Be Marvel, Not DC – Sun 5.06.18

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I received a good promotional email from Steve Kamb of and thought it was a pretty interesting read.  The Compound always strives to be Marvel and not DC.   Let me share some thoughts:

Every day, I get emails from people about the newest diet or workout fad, asking the same question:

“Dearest Steve, just how quickly can I get in shape?”

They’re asking about cleanses or detoxes or trying to get in shape for a vacation two weeks from now. They need results, and they need them yesterday.

I know that in each and every one of these scenarios, the person will end up right back where they started, no matter how much success they have initially.


Because that used to be me.

I would see bigger, stronger people in the gym and say: “I want to look like them” and then try to reach their level as quickly as possible.

“I’ll just eat chicken and broccoli until I reach my goal weight and then things can go back to normal. If working out 3 times a week is good, working out 10 times a week must be better! Then I can settle into an easier routine.”

I bet you can relate in some way to wanting quick results like cramming for a test.

Unfortunately, this short term strategy will result in short-term progress and long-term anguish. Or in my case, injury, burnout, and frustration.

What I had to realize was that I wanted to be Marvel, but acted like DC.

Opinionated nerd rant incoming….



After 10+ years years of planning and 18 movies spanning different galaxies, dimensions, and time periods, the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes together TODAY in Avengers: Infinity War.

This is by far the biggest collection of heroes ever assembled on the silver screen.

Marvel’s journey to juggernaut status began with the incredible Iron Man in 2008 and has since developed into a worldwide phenomenon.

Today is the payoff for nerds everywhere, along with Marvel’s ACTUAL payoff.

We’re talking dollars, people.


Now, love or hate their films, it’s hard to knock the impact Marvel Studios has had on nerd culture and Hollywood.

On a personal level, Marvel has dramatically impacted my life and this site. I bought the domain in 2007, and this community has grown up alongside Marvel movies:

As it has done for me dozens of times in the past, Marvel has once again inspired me to think differently about life, and it’s probably the most important lesson it’s taught me yet…


Are you willing to start something TODAY knowing that the ultimate reward won’t happen for another decade?

After all, 10 years is an eternity in our world of instant gratification.

It’s tough enough to think about next year when SO MUCH happens every day. We can get anything we want with the click of a button or swipe of an app. We get mad when Amazon delivery takes 6 hours instead of 4.


Fortunately, Marvel thinks differently.

10 years ago, while Nerd Fitness was just an idea in young Steve’s mind, Iron Man hit theaters like a wrecking ball. This crucial first step began a momentum-building, character-developing journey through 18 movies that finally led us to today:

3 glorious hours of nerd fan service with approximately 4,000 superheroes.

This type of payoff and enviable success is ONLY possible because Marvel had the foresight to carefully execute a plan with a timeline unheard of in an industry plagued by short attention spans.

Marvel put the right pieces in the right places at the right times, carefully developing individual backstories for key characters and allowing people to connect with them in their own space.

This allowed the ultimate payoff of Infinity War to be that much more powerful.

Now, because a good thing can’t go unnoticed in Hollywood before it’s copied and overdone, we’ve had a front row seat to see this same plan executed poorly.

Warner Brothers saw the successful end result of Marvel’s decade of planning, and tried to attempt the same strategy on a much shorter timeline with their own DC Universe (Batman, Superman, Justice League, etc.)

They followed the exact formula Marvel perfected, but lacked the heart, patience, and attention to detail that had made every Marvel movie a critical and commercial success.

Unsurprisingly, this led to inferior movies, lower box office draws, and now an identity crisis:


As I thought back to the past decade of Marvel movies and my excitement for Infinity War, I realized Marvel’s path when compared to DC’s is a perfect comparison when it comes to how we should be thinking about our health and fitness.

I mean, this is NERD Fitness. Of course I’m gonna make absurd comparisons and teach you a valuable life lesson at the same time.


It’s easy to chase rapid progress when it comes to weight loss and muscle building. We see magazines and infomercials and supplement ads promising us rapid results with minimal effort.

We see Marvel-type success, and we chase it with DC-type impatience.

This will result in failure every single time.

