knee pain, zombies also have sport specific postural distortions.
All of the time spent with the shoulders hunched forward and arms out turns into a really overdeveloped version of the "computer posture" you may be getting just sitting in your cubical at work. Tight pecs, lengthened scapular retractors, tight shoulders, tight neck muscles.
Everything about it says ugly forward head posture.
I'm only going to say this once: If you are going to be a zombie, you must stretch your neck and shoulders after every workout!
For the new zombie trainer – scalability
I know I know – As much as you loved Grindhouse and want the look, you're afraid you aren't in good enough shape to be a zombie. It's the whole chicken and the egg thing.
But don't fear, that hard zombie body is available to anyone at any fitness level. The answer is scalability.
So lets say that you aren't ready yet to chase people down at the mall and eat their brains. You have to start slow, and build up.
For starters, just chase your dog around the yard. Note: Do NOT eat your dog's brains!
You'll need to work up to that also. Once you can catch your dog on a regular basis, then start chasing around the neighbor's kids. Note: Do NOT eat their brains!
First, when zombies eat brains, they gain their knowledge. The last thing you need is all of the Pokemon characters names stuck in your head.
Second, your neighbor will never let you hear the end of it.
How to build up to eating brains: Start with going to the local taco stand and ordering two tacos cabeza. Now cabeza can be a couple things: Lengua is cow tongue, orejas is cow ears, and sesos is cow brains. So be specific and make sure you are getting sesos.
Keep in mind that when you are eating people's brains, you might not have any onions or cilantro on hand.
If you have further concerns about your form, I recommend multiple viewings of Grindhouse: Planet Terror, Dawn of the Dead, and Evil Dead 2. If you have a portable DVD player, you can use any of these movies for a follow along workout.
Last but not least, remember it's all about intensity
The Grindhouse – Planet Terror Workout – Part 2: KILLER LEGS
How did Rose McGowan get that rockstar body of hers? If you think the treadclimber is awesome for cardio now, try it with a machine gun peg leg.
Stay tuned for the second part of this workout, "Killer Legs". YES YOU CAN tone up your gun weilding stump!
By Josh Hillis
Author of How To Lose The Stubborn Seven Pounds: Take Your Body from Good to Rockstar.
National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT) and Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM-PES)
Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certified Instructor (RKC)* and Combat Applications Specialist (RKC2/CAS)
© Joshua Hillis 2007