Nerd-friendly gyms and programs are multiplying like Game of Thrones story lines, helping those who might normally be spending sunny afternoons planted in front of a video console or nose-deep in comic books get moving.

October 09, 2014

Superhero blockbusters killing it at the box office. Comic Con conventions drawing huge crowds. The TV juggernaut that is The Big Bang TheoryYep, it’s good to be a geek these days. And now nerds can add one more thing to the list: Geek Fitness, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Yep, you read that right. Geek-friendly gyms and programs are multiplying like Game of Thrones story lines, helping those who might normally be spending sunny afternoons planted in front of a video console or nose-deep in comic books get ripped (well, get moving anyway). A welcome fitness trend since the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition reports that nearly 28% of Americans were physically inactive in 2013, up from 24% in 2004.

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Workout community site Nerd Fitness, for example, boasts more than 230,000 newsletter subscribers and uses video games and superhero characters to get “desk jockeys, nerds, average Joes” off their fantasy-craving fannies. Earlier this month the folks who run the site held a four-day, adults-only summer camp in Clayton, Georgia, according to The Journal. On the itinerary at Camp Nerd Fitness: Game of Thrones combat training (not to worry, the sabers were plastic) and a seminar on how to make your home and kitchen healthier called—wait for it—“Building Your Batcave.” Campers also lifted weights, went hiking, and learned body weight exercises.

Geek and Gamer Fitness, a gym in Olympia, Washington, offers Harry Potter-themed classes like “Can You Survive Hogwarts?” along with a Zombie Dash 5K, in which participants are chased through the streets by surprisingly agile members of the undead. Log onto the “Cos-fit” Facebook page and you’ll see photos of faithful followers dressed up in Wonder Woman costumes, as well as inspirational quotes from nerd/fitness icons like Bruce Lee. And then there’s YogaQuest, a Minneapolis studio, which sets low-impact yoga classes to themes such as Star Trek and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The pop culture references may be what lures techies into the gym, but followers cite another reason for their enthusiasm: the friendly climate. As one Geek and Gamer member posted in a review on MapQuest: “I feel like it’s a second family.” Nrdfit founder Andrew Deutsch couldn't agree more, noting to the WSJ that in this kind of atmosphere, “Nerd is not a four-letter world.”

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