How To Become A Superhero In 4 Easy Steps

Last week while watching Kick-Ass, I was trolling around the Nerd Fitness Message Boards and came across an introduction post from Crizomaticus which ended with this:

Crizomaticus is a name I took on with my health kick, which started by doing the warrior dash. It stuck.

I then thought back to my buddy Tony who had adopted the persona “Endorphin Dude” for every time that he ran in a race.  Tony has even created a uniform for himself, including a custom headband with “Endorphin Dude” written on it and a cape that billows in the wind as he runs.  I can’t believe it took me this long to write this article, because it just fits:

It’s time for you to become a superhero.

If you’re struggling with motivation, or you’re just getting started on your quest to level up and you’re intimidated, building an superhero version of yourself could be the jump start you need.  Here’s why:

Superheroes kick ass!

Whether they’re in video games, comic books, or movies, superheroes are so damn awesome because they can do the impossible, giving us a chance to escape the real world and live vicariously through them.   They’re lighting fast, incredibly strong, and invincible; they can fly, stop bullets, and scale buildings.  They’re brave as hell and enjoy walking into dire situations with a giant smile.  They beat the crap out of any adversary, save the girl/world/dog from certain death, and then brush it off with some witty double entendre.

Superheroes are bad ass mofos, and it’s time for you to become one too.

1) Decide what you want to accomplish

You might be overweight, out of shape, scared to leave your house, and embarrassed about your life. However, you can create an alter ego that is the exact opposite of those things, and THAT’S the person that will turn things around.   Just think of all of the scenarios that play out in your quest to get in shape:

  • You might give up two miles into a race because you’re tired. Your alter ego would push through the pain and finish.
  • You might quit your weight-lifting session early because you had a rough day at the office. Your alter ego would get angry (and you wouldn’t like him/her when he/she is angry), get motivated, and power through the rest of the workout.
  • You might be incredibly self-conscious. Your alter ego isn’t self-conscious in the slightest, thanks to a “costume” and persona that is different from how you normally dress and act.  If people can’t recognize you, there’s no need to be self-conscious, right?

Make the superhero version of yourself do all of the things that you’re afraid of or struggling with. Why? Because superheroes attack problems in way different ways than a normal cubicle dweller.  That’s why they exist – to do stuff that ordinary people can’t.

2) Determine your persona

By day, Tony is an ordinary employee for Dolby Laboratories. He hangs out with his dog Chewbacca, creates short films with his friends, and lives an relatively ordinary life.  However, practically every single weekend, Tony dons his customary uniform and becomes Endorphin Dude.  He has a cape, a custom headband, and a huge freaking smile.  Wearing this uniform makes Tony impervious to pain and allows him to finish some excruciatingly difficult races where normal Tony might have failed.

Normally, I’m just plain ole’ Steve. I spend my time working on Nerd Fitness, answering emails, writing articles, and hanging out on  Twitter.  I’m always really happy and smiling.  Things change whenever I go to the gym, however.

I throw on my uniform: a ripped up t-shirt, basketball shorts, my Vibram five-fingers shoes,  and a permanent scowl.  My headphones are in, I jump around between sets to pump myself up, and get this crazy look in my eyes before every set.  I become a much angrier, stronger, and more determined version of me, and it WORKS.

What about you? Some superheroes have elaborate costumes to hide their identity.  Others like Superman simply remove their glasses and throw on some spandex and suddenly nobody can recognize them.  Some people become funny and confident when they transform; others become more businesslike and hardcore.  Some like to work together in groups.  Others like to work alone.

Your alter ego can be whatever you want it to be, so dream big, kid.

Each day, as you shed your shirt and tie (or skirt and high heels) from the office, you are transforming.  As you start to put on your workout clothes, your daily worries, troubles at home, and anxiety about tomorrow’s presentation cease to exist for the time being – you’re  now a superhero and you have bigger fish to fry.

As you’re getting prepped and ready, imagine your pre-workout ritual being filmed with dramatic camera angles and inspiring music playing.If Tony Stark can have a montage, so can you.

3) Pick a theme song

While transitioning from normal Steve to Super Steve, I always turn on music to get fired up.  My song of choice is  Eminem’s “Til I Collapse” – it puts me in the right frame of mind to get angry and go kick some ass.  Seriously, listen to this song and imagine me dramatically strapping on my five-finger shoes and leering menacingly into a mirror.  Ridiculous, I know…Ridiculously awesome.

Get yourself a montage pump-up song.  After that, make sure you have some other songs that can be used for the other super dramatic or action-filled moments of your super hero life.  I have a workout playlist that makes me excited and motivated.

Do you have songs for these moments?