This is why we drill the Marvel mentality into people’s heads (not literally) at Nerd Fitness:

A plan, patience, and consistency!

We don’t believe in diets, cleanses, or detoxes. Any temporary change we make will result in temporary progress, and we want permanent progress.

In other words, we need to stop trying to do so much, so quickly.

This stuff CANNOT be rushed. If you’ve ever tried to get in shape in the past and then ran out of motivation, or momentum, congratulations! You found a speed that was TOO fast for you.

You need to slow down and think longer term!

Be more Marvel:

  • Start with your single superhero plan, like Iron Man: “I’m going to go for a 5 minute walk every day.” Don’t try to do too much too soon or you’ll end up like Batman vs Superman.
  • Once you built the first habit, then adjust your nutrition: These are the ThorCaptain America, and Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Momentum-building changes.
  • Give yourself goals to work towards, AKA your next Avengers film: “I’m going to sign up for a powerlifting competition. I’m going to run a 5k. I’m gonna do a Spartan Race.” Fun missions that challenge you but still advance the story line.

Be Marvel. Not DC.

I had to learn this the hard way. It’s how I transformed from Steve Rogers to Captain America: small changes over a long period of time.

Click on my stupid goofy face below to learn more:


What’s comical is that this philosophy is antithetical to the entire Fitness Industry:

They NEED you chasing “8 weeks to abs this summer” and “60 days to toned muscles” so that they can sell you a new fancy, ineffective workout plan 2 months later.

They NEED you signing up for a gym membership and legit hope you give up after a month (but keep paying).

They NEED you to chase instant gratification and ignore long term momentum that actually gets you results.

They NEED you to be DC.

Screw them.

Be Marvel.


I recently read an article about how Marvel’s decade of dominance came together. A story from Kevin Feige, the CEO of Marvel Studios, about his hero cemented how he approaches this stuff:

“On opening day, when people asked Mr. Walt Disney if Disneyland was finished, he said, ‘As long as there’s imagination in the world, Disney will never be complete.’ And as long as people are willing to watch superheroes save the world, Marvel—and Kevin Feige—won’t be done, either.”

There’s a reason we make Mindset the first component people read when they join our online course, The Nerd Fitness Academy (which has a one-time fee and lifetime access). We know this is a lifelong journey!

You’re either building momentum or losing it.

You are always a work in progress.

You are never done.

Which means YOU HAVE TO ENJOY THE JOURNEY! There’s no diet that works permanently. There’s no 4 week program that gets you ripped and allows you to stop.

There is NO shortcut to success.

Which means you need to think like Marvel and not like DC:

  1. What form of exercise isn’t so scary that you can see yourself doing it consistently for the next decade? Walking 10 minutes per day? 10 push-ups every morning before work? Start there.
  2. How can you adjust your nutrition and workout strategy so that you’re slightly better this year compared to last year? 2 less sodas per week? Making candy a rare treat instead of a daily indulgence? Start there.
  3. How can you build momentum and then up the stakes as you adjust your default behavior? Start there. And then repeat.

This is a long journey, and I’d be honored to fight alongside you for the next decade.

The Nerd Fitness Rebellion is building momentum and the world needs you to be healthier in 2028 than you are in 2018.

Who knows, by then we might have an actual alien invasion to defend against.

I’d love to hear from you: How are you going to be more Marvel today and less DC? I want SPECIFICS.

I’ve tried to live my life by the ideals of Captain Steve Rogers, and I’m reminded every day of it by the shield on my wall. Though I don’t think I’ll bicep curl a helicopter anytime soon:


Now if you’ll excuse me, I have 3 hours of superhero chaos to watch.


PS: Before you nerd rage at me for picking on DC or feel compelled to explain why Marvel movies are formulaic, relax! I loved Nolan’s take on Batman, I enjoyed much of Justice League and think Wonder Woman was a breath of fresh air. That No-Man’s-Land scene? Chills. And I have long term hope for them figuring this out! And I had to build a lesson out of this somehow!

Of course, this is PS is unnecessary, right? We nerds would EVER overreact to somebody saying something on the internet! Have a great weekend, talk next week!

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