Project Thor

Project Thor: Aftermath

In which I assess the results of Project Thor using graphs...

Weight Loss

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

Fig 1: There was no weight loss over the course of Project Thor.

Muscle Gain

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

Fig 2: Muscle gains (and fat losses) in inches over the course of Project Thor.

Strength

The most noticeable change during Project Thor were my strength gains at the gym:

Stay tuned for details of future projects (Project 0 - coming soon to a blog near you!) and any other small Tailor costumes. Here endeth Project Thor.

Tom Out!

P.S. Before mine, there was another Project Thor

Project Thor: Armour

Project Thor: Armour

In which I cover the creation of Thor's armour, the hardest part of the build.

This follows a similar, though more complicated, method to Mjolnir (Parts 1 & 2)

More Pepakura

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:

Project Thor: Mjolnir Part 2

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.

The Handle

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.

Painting

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.

*Drybrushing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drybrush

Tom Out!

P.S. There are several more Thor updates to come!

Project Thor: Dr. Donald Blake

In which I reveal my secret costume for SSAGO tonight.

Dr. Donald Blake

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)

Tom Out!

Project Thor: Mjolnir Pepakura

I have all the materials to craft Mjolnir now - to the Forge! ... for real this time :)

Pepakura

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.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au8xA-AerBk]

Crafting

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:

Tom Out!

Project Thor: Mjolnir Attempt 1

I have all the materials to craft Mjolnir now - to the Forge! ... or not

Materials

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.

Crafting

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).

Tom Out!

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/

Project Thor: Progress

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)

Previous

75

42.5

72.5

140

Current

125

67.5

107.5

205

Improvement

+ 50

+ 25

+ 35

+ 75

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 :)

Thor with luscious locks

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.

Tom Out!

Project Thor: Very Demotivational

In which I discuss how easy it is to fake weight loss.

As part of Project Thor I'm hoping to get some pretty good before and after photos. Obviously this required me to take some before photos and then they've sat on my camera for a few weeks :S

Now taking photos of yourself before losing weight is quite demoralising (or even demotivating depending on your personality) and that's all the excuse I need for a title for this blog-post!

For the purposes of full disclosure I thought I'd take photos of me standing straight and hunched and the difference is very dramatic. These photos taken seconds apart show a completely different physique. This reminded me of a post I saw weeks back about how easy it is to fake those 'dramatic weight loss' pictures you see on website advertising. Apparently their method involved:

  • Taking the 'after' shot first
  • Eating a lot of foods which make you bloated
  • Waiting 30 minutes
  • Taking the 'before' shot

Once again don't trust everything you see on the internet (though I expect you knew that already). Enjoy a little demotivational featuring yours truly:

In other news I now own a large block of polystyrene and some wood. Once the leather turns up I can start to craft the mighty Mjolnir! Expect pics and a how-to in the following fortnight!

Tom Out!

P.S. http://memebase.cheezburger.com/verydemotivational

Project Thor: The Slow-Carb Diet

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 :)

.

.

.Slow Carb

Rules:

  1. Avoid 'white' carbohydrates - any carb that is white or can be white (e.g. brown rice is still bad)
  2. Eat the same few meals over and over again mixing at least one item form the three groups: protein, legumes, vegetables.
  3. Don't drink calories
  4. Take one day off a week

There are some other additions to these rules covered in the book and online (see links below).

My Changes

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 :)

Links!

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/

Tom out!

Project Thor: On Measurement

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!

Weight (kilos)

Waist (in)

Hips (in)

L Bicep (in)

R Bicep (in)

L Thigh (in)

R Thigh (in)

Total inches

89

40.5

39.5

12

12

21.5

22.5

148

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

Tom out!

P.S. This P.S. is a lie!

Project Thor: Exercise Plan

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:

  1. HIIT
  2. 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

Tom out!

Project Thor

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.

Tom out!

P.S. Apparently I already have a cape! :)

P.P.S Follow my weight-loss at Runkeeper: http://runkeeper.com/user/tomw2005/profile