In which I assess the results of Project Thor using graphs...
So the weight loss wasn't as much as I expected but I did gain a fair amount of muscle. I'm pretty certain I look like I've lost some weight which is probably due to the shift of some fat to muscle :)
Weight (KG) over the course of Project Thor
I gained a few inches on all of the muscles I measured while also reducing my waist and hip measurements. Again I expected greater gains but I think there was a visible difference by the time I donned my armour :)
Muscle size (inches) over the course of project thor
The most noticeable change during Project Thor were my strength gains at the gym:
In which I cover the creation of Thor's armour, the hardest part of the build.
So once again I downloaded a pepakura template.* Then I began cutting out the hundreds of parts (there were 54 A4 pages of parts). I numbered all the edges so I knew which ones went together and laid them out on the floor:
In which I finish Mjolnir...except for the painting.
So I was able to get hold of a hot wire cutter but the wire broke and so I have been forced to continue with the pepakura version of Mjolnir.
First I began by cutting some brown shoelace to the correct length and gluing it to the wooden handle in a loop.
Then I cut strips of leather the correct length so that they would go all the way around the handle. I glued them around but had to hold them for a long time to let them dry, there must be an easier way to do this!
The Hammer Head
For the hammer head I continued using the pepakura method though I had to cut a hole for the handle to pass through.
Then i glues the top of the handle to the inside of Mjolnir for stability.
Before painting I first rubberised it with Plastidip which takes a few hours to dry. I then painted the hammer with a dark mix of silver and black acrylic paint. Once this had dried I drybrushed* over the top with silver acrylic paint. I also painted the gaps in the handle with the black base coat and silver over the top.
P.S. There are several more Thor updates to come!
In which I reveal my secret costume for SSAGO tonight.
Those of you who were watching the film very closely (or have read the comics) will have noticed the following two scenes in Thor.
During the infamous Thor-gets-his-abs out scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOddp-nlNvQ&t=105 he's given a t-shirt belonging to Dr. Jane Foster's (Natalie Portman) ex-boyfriend Dr. Donald Blake. This is Thor's alter ego in the comics.
Later he also has a falsified driving licence based on it.
Me as Donald Blake
With thanks to Dale and the embroidery machine at Fab Lab I was able to get an embroidered t-shirt in the style of srubs lab coats. (The font is Script MT Bold which is available in Word)
I have all the materials to craft Mjolnir now - to the Forge! ... for real this time :)
As I'm still lacking a hot wire cutter I've decided to try the Pepakura method instead. Pepakura is paper modeling. Using the Pepakura Designer software you can take a pre-made paper folding file (such as the Mjolnir one here: http://www.lacasadeel.net/2012/03/fabricando-el-martillo-de-thor-en-papercraft.html) and edit it following this YouTube video in order to make a foam version.
So now I have these materials to play with:
Cutting out the template onto the foam was easy and then using wood glue I've started to form the hammer head:
By Thor's Beard!
I've started growing the beard but it is currently unimpressive:
I have all the materials to craft Mjolnir now - to the Forge! ... or not
So I now have all the materials for Mjolnir. Polystyrene for the hammer head, wood for the handle, leather for the handle grip and plastidip for coating the hammer head. I'm short the amount of leather needed for the loop at the bottom but I might use string or something for that.
Initially I tried cutting the polystyrene with a craft knife but that didn't work very well. I also tried using a saw and a carving knife. These were also all terrible ideas. I finally settled on heating a bread knife over the gas hob. This cut through the polystyrene like butter but if it was too hot caused more to melt than I wanted. Sadly we end up with this:
While the general shape is there it isn't up to my exacting (read: fairly lax) standards.
Where From Here?
I'm going to see if Fab Lab has a hot wire cutter or obtain one from somewhere else. If that fails I'll have to try the Foam Pepakura method (which I'll detail in a future post when talking about the armour).
P.S. Polystyrene: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290617011792
P.P.S. Wood: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221116725954
P.P.P.S Leather: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190699033294
P.P.P.P.S Plastidip: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000KL5WOI/
A brief round up of Project Thor so far...
How's the Weight Loss Going?
Not so good. As of Tuesday my weight was 91 kg. Up 1 from the start but I have gained muscle in that time. I need to do more HIIT as I've mostly been concentrating on the gym aspect. From now there will be more HIIT and I'm changing diet plan to just reduced calorie intake as the other one was really hard to stick to this time round.
How's the Gym Going?
The gym is going pretty well. Here's a table comparing my starting rep weight and current rep weight.*
Lat Pulldown (lbs)
Shoulder Press (lbs)
Chest Press (lbs)
Leg Press (lbs)
There's visible improvement too but I'm waiting until the end for proper before and after photos :)
*Clearly not the maximal weight I can do. For example my starting maximal leg press was 210 lbs.
How's the Costume Going?
I have all the material components for Mjolnir now and will probably construct it this weekend :) I've just ordered a load of foam to make the armour with and I'm looking into finding templates for all the pieces.
My hair isn't growing fast enough for the full Thor length but I think with dye it will still look the part, also a few weeks will get me a reasonable beard too :)
Part of me is tempted to go as Avengers Thor before he dons his armour as it's proving difficult to find a good material for the arms.
So here is the diet plan for Project Thor which is based upon the slow-carb diet from Tim Ferriss' book (see previous post).
Luckily most of this is available online for free so I can post the rules this time :)
- Avoid 'white' carbohydrates - any carb that is white or can be white (e.g. brown rice is still bad)
- Eat the same few meals over and over again mixing at least one item form the three groups: protein, legumes, vegetables.
- Don't drink calories
- Take one day off a week
There are some other additions to these rules covered in the book and online (see links below).