  • If you’re a runner, do you have a songs that help you climb those hills when giving up is the easier option?
  • If you’re a weight lifter, do you have specific songs you can turn to when you need that extra bit of oomph to finish the set?
  • If you’re into martial arts, how many times a day do you listen to “You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito? [just kidding. kind of.]

4) Decide what you stand for

What are you fighting for? Superman adheres to a strict moral code when dealing with crime, fighting to protect Lois Lane and save Earth.  Batman does everything in his power to clean up the streets of Gotham, striking fear in the hearts of would-be criminals and thieves.

Whenever I lift weights, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion is in the front of my mind.  I exercise to inspire and motivate, because you inspire and motivate me.  It’s easy to fight with conviction when you have something worth fighting for.

Think of the NF Rebel Army like a real life Justice League.

We’re all different, we all have unique talents and abilities, and we’re all dealing with our own Kryptonite.  We’re also all fighting for the same cause: to become better people, to help those around us, and to leave the world a better place for our kids.  We have certain standards that we must live up to, and we know that with each others’ support we can create a movement that is more powerful than anything this world has seen.

We’re the good guys, and we want you on our side.

Who are you?

I challenge you to create an alter ego for yourself.  Think up a cool name (not something lame like Super Steve, jeez), pick a theme song, pick your uniform, and pick your special power.

Who is your alter ego, and what special powers can you bring to the Rebel Army? Lastly, what are you fighting for?

-Super Steve (only a temporary name until I come up with something worthy)

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  • JesLacasse

    YES. YES.
    California Girl is at her goal weight, is fit, looks great in her clothes, and is proud of her body and what it can do. She promotes healthy body image and her theme song is OBVIOUSLY California Gurls by Katy Perry.
    Thanks for the great article. Motivated!

  • Magdalene

    The end is coming.

    She knows that civilization will crumble eventually. She is prepared not just to survive, but to save those she can and protect the ones she loves. She can climb, run, fight and if needs be even lift debris to get much needed supplies.

    Magdalene, Maggie to the few she trusts, is watching, waiting.

    The end is coming.

    She will be prepared.

  • Ginja Ninja

    “Eye of the Tiger” gets me into battle/training mode as the “Ginja Ninja!”

  • Seventh Sanctum

    My best song is “Hall of Fame” by will.i.am. I think thats a good motivational song. The Seventh Sanctum, always fighting crime, and kicking ass.

  • Titan

    Ahhhhhhh maaan i wish Kick-Ass was real, if i saw someone dressed as a superhero stopping bad guys or someone try to form a team I would 100% join no doubt.

  • Blades

    I was watching and listening to this over and over in the days leading up to my first ironman in May 2011

  • NeonP.Cola

    Jessie J-Hero is my song! Based off of Kick Ass 2

  • hazelspikes

    By day, ne is a quiet pescatarian social science education major. Ne corrects essays at the writing center, reads, writes, and draws! By night, ne RPs on tumblr. Ne needs to break out of this and become Lavia Fros (yellow bat)! With shorts, band shirts, and headphones, Lavia Fros takes on weight lifting, running, and dance! Soon, ne will be playing “I Need A Doctor,” “Sail,” and Maynard Ferguson tunes at a gym, studio, or dorm room near you! Lavia Fros stands for Americans knowing their history, N64s, not taking bull from people, and doing the best you can! Ne’s double edged sword is tumblr and comics! Ne’s Kryptonite is back pain!

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  • BruceWayne

    I like the idea of using a superhero persona. I’ll have to think about the name later.

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  • NA

    This is SO awesome, thanks for the motivation! :D Now to think about what superhero I’d want to be…

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  • Teddy Love

    By day Giggles is a should-be-college-student making the best of family financial troubles and trust issues by retreating into books and tumblr. But when the beat drops, so do jaws. Jabs at her size when she steps out in booty shorts and combat boots, stop when she snaps her dreads and thrust her hips. Light and fluffy and full of fuck you, she pushes everything to the limit, puts on 212 by azealia banks, and does another set.

    Social norms are meant to not only be ignored but to be broken. She laughs when told she can’t do something. And then goes on with force feeding you your words. Oh, you thought she wouldn’t? Too cute? Too sweet? Well, sorry for burning the walls of your basic bitch box and breaking your rose tinted glasses but, no. Her cute and fluffy exterior won’t stop her from setting you straight.

    Giggles finds something she loves and will protected it till the end. Everything else is just simply for some one else, unless it oppresses or dehumanizes her or her loves, Then she has no problem of dragging you down by the hair with facts and introducing you to her favorite steel toed shoes named self-education and intellectual conversation.

