Who Are You, Bruce Banner Or The Incredible Hulk?

Take a look around the next time you’re walking down the street. You’ll notice a lot of dissatisfied men—men who feel they have a bit too much Bruce Banner in them and not enough Incredible Hulk (the size and strength of the Hulk, mind you, not all the rage and destructiveness). Afterward, take a look in the mirror. Are you one of these men? If so, you need a training protocol that will considerably enhance your muscular size, strength, and power—if not quite to Hulk proportions, then, at the very least, surpassing Banner’s.

-Joe Wuebben
“The Incredible Hulk Training Program”
Flex Online

Bixby and Ferrigno
Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno

I read through this program (three pages) and it’s as good as anything, I suppose. On the other hand, there’s plenty of room between the physique of Bruce (or David) Banner and the Incredible Hulk to work with.

Banner, supposedly the proverbial 98-pound weakling, is actually just an average guy. He’s not fat and maybe is a little on the skinny side, but he’s not in terrible shape either.

On the other end of the scale is this huge green rage monster called the Incredible Hulk (just how huge depends on whether you read the various comic book versions, are a fan of the 1970s TV show starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, or like the current CGI Hulk in the modern “Avengers” films).

But there’s plenty of space in-between these two examples to shoot for as well. Not everyone is going to want to be bulked up like Lou Ferrigno was on television, and no real human being could ever get as big or as strong as the comic book or motion picture examples of the Hulk.

Admittedly, we all need “heroes.” We need examples of people who have achieved some level of physical accomplishment to illustrate that we too can build our bodies up and make them stronger. My own Wolverine challenge is very loosely based on a workout routine used by actor Hugh Jackman when he was training for the 2013 film The Wolverine.

But in sampling the “Incredible Hulk Training Program,” I am again reminded that the vast majority of these exercise regimes are written for young men (and women) and not for guys 60 years of age or older.

hulk workout
Photo credit: flexonline.com

Apparently, the Flex Online writer is capitalizing on the current popularity of “superhero” movies, and the desire for “Bruce Banner” guys to become physical specimens who can rip up their t-shirts just by flexing their pecs.

Oh don’t you wish.

This is why it’s important to choose a workout strategy and goals that are tailored for your requirements and your physical condition, which does include age.

I know. I keep saying not to make age a limiting factor and, in some ways, age is just a number.

On the other hand, and I can personally attest to the fact that sooner or later you’re going to hit a physical limit you won’t be able to overcome, at least not without great effort, and maybe not without hurting yourself.

What I’m doing now, believe it or not, is within the realm of possibility for me. Maybe in ten years, it won’t be, but today it is. Today, I can squat 205 pounds and deadlift 225. I’m aiming to do more next week, and when I get into my second 5-week “mutant strength” training round, I’ll see if I can ramp things up even more.

But just because some young exercise guru has a photo of himself digitally edited to make his skin look green, doesn’t mean that exercising in order to become “the Incredible Hulk” is the only role model to aim for.

hulk workout 1
Photo credit: flexonline.com

Hollywood celebrity trainer Eric Fleishman, the person who designed the “Incredible Hulk Training Program” probably hasn’t trained many (if any) 61-year-old men like me. Older weightlifters and strength trainers are a niche market. Articles like this one are targeting a much wider audience…young guys who won’t mind parting with a few greenbacks in order to look like a humanized version of the big, green, smashing machine (notice the well-placed links to supplement products scattered throughout the Flex Online article).

If becoming the Incredible Hulk is your dream, then go for it. Just make sure it’s your dream and not something someone else has put in your head to appeal to your ego and inspire you to spend money you hadn’t already planned to part with.

Physical health is important, but you’re more than just your body and you’re certainly more than some societal expectation of appearance. Be who you are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If you don’t like yourself the way you are in any of those areas, then you have the power to change yourself…but only change if it’s what you want, not because you believe you have to satisfy someone or something else.

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.

Benjamin Franklin

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2 thoughts on “Who Are You, Bruce Banner Or The Incredible Hulk?

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