One of the additional rules in the book is allowing you to eat carbs within two hours of exercise so I've been using that rule when going to the gym. I'm also taking the 'cheat day' and spreading it out across the week as this helps my lack of self control :)
Tim Ferriss' blog post on the Slow-Carb diet: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/04/06/how-to-lose-20-lbs-of-fat-in-30-days-without-doing-any-exercise/
Diet reference (tells you whether a food is allowed): http://www.eslowcarbdiet.com/
Firstly an announcment! Tea reviews will re-commence on Wednesday and run bi-weekly for the foreseeable future! Also if there's a tea you think I should try feel free to proffer it to me when I see you for my delectation and reviewing pleasure :)
So onto the post -
Measurement and tracking is very important when following an exercise program, mostly because it stops you from going insane. This is because it is very hard to see if you are losing weight* if you look in the mirror everyday whereas cold hard numbers don't lie to you**.
So below is my table of starting measurements before Project Thor so I can compare the results at the end.
Though in defiance of my earlier paragraph there is a number which lies to you - the waist measurement on your clothes. I've been defiantly wearing my 34" jeans since I managed to be too small for 38" and 36" jeans last year. Recently they have gotten tighter but still fit (sadly all the cake I've eaten this year was not a lie). Now hopefully you haven't scrolled down far enough to see the measurement table yet - do so now and see how inaccurate this flattering lie is!
L Bicep (in)
R Bicep (in)
L Thigh (in)
R Thigh (in)
Even if you ignore the half inch which would explain the slight tightness of my trousers that's still wrong by 6 inches! A 17% inaccuracy. Maybe if they gave clothing sizes accurately across the board it would help solve our obesity problem.
Finally, the total inches measurement allows you to see if there is an overall improvement even if, par exemple, your waist doesn't decrease one week. Huzzah for improvements!
*Well weight is affected by muscle mass and fat so it is possible to stay the same weight while looking more trim, but generally.
**The scientist inside me forces me to point out I mean mass which is referred to as weight; obviously going to the moon is great for any weight-loss program :P
P.S. This P.S. is a lie!
So what's the plan regarding the weight loss for Project Thor? I hear you all cry.
Well it's a two part exercise plan and a diet plan (in a future post).
So the plan is:
- 4-hour Workout Plan
Part the First: HIIT
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training (more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-intensity_interval_training). I'm going to fulfill this part of my exercise plan via running. Unlike the marathon however these sessions are short (~20 mins) with a warm-up followed by 20 second bursts of sprinting interspersed with 10 second jogging sections. Feel free to laugh at my first attempt here: http://runkeeper.com/user/tomw2005/activity/107815470?&mobile=false
Part the Second: 4-Hour Body
There is a book I used last year to lose 2 stone. It is called the 4-hour body and is written by Tim Ferris. Previously I used the diet part of the book (discussed in the next post). This time I plan to use the 4-hour workout plan (so called because you have 8 half-hour sessions per month) as well. However I'm pretty sure there must be some law preventing me from posting all the ideas from the book here so I'll just leave the Amazon link and his blog link here: Book & Blog
So this is my major Tinker (& fitness) project for the time being - Project Thor!
Basically I need ridiculous goals to achieve anything resembling fitness (c.f. running the marathon) and I have not done anything yet for the Tailor part of my blog so I conceived a cunning scheme - to go as convincingly as possible as the guy to the left [<-], The Mighty Thor!
This requires the following things:
- Getting my weight down to 79 kilos (12.5 stone)
- Putting on some muscle
- Crafting Mjolnir
- Making the upper body armour
- Obtain some crazy black trousers (I mean just look at them [<-])
- Obtaining some boots
- Growing and dyeing my hair blonde
- The challenge ends on October 31st 2012
Obviously there are a few caveats to the "convincingly" I wrote above. Clearly I am not an actor paid lots of money just to work out for a role so I will do my best to achieve a reasonable physique for the costume.
An update will follow later with 'Before' photos.
P.S. Apparently I already have a cape! :)
P.P.S Follow my weight-loss at Runkeeper: http://runkeeper.com/user/tomw2005/profile
"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of ... THOR"
The Marvel Platinum series is designed to give new readers (such as myself) an overview of a character's origin and important stories in their lifetime.
[A note on SPOILERS: There won't be any as long as you don't consider mentioning the names of Thor, The Avengers or other Asgardians]
Thor is the main character throughout but anyone who has watched the Marvel films will also recognise Odin, Loki, Volstagg (the Vast), The Lady Sif, Hogun and Fandral. There are also appearances by The Avengers and other Asgardians (above).
The artwork in this book spans the whole history of Thor and so the earlier comics are not as high quality as you'd expect today or in a good graphic novel. The depictions of Thor and his allies/foes definitely improve throughout the book but by the time you reach the more recent comics the quality is top notch :)
The Writing It's nice to see such a cross-section of comic history. You can see how the writing style changes (the early Thor comics do seem a little childish). One noticeable change in the writing style comes when Thor's speech is made more accessible (if you thought he talked strangely in the films wait 'til you read the earlier comics!).
The later stories are superbly written and the characters seem vivid and exciting. There's a brilliant bit where Thor is given a stern talking down for his actions.
The first two stories cover Thor's origins (one from the first comic and another one with more detail from later on). From then on we see the God of Thunder dealing with many different foes including some you'll recognise from the films (with the aid of The Avengers). It's hard to discuss any of this further without spoilers but some of the story arcs in this collection are excellent and a must read for fans of the films.
This is a great overview of a character I didn't know much about until the films came out. I've learnt lots and enjoyed the ride :)
Next time on Marvel Monday - Uncanny X-men 1!
Tom out! :)