    Her power is simply the power of love. Love for people things places and ideas. She lives for finding new things to learn and love. And to share that fondness to others. Giggles is a wonderful ally to have when passion and understanding is needed and a formible enemy to hate and ignorace.

    Super hero? not her thing. Super villain? not really. She’s not good just because being goods her thing, but because she’s a decent being. But sometimes being bad is just too much fun to resist. Like another web comic. Or re watching serenity/firefly. or maybe re-editing past writings…..

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  • Agent Texas

    YES! This is what I have been telling myself, even before I found NerdFitness! I am so excited that I’m not the only one who thinks this way! My alter ego is Agent Texas from Red vs. Blue! She is a badass mofo! I put on the Red vs. Blue seasons 9 and 10 soundtracks and go for it!My super self is Relentless! My goal is to make myself the best version of me so that I can then go out and change the world!

  • Cheesman

    My theme song would definitely be Fall, Goliath, Fall. It’s really angry and hardcore, with allusions to the Scottish revolt, a proud part of my ancestry :)

  • Slim Pickens

    My last name is Pickens; accordingly, my Boxing coach has nicknamed me Slim, after the Slim Pickens. It’s stuck around the gym, and I think I’ll stick with that as my alter ego’s name.

    My theme song? I’m not normally into rap much, but Kanye West’s Stronger really gets me into the mood; gets me ready when I know I’m about to have the crap beat out of me.

    My super power is the ability is Technical Telepathy. I can pinpoint, analyze, and help fix martial arts technique in my less skilled friends.

    What do I fight for? That’s an easy one. I’m fighting for my rightful place in the ring. I’m fighting for my right to fight.

    Soooooo inspirational, Steve. I love this site, and I am eternally grateful to you.

  • Dog Girl

    Dog Girl, when my alter ego is in charge I am fearless and confident, I never give up, I don’t have asthma or a heart condition, matter of fact, I have expedited healing, so even if I feel pain, I KNOW I can push through and make it one step further than yesterday.

  • Allen Rider

    Hah, I actually like this alot, making an altered ego is why I started looking into improving my health and changing myself. Normally I’m a lazy, unmotivated, gamer that draws sometimes and considers doing homework (Procrastination is my kryptonite XD) as Allen, but a couple weeks ago my altered Ego Titan came out of nowhere kicked in the door (Of my brain) and asked what the hell are you doing you little bitch?

    Titan is an opposite of me. Instead of thinking and caring about others he’s the one that says it’s time to focus on me, lets be a little selfish, and screw being shy it’s time to walk around like you own everything. He’s tough, aggressive, and in love with the word bitch so I guess that makes him more of an anti-hero than a hero because the only “Help” he would give anyone is putting his foot on someone and saying 1 twenty times as they try and do a pushup.

    What he stands for and has been trying to drill into my head is if I’m going to do something do it right and make sure to show how awesome you are, if you’re going to play a game make sure you win, if you’re going to walk somewhere don’t bitch about your legs hurting because that’s not doing anything, and if you’re really going to drink a 2 liter of soda in an hour then you better be prepared get get it out of your system.

    A bit self centered, rude, and unfriendly, but I guess sometimes that’s what a pacifist needs to get his ass in gear.

    Oh, and the Main theme is Carry On by Avenged Sevenfold and the montage would be a playlist of Japanese fighting songs from Anime XD

  • Archaeo

    Phoaw, I’m inspired to find my alter ego and kick ass.

  • Jajanahhaah

    No need a song . Song is just weird man you don’t have to

  • Ben Bohnert

    When im prepping for a workout, not afraid by eminem. I workout and “fight” for the love of my life. The thought of protecting her and living an example for her never fails to force me to look myself in the eyes and stop making any excuse

  • Nuno Dias

    My name is Nuno. I’m 13 years old and I’m a student, got to 9th grade. My alter-ego is Poltergyst. A hooded hero who seeks peace and justice. He does not seek pride, honor or fame. He desires peace more than anything. He has a loyal companion. N.A.V.I., an IAI (information artificial intelligence, currently under development) who gives him information about all misfortunes that happen to his city.

  • Johnny

    I know I am 4 years late, but I am OS-197, a nuclear isomer of the densest substance known to man! I am dense and stubborn to people who tell me that I can’t do it, or that it is too much and I should just stop now. I am also unstable and radioactive, so you don’t want to make me angry because I am the one who knocks! (I bet you thought I was going to say, “you would not like me when I am angry.”) When I dawn my heart monitor of truth, armband of justice, and sunglasses that kind of look like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s, evil doers beware! I stand for strength, power, and determination, and when you hear I Was Made For Lovin’ You by KISS watch out!