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The Northman Challenge - Bear or Wolf?

Are you a Bear or a Wolf?

I've always loved the movies...

They're a great form of escapism and similar to music (footy, boxing and other sports I love) they also help keep me present (not just the physical) whilst at the cinema I'm not stuck to my phone all disconnected I'm totally immersed in the film, and being present is a big one for my ongoing mental wellbeing..

This is ONE of the big reasons why, or my clarity and leverage if you like, with regards to my ongoing exercise/activity

And being mindful of consuming a well balanced yet enjoyable variety of food/drink not just for how I look but also feel, after all food is energy, and energy has a HUGE impact on our mood and wellbeing!

When you think about it, fitness doesn't really exist without a good level of health so if you focus on your health you'll find you'll be fit and healthy and the knock on will be you will look, move, and feel great!

Why health and fitness should be ONGOING, not just for a short term fix, holiday, or photoshoot (that will be filtered and manipulated to f*ck - what's wrong with the multi MILLION HEALTH & fitness industry - yep you won't always be told the truth, fancy that )

Why I will ALWAYS share full transparency on EVERYTHING

That said I also enjoy a challenge as this helps mix things up and keeps things interesting, why I do a couple each year, one for my birthday (to see what can be achieved as the body ages another year) and also leading up to Xmas.

(While everyone's waiting for New Year again - How did that work out for you?)

Anyhow, having recently watched the Northman (have you seen it?)

Is why I will be doing a Northman Viking Warrior for my birthday (July) challenge this year.

I've also enlisted a couple of the local wake up warriors too, now they have hit their initial goals, as this set goal and deadline adds some extra spice, interest, accountability etc etc

Above - a couple of the local wake up warriors Jason and Sat (finishing of their first week on the Northman challenge) who BOTH suffered with deliberating back pain before they started using the 5-pillar health & longevity system.

Now they've enjoying pain free movement through building real usable strength and conditioning they're now ready for a little extra fun challenge ;p

It will also offer a little friendly competition amongst these guys although when you start turning exercise into a competition, it is no longer about health. Hence why sports people have many injuries and surgeries etc

All comes back to CLARITY

Alongside mine, I'm always researching, and trying out various things within the fitness industry, I have also done a few other movie challenges over the years including 300 and Fight Club which I shall also share at a later date..

Above - That's me, Anton Hedges (in my fifth decade now) men's health, fitness, longevity expert. Demonstrating some previous challenge results. Left, low fat % challenge and on the right muscle building challenge. Middle picture is my everyday shape, regardless of whether I'm following a challenge or not, for my ONGOING wellbeing!

For this latest Northman challenge I started to think about how I could design the routines using my 5-pillar system (my ongoing health/wellbeing personal blueprint) which was really quite easy actually..

In the movie, that also has elements of the supernatural, the Viking warriors spirit animals are either a Bear (Big bulky brute force) or Wolves (more athletic and technical) however Alexander Skarsgård lead character Amleth..

Is a hybrid between the two. So it really suits the wake up warrior 5-pillar balance, see, whilst most people train for the weight room, we're all about building real USABLE strength as agility (technical wolf) is more usable than brute strength alone (bear - weight room bodybuilding) Alexander Skarsgood (who was 45 at the time of the shoot) has size, he's 6.4, but he's not HUGE, because he needs to be able to move, the trick is to give him massive traps (top of shoulders back) for his close ups as it gives the impression of more size, similar to Tom Hardy in Warrior.

The leading man has to be ready to take off the shirt, show the torso, AND look the part

(although just because somebody 'looks' good it doesn't necessary mean health as already mentioned)

However, Alex has trained that (usable) leading man athleticism, running, climbing, fighting etc which would come from a variety of weights BUT ALSO movement, instead of just isolated chest and treadmill, of such activities with kettlebells, clubs, ropes etc Followed by hours of fight choreography with swords and axes which is more functional/usable fitness training. The physique is a result of developing USABLE strength, stamina, and skill for mock battles - The 'appearance' is the consequence of fitness..

Below, Jason working his Sword 🤣

Lateral lunge (with strike) 'movements' that incorporate lateral and rotational movements, the way the body is designed to move...

The physique is a result of developing USABLE strength, stamina, and skill for mock battles - The 'appearance' is the consequence of fitness..

Above - Little update of Jason's Northman Challenge..

The beauty of the wake up warrior 5-pillar system is it produces that hybrid balance, through removing any training bias, and incorporates everything needed for building and sustaining a strong functionally fit and proportioned, agile physique, plus work capacity..

Above - Just prepping some Northman Nutrition :p more on my personal nutrition here:

One of the pillars is nutrition - Diets DON'T work we both know that so it's all about balanced but enjoyable consumption, alongside regular exercise/movement, which makes it sustainable

This nutrition maybe a little stricter dependent on the challenge, OR your starting point - Clarity

E.G - If I'm doing a low body fat challenge, I'm about 6-7% in that earlier picture, for a set period of time this isn't much fun and it isn't sustainable to be that low, why its an occasional challenge. The middle pic (about 10% body fat) demonstrates what I can maintain whilst actually enjoying my life and all without hours of endless exercise and boring diets

Your overall nutrition requirements will dependent on your clarity of goals. That said I’m a big believer in not having any food restrictions. It's going to be really hard sticking to a diet if you don't get to eat foods you like, right?

For ongoing health and longevity so you continue to look, move, and feel great. I try to approach the nutrition part with the most balance or most sense as possible. Even during a challenge I can have a few beers and make it work.

Keep an eye out as this will be demonstrated with mine (and the other gents) Northman challenge results

To learn more about that, including nutrition/meal plan pdf, and the wake up warrior system grab your free guide here:

Anton 'hybrid' Hedges

PS - All of this comes back to CLARITY

do you wanna be a bear or a wolf

OR a hybrid (wake up warrior)


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