Hunger Games Workouts Are Here...
Posted by Girls Guide To on March 22, 2012 at 2:49 PM
...And Training Like a Tribute Is Surprisingly Smart
It was bound to happen right? If a movie stars a woman who does anything with her body beyond walking and having sex, you can bet it’s going to come with its own workout fad. So you shouldn’t be surprised that Hunger Games workouts are here. But should you try them? Surprisingly, it’s not such a bad idea. We’re not saying you should start a workout routine in hopes of looking like Katniss Everdeen, the teenage heroine whose “workout” and “diet” were inspired by trying to survive starvation and you know, people trying to kill her...but as movie-inspired workout trends go, this one’s a hell of a lot better than a lot of them. If you’re struck with the urge to “train like a tribute,” here’s everything you need to know about the Hunger Games workouts out there.
Despite cheesy marketing, it's pretty well-rounded
When Daily Burn issued their version of the Hunger Games Workout, Vanity Fair and Jezebel called to attention the ridiculousness of training to look like a starving teenager who's fighting for survival. Fair enough.
But even if Daily Burn didn't quite get the tone down right, I have to say: Their workout is pretty balanced. They include arms, legs and core moves that everyone could do at home...if you'd like to embrace the irony of training to get "Hunger Games skinny."
Self Magazine's Hunger Games-style workout helps the odds be ever in your favor by improving agility, much like the functional workouts that have become popular in recent years. And there's a reason so many trainers are pushing them: Not only do they help you, well, function; they help prevent injuries from overuse. So even if the workout is tough for you, you're not likely to end up with Hunger Games knee strain.
It's body positive
Again: Not all of the gyms using Hunger Games as a marketing ploy will get this right, but Jennifer Lawrence and her trainer Joe Horrigan did: Both say that the goal was for her to look healthy and strong, not skinny or gaunt. Horrigan told Celebuzz, “I was called to help Jennifer prepare for the film by director Gary Ross. Gary and Jennifer had discussed Katniss, her appearance and what the character would be like. They came to a conclusion that Jennifer, who was already in good shape, should be leaner, but they didn’t think that she should be gaunt because she is able to eat in the book version. To help her get ready for the film, [we helped] improve her agility, her running, her speed and her technique.”
While weight loss was one of their goals—as it is for many of us—it was within reason, and the focus was more on looking lean and strong like her character than simply losing weight to look skinny.
It doesn't come with a diet
Remember when women were trying that ridiculously low-calorie per day diet to look like an underweight Natalie Portman last year? We do, and that's part of why we think the whole Hunger Games workout fad is so great: It doesn't come with a diet (because post-apocalyptic starvation is never cool).
Her trainer told Celebuzz that she used a meal service while filming to maintain the ideal weight for the movie, but Lawrence has been outspoken about the fact that she doesn't diet—when she did it for X-Men, she said she was basically "hungry for five months" (and pissed about it). This time around, she ate to support workouts that got her strong and lean, without feeling restricted or under-nourished.
It's like cross fit, but a la Katniss
You know the Hunger Games workout trend is going to be big when gyms are offering classes before the release. A lot of these classes look a lot like cross fit—an intense fitness method that has a devoted following, because it works.
Like cross-fit, the classes involves fast circuit-training to incorporate both strength and cardio, but they've added movie-themed elements like competition (whoever gets through the circuits fastest wins), and "Gamemaker"—i.e. trainer—inflicted disasters (like surprise mid-circuit exercises).
What do you think: Is this marketing ploy fun and engaging for fans of both fitness and the Games…or is it slightly creepy to “train like a tribute?”